What is Digital Marketing and how can your business benefit from it?

Over the last decade or so, the concept of digital marketing has completely changed the way modern businesses approach their audiences. Entrepreneurs are now keen to leverage advanced marketing techniques such as online advertising, SEO, and social media marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to all marketing activities that utilise digital technologies, such as the internet and electronic devices (mostly smartphones and computers), to reach prospective customers and promote goods and services.

Popular Types of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can take several different forms. The decision of which form to use typically hinges on the marketing campaign’s scope, its target audience, and the field of speciality for the business. In most cases, brands combine various methods to optimise results. Here are four of the most common types of digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is probably the most popular and straightforward method of digital marketing. It refers to a wide range of techniques used to organically grow the visibility on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Search engines rank web pages on their SERPs depending on the page’s or site’s relevance to the search query. Marketers use a combination of on-page, off-page, and technical SEO practices to get their websites to rank highly on SERPs.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

There are more than 3.8 billion active social media users across the globe on several platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube (the list goes on). SMM is a marketing approach aimed at utilising this massive global audience. Social media channels provide valuable platforms where businesses can increase their online exposure and cultivate social connections with their customers.

Some of these platforms offer dedicated marketing tools for both B2B and B2C marketing. Facebook, for instance, has Facebook Ads, a paid feature that allows businesses to promote their marketing messages to targeted groups.

Primal's Facebook Ad for a Digital Marketing Audit A digital marketing Facebook Ad promoting marketing message example

Content Marketing

Content marketing focuses on creating, optimising, and distributing digital content such as text, video, images, and audio to potential customers. The content may be customised to draw web traffic, generate leads, boost conversions and sales, or inform.

Content marketing focuses on creating, optimising, and distributing digital content such as text, video, images, and audio to potential customers. The content may be customised to draw web traffic, generate leads, boost conversions and sales, or inform.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC is a marketing model that involves paying a fee to a third-party advertiser to display marketing material on strategic sites or platforms. Google is the most popular PPC advertiser; it uses services such as Google Ads or Google AdWords to promote websites on Google’s SERP, YouTube, and other websites.

A screen shot for a Google advert from Google's search results page

Understanding the Importance of Digital Marketing

In 2019, the global business community collectively spent over USD 333 billion on digital advertising. This figure rises every year, and it just goes to show that businesses take digital marketing very seriously. But why?

Currently, there are well over 4 billion internet users worldwide. A majority of people use the internet to communicate, shop, get entertained, and seek information. Digital marketing opens the door for businesses to find and engage the vast audience of potential customers spending time and money online.

Although traditional advertising still works to some extent for specific business models, the modern consumer is used to finding just about every service and product online. This upwards trend in consumer behaviour makes digital marketing seriously relevant and practical in today’s business environment.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is far superior and more effective than traditional marketing methods such as print media and airwaves broadcasts; here’s why.

  • Marketing performance is easily traceable through analytic tools and evaluative strategies
  • Levels the playing field for both small and large businesses
  • Highly targeted audience, hence very efficient
  • Allows businesses to tap into diverse market segments
  • Most processes can be automated
  • Easy to scale, adapt, and personalise
  • Reasonable ROI
  • Relevant to the modern market environment

Common Misconceptions About Modern Marketing

Like many solutions that involve advanced technology, digital marketing is surrounded by misinformation about how digital marketing works.

Many people believe that digital marketing is expensive and complicated. Well, sophistication and cost are relativity. A business can, for instance, run a zero-cost digital marketing strategy through organic SEO and SMM, and the efforts can be as simple as creating and publishing blog posts.

Another common misconception is that digital marketing takes time to generate results. This is not true. Although methods such as SEO are slow to materialise, other techniques, such as paid online advertising, display rapid responses.

However, digital marketing is a continuous effort that requires round-the-clock nurturing. The digital landscape changes all the time; it’s crucial to anticipate and adjust to these changes accordingly. This is why you may need a helping hand from a professional digital marketing agency in Malaysia to help your business remain relevant and competitive in the digital arena.