What is digital marketing and how to create the best marketing strategy?

Contents

  • 1. What is digital marketing?
  • 1.1. Online Marketing VS Offline Marketing
  • 1.2. Marketing digital B2B vs B2C
  • 2. Digital marketing for beginners
  • 2.1. Identify your audience
  • 2.2. Learn from the best
  • 2.3. Understand and optimize your customer experience
  • 3. Digital marketing strategy
  • 3.1. Social media
  • 3.2. Email marketing
  • 3.3. Affiliate Marketing
  • 3.4. Natural reference
  • 3.5. Search engine marketing
  • 3.6. Content marketing
  • 3.7. Podcasts
  • 4. Conclusion

Once your business has been created and your product online, you are looking for how to make your offer known to your target .

“But where to start ?” you would say. It’s simple: digital marketing !

According to Statista, in 2021 , digital marketing spending was over $389 billion , or 17% more than in 2020.

In this article, you will find a beginner’s guide to digital marketing.

You will discover all the notions of online marketing that you need to master to get started.

1. What is digital marketing?

digital marketing reading

Digital marketing is a form of direct marketing that connects the salesperson and the customer/prospect on an online platform .

In other words, it is the promotion of a product or service:

  • On social networks
  • On a website
  • By email
  • On a search engine
  • On an app

About 4.66 billion people (60% of the population) use the Internet in 2021 . Digital marketing is therefore essential.

To become a digital marketer , you’ll need a strategy: your action plan for getting your offer online.

It is therefore essential to master the subject to plan your marketing strategy.

Here are the main things to keep in mind to get started:

1.1. Online Marketing VS Offline Marketing

Online vs offline digital marketing

Online Marketing VS Offline Marketing

Digital marketing has been around for much longer than you might think.

The very first “digital” marketing tool was invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1896: the radio.

Now, the possibilities have expanded with, for example:

  • online advertising
  • email marketing
  • And THAT

But don’t forget about offline marketing sources .

More traditional, they can be effective if they are original and inventive :

  • Telemarketing _
  • radio _
  • TV commercials
  • Street marketing , for example with the distribution of flyers
  • Postal advertising
  • The event
  • advertising posters

Even if they are older, these techniques are not outdated.

For example, the famous folding bike brand “Brompton” organizes a race every year : the “Brompton” world championship. The participants are disguised in English. This event is a huge success and brings together a community of loyal customers!

Your business is smaller? If you work in e-commerce, send a birthday postcard to your customers .

If you sell online training, send a diploma and take the opportunity to slip an invitation for your next webinar.

But there is an extension of offline marketing: enhanced offline marketing . It is enriched with digital technologies.

Advertising screens are an example: think of Times Square , where the viewing experience has become a global tourist attraction.

On a smaller scale, it is possible to communicate on screens installed in shop windows.

However, more and more people are hanging up on telemarketers, skipping television commercials and streaming their music instead of the radio.

This is why we are going to focus on online marketing strategies in this article.

But don’t forget the offline methods that you can combine with your digital strategy.

1.2. Marketing digital B2B vs B2C

B2B VS B2C

B2B VS B2C

B2B stands for “ business to business”: it is commercial relations between two companies .

B2C stands for “business to consumer” and refers to companies that sell products and services to consumers .

In B2B marketing, the focus is on the offer and its characteristics .

You prove that you respond correctly to a specific problem.

The approach is more logical and uses fewer emotional levers . You show that you are effective and that you bring value.

B2C marketing puts the focus on the consumer. The decision is often made by one person.

The customer can make a compulsive decision , more based on emotions and feelings than in B2B .

By understanding the difference between B2B and B2C marketing, you can better adapt to your audience.

But keep in mind that the B2B or B2C markets are not all the same: for example, we do not sell in the same way to an elderly person as to a thirty-year-old.

2. Digital marketing for beginners

start in digital marketing

Research, learning and understanding are the main stages of developing your digital marketing strategy.

2.1. Identify your audience

audience marketing

audience marketing

You can spend all your time and money on your marketing campaign , but it will be ineffective if it doesn’t reach the right people .

Your target audience is the group of people most likely to buy your offer.

They often share a characteristic or interest that will help you define them.

  • Analyze your current customers:

Find the characteristics and common interests of your customers to create a typical profile: a “persona” .

You can get this information from:

  • polls
  • Customer feedback
  • Exchanges on blogs, by phone, by email or face to face
  • Get to know your competitors:

Your competitors have very similar target customers .

By studying your main competitors, you can identify the wants and needs of your audience.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What social networks do they focus on?
  • What are their arguments ? What is their message ?
  • What language do they use?
  • What content gets the most reactions?
  • What are their customers saying ?

With this information, you can narrow down your target audience into one specific profile.

  • 3. Use keyword generators:

Keyword generators are useful tools for understanding your audience.

They allow you to search for a keyword and understand :

  • The results of his research
  • The “search intent” , the research intention (to buy, to be informed, to discover, to be entertained, etc.)

Here are some of the best keyword tools :

  • Google Trends allows you to know the demand trends of your audience.
  • Ah refs ‘ Keyword Generator provides you with phrases and questions that match your keyword in search engines such as Google, Youtube, Bing and Amazon.
  • Keyword Sheeter is a simple keyword suggestion generator, based on search volumes and cost per click on Google.
  • Answer the Public offers detailed mind maps , grouping your keyword by prepositions, conjunctions, letters and related searches. It is a very advanced tool to go beyond a single keyword.

These tools not only allow you to better know your target audience, but also improve your natural referencing on search engines.

2.2. Learn from the best

learn marketing

Many digital marketers dedicate their lives to teaching you how to become an experienced digital marketer.

Here are four digital marketing experts you should consult:

2.2.1. Neil Patel

Neil Patel

who is Neil Patel?

If you do any research on digital marketing, you’ll definitely come across Neil Patel .

After creating his first website at 16 , Neil Patel founded and co-founded several marketing businesses. In particular, it offers optimization tools , such as Neil Patel Digital, Quicksprout, Crazyegg and Kissmetrics.

Neil Patel is a New York Times bestselling author and was named one of the 30 New Entrepreneurs Under 30 by former President Barack Obama and one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs Under 35 by the United Nations.

Neil Patel is a New York Times bestselling author . He’s been nominated :

  • Among the 30 New Entrepreneurs Under 30 by former President Barack Obama.
  • Among the top 100 entrepreneurs under 35 by the United Nations.

He is one of the industry leaders in digital marketing, with one of the most visited blogs on the subject .

2.2.2. Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik

Who is Avinash Kaushik

“The interesting thing about averages is that they hide the truth very well.”

Avinash Kaushik believes that reality is made up of nuances .

Co-founder of Market Motive and former marketer at Google , Avinash Kaushik has made a name for himself in the world of digital marketing.

Avinash Kaushik shares some very useful information to help you take your marketing strategy to the next level.

For her top tips, here are five summaries of her blog posts to read to avoid rookie mistakes.

2.2.3. Gary Vaynerchuck

Gary Vaynerchuck

Who is Gary Vaynerchuk

In the late 90s, Gary Vaynerchuck managed to turn his parents’ wine business into a profitable multi-million dollar business .

To achieve this, he effectively used the new email marketing strategy , which was underestimated at the time.

Since then, Gary Vaynerchuck founded his advertising agency , VaynerMedia.

He also created a holding called VaynerX, he wrote five novels and he sits on many boards.

With “hustle” as its motto, Vaynerchuck brings you a fresh look at a successful digital marketing strategy.

You can find his invaluable resources on his blog , his Youtube channel and his newsletter “Hustler’s Digest”, as well as his podcast “The GaryVee Audio Experience”.

2.2.4. Ann Handley

Ann Handley

who is Ann Handley

Digital marketing expert, content expert, Wall Street Journal best-selling author, speaker, writer, journalist and editor of MarketingProfs:

Ann Handley has done it all.

Co-founder in 1997 of Clickz, a blog on digital marketing, Ann Handley went from journalist to marketing specialist by establishing herself as a pioneer in the sector .

Ann Handley is primarily a content marketer .

She is the author of 2 bestsellers :

  • “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide for Creating Ridiculously Good Content  .
  • “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business ” customers and launch your business).

She has over 20 years of blogging experience .

By using his content writing tips, you can succeed in your strategy

marketing.

To learn more, you can check out his blog .

2.3. Understand and optimize your customer experience

create customer experience

Every step of a sales funnel counts for getting loyal customers .

A loyal customer is five times more likely to make another purchase and four times more likely to recommend your product to a friend than a regular customer.

Your customer journey is the set of customer experiences with your business, your brand and your offer.

You may find it difficult to keep your customers, or even to get them.

Understanding your customer journey gives you an idea of ​​its strengths and weaknesses .

You can improve it to attract more customers and retain them over the long term.

The best technique is to create a map of the customer journey : it is a visual diagram with the “touchpoints” .

A touchpoint is a moment of interaction between the customer and you . It is for example:

  • A post on social media
  • Advertising
  • A website visit
  • A blog post
  • An email
  • A message

The customer journey map allows:

  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Reduce the churn rate
  • To decrease the number of discontent
  • Improve the NPS (“net promoter score”, an indicator for monitoring customer satisfaction and promotion of your offer)

To build a successful customer journey , you can follow these few steps :

  • Create a precise customer profile (persona) : knowing your target audience is a crucial step in adapting your business.
  • Know the needs, desires and objectives of your client : you can adapt their journey according to their expectations.
  • Determine your own objectives : align them with those of your customers, and do not deviate from them.
  • Determine the touchpoints of your communication : draw a diagram of each interaction with your customer (before, during and after the purchase).
  • Anticipate problems : define the points that could slow down or annoy your prospects and customers.
  • Put yourself in a customer’s shoes : the best way to understand a customer is to be in their shoes.
  • Create a visual : summarize all this information in an easy-to-understand and read-back diagram.

Below is a simple example of a customer journey map.

marketing project journey map

marketing project journey map

There are also resources on the Internet such as templates to help you.

From your customer journey map, you can adapt your sales funnel to the experience your customer expects .

But when you’re just starting out, your customer journey is most often quite simple.

So don’t waste too much time on your card details and don’t forget to take action to launch your online business!

3. Digital marketing strategy

Marketing strategy

Now that you know the most important principles of digital marketing, it’s time to plan your strategy !

Keep these key points in mind :

  • Stay focused on your target audience and your goals : never lose sight of who you are reaching out to, how you can meet their needs, and what outcome you want to achieve.
  • Set a clear budget : Set yourself a realistic budget and do your best to stick to it.
  • Use a combination of strategies : While each is effective on its own, well-put together strategies complement each other and are more effective (for example: your blog gets new affiliates and your affiliate strategy brings authority to your blog).
  • Don’t be afraid to try : things don’t work the first time, so try multiple times with different variations.

3.1. Social media

social networks and digital marketing

Social networks are widely used as customer acquisition tools by many businesses.

They are even sometimes overexploited.

Here are some of the most popular social networks:

  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Each social network has its own audience, medium, culture and purpose.

You must choose the platforms that correspond to your brand image, your offer, but above all your target customers .

For example, Instagram is suitable if:

  • You have a modern and dynamic brand image.
  • Your offer is easy to explain and sell in a few words or with a simple 10 second video.
  • Your target is between 16 and 35 years old.
Social media

Instagram has integrated advanced marketing features.

Here are the most important:

  • Professional account option : users know who is a brand and who is not, and you have access to analytical data.
  • Paid advertising : you can pay to display ads in stories or on the feed with different objectives (sales, notoriety, retargeting, lead generation , lead nurturing…).
  • Selling online : you can connect your store to sell your products directly on Instagram.

A culture of influencers : influencers are mostly on Instagram and you can partner with them.

Social networks are essential , at least to integrate social proof for those who do not know you.

If you want to develop an even more advanced strategy, you can create a real community to interact with .

3.2. Email marketing

Email marketing

Email marketing is certainly the most effective digital marketing technique.

Email marketing works from an email list to which you send content.

The first step is to create a list of qualified contacts .

Then, you bring value with relevant content to build loyalty with the prospect.

Finally, you propose an offer corresponding to the needs of the contact .

As long as you send regular, quality content , an email strategy can be very effective.

It can take several forms:

  • regular newsletter , to retain your customers or maintain your prospects.
  • An automated email sequence , to continue your wind tunnel after the visit to your website.
  • An auto-responder email , to manage incoming requests.
  • An automatic email , triggered for example to recover an abandoned cart or to perform an upsell.

3.3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing consists of selling your offer through an affiliate , who then receives a commission for each of the sales attributed to him.

Affiliate marketing involves three parties.

  • The seller : he delivers the offer.
  • The affiliate : he markets the offer.
  • The customer : he buys the offer.

As a seller, you just need to offer a high enough commission and deliver a pitch that matches your offer.

There are two ways to do this:

  • By joining an affiliate network or platform
  • By creating your own affiliate program

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between sellers and affiliates.

The two join the network. The seller adds his offer to the network and the affiliate chooses it.

An affiliate program is directly created by the seller, which eliminates the intermediary and limits any costs .

The affiliate receives an affiliate link . The latter makes it possible to attribute the origin of the customer.

The affiliate places it in their content. If visitors use this link to make a purchase, the affiliate receives a commission.

Let’s take an example: you are an e-merchant and you sell training to learn how to maintain your car.

You meet a blogger who writes articles where he learns to do everything himself: his readers correspond to your target.

He adds your affiliate link in one of his articles, and he receives 50% of the amount of sales from your training.

If you want to become an affiliate in the field of entrepreneurship, systeme.io offers you 50% monthly commission for life.

3.4. Natural reference

SEO natural referencing

SEO natural referencing

Natural referencing ( SEO for Search Engine Optimization) is an element that should not be overlooked if you have an online business.

It’s about getting your site to rank higher in organic search results (the non-sponsored search engine results).

Knowing that 93% of online experiences begin with a search , there is a real resource to tap into.

There are three types of SEO you can focus on.

  • On-page SEO : This is the content of your websites, such as titles, text, meta descriptions and keywords.
  • Off-page referencing : it corresponds to backlinks (external links pointing to your page).
  • Technical SEO : It focuses more on technical optimization of your site with code, page speed and image format.

3.5. Search engine marketing

SEM search engine marketing

SEM search engine marketing

SEM (search engine marketing) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is paid search marketing: you pay to appear at the top of the results on specific keywords .

To place your paid ad on a search engine like Google, you must first go through an ad auction:

  • You choose the keywords you want
  • You indicate the amount you are willing to pay per click for each keyword

You win the auction on your keywords each time you offer a higher bid amount than the others and your ad is relevant to the user’s request.

To succeed in this type of digital marketing, you will need tools:

  • SEMrush for insights and data on keywords and traffic.
  • Google Ads Editor to edit your ads.
  • Google Keywords Planner to manage the keywords to position yourself on.

3.6. Content marketing

What is digital marketing and how to create the best marketing strategy?

Content is a fundamental element of digital marketing.

It is the founding element of your social networks, your emails, your advertisements and your articles on search engines.

Content is the first free value you offer your prospects .

If it’s good, then visitors will think your offer is good too.

Content marketing takes many forms and comes in many ways:

  • blog post
  • Infographics
  • E-books
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars

Content marketing is an easy way to get loyal customers.

Not only does the reader appreciate and respect your expertise , but they’re also grateful for the help you’ve given them.

Content appeals to the powerful mental trigger of reciprocity : readers want to give back because you’ve been generous with them.

Blogs are a great way to start an online business.

Some bloggers never try to sell their products: when they have enough qualified traffic, they offer affiliate offers .

Your blog is a great source of qualified traffic that can be turned into an email list.

You can then combine content marketing with email marketing .

3.7. Podcasts

Podcasts are increasingly popular. It’s easy to create one and publish it.

All you need is equipment (a microphone and a computer), quality content and/or exciting guests.

The purpose of your podcast, just like your written content, is to inform or entertain your audience.

When they start to trust you, you start to build real relationships .

In addition, podcasts allow you to create partnerships : by becoming friends with your guests, their communities are interested in your work.

And, even if you don’t want to start your own podcast, you can still participate in someone else’s .

Either way, the ability to use podcasts as a marketing tool is a great idea in this growing industry.

4. Conclusion

In our time, an online business cannot survive without a real digital marketing strategy .

Remember to stay focused on your audience and your customer journey .

And remember, there’s always a better way: there are plenty of digital marketing resources to help you improve.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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