Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your
online marketing efforts. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google
search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current
and prospective customers.

The tools available
for digital marketing

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Social media

Social media sites allow
members to keep in contact and, in doing so, share details of their lives.
There are many types of social media and many ways in which these can be
described. The following are suggested descriptions.

• Publishing: not only can blogging sites
and wikis publish the written word, they can also be used to publish artwork,
photography and music.

• Sharing:
music, video and image files, for example, may be transferred from one person
to another, while other sites allow the sharing of ideas.

• Networking: these sites enable
members to make contact with each other. For example, on LinkedIn, members can
share CVs and other information about their work skills.


Emails are electronic messages
delivered to electronic devices ranging from computers to smartphones. The
basic message may be in text form, but other digital items, such as images, may
be included with the email. Links to the company website, Twitter account or
Facebook page may also be included in the body of the email.

When used as part of a digital
marketing campaign, emails can be used in many ways, both internally and
externally. Within the business, sales sheets may be sent to members of the
team, while externally, customers can be sent links to online brochures.

Landing page optimisation

The landing page is the first
web page that you land on from an external link

There are five main techniques
of landing page optimisation. Three are based on targeting the audience using
data, usually supplied either directly or indirectly by the visitor to the
site, to change the content of the page to draw the visitor in.

• Associative content targeting: the
content is influenced by data associated with the general profile of the
visitor. For example, geographical data about the visitor can be used to
provide information about special offers that are limited to the geographical
area where the visitor is based.

• Predictive content targeting: this method is based on
information that is already held about the visitor, usually from previous
sales. This information may be held as cookies on the user’s own machine, or as
a profile that has been uploaded once the user logged on.

• Consumer directed targeting: content is based on general
data, such as reviews from customers and others. Where reviews suggest that an
element is not effective, it will be removed from the site. If that item was
performing a key task, a new element will be added, hopefully carrying out the
task more effectively.

• Closed end experimentation: users
are given a range of options from which they can choose their favourite.
Eventually, a final structure is arrived at, based on the views of many users.
For example, different versions of the landing page could be used and the one
with the highest success rate (measured by sign ups or sales, for example),
could be chosen as the final version.

• Open ended experimentation: in this method, a final
version is not settled on. The advantage of never ending the process is that
the landing page continues to develop, and so changes as the needs and
interests of the users change. There are different versions of the landing page
but no assessment is made of which one will be the final version.

Banners and popups/unders

Web banners are advertisements
on web pages. The owner of the web page will usually be paid a small fee for
each person that clicks on that web banner.

The content of the web banner
will be targeted at getting viewers to click on it and will use traditional
methods of advertising, including coercion, persuasion and appealing to the
viewer’s basic needs. As with landing page optimisation, the content of a web
banner may change to suit the information held about the person who has logged
on to the web page.

Popups can often be a source
of irritation for visitors to web pages, as they interrupt the viewer’s
experience of the site. This can have a detrimental effect on the amount of
traffic that the original site attracted. As a result, popunders are becoming
more frequently used, as they are not immediately apparent and so the user does
not know which site included the trigger.

SEO (search engine optimisation)

Search engines are specialist
websites that allow the user to find websites based on criteria that the user
enters. The list that is returned is called ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. It is
possible for a website to pay to be included at the top of the list, but we
will consider this later. Results that are paid for are not considered

Research suggests that users
will only look at no more than the first three pages of any list returned by a
search engine. A website that is not on those first pages will be very unlikely
to attract any visitors via search engines.


Digital marketing channels are
the tools used to get the message from the advertiser to the customer.

One channel is to use paid
advertisements on search engines. This is where a website will appear at the
top of the natural listing returned by a search engine. This is subtler than a
banner heading, and is also ‘hidden’ among the sites returned naturally. Some
people are not aware that the site has been artificially placed at the top of
the list, and so they will assume it is the most relevant site for their search
and click on the link. The site may not be the most relevant and may lead
them to make a purchase they would otherwise not have made. However, this is
the fundamental aim of advertising!

Other forms of digital
channels include Facebook, where brands and businesses encourage as many people
as possible to ‘like’ their page and share their posts. When an item is shared
by a Facebook user, this item appears on the homepage of their Facebook friends.
Users who receive this shared post are able to ‘like’ it, which is tracked by
Facebook so that users receive similar posts on their home page. The business
may use the number of likes and shares as a measure of the post’s success.


Last accessed 17th January 2018.


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