What Is Digital Marketing? Four Tools to Consider Using

What is digital marketing and how can it help to grow your business? In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of the digital marketing landscape and discover which tools are a good fit for your business.

Four key digital marketing tools

First, know that your website is central to all of your digital marketing efforts. It serves as both a marketing hub and a destination where people come to learn more about your business once your other marketing efforts have piqued their interest.

Now, to help answer the questions, “What is digital marketing?” and “How can I use digital marketing to grow my business?” let’s examine four key tools:

1. Social marketing

Social marketing generally refers to large social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Smaller platforms are also useful for reaching niche audiences.

  • Benefits: It’s free to use social media. With a good strategy, you can amass a large following of fans and customers over time. You can also advertise on platforms like Facebook to grow your reach and attract a larger fan base.
  • Downsides: It can be hard work building and engaging a social media following from scratch.
  • Tip: If you’re new to social media, pick one or two platforms to focus on, rather than dividing your energy amongst many of them at once.

2. Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is an umbrella term that refers to everything you do to get more visitors to your website via search engines (Google, Bing). If you search Google for “leopard-print tutu,” you’ll see a mix of paid search results (ads) and organic search results (links that Google’s algorithms think are the best matches for your query).

Here’s how this works:

  1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is targeted advertising through a specific search engine’s platform, like Google AdWords.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), wherein your content ranks highly for certain search terms and keywords. For example, Google’s algorithm might determine that your leopard-print tutu product page should be at the top of its search results when visitors type in “leopard-print tutu.”
  • Benefits: It’s easy to measure your SEM results, and SEM works while you sleep.
  • Downsides: Online ads cost money.
  • Tip: Invest time to learn about SEO — arguably the most important part of SEM — then put that knowledge to work on your website.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing is highly effective at generating new and repeat sales, building customer loyalty, and educating your audience. Email marketing is much easier today thanks to services like MailChimp and Constant Contact, which allow you to send e-blasts, manage email subscribers, create signup and opt-in forms on your website, and more.

  • Benefits: Email marketing is a great way to tell your subscribers about sales, promotions, and new content. Services like MailChimp can even be free, depending on the size of your email list.
  • Downsides: You’re legally required to have people opt-in to your email list before you send them emails.
  • Tip: Add an email or newsletter signup form to your website and make sure you’re creating valuable content that people want to receive.

4. Content marketing

A great way to showcase the value of your product or service is through content marketing. Think along the lines of educational videos on your YouTube channel, or how-to articles on your blog. Also, blogging helps with your site’s SEO, and you can distribute your latest blog posts via email marketing, which shows the interconnection of digital marketing.

  • Benefits: You can create valuable content and enjoy long-lasting results.
  • Downsides: Continuously creating good, original content can be challenging.
  • Tip: Make a goal to create at least one piece of really great content on your blog (or another platform like YouTube) each week for six months. You’ll probably be amazed by the benefits you reap.

Now you know more about the four key digital marketing tools that you can use to improve your business’s marketing efforts and bottom line. Time to get working!


Aaron von Frank

Cofounder and CEO at GrowJourney.com, a USDA certified organic heirloom garden seed subscription service. Writer at TyrantFarms.com, Edible Upcountry Magazine, and other media outlets.

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