Do you want to learn digital marketing?
Well, before we go into the basics of digital marketing and even the advanced tactics, let’s first go over what digital marketing is.
That way we’ll be on the same page before we dive into step-by-step strategies.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the act of selling products and services through channels such as social media, SEO, email, and mobile apps. Basically, digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves electronic devices.
It can be done online and offline, and in fact, both kinds are important for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
Why Digital Marketing Matters?
Remember billboards? I do.
As a young kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between: “Mom, when are we there?” and “Uh, look, McDonald’s, can we go?” whenever one of those 10-foot billboards popped up on the side of the road.
Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both of those would, most times, be the same: “not yet.”
Sometimes, big brands would even start a billboard war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got quite a few laughs.
In 2015, a ton of my clients still spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.
Unfortunately or fortunately, billboard advertising is mostly dead.
Just think of it this way: Google and Facebook generate more revenue than any traditional media company because they control more eyeballs. That’s why digital marketing matters; it’s where the attention is.
The reason why billboards, like the ones above, will die, is because the future of driving will look like this:
Although driverless cars already exist, drivers still have to pay attention; in the future, as the technology improves, not a single passenger will spend their time looking at the road.
Do me a favor, the next time you drive and are giving a friend a ride, take a peek at the passenger seat.
Just for a second.
Even now, chances are they’ll be looking at their phone.
If no one is looking at the road anymore, who’s supposed to see those advertisements?
What’s more: the share of people spending more time using electronic devices continues to rise, while print advertising continues to decline.
That means you don’t have much time to figure out this digital marketing stuff before you can power down your old school printing press and close up shop.
Online Digital Marketing Summary
The 2 main pillars of digital marketing are online marketing and offline marketing. That said, since I’ll talk about online marketing in a separate guide, I’ll only mention the different areas of online marketing here for the sake of completeness.
The 7 big categories of online marketing are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Content marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
Unbounce created a great infographic that sums up all kinds of online marketing in one neat chart.
The beginner’s guide to online marketing, on Quick Sprout, is a great place to get started.
The History of Digital Marketing
Although it was first popularized as a term in the early 2000s, digital marketing has actually been around much longer.
Like, WAY longer. About 100 years longer, to be exact.
Here’s a pic of the first digital marketer in history:
His name: Guglielmo Marconi.
Yup. In 1896 he was the first human to demonstrate a “public transmission of wireless signals.”
This dude invented the radio.
Shortly after his little demonstration in England, morse signals were transmitted across open water.