Business Owner’s Guide to Digital Marketing
The ultimate introduction to digital marketing for small businesses.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is another name for your company's online marketing efforts.
The goal of all marketing is to connect with your audience in the right place at the right time with the right message. With Americans spending more than 7 hours every day online, many companies choose to focus their marketing efforts on digital (a.k.a. online) channels (rather than offline channels like TV or radio) to reach potential customers where they’re spending most of their time.
Your company’s digital marketing efforts might include a variety of online branding assets and marketing activities — from websites, social media and email, to blogs, search engines, virtual events and more.
The best digital marketers understand how each digital asset and tactic supports the company’s overall goals. And the results you get from each channel can be used to inform your ongoing marketing strategy.
Outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing
Outbound marketing uses interruption-based methods while inbound marketing is focused on providing value to potential customers.
When advertising got its start in the late nineteenth century, marketers tried to reach as many people as possible, as often as they could, with their brand’s message — whether or not people wanted it. In today’s digital environment, with 90% of Americans online each day, old-school interruption-based marketing is both ineffective and irrelevant.
Inbound marketing — using timely, relevant content to drive web traffic and convert customers organically — has become the preferred strategy of both marketers and consumers.
Rather than disrupting people’s lives with unwanted sales messages, inbound marketing strategies position your business to be found by potential customers who are already looking for products or services and are likely to make a purchase. The success of inbound marketing comes from providing value and nurturing relationships with potential customers as they go through each stage of the buyer journey.