Any marketing that uses electronic devices and can be used by marketing specialists to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact through your customer journey. In practice, digital marketing typically refers to marketing campaigns that appear on a computer, phone, tablet, or other device. It can take many forms, including online video, display ads, search engine marketing, paid social ads and social media posts. Digital marketing is often compared to “traditional marketing” such as magazine ads, billboards, and direct mail. Oddly, television is usually lumped in with traditional marketing.
Did you know that more than 3 quarters of Americans go online on a daily basis? Not only that, but 43% go on more than once a day and 26% are online “almost constantly.”
These figures are even higher among mobile internet users. 89% of Americans go online at least daily, and 31% are online almost constantly. As a marketer, it’s important to take advantage of the digital world with an online advertising presence, by building a brand, providing a great customer experience that also brings more potential customers and more, with a digital strategy.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel.
Essentially, if a marketing campaign involves digital communication, it’s digital marketing.
Inbound marketing versus digital marketing
Digital marketing and inbound marketing are easily confused, and for good reason. Digital marketing uses many of the same tools as inbound marketing—email and online content, to name a few. Both exist to capture the attention of prospects through the buyer’s journey and turn them into customers. But the 2 approaches take different views of the relationship between the tool and the goal.
Digital marketing considers how each individual tool can convert prospects. A brand’s digital marketing strategy may use multiple platforms or focus all of its efforts on 1 platform.
Inbound marketing is a holistic concept. It considers the goal first, then looks at the available tools to determine which will effectively reach target customers, and then at which stage of the sales funnel that should happen.
The most important thing to remember about digital marketing and inbound marketing is that as a marketing professional, you don’t have to choose between the 2. In fact, they work best together. Inbound marketing provides structure and purpose for effective digital marketing to digital marketing efforts, making sure that each digital marketing channel works toward a goal.
B2B versus B2C digital marketing
Digital marketing works for B2B as well as B2C companies, but best practices differ significantly between the 2.
B2B clients tend to have longer decision-making processes, and thus longer sales funnels. Relationship-building strategies work better for these clients, whereas B2C customers tend to respond better to short-term offers and messages.
B2B transactions are usually based on logic and evidence, which is what skilled B2B digital marketers present. B2C content is more likely to be emotionally-based, focusing on making the customer feel good about a purchase.
B2B decisions tend to need more than 1 person’s input. The marketing materials that best drive these decisions tend to be shareable and downloadable. B2C customers, on the other hand, favor one-on-one connections with a brand.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. A B2C company with a high-ticket product, such as a car or computer, might offer more informative and serious content. Your strategy always needs to be geared toward your own customer base, whether you’re B2B or B2C.