Digital marketing is the act of promoting products and services through digital channels, such as social media, SEO, email, and mobile apps. Any form of marketing that involves electronic devices is considered digital marketing.
It can be done online and offline; in fact, both kinds are important for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
Do you want to learn more about digital marketing? This guide will cover everything you need to know to get familiar with digital marketing.
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, many of my clients spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.
Today, most companies have moved to online marketing.
That’s because Google and Facebook generate more revenue than any traditional media company. After all, 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. As the technology improves, not a single passenger will spend their time looking at the road.
Do me a favor; take a peek at the passenger seat the next time you give someone a ride. Just for a second.
Chances are, they’ll be looking at their phone.
Who will see those advertisements if no one is looking at the road?
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.
Nearly 5 billion people worldwide go online to shop, learn, entertain themselves and even work.
If you want to reach those people, digital marketing is a must.
Maybe you think you have a local store, so you don’t need to worry about digital marketing.
You’d be wrong.
According to Google, 88 percent of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store in the next week.
You’ll miss out on that traffic if you’re not online.
Digital marketing also provides access to more data and analytics about your customers, how they navigate the buying cycle, and what they want.
You need to understand and know how to leverage digital marketing for your business to succeed.
The History of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing was popularized in the early 2000s, but digital marketing has 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: