What is digital marketing?

There are two answers. The first is simple: digital marketing is the art of advertising and buzz-generation through electronic means.

The second is a little more complicated.

After all, the world of digital marketing now encompasses a wide range of fields.

It includes mobile marketing, web marketing, SEO, social media marketing—the list goes on and on.

And new methods of digital marketing are being invented every day. People are now marketing themselves through optimizing voice search and voice commands.

That leads to a second question:

How on earth is it possible to master a topic as large as digital marketing?

The good news is that it’s possible to take on digital marketing with a step-by-step approach.

It’s possible to learn the basics faster than you ever imagined.

That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide on digital marketing 101—and assembled some simple steps to help you get started.

Simple Step #1: Understand what Digital Marketing Is

Digital marketing is an umbrella term. So let’s zoom in and get specific about what it entails:

  • Content marketing—the art of building valuable online resources that draw people in. This includes blog posts, eBooks, and other digital information goods.
  • Video marketing—creating video content with an aim at “going viral”—or at the very least, using content marketing principles to create more credibility and interest in your company.
  • Social media marketing—leveraging social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to create an engaged following, often linking back to your own digital materials.
  • Paid social marketing—Utilizing sponsored social media platforms to create advertisements specifically targeted at social media users.
  • Email marketing—Using an email list and writing content specifically designed to appeal to your potential customers who have agreed to join your newsletter.
  • Mobile marketing—With so much of Internet traffic now coming through mobile sources, anyone who doesn’t make an effort to optimize their Internet presence for mobile marketing is behind the times.

Don’t be intimidated by this list. You don’t have to become a master of every type of digital marketing to become more effective as a digital marketer.

You only have to understand the playing field—and some fast ways to bring your own web presence up to speed.

Simple Step #2: Create a Better Web Presence

It’s now time to build up your foundation.

In digital marketing, that foundation is your web presence.

What does your website look like? Does it look modern? Is it easy to navigate? Do you portray a trustworthy enterprise, or someone who doesn’t know how to put a website together?

The easiest solution is to work with templates or website builders. You can also contact an expensive custom web design firm, but that will likely be expensive. And not every business requires a custom web site.

However, you do want to make sure that your web presence gives you the following options:

  • Creating landing pages. Digital marketing through landing pages is effective not only because companies with more landing pages tend to have more conversions, but because it allows you to optimize your content for specific customers.
  • Easy editing. Need to upload a new blog post? Add a widget for capturing emails? Your website template or CMS (content management system) should make it possible to make changes without throwing everything off.
  • Building, building, building. You should be able to create new blog posts and web pages at the drop of a hat, allowing you to build a larger web presence that slowly adds to its reach over time.

With these elements in place, you’ll have the foundation you need to begin reaching out through digital platforms.

Simple Step #3: Research the Best Media for Your Industry

You can’t expect to suddenly tackle a dozen different types of digital marketing platforms overnight.

But what you can do is get started.

That means researching the best-performing media for your specific industry.

For example, we know that social media is very popular with B2C businesses, which also use email marketing and videos.

If you run a B2C business, knowing that social media is used by some 90% of businesses report suggests that you can stand to create a more robust social media presence of your own.

Simple Step #4: Begin Capturing Leads

Even if you haven’t started capturing a lot of traffic yet, it’s a good idea to create the structure you need so that when you do receive traffic, you’re ready.

One of the most popular ways to accomplish that is through email marketing.

In email marketing, you’ll typically use an incentive to get someone to sign up to your free email list.

You can create an email list using simple tools like Constant Contact to manage your newsletter. They’ll help you with adhering to all relevant laws, for example.

Then, when you create a lead capture form on your site, you’ll be ready to turn a certain percentage of your digital marketing traffic into more engaged leads.

You can then use this email list to conduct email marketing campaigns. Providers like Constant Contact often help with that, allowing you to build specific campaigns within the software.

It might sound complicated, but there are so many tools available that you often don’t have to worry about the structure.

The most important thing? Getting started.

That will help you make the most of email marketing from the very beginning. And with email marketing generating some of the best ROI in all of digital marketing, it’s something you can’t afford to be without.

According to some statistics, email marketing can provide a 4,400% ROI. It’s inexpensive to begin and when you have large traffic sources bringing in potential leads, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction—even if you haven’t mastered digital marketing yet.

Simple Step #5: Researching the Best Ways to Draw People In

No matter what you’re doing in digital marketing, you’ll want to focus on one thing:

Doing something original.

You don’t want to write the same blog post someone else has already written.

You don’t want to post the same kind of video that’s already been done over and over again on YouTube.

Instead, look for the interesting angles.

Look for the questions that your customers might be asking. Set about answering them.

For example, when you install Google Analytics on your site (and you should), you’ll be able to tell what kinds of keywords people are entering to find your site.

You’ll also be able to sort by those keywords that result in the most interest in your site—the users who tend to stick around the longest.

If you can find the questions behind those keywords, you’ll understand what’s driving the most potential interest to your site. You can then set about creating content across multiple media challenges that’s designed to appeal to that exact crowd.

It doesn’t hurt to have the infrastructure in place to make this all happen and get you started down the path to digital marketing mastery.

We recommend signing up for a free trial of leadPops to get your feet wet. Tackle your new digital marketing endeavors one step at a time and you’ll notice your web presence growing in no time.