Digital marketing is the use of the internet to generate traffic and convert leads into customers. Marketing channels include search engines, social media, mobile devices, email, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

For many companies around the world, digital marketing is a faster and more cost-effective way to attract customers. Learn more about it and how it works.

How Digital Marketing Works

Digital marketing attracts visitors and potential customers to your website using different channels and strategies. Most digital marketing strategies aim to drive traffic to a site. It then converts this traffic into leads and customers through call-to-action buttons or sign-up forms.

But more than converting traffic into customers, digital marketing aims to boost customer satisfaction so that happy customers become brand promoters.

Inbound Marketing Versus Outbound Marketing

All digital marketing falls into two broad categories—outbound marketing and inbound marketing. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is marketer driven. It’s sometimes called push marketing or interruption marketing because it goes directly after the customer. Outbound marketing is all about finding customers and selling to them—no time lost.

Outbound marketing strategies include:

  • Search engine ads
  • Social media ads
  • Video ads on YouTube
  • Banner and display ads
  • Direct marketing emails
  • Promotional content

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing seeks to attract customers by creating and distributing engaging content. It’s non-intrusive and often involves at least some level of interaction between the marketer and his or her audience.

Inbound marketing strategies include:

  • Content marketing
  • Blogging
  • Organic social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Emails to opt-in mailing lists
  • Pay per click ads
  • Video marketing
  • Organic link generation
  • App marketing

Digital Marketing Strategies

The digital marketing strategies you use depend on whether you choose to focus on outbound or inbound marketing. You can also mix the two. Here are some of the most popular digital marketing strategies today.

Content Marketing

This strategy involves creating content that provides information or provides entertainment. The content can be posted on your website or blog or on other relevant websites to generate traffic and leads.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO aims to improve a website’s visibility on the results page of search engines like Google or Bing. It does this through a combination of keyword-targeted content and on-page and off-page site tweaks.

Social Media Marketing

This strategy uses the reach of social media to spread the word about a brand or cause. It relies on a combination of text, visual content, direct interaction with customers, and promotions to build a following and generate engagement.

Email Marketing

Email marketing sends emails regularly to potential or existing customers with content and/or offers. It uses your website and other channels to drive sign-ups for your email list.

Pay Per Click Advertising

With PPC advertising you buy ads on search engines or social media. The cost of ads depends on your target audience and targeted keywords. PPC advertising allows for very specific ad targeting based on your audience demographics. You only pay for the ads that people click.

Summary

Digital marketing enables you to generate traffic and attract leads using the strategies that best suit you. Best of all, it enables you to inform, educate, and engage your audience.

With digital marketing, you’re not treating people simply as customers. You show them that you value their time and that you understand their problems.

In the end, digital marketing isn’t just a fresh take on marketing but also a better way to reach customers and connect with them.