Digital Marketing: a 2-Minute Introduction

If you read Neil Patel’s Beginners Guide to Online Marketing, you’ll see that Chapter 1 tells you to be “laser-focused on your customers”. Patel, in case you didn’t know, is one of Wall Street Journal’s top influencers on the web, and one of Forbes’s top 10 online marketers.

Patel’s approach is customer-centric, and for good reason: as we like to say, you’re selling to people, not search engines.

Digital marketing, also known as Internet marketing and online marketing, has come a long way. Around 10 years ago, stuffing articles with keywords that you want to rank for was enough to get you to the top of the search engines results pages (SERPs). That meant lots of traffic for your site, which in turn meant more potential sales.

Hand-in-hand with the massive traffic, however, also meant a high abandonment rate. This meant people clicking out of the site as quickly as they clicked on the link that led them to it. Back then, it didn’t matter all that much.

Today, it’s vastly different, mostly thanks to the numerous updates in Google’s search algorithm. According to their mission statement, Google wants “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That meant, as a user, finding the information that we were actually looking for, something that we could actually use.

To this end, Google (and other search engines) has put more emphasis on things like usability (aka user experience) and engagement (time spent and click-throughs). In short, Google is now measuring how useful your site actually was to your audience. Therefore, if it sees behavior like lots of users clicking in and almost immediately clicking out, your website is probably in trouble.

With digital marketing, as with any form of marketing, your objectives should always be tied to business goals. For example, increasing revenue. Ranking high on SERPs should never be an end goal in itself. Rather, you should see high ranking as an increased opportunity to drive sales or lead generation.

That said, here are some of the major facets of digital marketing strategy that you should consider if you want to build a strong online presence.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the process of structuring and promoting your website in order to make it easier for search engines (and therefore your audiences and potential customers) to find you. This involves the strategic use of keywords that you want to rank for, link building, and optimum site usability. Read more about it here.

Content Marketing. This is the strategy of creating and distributing high-quality content that is entertaining, useful, or both. SEO-wise, your objective here is increase time spent on your site and increase click through. Brand-wise, this helps you build likability, authority, and relationships with your audience. Read more about it here.

Social Media. The most straightforward way of reaching your audience, social media makes use of social networking sites to achieve different marketing goals. Social media increases traffic to your site and provides you with another platform to create a good personal experience for your audience. This is where you can directly engage in conversation and make them feel taken care of by responding to their questions and needs as fast as possible. Read more about it here.

Paid Channels. Patel describes this as “traffic purchased through ads”. This is the practice of placing advertisements on Google SERPs, Facebook, and anywhere else on the Internet, in the hopes that your targeted audience will click on it and into your site, leading to a purchase. Read more about it here.

You can also check out our handy infographic below.

Introduction to digital marketing, Indigo Media Labs

Indigo Media Labs is a content-focused and data-driven digital marketing agency. Our strategies revolve around the lifeblood of your business: the customer. We create extremely high-quality content that builds trust, authority, and likeability for your brand. Ask us how we can help your business. We’d love to chat.