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What is digital marketing, anyway?

A very common question when you meet a new person is “What do you do for a living?”. It’s a question that is part of everyone’s basic repertoire in American networking. When I tell people that I work at a Digital Marketing agency, it is common for them to ask what that means. We all do digital marketing in some way or another, even if we don’t know it so I’ve decided to take some time and write this article to help clarify what Digital Marketing is.


The fancy definition of Digital Marketing:

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use the internet therefore, an electronic device. This includes utilizing different marketing channels such as websites, social networks, search engines, online ads, emails, case studies, and event text messages to connect with existing and prospective customers.

Basically, if you are using a device with a screen or a device that utilizes the internet, to try to reach new customers or to keep existing ones, then you are doing digital marketing. Have you ever sent an email to try to convince someone to buy your product or service or to maintain a relationship with an existing customer? Well, then you are a digital marketer!

Digital Marketing Tactics and Examples:

A good digital marketer utilizes free and paid digital marketing at their disposal to accomplish and/or support their business goals. Here are some examples/areas of digital marketing starting with the most obvious.

Social Media:

We are all familiar with social networks such as Facebook. Within digital marketing, we use these networks to help people discover, promote and generate leads for your business. Here are the most common social networks:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

Email Marketing::

According to a study from Statista, the daily number of emails sent per day is close to 300 billion! It is safe to assume, that a big chunk of that number is for marketing. We at Phidev, send over 1,000,000 marketing emails a month. Email marketing consists in using emails to communicate with your audience to promote content, events, discounts, products, etc. Some examples of email marketing campaigns include:

  • Welcoming a new customer
  • Sending a prospect an email for a meeting/demo
  • Following emails sent to website visitors who downloaded something or requested more information
  • Sending holiday promotions for e-commerce websites or loyal subscribers
  • Sending emails to people who added something to your website cart but did not complete the order.
  • Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.):

This is the process of making changes to your website (and outside your website) to have it rank higher on search engines, such as Google, for certain search terms, increasing your website traffic and online exposure.

Content Marketing:

This area of digital marketing has a big overlap with Search Engine Optimization. Content marketing consists in creating content to attract new leads or customers. Activities of content marketing include:

  • Blog and (guest blog) posts
  • Infographics
  •  Outline brochures or lookbooks
  • Ebooks and whitepapers

Online Ads / Pay-per-click (P.P.C.)

Pay-per-click is the process of bringing targeted/selected visitors to your website by paying publisher networks to display ads. Depending on the type of campaign you are running, most of the time you only pay when people click on your ad and you actually get a visitor. One of the most common PPC campaigns is using Google Ads (Phidev is a Google Partner) to search your business on top of the search result pages. Other publisher networks include:

  • Paid Facebook Ads
  • Promoted Tweets on Twitter
  • Sponsored Messages on Linked In
  • Sponsored Instagram Posts
  • Snapchat Geo-Filters
  • Spotify Ads

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of marketing where networks will pay you to promote someone else’s products/services on your website or your social networks. Examples of this include:

  • Producing videos and hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program.
  • Posting affiliate links on your social network accounts.
  • Producing stories/posts about specific products/services

Online PR

This is pretty much the digital aspect of the offline counterpart. On online PR, you look for content creators, such as blogs, news websites, etc to talk about your company, product or service

  • Reporter outreach via social media
  • Engaging online reviews of your company
  • Engaging comments on your personal website or blog


This is somehow the glue that ties it all together. Digital Marketing Automation refers to the process of automating repetitive tasks and moving them from one area to another to save you time. This includes automating:

  • Email newsletters sequences (Send emails when the recipient takes certain actions or some time has elapsed)
  • Social media post scheduling
  • Contact list updating
  • Lead-nurturing workflows
  • Campaign tracking and reporting


What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

The goal of digital marketing is to support and accomplish business goals. One of the main benefits of digital marketing is that you can measure results right away. You can measure your return on investment from day one. You can see if your money, time, and efforts are worth the effort or not.

At the same time, you can start gathering useful information that will help you make better decisions. Decisions based on data instead of intuition. Some of the data you can gather include keywords being used to find your website, demographics of your audience, such as age, gender, interests, etc.
You can use this information to prioritize your efforts. For example, if only 10% of your traffic comes from organic search, then you know you probably need to work some more on SEO to increase that number. If most of your leads come from your social media campaign, then you know you should also spend more time there.

With offline marketing methods, it is really hard to assign attribution. Was it the flyer or the poster at the coffee shop that brought that new customer in? Was it the billboard on the main highway or was it your radio ad that initiated that call? Digital marketing does not have that problem as every medium and conversion can be attributed to the channel that initiated it. You can identify your customers’ online patterns and behaviors so you can focus on attracting more people like them.

Another benefit is its cost per reach. If you are ready, you can easily start a worldwide campaign within a day. With traditional marketing methods, it would be really hard to do it. Also, the cost to start a digital marketing campaign is minimal compared to that one of the traditional marketing methods.

We hope that after reading this article, you have a clearer idea of what digital marketing is, what its advantages are, and if you are not already doing it, that it has convinced you to start growing your business with Digital Marketing! Please let us know if you have any questions on the comments below.

Ares Saldaña
Ares Saldaña
Since 2005, I have been helping clients find and develop new systems, products, or solutions that address their business challenges and problems. As the founder of Phidev, a digital marketing agency, and a partner at Audisatt, a data-driven SaaS audit company, I combine technology, data, and design to create and deliver effective and innovative online campaigns and platforms. My passion lies in generating and developing ideas that leverage my expertise in marketing strategy, digital marketing, content development, and product/software development. I also enjoy leading and managing teams that share my vision and values of delivering high-quality and customer-centric results. I am always eager to learn new skills and technologies that can enhance my performance and expand my knowledge.