Today, your customers are online: scrolling through social media, reading blogs, and opening relevant emails in their inboxes. Digital marketing helps you advertise on those channels so your audience can learn more and become customers.
If you’re wondering how to get started in digital marketing, the landscape can seem a little overwhelming. In this post, we’ll break down how a digital approach can work as the foundation for your business growth.
What is digital marketing?
At a high level, digital marketing is advertising your products and services through online channels like search engines, websites, social media, email, and more. Looking at digital marketing from a holistic approach, your channels and tactics all work together to engage your audience and connect in unique ways.
Benefits of developing a digital strategy include:
- Brand awareness and engagement
- Social shares and email list building
- A shorter buyer’s journey (through relevant, proactive content)
How to get started in digital marketing in 3 steps
To launch successful digital marketing campaigns, you must start with a strong strategy to guide your engagement, budget, and ROI.
Before diving into tactics, you need to determine what your digital marketing should accomplish. Do you want to build brand awareness? Earn more qualified leads? Get more email subscribers? Whatever your goals are, set KPIs around them to help measure the performance of each campaign.
Digital marketers who develop a strategy are 356% more likely to succeed.
Learn from your target audience
Have you developed buyer personas for your strategy? If you’re putting together a digital campaign, it’s essential to dive into your audience’s likes and dislikes, demographics, buying patterns, and behaviors to effectively reach and target them. Your audience needs to be at the heart of your strategy, so you’re able to provide value and solutions that translate into sales. You can do this by surveying your audience and testing what works.
Choose your digital channel and execute
Once you understand your goals and audience, you should have a good idea of the channels you need to execute your strategy on. Popular digital channels include:
- Search engine optimization: Getting your website to organically rank in top search engine result pages with onsite and off-site tactics
- Email marketing: Creating personalized and informative conversations with opted-in subscribers for news, promotions, events, and more
- Social media marketing: Curating ephemeral content on multiple platforms to engage and entertain followers
- Pay-per-click advertising: Running paid text and display ads to target certain online search keywords
You want to select channels that not only your audience interacts with, but also helps you stay on budget and increase your ROI. As it stands, 59% of marketers agree that an integrated email marketing strategy is the number one source of ROI.
How to measure the success of digital marketing
You need to measure KPIs that give insight into your campaign success and challenges. The more you learn from your metrics, the better you’ll be able to optimize future campaigns and grow customer engagement.
While KPIs will depend on the channel, a few must-have performance measurements include:
- Customer retention
- Click-through rates
- Return on investment
- Shares or forwards
- Bounce rate
Does it really matter?
Digital marketing is non-negotiable. With digital marketing, you can reach your audience at the right time, on the right platform, with the right message. If you want to stay competitive and increase your ROI, you need to adopt some sort of digital strategy to meet consumer demand and stay relevant. Additionally, you can measure your success—making sure your valuable marketing dollars are going to the right efforts.
While digital marketing is an evolving landscape and complex ecosystem, your brand has the opportunity to attract new leads, engage current customers, and grow your business with trackable results. When developing a digital strategy, remember to:
- Set realistic and measurable goals
- Understand your target audience’s needs
- Choose the right digital channels
Ready to dive into digital marketing? Start by learning how to create an impactful email campaign.