The use of online means for our day-to-day transactions has been increasing exponentially over the years. With the modern world going digital, every business—regardless of its type or size—is required to promote its brand by leveraging online tactics to reach customers. 

With more than 5 billion people (over half of the world’s population) using the Internet today frequently, there are no qualms about the importance of digital marketing. A comprehensive digital marketing guide allows business organizations to learn how to create a digital marketing strategy that is effective and fruitful. 

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the modern marketing process that helps the promotion of brands and sales of products and services. It involves leveraging online marketing strategies such as social media marketing, email marketing, search marketing, and content marketing, among others. 

Today’s business prospects—be it potential customers or your existing patrons—seek information online. The contemporary population invariably hangs out in multiple social media channels. People are searching for what they need, browsing the various possibilities, and finally zeroing in on their preferred brand and buying the product online. 

Over 2 billion people are expected to become digital buyers by the turn of 2021. All these factors necessitate entrepreneurs and businesses to learn how to create a digital marketing strategy. Here’s where the need for a robust digital marketing guide is felt. 

A Step-By-Step Digital Marketing Guide for 2020 

Digital marketing is a broad term that covers online as well as offline marketing. Online marketing is the promotion of brands and generating leads and sales through the use of the Internet. It is the most popular approach today, the major tier of digital marketing. 

The following is an all-in-one guide that facilitates learning how to create a digital marketing strategy: 

1. Build a user-friendly, attractive website 

The primary step in reaching out to the target audience today is building a responsive website that is compatible with any browser and device. Ensure that your website loads fast, includes relevant and clear content, and offers easy navigation to the users. You need to create it with appropriate color and font combination as well, to make it more attractive. 

2. Effective Content Marketing 

Content marketing explicitly revolves around the creation, publication, and distribution of content to your intended target audience so that they are attracted to your website. Lying at the center of digital marketing, content marketing is the key element that helps you to generate leads, improve customer-brand interaction, and enhance customer loyalty. 

Content marketing helps businesses to achieve the following: 

▪ A trusted brand image can be built by creating and sharing relevant content on the right channels with your network. You can also establish your brand as an authority in the specific domain. 

▪ You can improve organic searches by creating unique, informative, and relevant content. This ensures your content is recognized by search engines as valuable, subsequently getting positioned at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). 

▪ Higher SERP ranking and a trusted brand image translate into the generation of new leads. 

▪ You can reach and attract the intended people when you create high- quality, personalized content for the target groups. 

▪ Creating and publishing meaningful content will ensure that your peers would prefer to link to your content. Building backlinks significantly helps to expand your network. 

▪ Your site visitors can be encouraged to share your content on different social media channels. 

The most popular types of content for a successful content marketing strategy: 

▪ Blogs 

▪ E-books 

▪ Infographics 

▪ Case studies 

▪ White papers 

▪ Video 

▪ Longform content 

▪ Template and checklist downloads 

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

SEO, the practice of driving increased traffic to your website by making use of organic (free or unpaid) processes, involves optimizing your website appropriately. SEO is a suite of effective tools and practices that helps you to ensure that your website ranks higher in SERPs. This in turn creates an influx of web traffic to your site. 

Search engines account for over 70% of the total web traffic according to Backlinko. Among the various search engines, Google has a major market 

share of over 80%. Google accounts for nearly 3.5 billion searches every second. It is the top 10 results on the first page of Google that get the most visits. 

Follow white hat SEO practices – real, trustworthy, and legitimate. When you do this strategically and consistently, you are surely going to reap the benefits in the long run. 

Keywords play a crucial role in digital marketing. Keywords in the SEO parlance refer to the words or phrases used in search queries by the users. 

Keywords are instrumental in driving traffic to a website. Focusing on long- tail keywords (those having more than three words) is a good idea. 

While selecting the most relevant, the best keyword is crucial, you must refrain from keyword stuffing. Using keywords moderately and wisely is even more important. Always keep an eye on keyword density. 

You can achieve more traffic and drastically boost your website by adopting appropriate on-page and off-page SEO practices. The HTML tags that specify your web page’s title, known as a title tag or Meta title, and Meta description (the summary of the content in a web page that appears below the Meta title) are crucial factors in getting more click-throughs from search engine listings. Keep these concise and precise. 

4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 

Search engine marketing is also referred to as search marketing. It is the practice that involves buying web traffic with paid listings. It is an effective digital marketing strategy that helps to increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is the practice of marketing your brand using paid advertisements which will appear on SERPs. 

SEM is also about achieving a ranking in search engines. But unlike in search engine optimization, where you do not pay anything, in search engine marketing, you need to pay the search engines for getting a better ranking of your site. It is an effective way to grow your business amidst a competitive marketplace. 

You have to bid on keywords that search engine users might enter while they look for products or services. The price depends on the keywords; the search engine charges you for every click to your site. This is known as pay per click (PPC). Alternatively, you may use the cost per impression (CPM) method. Here, you will be charged for every 1000 impressions of your ad (the number of times visitors saw your ad in the search without clicking on it). While PPC leads to more conversion, CPM may not be so effective. 

The key benefit of search engine marketing is that it enables advertisers to place their ads before motivated visitors who look for buying at just the precise moment. Being ready to make a purchase, upon seeing the ads, users buy your products. This is an exclusive advantage that no other advertising channel can provide. 

Keywords are again the foundation of search engine marketing. Users, as part of their search queries, enter keywords into search engines for finding what they seek. Keywords are instrumental in getting increased traffic to your site. You have to perform comprehensive keyword research before choosing the specific keywords to use in your SEM campaigns. 

Business-relevant keyword identification is crucial. Use the keywords that your potential buyers are likely to use when they search for products and services. 

An increasing number of global consumers research for products and shop online. It is evident that SEM, similar to SEO, is a crucial digital marketing strategy to increase your reach and sales. 

5. Social Media Marketing (SMM) 

Social media is a powerful tool that enables you to establish effective interaction with your consumers and potential customers. Various social media channels help you to build credibility and trust while keeping your followers aware of your brand and what you have to offer. 

The practice of promoting your brand on various social media platforms helps to enhance its visibility, boost sales, and drive web traffic, among other opportunities. SMM facilitates highly personalized and targeted advertising while enabling you to engage with your customers and followers on a personalized interaction. Statistics show that around 90% of the users have made use of social media to communicate with a brand. 

Different social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc offer excellent opportunities to promote your business. You need to choose the right social media platform; each one entails a different outcome. A few have been discussed below: 

Facebook Marketing: Facebook is touted to be the most popular social media platform. It is best suits companies that are capable of staying up to date with customer preferences and trends. You can find the specific consumer dynamic that you desire here. Facebook marketing—by enabling in-depth user engagement—proves to be very effective for those who wish to sell personalized products and services. 

Twitter: Twitter is a recommended choice of social media marketing platform. It allows the circulation of information quickly and crisply. It helps you to develop brand awareness quickly among users while offering the opportunity of spreading your content by retweets. Retweets among users and linked threads help in creating a snowball effect, ensuring that the end product is a successful accumulation of all the engagement that the material has gone through. 

You can make use of Twitter to create, publish, and distribute content for your intended personas and followers. Brand recognition is improved, prospective buyers and new followers are attracted, and sales get enhanced. Twitter has over 350 million monthly active users. With engaging content, you may achieve a high organic reach in the first 2-3 hours using Twitter marketing. 

Pinterest: One of the social media marketing channels that offer excellent visual support, Pinterest allows a visual display of various products and services. Users get to scroll through until they come across something that catches their attention. Pinterest allows you to share images and show how your products work, among other opportunities. 

Visuals display is becoming increasingly popular among social media users. Pinterest proves to be very effective in sharing information with your customer base; using visuals is far more effective than using text alone. 

LinkedIn: One of the most widely used social media tools in the modern world, LinkedIn has more than 675 million professionals networking on it. Touted to be the best bet for established enterprises as well as aspiring professionals/entrepreneurs, LinkedIn is the most suitable professional network for promoting your business and brand. 

LinkedIn allows businesses and individuals to connect and securely interact with an active existing community of users from varied domains. This facilitates driving actions that are specific to your business. You can promote your business and seamlessly manage ad campaigns with Campaign Manager. LinkedIn also allows publishing engaging content on your page. 

6. Email Marketing 

Individuals, organizations, professionals, everyone uses emails these days. Email marketing focuses on generating as well as nurturing leads for your business. You can send a range of emails such as product promotional emails, company announcements, and educative or informative articles, among several other content. 

Touted to be a cost-effective method of digital marketing, email marketing is excellent when it comes to educating and informing large audiences about your business and brand. It helps to develop a relationship with potential and existing customers, generate and convert leads, and reach a large number of new prospects. When you craft personalized emails suiting to the unique needs of customers from varied segments, email marketing proves to be an excellent marketing tool. 

How To Create A Digital Marketing Strategy That Suits Your Business 

Having acquired a fairly sound knowledge of the various digital marketing approaches and channels, you need to create the most effective digital marketing strategy that aligns with your business. Here are the key steps to creating your online marketing strategy: 

▪ Run a survey of the target group and identify potential customers, and create a customer persona first. Leverage online tools such as Persona Creator and MakeMyPersona. 

▪ The key factor essential for running a successful digital marketing campaign is first identifying your specific goals. Establish your goals. 

▪ Make full use of high-quality content by creating useful and relevant blogs. Keep updating these regularly. 

▪ Analyze and evaluate all your existing digital marketing channels, find how effective they are, and fine-tune them. 

▪ Use modern tools to automate your marketing efforts. 

▪ Have mobile optimization as a priority to ensure that people using your site with mobile devices have a good experience. 

▪ Ensure that your digital marketing strategy doesn’t mete out any hardship to your site visitors to connect with you. Easy connectivity with potential customers is key. 

▪ Choose and make use of the appropriate technology that aligns with your business and its objectives. 

▪ Stand out from the competition by offering your USP. Confirm your key differentiators and incorporate the message into your content marketing efforts to make visitors aware of it. 

▪ Monitor your digital marketing strategy regularly and keep tracking your progress to stay ahead in the race. 

Wrap-up 

The digital marketing domain keeps changing along with the advancing technology, expanding, and improving on its stride. The fundamental purpose remains the same: to leverage the digital space to create opportunities in radical ways to help businesses to reach a global audience and enhance their brand image. The scope and mode of digital marketing keep increasing and changing. This calls for a digital marketing guide that marketers and entrepreneurs can rely on.