Types of Digital Marketing: A Simple Guide for Beginners
May 29 / Steve Bunyan
As a beginner, all the different types of digital marketing can seem really daunting.
Imagine you're 12-years-old, you’ve just opened a lemonade stand and you want to tell everyone about your tasty lemonade. How do you get the word out there?
Digital marketing is like using the Internet to shout from the rooftops about your product or service. Instead of rooftops, you use websites, social media, emails, and more, to tell people how great your business is.
So let's look at some different types of digital marketing.
Types of Digital Marketing
Email Marketing: Imagine writing a letter to your friend about your lemonade stand. You tell them about the fresh lemons you use, the price, and where to find you. That’s what email marketing is. It’s like sending a digital letter to lots of people about your business.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Have you ever wondered how Google knows what websites to show you when you search for something? They use a system called SEO. When you use SEO for your business, you’re making your website easy for Google to find and show to others.
Organic Social Media: Imagine posting about your lemonade stand on your social media accounts, like Instagram or Facebook. Your friends, family, and some of your followers too, get to see your posts and learn about your business. That’s organic social media.
Social Media Advertising: Now, what if you wanted even more people to know about your lemonade stand? You could pay social media platforms to show your posts to people who don’t follow you. That’s social media advertising.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): Imagine if you could put a poster about your lemonade stand in a very busy place, and you only had to pay each time someone looked at it. That’s what PPC is like. It’s a way of placing your ad on websites, including Google, and you pay a small fee each time someone clicks on it.
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There are other types of digital marketing too, but these are the main five, and email marketing remains by far, the most effective. According to HubSpot, despite being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing still boasts an impressive return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every dollar spent.
Why Digital Marketing is Helpful for Small Businesses
Digital marketing can be really powerful for small businesses like your lemonade stand. It doesn’t have to be expensive, can reach lots of people, and you can keep track of how well you’re doing too. You can also make sure your ads are seen by the people who will love your lemonade the most by carefully choosing your target audience.
Common Mistakes in Digital Marketing
Just like learning anything new, you can make mistakes with digital marketing. You might forget to set goals, ignore the rules of SEO, or not think about people looking at your website on their phones. You might also forget to check how well your ads are doing, or not talk with people who comment on your posts.
Probably the biggest mistake in digital marketing is to not have any training. There are a lot of training resources available online, and even more “opinions” about digital marketing. So, the problem for small businesses like yours is to separate the useful information from all the "noise". My advice is to ignore sites like Udemy, and don’t search on YouTube either.
Because anyone, even if they know almost nothing about digital marketing, can peddle their opinion on those sites. Instead, I suggest you learn from people who have built huge, successful businesses by practising and teaching digital marketing, day in, day out. These people are the genuine experts. Not only can they teach you what works, they can explain why it works, and back that up with real-life examples and the actual numbers too. So, if you want to become really good at digital marketing, take a digital marketing certification course made by industry experts. It will teach you everything you need to know, so that you and your small business actually “know” how to reach people online.
Remember, it’s all about telling as many people as possible about your business, using the Internet. Whether you’re advertising on social media, sending out emails, or improving your search engine listings, digital marketing can help your business grow. Also, with certification courses covering all types of digital marketing, you too can learn to be a pro.
It’s just like when you first learned to ride a bike or tie your shoes, you might make a few mistakes when you start digital marketing. Maybe you forget to check how well your ads are doing, or you don’t answer people’s comments on social media. But that’s okay - we all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and keep going.