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Introduction to Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Digital marketing tools

Your digital marketing strategy will be defined by the channels you will be using. The channels shown here also coincide with the modules you will explore in this program.

The main digital channels are all covered in the course.

Website optimization

Let’s start with website optimization. This is the art of creating – and continuously improving – websites to optimize the visitor experience, resulting in high visitor satisfaction, better user experience, and high repeat visit and conversion rates. Having a useful and functional website is key, because if your website is not optimized, it will result in the customer having a bad experience or finding it difficult to purchase from you.

As such, web optimization is about designing your website so that the customer flows through your content, goes from your blog to your product page, to your e-commerce, and eventually makes a purchase. Crucially, it is very important that the website is optimized to facilitate shopping on different devices. People now browse across different devices, which can lead to them searching for a product on their mobile phone to check some information, for example, and then later finalizing the purchase on a desktop computer. Therefore, you want to make sure that the experience on mobile is as good as the experience on desktop.

Outbound

Next up, let’s look at social media marketing. This is a form of outbound digital marketing that most people are very familiar with, as it utilizes social networking platforms to increase brand or product exposure and cultivate relationships with consumers. Social media marketing is about creating visibility and interactivity with your audience. This is one of the most, if not the most, important channels you use to speak to your audience in an outbound manner. When your audience engages, it can change the dynamic to inbound; they can message you back, seek out and actively share your content, repost, like, comment, and ask questions. Moving your communications on social media from an outbound media platform, where you push out your posts to an audience, to a two-way outbound/inbound conversational channel is the ultimate goal for digital marketers.

Display and video advertising are outbound, awareness-generating digital channels that combine the science and precision of online audience targeting with the emotional engagement of audio/video and creative visual formats. It generates engagement, brand affinity, recall, and traffic from a highly targeted audience. There are numerous ad formats and techniques to engage your target audience on channels like YouTube, websites across the internet, and social networks, all of which will be discussed in detail during this module.

Inbound

Let’s take a look at some inbound channels now.

To begin we have paid search or PPC as it is also known. PPC is an inbound method of advertising on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines, and paying only when the searcher clicks your ad. Paid search is key to being discovered when people are actively looking for products or solutions.

Essentially, when a consumer becomes aware of your product through display or social, for example, they are driven to take action when the time is right for them. The value of paid search is in user intent – that is, the searcher is looking for a product and is likely to take action when they find it – and there is real competition for this type of traffic. Using paid search is a good way for you to be on top of the search results page quickly and easily for the types of searches you want to be associated with.

Alongside paid search, digital marketers can use SEO or search engine optimization techniques. This is the process of driving inbound traffic from the free, organic, or natural search results on search engines. These are the search results below the PPC results, on local search on Google Maps, or the dynamic results like expandable dropdowns that appear on Google when someone searches. SEO is about making your website as attractive as possible to search engines like Google. The search engine will then match the websites which offer the most accurate solution to a users’ search query. In the best digital marketing strategies, SEO works in tandem with paid search to provide multiple ways for searchers to access your content and buy your products online.

Content marketing is an effective inbound method that involves the creation, publishing, and sharing of content with the aim of building brand reputation, awareness, and affinity. You must develop a strong content strategy to increase your brand personality and likability. Nowadays you can't just be a product, you need to be a brand that has values and takes part in everyday life; a brand that shares about everyday events in areas near where your consumer lives, or a brand that shares articles about a great new artist that they want to promote. You need to be more than just a product. You need to interest people because what you do is what you believe in, and you share the same values. Building an effective brand personality is the true value of content marketing.

Next, we have email marketing. Email marketing is a subscribed inbound channel used to deliver advertisements, offers, education, and other marketing content directly to an interested user’s email inbox. Based on the type of content in your email broadcasts, you can drive efficient inbound traffic and conversions from your subscribed audience. An email marketing campaign is a real opportunity to get your content, news, or information into the hand of your customer; and the content therein should make them want to click on any relevant links, go to your website, and take action.

Web analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis, and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. This is where we use data to understand our website visitors and the channels they use to engage with our content and convert or buy on our site. It also helps us understand who they are; for example, their location, languages spoken, devices used (mobile, desktop, or tablet), if they’ve been on the site before, and numerous other data points that we can use to report on the success of our digital marketing activity, and improve future performance.

And, finally, digital strategy is the establishment of a set of practices and goals that guide your long-term digital objectives and operate across all digital channels that your customer utilizes. The strategy piece draws together everything you know about your audience – available channel options, budget, and timings – to create a plan that uses digital media to deliver on a business objective. The digital strategy is the roadmap to success for any digital marketer. It will act as a guide to efficiently execute the various actions required to target your audience, and ultimately deliver on your goal within budget and timeframe.

These nine channels and modules will be discussed in much greater detail throughout the duration of this program. Upon completion you will have a thorough understanding of how best to utilize them throughout the various digital marketing strategies you will devise for your business.

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Please note that the module slides are designed to work in collaboration with the module transcript document. It is recommended that you use both resources simultaneously.

Digital Marketing Resources:

Philippe Polman

Philippe is a digital engagement specialist with extensive experience helping clients to create and manage deeper, more personal relationships with their target audiences. In previous roles, Philippe has designed and executed international communications programs focused on internal communications, UX, brand management, media engagement (traditional and Digital), investor relations, and corporate positioning. More recently, he has founded his own aviation consultancy business, which combines both his passion and experience for the aerospace industry.

Philippe Polman

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful. While relevant to this module, you will not be assessed on this content.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Introduction to Digital Marketing
Philippe Polman Philippe Polman
Skills Expert

This module introduces the core principles and purpose of digital marketing. It will enable you to develop clear and actionable business objectives for a digital marketing plan, to gain audience and industry insight by conducting digital research, and to prepare the foundations for a fully integrated 360 digital marketing campaign by connecting effectively with your customers and target audience.

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