What is Digital Marketing?

What does digital marketing mean? A simple breakdown of the term and the most typical components of a digital marketing strategy.

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Digital marketing refers to the promotion of products or brands via digital channels, these typically are; search engines, email marketing, websites and social media.  Other forms of electronic media can include text messaging, mobile applications, podcasts and interactive/electronic billboards.

Although these other forms of electronic media fall under the umbrella term ‘digital marketing’ at NZ Digital Marketing we focus primarily on the ‘online marketing’ channels. These digital marketing channels are varied in their level of complexity and there is no single agreed upon list, but here will cover off what we feel are the core channels, terms and assets.

Paid Search

Google AdWords example screenshot

Paid search advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) is way of paying for traffic to your website. This typically will refer to the sponsored results – noted with an ‘Ad’ symbol – that you see on the top of your search results page on Google. Although Google is the most popular form of paid search there are many other platforms offering paid search including social channels such as Facebook and Twitter and other search engines; Bing, Yahoo, Baidu.

PPC adverts can be easily tailored to target your unique audience and will only appear in results if your pre-defined search terms have been typed in by the user. You only pay when someone clicks on your advert and visits your website.  Due to the payment structure, flexibility and targeted nature of PPC it is traditionally a very cost effective channel and makes it easily accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In short, Paid search is a way to buy targeted traffic into your website. It is independent of the free (organic) search engine results you see below the paid adverts. These results and associated tactics are classed as…

Learn more and view our paid search guides

Search Engine Optimisation

Example of a search engine results page

Search engine optimisation or SEO is the process of optimising your website with the intention of improving your position on the free (organic) portion of a search engine results page (SERP). The overall goal of SEO is to attract visitors to your website.

Improvements to your position (rank) on a search engine will typically see an increase in traffic to your website and increased brand awareness. Increases in traffic and search engine visibility are often seen as having a direct correlation with increased sales, leads and revenue generated online.

SEO as a digital marketing practice is made up of many elements; from website copy to who and how many links there are to your website. Whilst primarily businesses will focus on these as a means to improve their search engine rankings, these techniques can also be seen as best practices for your website. SEO encourages valuable unique content, an easy to navigate website, and quality authoritative links from other websites.

Learn more and view our search engine optimisation guides

Content Marketing

Mythconceptions content marketing infographic

Content marketing is a form of strategic online marketing that focuses on the creation and promotion of informative content assets. Examples of these content assets are:

  • Webpages
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Apps
  • Guides and handbooks
  • E-books

The typical purpose of content marketing is (like many of the digital marketing elements on this page) to generate leads or conversions, traffic and brand awareness and/or loyalty. Try not to think of content marketing as traditional marketing collateral – such as a brochure – but as content that is informative, readable and shareable

Content marketing as a term and as a strategy has come to the fore in the past decade with the rise of social media, the sophistication of SEO and email marketing. Each of these channels now play a key role or responsibility in the content marketing mix.

Learn more and view our content marketing guides

Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing

Facebook advertising example screenshot

For many organisations – outside of your website – social media will be your key content distribution channel. It allows you to easily promote your content to a targeted audience, engage in conversations and allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Key social media channels include:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Organic social media is the traditional ‘free use’ side of a social media platform. It is used to actively promote and seed out content to your audience. An audience being those who have freely ‘Liked’ or ‘Followed’ your page.

In simple terms organic social media can be broken into two categories:

#1 – Attracting and building an audience

Before you can market to your audience you have to build an audience on your page/s. A common way to this is to simply advertise your social channels on your website, emails and other on and offline marketing means such as posters.

#2 – Providing content to connect and engage with that audience

Once an audience has been built you can then begin to market and engage them. This is where a social media content strategy would come in. Organisations need to maintain a level of engagement on their channels, providing informative relevant content to keep your audience engaged in your brand whilst not overloading them with information.

Paid social media marketing in simple terms is the act of advertising on a social channel. Much like paid search organisations pay a social channel for advertising space. Advertising placement varies depending on the channel but typical examples are on your Facebook page or before a video on YouTube.

Social media advertising is becoming increasingly popular with digital marketers and is playing an integral part in digital marketing strategies across the globe. The reason for this is the extremely targeted nature of the adverts. Facebook advertising for example can allow marketers to break down their advert targeting by age, interests, location and much more.

Learn more and view our social media marketing guides

Email Marketing

Email marketing example screenshot

Email marketing is a means to communicate and market to consumers via email. Emails are a targeted distribution channel for your content similar to social media. By providing relevant, timely content of value, email can inspire actions such as a website visit, purchase or download.

Similar to Social Media, email can be particularly effective as it is a means of regular engagement with your audience as it does not require a manual action on the users part e.g. a website visit.

Typically an organisation will first establish an audience base or list. The audience list can be generated for the sole purpose of emailing or typically it will be a marketing list from an organisations database or CRM system.

This audience list will be loaded into an email platform – a software package or website used to send emails. Using the email platform marketers are able to segment and precisely target who, where and when an email is sent. Depending on the quality of the data emails can be segmented, precisely targeted and even personalised. Typically targeting or personalising would be by: name, age, gender, interests and location.

Learn more and view our email marketing guides

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