In a decade where influencers have such a heavy impact on society’s purchase decisions, consumers shop by simply hitting a button on their iPhones and companies turn to millennials to help run their online presence, we figured our smart and savvy readers might want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of digital marketing. So why is digital marketing important? Simple, it’s where consumers are. Today, digital is beating out print, radio and TV, and even deeper that than, there’s way too much content out there, making it even harder for companies to stand out. Every day, 500 million users watch 8 billion videos on Facebook, 500 million tweets are sent and 3.2 billion images are shared. Crazy, I know.

To dig in, digital marketing is made up of three building blocks: paid, earned and owned.

  1. Paid is exactly what it sounds like. Companies are generating exposure by paying for banners and ads, boosted Facebook posts, native advertising (see below), and more, which in turn lead new traffic to their sites. The cool thing about this is that companies can track all site visits and determine which ads worked and which didn’t.
  2. Earned is organic and comes in the form of reviews and online mentions (Yelp, public relations, etc.). Though it may come with a hefty price tag, PR usually provides a great ROI (return on investment), and sometimes ends up being cheaper than taking out ads in a particular outlet or publication.
  3. Owned is anything companies put out into the world about themselves, their social accounts are the most common examples and email marketing is another important one that is often overlooked.

Under the same umbrella of email marketing is email segmentation. When a new consumer signs up to a brand’s newsletter, in a perfect world, the new subscriber receives a welcome email with a promo code to purchase an item or service they sell (if applicable). To sweeten the relationship, companies should also send their subscribers special birthday deals (because who doesn’t love a sweet deal on their bday?). If a consumer hasn’t made a purchase in a while, a ‘We Miss You’ campaign usually does the trick. To deepen the bond even more, segmentation (by the receiver’s first name) is recommended. Consumers are more apt to make a purchase if they know an email was only sent to them.

Native advertising – which is a pretty hot word in the marketing world – means spending marketing money on ads that fit the function of the website. For example, The Newsette keeps the lights on by teaming up with cool brands we believe in to create native ads by placing branded content in sections of the newsletter that you already read every single day.

These tips should give you a little glimpse into the in-depth world of digital marketing. There are various classes out there (some are free) that will take you through techniques and categories like social media, KPIs (key performance indicator), SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and more – there’s a lot to learn!

What else do you want a crash course on?