Tech 101: What is Digital Marketing?

Get Our Free Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing

Get Our Free Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing

This free guide is chock-full of pointers and resources that will show you EXACTLY how to dive into the world of digital marketing.

It’s easy to get bogged down thinking that digital skills are only important for tech-specific jobs like web development or web design. But the truth is, in today’s workplace, digital skills are job skills—a fact that’s highlighted by the increase in careers related to digital marketing.

As of this writing, digital marketing as an industry pays an average salary of $40,363 for junior positions and $63,502 for mid-level roles. Meanwhile— according to market analysis by Burning Glass Technologies—174,141 digital marketing-related jobs were posted in 2016, accounting for 39 percent of 443,440 overall marketing jobs and providing a 30 percent increase from 2011’s digital marketing job stats.

As these numbers grow, “digital” marketing is becoming synonymous with marketing in general—meaning that adding digital skills to your repertoire as a sales and marketing professional is less of a speciality and more of a necessity.

Still, before you decide that digital marketing is right for you, you need to understand what digital marketing is, including what sets it apart from traditional marketing, the skills required, and how you can learn them. In order to answer these questions, we’ve put together this guide to dive deeper into what digital marketing is all about.

Table of Contents

What Is Digital Marketing? A Simple Definition

Digital marketing includes all strategies applied online to market products and services, whether you’re targeting potential audiences via computer, iPad, or app. If you follow brands or influencers on Instagram, you’re experiencing digital marketing daily—and likely every time you open your feed. Same goes when you take a deep dive into Google search results to find anything from a new dinner spot to where to find online digital marketing courses (ahem.).

Here’s Why Digital Marketing is the New Norm

According to Hubspot, a leading inbound marketing software company:

“Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.”

Because the internet is a big, virtual place, digital marketing gets used by everyone from online retail juggernauts like Amazon to local brick and mortar businesses using a website to advertise their wares.

Which illustrates exactly why digital marketing is such a vast and growing field. Can you think of many businesses of any size that DON’T have an online presence?

Earlier this year, a Pew Research study found that about 25 percent of U.S. adults say they’re “constantly” online and that 75 percent of American adults go online once a day. That number is swinging consistently upward.

As consumers log more hours online every day, the demand for people who can organize and implement successful digital marketing strategies is only getting bigger. With this in mind, let’s look at what differentiates a digital marketing strategy from traditional marketing—and the skills you’ll need in order to sell yourself as a digital marketer

(back to top)

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing and traditional marketing share the same fundamental mission: identifying a target audience and their needs, connecting the audience to products that fill those needs, and convincing the audience to follow through with purchasing products. However, connecting with customers in a virtual space (digital marketing) involves different methods of connection than traditional marketing. Here are a few of the key differences:

Traditional marketing includes:

Reaching out to locally targeted audiences—e.g. purchasing print or broadcast advertising that runs in specific geographical areas.

Producing physical marketing materials—things like brochures, catalogs, and fliers.

Relying on traditional delivery channels—think familiar delivery methods like television, newspaper, magazine, and radio ads, mailed advertisements, and voice sales calls.

In-person marketing events—establishing a brand presence at conferences, conventions, seminars, etc.

Digital marketing includes:

Customizing an audience from a global population—digital audiences can be reached anywhere with internet access, meaning digital marketers can fine tune their audiences using demographics that best fit their campaign (not only region, but also age, gender, personal preferences, etc).

Audience interaction—unlike more passive traditional marketing (e.g. a television viewer watching a commercial), digital marketers are able to interact directly with their audience through forums like website comment sections, social media accounts, and interactive quizzes.

Using multiple delivery channels based on audience needs and preferences—dynamic web content allows digital marketers to offer their audience a range of delivery channels (including YouTube videos, Instagram posts, blog articles, and marketing emails), then letting the audience engage with the channels that appeal to them the most.

Online marketing events—similar to conferences and conventions in traditional marketing, digital marketers host online events like webinars, product demonstrations, and courses, which can often be attended “live” or viewed afterward on demand.

(back to top)

What Skills Do You Need for Digital Marketing?

While traditional marketing strategies and campaigns still account for a significant part of the general marketing industry, the ongoing growth and evolution of digital media has necessitated digital-specific solutions for marketing online. With those solutions come specific digital marketing skills and strategies.

At Skillcrush, we like to point prospective digital marketers in the direction of a “holy trinity” of skills: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media marketing. Together, these three skills form the foundation for any successful digital marketing strategy.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO as it’s called in the digital marketing world) is marketing jargon for “making sure your online content comes up when people search for it online.”

You know when you use Google or Yahoo or Bing to search for something (“what is digital marketing?”) and you click on the first couple of articles that show up at the top of the screen? That’s what you want to have happen when someone searches topics relevant to your own product or business, and SEO is the way to get there.

SEO best practices can be applied to any online content (the actual text of sales pages, blog posts, product descriptions, etc.), as well as to a site’s architecture (“under the hood” coding and site tweaks that can improve search engine indexing and ranking). Working as an SEO expert can be its own niche in the digital marketing field, or SEO skills can be paired with content marketing (see below). SEO skills include:

Keyword research—Using applications like Ahrefs and Moz to identify specific search engine terms (or “Google searches”) that drive traffic to your site.

Web traffic analysis—Using tools like Google Analytics to analyze your website’s traffic numbers and trends, and learning how to use that data to inform and assess your SEO practices.

Understanding ranking strategy—Using resources like Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to develop effective ways of improving your site’s rankings. Again, this includes both creating SEO optimized site content, as well as improving your site’s architecture. Architecture improvements can involve working with web developers on issues like site loading speeds, outdated or broken links to URLs (web addresses), and optimizing HTML tags (tags that identify HTML documents for visiting web browsers).

Studying documents and tutorials like the previously mentioned Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO are great ways to get started understanding SEO, while our instructor-led Digital Marketing Blueprint will walk you through everything you need to know about the topic in detail.

Content Marketing

Online content marketing resource The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:

“…a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Online platforms give digital marketers the unique opportunity to create and deliver this kind of content to their audience on a regular basis (and with relatively low production costs). Instead of paying a premium for traditional airtime and advertising, an SEO optimized blog article or product page can be posted on a company website and attract relevant users via a Google search. Further, a content marketing strategy goes beyond conventional advertisements in the sense that—in line with the definition above—it provides active value to its audience (versus the limited value of an advertisement in itself).

The best digital marketing content aims to read like a magazine article (in the case of blog posts) or play like an informative PSA (in the case of a YouTube video), all with the goal of informing the audience about a problem they’re facing, and how particular products and services will help them alleviate that problem. Unlike a traditional advertisement with a static call to action, digital marketing content can evolve to match the particular point in an audience member’s “buyer’s journey” (a customer’s history of engagement with a service or product), continuing to provide value based on their specific needs in the moment.

This keeps a digital audience engaged before, during, and after their purchase, creating the possibility that today’s readers or viewers will become tomorrow’s buyers who will continue to both buy and also refer new audience members after their initial purchase. Digital marketing content typically includes:

Blog Posts—articles that allow you to identify your audience’s problems (or “pain points”) and ways to solve them.

Guides and eBooks—longer form resources that allow you to explore blog topics at greater length.

Video content—videos the cover topics relevant to your audience (often posted on platforms like YouTube which can then be embedded on your website).

Podcasts—audio content that can be hosted on your website and downloaded by your audience.

Marketing emails—newsletters and product announcements sent directly to potential customers.

As mentioned above, offering a variety of content channels ensures that you’re providing potential customers with a medium that works best for them, rather than insisting that “one size fits all” and losing audience members along the way. Content marketing is vital to an effective digital marketing strategy, and it’s a topic that’s covered in our Digital Marketing Blueprint.

Social Media Marketing

Social media—it’s not just for getting in awkward online fights with relatives and posting cat memes anymore! While those kinds of social media standbys might not be disappearing any time soon, the point is that social media is ALSO a critical pillar for any digital marketing strategy.

Going along the digital marketing ethos of channel diversity, a strong social media presence gives audience members another way of engaging with your brand outside of your company website. Social media also works in reverse as a channel for bringing audience members directly to you by following linked content on social media platforms back to your own blog or website.

In fact, using social media to promote blog articles or product pages on your website dovetails with SEO efforts, since an influx of new views combined with SEO optimized content will result in an increase in search result rankings—all important tricks of the digital marketing trade. As the intro to Moz’s super-helpful Learning Center section on Social Media Marketing puts it, social media acts as a megaphone for your overall SEO and brand awareness efforts.

Social media, its role in digital marketing, and how to use it in your own digital marketing strategy, is another key part of our Skillcrush Digital Marketing course.

(back to top)

Ready to Learn More About Digital Marketing?

If this digital marketing summary has you interested in learning more about the lucrative opportunities available in the field (and how to take advantage of them), look no further than our upcoming Digital Marketing Blueprint.

Our digital marketing course is designed to be completed in 3 months (though—with lifetime access—it can be finished at whatever pace works best for you), and covers all of the skills and strategies mentioned above (as well as additional topics like converting leads, paid ads, and hands-on experience with industry standard tools like Google Analytics, Moz, MailChimp, and Facebook Business Manager.

(back to top)

Get Our Free Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing

Get Our Free Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing

This free guide is chock-full of pointers and resources that will show you EXACTLY how to dive into the world of digital marketing.

Leave a Reply to Jerry Mary

Your email address will not be published.

Cancel

23 comments

  1. DMC5 Replied

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is extremely good.

  2. PUBG HACK LATEST ANTIBAN 100 NEW Replied

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your web site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your wonderful writing due to this problem.

  3. invasion modern empire hack Replied

    I have really learned newer and more effective things by means of your weblog. One other thing I would really like to say is that often newer laptop or computer os’s are inclined to allow extra memory to use, but they additionally demand more storage simply to function. If an individual’s computer cannot handle far more memory as well as newest computer software requires that ram increase, it is usually the time to buy a new PC. Thanks

  4. Gabriela Replied

    I started my digital marketing career with BitDegree courses. Really recommend it if u are a beginner!

  5. Whats On My MacBook Pro Replied

    One thing I would really like to say is that often before obtaining more laptop or computer memory, take a look at the machine within which it could well be installed. Should the machine is definitely running Windows XP, for instance, a memory ceiling is 3.25GB. Putting in in excess of this would purely constitute any waste. Be sure that one’s motherboard can handle this upgrade quantity, as well. Interesting blog post.

  6. Apex Legends Replied

    Can I just say what a relief to discover someone who actually knows what they are discussing online. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

  7. hma pro vpn download Replied

    Interesting blog post. The things i would like to make contributions about is that personal computer memory has to be purchased if your computer can no longer cope with everything you do with it. One can mount two good old ram boards having 1GB each, by way of example, but not one of 1GB and one with 2GB. One should look for the maker’s documentation for one’s PC to be sure what type of ram is required.

  8. save wizard cracked Replied

    One thing I’d really like to say is before obtaining more pc memory, have a look at the machine in which it could well be installed. If your machine is running Windows XP, for instance, the memory ceiling is 3.25GB. Adding greater than this would just constitute a new waste. Make certain that one’s mother board can handle the actual upgrade quantity, as well. Thanks for your blog post.

  9. xoracle csgo hack Mac OS Replied

    Thanks for your blog post. What I would like to bring about is that personal computer memory ought to be purchased when your computer can’t cope with whatever you do with it. One can set up two random access memory boards having 1GB each, for instance, but not one of 1GB and one with 2GB. One should check the maker’s documentation for the PC to ensure what type of storage is essential.

  10. Jerry Mary Replied

    Are you in bad need of love spell to bring back your ex lover or reunite your marriage? Email Dr. Sam for fast 24 hours solution. I had a problem with my husband a year and six months ago, which lead us apart. When he broke up with me, I was confuse and did not know what to do to get him back, I felt so empty inside. Until i came across Dr. Sam on the internet on how He has helped so many people solve there various problem. I emailed Him and I told Him my problem and i did what he asked me to do for him to help me, to briefly make the long story short, Before I knew it, in less than 24 HOURS, my Husband gave me a call and he came back to me and told me he was sorry about what was going on between the both of us. Finally I am writing this testimony to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you Dr. Sam for keeping to your words and your promises in bringing him back to me in just 24 hours of your powerful spell casting, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back. If you need his help, you can email him at: {Supremespellcast @ gmail. com Or Supremespellcast @ yahoo. com} WhatsApp/Call +2347087462033 Jerry Mary from Australia

  11. Mohammad Lents Replied

    I discovered out your site site on google and check some of your early articles. Always keep up the good operate. I simply additional up your Feed to my MSN Reports Reader. Seeking onward to reading more from you down the road!…

  12. Dustin Knyzewski Replied

    i wish to have some diamond necklace but they are quite expensive-

  13. Keila Alaya Replied

    Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  14. Jimmie Spells Replied

    “Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all important infos. I would like to look extra posts like this.”

  15. Jennifer Replied

    I am patiently waiting for this blueprint to come out. I hope it comes soon.

  16. PRIVATE FORTNITE HACK – INSANE WALLHACKESPAIMBOT Replied

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  17. furtdsolinopv Replied

    Good website! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

Want more articles like this?

Sign up to get the most recent tech news, tips and career advice.