So What Exactly is Digital Marketing?
From your website itself to your online branding assets — digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond — there’s a huge spectrum of tactics and assets that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing. And the best digital marketers have a clear picture of how each asset or tactic supports their overarching goals.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common assets and tactics:
Ebooks and whitepapers
Social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
Online brochures and lookbooks
Branding assets (logos, fonts, etc.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of optimizing your website to ‘rank’ higher in search engine results pages, therefore increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives.
The creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, or customers.
Inbound marketing refers to the ‘full-funnel’ approach to attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers using online content.
Social Media Marketing
The practice of promoting your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business.
A method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords.
A type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website.
Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be ‘native’ — for example, Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising.
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people towards the business’ website.
Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space.
What’s the Difference Between Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing?
On the surface, the two seem similar: Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content for people to consume. So what’s the difference?
The term ‘digital marketing’ doesn’t differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ methods). Both can still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible in the online space — regardless of whether it’s relevant or welcomed. For example, the garish banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren’t necessarily ready to receive it.
On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.
Ultimately, inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, convert, close, and delight customers online. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing tactics of any kind, regardless of whether they’re considered inbound or outbound.