Let’s start by looking at the absolute foundation of this question. What is marketing?
Oxford Languages define marketing as ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising’.
So marketing may have started as word of mouth and moved on to hand-drawn posters. From there, to newspapers and, thereafter, the radio waves. Video killed the radio star with movies and television – all fine platforms for product placement and advertising – and then came the World Wide Web.
With the rise of the internet, marketing split into the categories of traditional marketing and digital marketing, each fighting to outplay the other and yield better results, better sales.
But after a pandemic which forced the world indoors and online, the answer to our initial question stands that ALL marketing is now digital marketing.
Let’s unpack some of the most popular forms below.
Your new business card is your website. Any business who wants to control the narrative and relationship with their potential and current clientele needs a website. The generally include:
• A Home page or landing page through which they can navigate the rest of your website to find the information they are looking for
• An About page that tells your story as a business – who you are and what you stand for
• Service or Product pages outlining your primary business offerings
• A Contact page through which users can contact you or find you
• A Blog page updated regularly with essays related to your field
When everyone is using the likes of Facebook or Instagram both for entertainment and convenience, would you not want to be there, too?
Using social media platforms allows you to engage with your target audience in a way which is convenient for them. It also helps you to create and grow your brand awareness.
The most popular social media platforms which businesses are using in 2021 are:
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)
The leader of all search engines is Google – a household name and rightly so.
What search engine optimisation does is optimise the content you generate on your website into a language which Google understands.
This helps Google to do its job in showing users search results which are accurate to what they are searching for.
Google is continuously updating and adapting their SEO requirements and the SEO trends for 2021 have been summarised perfectly by SEO Director of Path Interactive Lily Ray as:
“Above all, a great SEO strategy should start by putting yourself in the user’s shoes and asking yourself if the content is truly valuable, the brand is trustworthy, and the website is easy to use (especially on mobile).”
Before, you paid to put your advert in the newspaper. The digital marketing version of that is called pay-per-click and allows you to bid for a higher spot in the Google search result pages, for instance. This is the paid advertising of digital marketing.
It puts you on the screens that you want to be on – and leaves it in your control how much you wish to spend in order to do so. Like SEO, PPC is also ever-evolving and the latest addition is called ‘smart bidding’, which is an automated service by Google.
Content is king!
And just as traditional marketing evolved from the written word to audio and video, a similar pattern has been seen in the digital space.
• Blogging is a useful tool for businesses with websites
• Images in the form of photos or illustrations are ideal for platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest
• Podcasts and voice search are becoming more and more popular, and often feature sponsors
• Video content is everywhere and is seen to be the most dynamic form of content at the moment – fitting well on almost all social media platforms, as well as on websites and in blogs
So what is digital marketing?
It is the only way to market your business in a digital age.