Intro to Digital Marketing

If you need to sell something online, you’re going to need to invest in digital marketing. It doesn’t matter if that something is a new product, a service or a cause. You need to build awareness for it, encourage people to consider it and then get them to take action.

Digital marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. In no particular order, here are some of the ways to promote your new something online.

Types of Digital Marketing

  • SEO: Google is a search engine. Heard of it? Great. Millions of us use Google to find things every day and Search Engine Optimization is one way to get in front of those people by outranking competitors for searches that are important to our product or service. Example: Do a search for “best new strategy board games” on Google. Every link in search results that does not say “ad” is a site that probably uses SEO to win.
  • SEM or PPC: Search Engine Marketing, or Pay Per Click advertising, is another way of being included in search results. Unlike SEO, SEM is a Paid Search technique, meaning you spend money on advertisements to get visits to your website. Example: Do a search on Google for “best charity to support hurricane victims”. Links in those search results that say “ad” are using SEM to market their websites.
  • Social Marketing Marketing: SMM has grown to become very much like search engine marketing, where you can either optimize your social accounts, like Twitter or Facebook, to grow organically or you can spend money to gain sponsored placements. Example: Twitter and Facebook feeds have both paid and organic content, much like Google’s search result page. Paid listings or posts usually say “sponsored”.
  • Content Marketing: The word “content” is thrown around a lot in digital marketing and its meaning can get lost. Content is anything that you read or experience online. It can be a web page, an interactive website or even a video. Brands use content marketing to create something online that will encourage customers to think about something related to their products – that doesn’t necessarily mention the product. Example: Buzzfeed. I don’t really need an example, just go to Buzzfeed and chances are you’re going to see a lot of content marketing in the form of silly quizzes and nostalgic lists of things you want from your childhood.
  • Influencer Marketing: An influencer is a lot like a celebrity. They usually have a large number of followers online that watch, read and respond to what they do on social media or on their websites. Companies usually seek out influencers who have a large fan base in the category of their products. Example: Makeup reviews and tutorials are very popular in the influencer space. Watch a video on YouTube and see if there is a product plug.
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