digital marketing 101: a beginner's guide

Orlando Ferrán
February 2023
12 min read

Digital marketing has become an essential tool for businesses looking to connect with current and potential customers. In this post, we'll explore why online marketing is particularly powerful and effective and how it can help businesses thrive in today's digital age. From its global reach to its ability to target local customers, we'll go over the many benefits of online marketing and show you some examples of how to put the theory into practice.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that describes any form of marketing involving electronic devices. It can be done either online or offline. Examples of offline digital marketing range from TV commercials and digital billboard displays to phone and radio marketing. 

On the other hand, online marketing focuses specifically on leveraging the internet through channels like social media, search engines, email, and websites to help businesses connect with current and potential customers. Online marketing is considered the most powerful and effective form of marketing to this day.

Why do you need online marketing?

In this day and age, online marketing is absolutely crucial for businesses to thrive. As of July 2022, there are more than 5 billion internet users and 4.7bn of those are active in social media. That’s an astounding 63% of the world’s population going online on a regular basis. This percentage further increases if you narrow it down to users in the USA and Europe where more than 90% of its population spends a daily average of 6 hours online. 

All this considered, it’s safe to say that businesses who are not actively solidifying their online fronts are missing out on a huge chunk of the consumers attention. 

So, what makes online marketing effective?

Online marketing has become central for businesses to succeed primarily because of its vast audience. However, it also offers other considerable advantages that help you navigate the massive crowds and reach the right people at the right time. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Global reach: Digital marketing removes the geographical boundaries, allowing businesses of all sizes to market and sell to customers who live in different states or countries.

  • Cost-effective: Run successful campaigns without breaking the bank while evening the playing field when competing with bigger brands. Smart strategies will trump big ad budgets any day!

  • Target Ideal Customers: Don’t cast a wide net and hope for the best. Focus your efforts exclusively on the prospects that are most likely to engage with your brand and improve the quality of your leads by targeting specific demographics.

  • Measurable ROI (Return On Investment): Get actionable and real-time campaign metrics that let you measure the ROI of any aspect of your marketing efforts; guaranteeing you’re maximizing profits and spending where it matters.

  • Adaptability: You’re not  bound to long term decisions. If things don’t go according to plan, you can easily adapt to sudden trends or adjust miscalculated strategies in just a few clicks.

  • Immediate connections: The modern consumer exercises their due diligence before making purchase decisions. This process typically starts with a search engine; make sure your business is among the first to show up with healthy reviews and a strong web presence.

  • Relationship Building: Modern consumers increasingly want to interact with brands on their preferred platforms. Businesses with strong online presence that stay in touch with their followers greatly increase customer engagement and retention.

Still with me? Let's go through some examples.

There are countless ways to conduct digital marketing through many different channels. The methods you should use very much depend on your business’ needs and goals. However, here is a summary of some of the most common online marketing tactics:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is the process of improving the rank of your website in a search engine results page like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Having your website show up among the top results organically (a.k.a. without paying) is the most effective lead magnet you can have.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Contrary to SEO, this strategy is about promoting your business by paying to be among the top results when a potential lead is searching for keywords related to your brand. A good balance between SEO and SEM can increase your sales and engagement exponentially. 

  • Social Media Marketing (SMM): This one is also among the most effective digital marketing tactics available. Businesses can leverage social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn (among many more) to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.

  • Content Marketing: This strategy is all about creating and promoting content assets like videos, images, or podcasts, that integrate your brand in order to drive awareness and customer growth. 

  • Email Marketing: Email marketing enables businesses to directly communicate with new and existing audiences to promote branded content like discounts, events, and newsletters with the purpose of nurturing customer relationship and retention.  

…and these are just the tip of the iceberg.  

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy and it’s hard to keep up with the ever-evolving digital world. What’s working today might not necessarily serve you tomorrow. Every day there’s a new tool, trend, or tactic to compliment your digital marketing strategy.

That’s why it’s best to leave the strategizing to the pros and focus your energy on what matters most: building your business. 

If you want to take your brand to the next level, don’t hesitate to reach out.  Here at bakr, for everything digital, rest assured that we’ve got your back.