What is Digital Marketing & How Does it Work?

Digital marketing has rapidly grown even before the pandemic and now this has been expedited as more people rely on the internet for their daily purchases. It is forecast to be a $786.2 billion industry by 2026, and it’s no surprise why! Online marketing is an amazing way to connect with customers and reach new audiences. 

2021 saw the global ad market grow 15.6% from the downturn in 2020, and a further 9.1% growth is expected in 2022. The trends within the industry tend to evolve very quickly, making it vital to stay ahead of the game to capitalise on opportunities and not get left behind. 

In this article, we will look at the fundamentals of digital marketing solutions and how your business can prepare for the future of digital marketing.

In this Guide:

Fundamentals of digital marketing 

What is digital marketing? 

In short, it’s the use of digital technologies to market a product or service. This can include anything from websites and social media to email campaigns and search engine optimisation. Basically, any digital tactic that you can think of can be used in digital marketing.

Why is digital marketing important?

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to have an online presence. With the majority of people spending time online, it’s essential that businesses are visible where their customers are. Digital marketing allows you to reach a wider audience than traditional marketing methods, and it’s often more cost-effective.

What are the benefits of digital marketing? 

Digital marketing has many benefits, but some of the most popular include:

  • Reaching a wider audience: As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of digital marketing is that you can reach a larger audience with less effort. You can target specific demographics, interests, and even locations with your online campaigns, allowing you to put your brand in the eyes of those most likely to do business with you.

  • Cost-effective: Digital marketing is often more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods. For example, social media advertising is a very affordable way to reach a large number of your target demographic. Compare this with the traditional television commercials that require large budgets and may target many who aren’t even relevant to your business.

  • Measurable: With digital marketing, you can easily track and measure your results. This allows you to see what’s working and adjust your campaigns accordingly. The almost-instant access to your campaign’s data helps you narrow in and produce more of what your audience is engaging with, whereas traditional marketing methods make it difficult to understand how your target audience is reacting with your messages.

  • Personalised: Digital marketing allows you to personalise your messages to your target market. This makes them more likely to engage with your brand and buy from you. The segmentation options that are possible with digital marketing allows you to craft unique messages to your potential customers depending on their behaviour, demographic, and what stage they are in the customer lifecycle.

What are the disadvantages of digital marketing? 

While there are many advantages of digital marketing, there are also some disadvantages that you need to be aware of, including:

  • Increased competition: Because it’s so easy to get started with digital marketing, the competition is high. This can make it difficult for your business to stand out from your competitors, especially if you don’t have a strategic digital marketing plan in place.

  • Overwhelming: There are so many digital marketing channels and tactics available that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This may result in you going all-in on the wrong channel or posting poor quality content on all platforms.

  • Time-consuming: Creating high-quality content takes time, and setting up and managing digital marketing campaigns requires time and specialist skills. Time that can be used on other aspects of growing your business. Small businesses especially may not be able to devote enough time for marketing and will often lack the knowledge to do it effectively.

The most popular digital marketing channels include:

  • Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to reach your target market. You can use paid or organic methods to promote your brand on social media.

  • Email: Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target market. You can use emails to nurture leads, build relationships, and even make sales.

  • Search engines: Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your website rank higher in search results. This helps your website get found in Google and other search engines for key terms your users are actually using. Paid Search (PPC) ads can quickly drive a return on your investment and attract interested buyers.

  • Content marketing: Content marketing is all about creating and sharing high-quality content to attract and engage your target market. Blog posts, infographics, videos, or eBooks, are all forms of content marketing.

How does digital marketing work? 

It all starts with understanding your audience. Define who your target market and audience are and their pain points. Then, you create content that speaks to them. This content can be in the form of PPC ads, social media posts and adverts, blog posts, infographics, videos, or even eBooks. Once you have this content, you need to get it in front of your audience. This is where digital marketing comes in. You use various digital channels to reach your target market. 

Future of digital marketing

One thing that is certain is that digital marketing is constantly evolving. The methods that we use today may not be applicable tomorrow, so digital marketers need to be adaptable. In terms of specific trends, here are a couple things to watch out for in 2022:

The Rise of Micro-influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is already a big business, with the most popular influencers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube having millions of followers and earning six-figure incomes from their sponsorships.

Influencer marketing is still in its infancy however, and while it delivers substantial return on investment compared to traditional advertising methods, there are some challenges that must be ironed out first.

Fake followers are still an issue that needs to be addressed, and there have been several negative cases in which brand/influencer connections have backfired. As influencers take on more sponsored posts, their power fades because of the lack of authenticity and influence.

Consumers value personal recommendations over being marketed to, so investing more in “micro-influencers” – social media users with a much smaller but devoted following who can provide genuinely honest marketing messages to a trusting audience – makes sense.

The power of influencers will be assessed not by the number of followers they have, but rather by their personal connections with each individual supporter.

The Future of Social Media

Although social media may be widespread now, it has a lot of room to develop. Social media will continue to establish itself in all aspects of our lives and become fully integrated with both online and offline services. The opportunity for marketers to provide highly targeted offers and services, as the AI algorithms used in social media get more sophisticated, will continue to increase.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with digital marketing? If so, contact us today for a free consultation!

Andy - Founder

Andy has extensive commercial experience at companies including Autotrader, Zoopla, and MNA Media. As a digital specialist he has over 25 years of experience in digital transformation and marketing.

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