Digital Marketing Basics for Beginners

Digital Marketing Basics for Beginners

So you’ve decided to foray into the world of digital marketing. Whether you are a business owner or an aspiring digital marketer, this article aims to shed some light on the subject.


But what is digital marketing? Basically, it is an umbrella term that encompasses all marketing activities executed through an electronic or digital medium.


Typically, digital marketing strategies involve the use of an online platform such as the Internet as a marketing tool. This is done by creating consumable-content (promotional videos, web advertisements, social media posts, etc.) related to the marketed product. 


The end goal of digital marketing does not differ much from its traditional counterpart. You are promoting your product or service to an audience of potential buyers on an online platform. In general, the three ways people consume information online are through email, search engines, and social mediaHere are some of the basics:


1. Email Marketing


Email Marketing
Image via ribkhan


The vast majority of us have had at least one email for personal, work, or study. According to a report by the Radicati Group, about 3 billion people will be using email by 2020.


To illustrate, 3 billion people equate to almost half of the world’s population. That is indeed a large amount of potential new buyers to plan your marketing strategy around.


Additionally, the type of email marketing strategy will differ from company to company. Various factors such as growth, market demand or product reception would also influence your strategy and marketing campaign.


An email marketing campaign is a comprehensive plan to promote the sale of a specific product or service to target audience. 


While this approach is considered a budget-friendly alternative to traditional advertising, it also comes with a downside.


Namely, your email may be ignored or relegated to the spam folder. An average employee receives 121 emails per day, and thus will not have the time to check all their non-work related emails.


This is why digital marketers do not rely solely on email marketing. Some prioritize other aspects of digital marketing, such as search marketing.


2. Search Marketing


Search Marketing
Image via PhotoMIX-Company


Search marketing is an area of digital marketing that encompasses search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO).


You have probably heard of Google, Bing, and YahooAs of 2018, these search engines were in the top 3 of the 10 best search engines in the worldSearch engines rely on a complex algorithm to sort requested queries by relevance.


How search engines work
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To do this, the search engine needs to crawl and index the Internet.






Search engines use web crawlers to find publicly available information on the Internet.


In essence, the crawlers’ job is to scour websites hosted on various web servers. The crawlers then look for information about a website such as the number of pages, text content, images, and so on.


Other than that, the crawlers expand their field of search by following any internal or external links found on the Website. Continuously repeating the process allows the crawlers to discover more and more pages.




Once uncovered, there is a need to organize the information obtained by the crawlers. This is where indexing comes in.


Indexing refers to a process of organizing, sorting and storing identified information. This information is then processed by the search engine algorithm and presented to the end user.


Thus, if your website is not indexed, it will not appear on the search engine results page (SERP). SERP is influenced by the information indexed by the search engine and the process of optimizing a website for it is called search engine optimization (SEO).


Search Engine Optimization
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Important information such as keywords, links, and relevance is used in SEO.




Specific words or phrases that your target audience may use to search for your business or field of work. The more frequent your website uses certain keywords, the higher your website will be rank in the SERP.


Another important tip to improve your ranking is to always include your keyword in the title of your page.




Links are basically divided into outbound, inbound, and backlinks. These links should always be included in your pages to maintain SEO ranking.


Outbound links refer to linking to external sites from your page. These external sites should also preferably be in a similar nature to your business.


Internal links that move users to different pages on your site. It shows that your Website has a depth of quality content centered around relevant subtopics.


Inbound links are links to your pages from other websites. It shows that your website contains quality content worthy of being shared by other pages.




Relevance refers to the quality of the page and how close it fits users’ query when they click your link from the SERP.


A clear indication that your page does not meet the users’ query is a high bounce rate. Users that leave your site after only viewing one page will result in a higher bounce rate and subsequently affect your search ranking.


There is, however, a way to have your website link ranked higher than others – paid search advertising.


Search engines such as Google and Bing offer paid advertisement opportunities to place your ads in the top search results.


There are two ways to pay for search advertising: cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-mile (CPM).


CPC is straightforward in that each time someone clicks on your link, you pay the search engine a fee. Conversely, CPM means that you pay the search engine each time your ad is displayed to someone.


Cost Per Click vs Cost Per Mile
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Adgo has a great article on the differences between CPC and CPM.


To sum, search marketing is an excellent option to drive up web traffic to your page.


3. Social Media Marketing


Social Media Marketing
Image via Pixabay


Social media has become part and parcel of everyday life. We wake up, and the first thing most of us do is to check our Facebook and Instagram. We are also constantly aware of the need to check our social media throughout the day.


Using social media as an advertising platform, marketing content can be specifically catered to each of its users’ preference.  


There are numerous ways to employ marketing strategies on social media, but the most common is by using dedicated pages and through paid advertising.


Simply put, marketing your brand, product or service on a dedicated social media page would allow potential customers to seek you out at their convenience. This article discusses how to increase your reach on social media.


On the other hand, paid advertising simply means paying for your content to be shown to a particular audience. Facebook and Instagram for example, are known to employ the use of targeted advertising.


Targeted advertising


To reiterate, an important aspect of paid advertising on social media is that you get to choose who your product is aimed towards. This is referred to as targeted advertising.


With targeted advertising, you are able to “target” your preferred audience by using a few defined parameters like interest, behavioral data, and demographic data.


Targeted advertising is made possible by using a large dataset containing information on social media users’ traits. This dataset is commonly referred to as Big Data.


As with any other marketing strategy, paid advertising on social media does vary from business to business.


You will need to understand your business needs before attempting to choose an optimal social media platform to house your advertisements.  


In a similar vein, influencer marketing has become all the rage these days. It is a marketing strategy which focuses on influencers or influential people and their audience base.


Influencer marketing has also been described as testimonial advertising. In this particular instance, the influencer plays the role of a potential buyer, and advocates a sponsored product to their audience, normally on a social media platform.



And that’s basically the gist of digital marketingAs you can already tell, there is an emphasis on the use of the Internet as a marketing tool in digital marketing.


Regardless, the most important thing is to understand what your needs are and to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.