Digital marketing consists of many aspects – SEO, social media marketing, inbound marketing, analytics etc.
So how do we fit the different parts of digital marketing to help companies grow?
This article is my attempt at explaining that.
You’ll also learn what is wrong with some companies’ approaches to digital marketing, what digital marketing really is, and the frameworks we use in our digital marketing campaigns to achieve success for our clients.
Digital marketing is no longer the “next big thing”
Over the past decade or so, there has been an increasing number of digital marketing agencies (as reported here) and digital marketing jobs created.
This means that digital marketing is no longer new, or the “next big thing” as some claim.
It has been around for more than a decade. But the problem is many digital marketers enter the field of digital marketing without knowing the basic principles of marketing.
When I interview digital marketers, I often ask the interviewees what do they understand about digital marketing. One of my favorite questions to ask is this: I have a new website that just went live, and it has 0 visitors. How can I get to 500 visitors?
Many times, interviewees would be too eager to throw around buzzwords like inbound marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing etc.
That’s a junior marketer’s response.
An experienced marketer would respond something like: Who is your target audience? Where do they spend most of their time online? What are you selling? What’s your customers’ buying journey like? etc.
The creation and use of these buzzwords have caused a generation of digital marketers to enter the industry without knowing the basic principles and frameworks that underpin our field.
This is a big problem.
Inbound marketing is not new
What is inbound marketing?
According to HubSpot, this is the definition of inbound marketing:
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.
To put it simply, inbound marketing is the practice of drawing consumers to your brand through channels and strategies that are not traditional advertising.
Alternatively, you can say it’s simply a combination of content development and Public Relations (PR).
Channels that are included in the current inbound marketing strategy have been working under different names and definitions for many years.
At the core of it, PR is telling your story through third-party mediums. A brand pitches its story to the media, and if the media thinks it’s a good story, they write about it and publish it on mediums where your target audience is.
If the brand did its PR well, the message will reach its core audience, and they would have controlled the message so closely that they have convinced their customers of their product/service’s value – and since PR is done on third-party mediums, it would imply a non-biased endorsement from the media.
So what happens next?
Customers are influenced and lured to buy something from the brand.
They bought it from an inbound channel.
Today, inbound marketing is just operating under different mediums – social media, blog, email and etc.
Inbound marketing was not invente by HubSpot. It’s not new.
Content marketing is not new
Content marketing was termed around the mid-2000s as well, by Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute, which sells, of course, content marketing courses.
And what is content marketing?
According to CMI, content marketing is:
The strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing Canada Phone Number List valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
In the years since content marketing was termed, marketers began to say: Content is king!
As if content has not been the most important part of marketing:
- A pandering Coca Cola’s commercial that is shown on TV during Super Bowl
- A viral video on Youtube that propelled Dollar Shave Club to success
- Ronaldo’s comeback to Manchester United on Instagram
- The contribution of this article to the media (although this article would most likely get ignored because marketers are too eager to differentiate themselves from other marketers by claiming that “some paradigm has shifted” even though nothing significant really changed)
Content has always been the most important part of marketing.
Digital marketers shouldn’t fall into an echo chamber of meaningless buzzwords. They should start understanding and practicing real marketing.
What is marketing?
Marketing has always been the creation of a message that resonates with a target audience, and transmitting this message into a piece of content on a channel where the audience is, in an effort to build the brand and increase demand so that prospects become customers, customers become repeat customers, and repeat customers become evangelists of the brand.
The tools and channels change, but the principles of marketing remain the same.
Digital marketers are doing nothing significantly different from what traditional marketers have always done.