What is Digital Marketing?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing Explained

Digital Marketing (also known as online marketing, internet marketing, or web marketing) is an umbrella term for all online marketing efforts using digital technologies, especially the Internet, mobile, and display advertising. 

The term was first used in the 1990s but reached a new level of sophistication in the 2000s and 2010s following the rapid growth of digital media and mobile devices.

The most common digital marketing assets are a company’s website, blog, email list, social media channels, collateral (ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, brochures), and public relations coverage (press releases, online reviews).

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Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

While digital marketing involves using online channels to reach audiences, traditional marketing focuses on using offline methods like TV, radio, and printed media to reach these audiences. Although traditional marketing mediums like billboards and magazines allow you to reach local audiences just as digital marketing does, there is a fundamental difference between them:  Digital marketing allows marketers to see the results of their multi-channel marketing campaigns in real-time.  Real-time marketing intelligence, in turn, helps marketers prioritize which channels are most effective.

Types of Digital Marketing Channels

Here are some of the most common channels you can use for digital marketing.

Email marketing

With over 4.2 billion worldwide active email accounts in 2022, email marketing remains one of the most popular and effective digital marketing channels. Email marketing accounts To make email marketing work for you, it’s crucial to find a way for people to join your email list.  Here are some simple ways to grow your email list:
  • Create an opt-in form where you ask for people’s contact information in exchange for something valuable — like exclusive content, an ebook, discounts, or something else.
  • Run social media ads that direct people to a landing page where they can sign up.
  • Use sticky headers and pop-ups around your website asking readers to join your email list.
  Once you’ve got subscribers on your list, you can begin sending marketing and promotional messages. To ensure subscribers open your emails and take action after, it’s crucial to use engaging subject lines, copy, and calls to action. Email marketing also comes with features like automation, personalization, and segmentation that allow you to reach your target audience with the right content at the right time. For instance, you can quickly set up an automation sequence that sends out an email to subscribers after they take specific actions — all without your input. set up an automation sequence In the example above, the business owner has set up iContact to immediately send a welcome email to new subscribers, and then a follow-up email a day after if the subscriber opened the first email.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your website’s position on a search engine’s result page. When done right, SEO allows people to find your content and website when using search engines to look for topics you create content around. The higher your website ranks, the higher the number of traffic and leads your website generates. Here are some SEO best practices:
  • Add your keywords to your site’s title and headings.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Optimize your website’s loading speed.
  • Add internal links within your content.


Content marketing 

This digital marketing channel involves using content to attract leads and turn them into customers. Common examples of content marketing collateral include blog posts, videos, case studies, and white papers.  Content marketing usually connects other digital marketing channels for more reach. For instance, you’ll want to include SEO in your content strategy in order to set yourself up for the best possible chance of success. Also, even though your content might primarily live on your website, it’s essential to distribute it through other digital channels like social media and email.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing uses platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to engage an audience, drive brand awareness, and build social trust. To win with social media marketing, it’s vital to understand how the algorithm for each social media platform works and focus on the platforms your audience uses the most. Combining social media with email marketing can further help you grow your business on both channels. Aside from organic content, many companies also run ads on social media.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is a digital marketing channel where companies pay to place their ads on various digital platforms. The ads could appear on social media or search engine results pages (SERP). You can set up a PPC campaign to target an audience living in a specific geographical location, age group, and so on.   

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows people to promote 3rd-party products and services in exchange for a commission after each sale. As a business, affiliate marketing offers a low-cost method to get your products and services in front of new audiences. Here at iContact, we have a referral/affiliate program that allows you to earn a 25% commission for any customer you bring to iContact


Benefits of Digital Marketing

Aside from the real-time intelligence advantage over traditional marketing, here are some other benefits digital marketing offers.

Increases business reach

Digital marketing offers the potential to reach over 4.6 billion people worldwide, whether organically or through paid ads. Email marketing global reach With the ROI potential, it’s certainly a no-brainer for small businesses, and any business for that matter,  to find ways to adopt digital marketing as a part of their business strategy.

Increased customer loyalty and retention

Thanks to features like personalization and segmentation that digital marketing channels like email marketing come with, you can send targeted messages to a specific segment of your audience.  That way, your audience will consistently receive content that resonates with them, making them more likely to engage, buy, and be loyal to your brand. For example, you can send up to 14 different types of emails to your subscribers based on their buyers’ journey. In addition, digital marketing channels allow you to provide post-purchase support, which helps with customer retention.

Consistent lead generation

Combining different digital marketing channels helps you consistently generate leads.  For instance, you could use PPC ads to attract an audience at the top of your sales funnel to a landing page where you can collect their email addresses. You can then continue to nurture the leads through email marketing until they become customers.

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