People spend twice as much time online as they used to 12 years ago. And while we say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed, meaning offline marketing isn't as effective as it used to be.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
Enter digital marketing -- in other words, any form of marketing that exists online.
At HubSpot, we talk a lot about inbound marketing as a really effective way to attract, convert, close, and delight customers online. But we still get a lot of questions from people all around the world about digital marketing.
Whilst a seasoned inbound marketer might say inbound marketing and digital marketing are virtually the same thing, there are some minor differences. And after having conversations with marketers and business owners in the U.S., U.K., Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, I've learned a lot about how those small differences are being observed across the world.
So What Exactly is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers.
Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common assets and tactics:
- Your website
- Blog posts
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Interactive tools
Social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
- Online brochures and lookbooks
- Branding assets (logos, fonts, etc.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of optimizing your website to 'rank' higher in search engine results pages, therefore increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives. (Read this post to teach yourself SEO in 30 days.)
The creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, or customers. (Learn what goes into a modern content marketing strategy here.)
Inbound marketing refers to the 'full-funnel' approach to attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers using online content.
Social Media Marketing
The practice of promoting your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. (Discover 41 resources for learning how to leverage social media marketing here.)
A method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords.
A type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else's products or services on your website.
Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be 'native' -- for example, Facebook and Instagram advertising.
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people towards the business' website. (Check out these 15 successful email marketing campaigns for inspiration.)
Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It's much like traditional PR, but in the online space.