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The very concept of online marketing began in 1994 when HotWired sold the first banner ad. So here we are after almost 30 years of experience with digital marketing, which now takes many forms, the most important of which have become automation, machine learning, or use of ChatGPT
What is digital marketing?
Internet (digital, digital) marketing is any online advertising activity, or otherwise, any way of contacting a target audience through online media. Internet marketing is designed to sell products or services to potential customers through various channels such as, for example, search engines, email, social media, video platforms, or others.
The very definition of Internet marketing grew out of traditional marketing, where the goal is to generate profit but also to create value for the end user.
What advantages does digital marketing have over traditional marketing?
Digital marketing helps companies or individuals reach a very large audience in a very short period of time. Digital marketing has a definite advantage when it comes to targeting ads over radio or television. It allows you to reach your audience very precisely, making your media spending more efficient and your return on investment higher. For example, when offering athletic shoes, an advertiser does not need to buy ads to the entire population and can use targeting based on age, interests, and even current purchase intentions.
Digital marketing is simultaneously becoming much more complex. Many new channels of communication are emerging, such as social media, which allow brands to communicate even more closely with their audiences. At the same time, there are more technologies that help understand customers and their preferences. Digital marketing goes into the greatest detail, analyzing user behavior on websites, social profiles, or mobile apps. This data is later used in large collections to look for similarities and make predictions. This makes online marketing efforts more effective, relevant, and engaging, with some changes taking place in real-time.
Types of online marketing
Digital marketing can take various forms, the most important of which are:
- Search engine advertising As the most popular form of advertising based on search keywords, it allows you to reach interested people based on the phrases typed in. This channel, due to its perfect match to intentions, usually generates the highest return on investment. However, on the other hand, its potential is limited. If there is no suitable potential in a given category, it is not possible to easily produce it.
- SEO. Page positioning is a presence in organic search results. Although it is not strictly advertising (there is no payment for the medium here) it requires financial investment in optimizing the site, creating distinctive content, and acquiring links.
- E-mail marketing. Advertising is based on sending electronic messages in the form of e-mail to a specific audience. The key is, first of all, to build a quality database, systematic communication, and personalization.
- Social media marketing. Companies use social media through platforms such as Facebook (Meta), Twitter, Pinterest, Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram to connect and communicate with current and potential customers, notify them of offers, contests, and products, as well as simply communicate and build trust.
- Social media marketing is a key to the company’s success.
- Display advertising as a variation of the pay-per-click (PPC) category. These ads can be targeted based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, interests, behavior, etc. The publisher of this type of advertising gets paid every time a user clicks on the ad. Graphic advertising also includes mobile applications. This category of online marketing helps build the image of brands, reach a certain number of people, as well as generate leads, and increase sales.
- Content marketing or content marketing It is not only the production of content (written, video, graphic, audio, etc.) but also and especially its distribution. Content marketing has great power if it really serves your audience. It can change beliefs, induce purchase, or generate buzz.
- Affiliate marketing. Affiliation is one of the oldest forms of online advertising activities. Affiliate marketing is any form of advertising that allows you to pay a specific remuneration in exchange for performing an action. For example, if a user clicks on a link on your website, goes to the advertiser’s site, and generates conversions, you will receive a bonus of, for example, PLN 50.
- Marketing (SMS/MMS/Video MMS). This form of communication is becoming less and less important but continues to be used due to the possibility of geolocation.
- Marketing automation. Companies are using marketing automation to measure behavior on their websites, and then use this data to communicate via email or personalize content.
Other types of digital marketing
Digital marketing can also be divided by the way it controls or influences an area. Inbound marketing, for example, is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers through online media controlled by the company. The goal of inbound marketing is to attract customers in such a way that they inquire about products or services on their own.
Examples of inbound marketing tactics include:
- content creation,
- publication of e-books,
- organization of podcasts,
- prepare data visualizations, such as infographics,
- publication of reports,
- organization of webinars or training sessions,
The nature of outbound marketing, or outbound marketing, is different. Its essence is to reach the user in a paid form, encouraging him to contact the brand. In this case, the activities must be extensive, some of the traffic will be misplaced, and the quality of the customer will be lower. However, these activities have advantages, such as generating a return on investment very quickly.
Inbound marketing is an important tool in retaining existing customers or expanding cooperation with other services. Outbound essentially reaches out to new customers. This form of division is easy to understand if you think about traditional marketing. If you make a phone call yourself and encourage a purchase you are using an outbound marketing technique. If you receive a phone call from an interested customer, you must have previously performed some inbound activities.
Another way to divide online marketing is by the specifics of the target audience. B2B digital marketing focuses on reaching decision-makers in companies for image or sales impact. Business-to-consumer (B2C) digital marketing focuses on attracting people and making them become customers.
B2B customers typically have a longer decision-making process because it requires input from more than one person. Individual customers are often driven by emotion and react more easily to discounts, offers, or sales.
Customers are often driven by emotions.
Digital marketing can also be divided according to the device on which the ads appear. Thus, we will distinguish strictly mobile activities that focus on acquiring mobile traffic or on mobile app marketing
Digital marketing can also be divided by device.
Examples of digital marketing
Digital marketing is an endless source of inspiration. We have selected some examples showing online advertising activities from different perspectives.
- An example of search network advertising is AmeriGas. AmeriGas is a brand that provides liquefied petroleum gas tanks wherever natural gas is not available. An outreach strategy using search marketing was used here. Ad content was written based on flexible ads generating more than 40,000 different variations – depending on the user, context, or phrase typed in. A cost-per-action (CPA) pricing strategy was also used to increase efficiency. The search results alone delivered more than 4,000 customer inquiries over the year, and we published the details of this campaign here
- App marketing is a specific branch of digital marketing. It has to take into account the nature of the mobile user, other analytics, metrics, as well as data collection restrictions put in place by Apple. The mobile app campaign for Blinkee managed to generate more than 24,000 new installs and 11,000 new registrations within six months of the service’s launch. Google and Facebook platforms were mainly used to promote the app. Using Google Trends data, the various stages were designed to maximize the chance of renting a unicycle.
- An example of a content marketing campaign was an effort for H+H Our task was to reinforce the brand’s message outside the construction season. Articles were published on specialized sites dedicated to construction companies and architects. Topics focused on the use of cellular concrete and silicates for wall construction, as well as highly specialized content such as energy efficiency, sound insulation, ecology, speed of construction, etc. Supporting the prepared digital campaign was the use of the LinkedIn platform. Thanks to it, we reached decision-makers in the industry, achieving more than 60% efficiency in opening in-mail messages. The campaign delivered more than 36,000 new users on H+H landing pages.
- Through effective SEO activities for the Panek brand, an increase in organic visibility in the top 10 by 781 phrases was generated. The website was fully optimized for search engine algorithms, and we also provided over 64,000 characters of quality content. We took care of the flow of information and internal linking on the website. Within a year, website traffic increased by almost 20,000 sessions/month
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Digital marketing is now a very capacious word, going beyond the standard understanding of marketing. Over time, the line between offline and online is blurring, creating the broader concept of omnichannel marketing using multiple communication mediums simultaneously. The future of digital marketing looks colorful.
CEO and managing partner at Up&More. He is responsible for the development of the agency and coordinates the work of the SEM/SEO and paid social departments. He oversees the introduction of new products and advertising tools in the company and the automation of processes.