What is Digital Marketing (and What is the Purpose of a Digital Marketing Agency)

How do you gain traction for your business in today’s hyper-competitive market? Whether you’re promoting a new product or launching your new brand into the digital sphere, the answer is almost always the same: Invest in digital marketing.

Digital marketing refers to using digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses.

What digital marketing looks like, however, is not always so simple. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, understanding the nuances of digital marketing becomes crucial for your business as you seek a foothold in your market. Explore the purpose of digital marketing, its four major types, essential skills, the role of digital marketing agencies, and whether hiring one is worthwhile.

The Purpose of Digital Marketing

The primary purpose of digital marketing is to reach a larger audience in a more efficient and measurable way than traditional marketing methods. Older methods like billboards, print ads, and direct mail don’t have the specific targeting and reporting capabilities as digital methods. Plus, they can’t be easily tweaked and optimized to individual customers.

By optimizing your digital assets for mobile and using online marketing strategies, businesses can improve their visibility and engagement with their target audience. 

The ultimate goal is converting engagement into sales to increase your business’s profitability. Effective digital marketing strategies help businesses:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive website traffic
  • Generate and nurture leads
  • Boost conversion rates
  • Improve customer engagement and retention

What are the 4 Major Types of Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad field encompassing various strategies and channels. That said, most strategies can be boiled down to four major types of digital marketing:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing your digital assets for search engines to improve organic (non-paid) search engine rankings. This increases visibility and discoverability and drives more traffic to your website.
  2. Content marketing: Creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. Examples include blog posts, videos, infographics, and ebooks.
  3. Social media marketing: Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote products or services, engage with audiences, and build brand loyalty.
  4. Pay per click (PPC) advertising: PPC is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. Google Ads is a prime example.
digital marketing infographic identifying the 4 types of digital marketing

Digital Marketing Skills to Learn

Since digital marketing is so prevalent, one must develop a diverse set of skills to succeed. There is  nearly an infinite number of skills you could acquire, but we’d recommend adopting the following to get started:

  • Social media: Gain proficiency in using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This can help you build brand presence, engage with audiences, and drive traffic to your website.
  • Email marketing: Craft compelling email campaigns to reach, engage, and convert leads into customers. Understanding how to segment audiences and personalize content for better results is crucial.
  • SEO: Understand the techniques required to improve a website’s ranking on search engines to drive organic traffic and increase visibility.
  • Content marketing: Create and distribute valuable, relevant content that attracts and engages a target audience. This includes blog posts, videos, infographics, and ebooks.
  • Data analysis: Analyze metrics to measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions to improve performance.
  • Analytics: Use tools like Google Analytics to track and report on website traffic, user behavior, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Copywriting: Write persuasive and engaging copy for various digital marketing channels, including websites, blogs, social media, and email campaigns.
  • Automation: Utilize marketing automation tools to streamline and optimize marketing tasks, such as email campaigns, social media posting, and lead nurturing processes.
  • Marketing communications: Develop clear and consistent messaging across all marketing channels to effectively communicate the value of your products or services to your target audience.

We know—it’s a long list. It’s frankly cruel and unusual punishment to assume your marketing manager can take on all these tasks alone. If your marketing specialist or team has trouble meeting all of these demands, it’s wise to consider looking to an agency to augment your marketing efforts.

What Exactly Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

A digital marketing agency specializes in online marketing strategies and tactics. But more importantly, they act as an extension of your team—diving deep into your business to understand what makes it tick so they can properly develop messages and strategies that resonate with you and your audience.

At Mabbly, we leverage our expertise to bolster the best parts of your brand. Here’s a closer look at what we do:

  • Strategy development: Crafting tailored marketing strategies to meet business goals. Strategy identifies the who, what, when, where, and why of your marketing strategy, identifying what we need to say, who we need to say it to, and where we can reach them. It ensures your message is heard and received.
  • SEO and content creation: Enhancing website visibility and producing high-quality content. It’s about striking the right balance between speaking to people and speaking to an algorithm. Digital marketers are trained in this balance and can help you create valuable content that climbs the search rankings.
  • PPC management: Creating and managing paid ad campaigns to maximize ROI. One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is its infinite optimization opportunities. Data analysts look at what works best and collaborates with strategy and creative professionals to fine-tune your strategy one ad at a time.
  • Social media marketing: Managing and growing a business’s presence on social media platforms. With 59.9% of the global population using social media, tapping into it as a promotion method is a fast track to a wider reach.
  • Email marketing: Designing and executing effective email marketing campaigns. The power to reach an audience directly in their mailbox is too good to pass up. We craft messages that not only encourage opens, but entice your audience to convert.
  • Analytics and reporting: Monitoring campaign performance and providing insights for improvement. Agencies don’t work behind closed doors, giving you a perfectly transparent view of what’s working and what can be improved. After a reporting call, we dive straight into optimizing and innovating on what worked in the past.

Is it Worth it to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?

Hiring a digital marketing agency is an investment—but the whole idea of an investment is that it brings returns.

For starters, working with an agency gives access to a diverse set of skills and fresh, innovative ideas. Agencies bring extensive industry experience and knowledge that can save you money by providing shared access to advanced tools that would be costly to acquire independently.

Some other benefits of digital marketing agencies include:

  • Expertise and experience: Agencies bring specialized knowledge and skills that might be lacking in-house.
  • Time-saving: Outsourcing digital marketing allows businesses to focus on core activities.
  • Access to advanced tools: Agencies use sophisticated tools and software to optimize marketing efforts.
  • Scalability: Agencies can scale marketing efforts up or down based on business needs.
  • Improved results: With a strategic approach and expert execution, agencies can deliver better results, leading to higher conversion rates and ROI.

Digital marketing is a multifaceted field essential for modern businesses aiming to thrive in the online environment. By understanding its various forms, learning the necessary skills, and potentially partnering with a digital marketing agency, businesses can effectively reach their target audience, promote their products or services, and achieve their marketing goals.