What is digital marketing?

You are probably familiar with the terms “digital marketing” or “online marketing”. But do you know what they mean? How has marketing evolved over the years? What are the trends in digital marketing?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing (or online marketing) encompasses all those advertising and commercial actions and strategies that are executed on internet media and channels. This phenomenon has existed since the 1990s as a way of transferring offline marketing techniques to the digital universe.

Parallel to the tremendous development and evolution of digital technology, online marketing has experienced, progressively and very quickly, important changes, both in the tools used and in the techniques.

How was online marketing born? From web 1.0 to web 2.0

In its beginnings, online marketing was based on web 1.0 pages and was a translation of advertising from traditional media to the first web pages, which did not allow two-way communication with users. The advertising companies were in total control of the message and limited themselves to exposing it to the audience.

Advertising in the Web 1.0 stage was limited, in most cases, to reproducing an online catalogue. Even so, this type of advertising already had interesting virtues, such as its potentially universal reach, the possibility of updating content and the combination of text, images and, little by little, multimedia formats.

A few years later, a revolution came with the frenetic technological development that allowed the massive introduction of a higher-level internet. This gave birth to Web 2.0 and Marketing 2.0.

Then, it became possible for all users to share information easily thanks to social networks, forums or platforms, allowing the almost instantaneous exchange of items that were previously impossible, such as photos and videos.

The Internet became much more than a search medium and became a large community of users.

The maturation of digital marketing: web 3.0

We are currently evolving towards web 3.0 thanks to new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, the internet is ceasing to be a robotic space and is becoming semantic. The main characteristics of Web 3.0 are:

1. Semantic web

The semantic web is the most representative characteristic of marketing 3.0 and is one in which the software is capable of interpreting natural language. That is, the ability to understand the meaning of the term beyond the term itself that is written. Keywords are no longer so important, as the semantic web understands the subject of the web beyond the main keyword.

2. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the current technologies that is most disrupting the internet. It is the one that allows the web to know the semantic intentionality of each page or website beyond its words.

In addition, artificial intelligence also allows us to make a great leap in the field of data analysis, being able to rely on the interpretation of algorithms and make much more advanced analysis.

3. 3D graphics

Another major feature is 3D graphics. This technology is still underdeveloped but 3D web design is set to revolutionise today’s web pages.

4. Ubiquity and connectivity

You have probably already heard about the Internet of Things (IoT): another of the great characteristics of Web 3.0. In addition to being connected to the internet all day long with our mobile phones, any object in our daily lives is also starting to be connectable.

What does this mean? It means that we can synchronise our profiles and be present in a large number of web spaces at the same time. We become sort of omnipresent profiles, taking omnichannel to another level.

Digital marketing tools

Digital marketing provides us with a series of highly diverse tools from which we can carry out small actions at practically zero cost to complex strategies in which an infinite number of techniques and resources can be combined. These are the main ones:

1. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the optimisation of search engines. Search engines are the search engines that index web pages so that we can find what we are looking for. By far the most widely used search engine is Google.

SEO allows us to know the logic behind these search engines and to be able to put the pages of our website in the first results to get organic visits.

2. SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to the advertisements that appear within search engines. The main differences with SEO are that, as they are paid advertisements, the possibilities of segmentation are very high, the control we have over SEM is much higher and the results are immediate.

3. Social media marketing

Social media marketing consists of the use of social media platforms to connect with the audience with three objectives:

  • Improve branding
  • Increase leads
  • Achieve sales

Social media marketing should capture the attention of our target audience in the medium to long term. But, on the other hand, it can also be supported by social ads, which are advertisements on social media platforms.

4. Content marketing

Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is based on the creation of content to attract the target audience. Like SEO, it is also a long-term strategy with little control over the audience.

5. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which the affiliate leverages the tragic of its website to promote a company’s product.

6. Display marketing

Display marketing is characterised by banners. They stand out for their high creative flexibility.

7. Email marketing

Email marketing is based on taking advantage of a company’s database to send communications. Despite being a strategy that has been widely exploited, following good habits, it continues to be one of the most effective and with the highest return.

The advantages of digital marketing or online marketing

Digital marketing is an essential strategy for companies because of the great opportunity for growth, positioning and sales or customer acquisition that it represents.

Potential customers are constantly connected to the internet from their computers, mobile phones or tablets.

This context has led to a wide range of advantages of digital marketing, among which the following stand out:

  • Affordable costs: online marketing is affordable in terms of budget compared to traditional marketing channels.
  • Greater capacity for control, optimisation and correction of campaigns due to the collection and possibility of consulting the results obtained in real time, moreover, in an exact manner.
  • Great flexibility and dynamism: it opens up the possibility to carry out tests and changes on the fly depending on the results obtained and the behaviour of users.
  • Very specific, personalised and precise segmentation: in an online marketing campaign, the company can segment its campaigns taking into account the socio-demographic and psychological data of the users, as well as their behaviour on the Internet.
  • Accurate measurement of the campaign: online marketing allows a measurement of the campaign according to the results obtained and an easy calculation of the return on the investment made.
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