In the world of business development and branding, digitization is all the fuss. So what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

Defined digital marketing

Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of companies and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at this time, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile devices, and even traditionally non-digital forms of media, such as billboards and road signs. Essentially, any marketing medium that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

This leaves only several forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising, and direct marketing outside the umbrella of digital marketing. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards, and posters start connecting with their digital counterparts. With elements like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories, and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always have a digital marketing connection.

Why focus on digital media?

The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners, and consumers alike. The increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes digitization a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media, and mobile advertising, are much easier to track than traditional marketing media, such as print advertising.

For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media, and email marketing are low-cost alternatives to print and direct mail advertising. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size and help level the playing field for startups, small businesses, and independent consultants looking for new businesses.

For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a necessity. When consumers need goods and services, the days of flipping through a phone book to find them are gone. Now, we take out our mobile devices or go to our computers to get answers, and we find them quickly.

Using digital media to build your business and brand

No matter the size of your business, whether it is a large or small or medium-sized business / company (SMB or SME), you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely on your website and make sure you do the following:

Adequately represents your business and brand (appearance, messages)
Speak appropriately to your target audience
Can be found by search engines on major search engines
It is updated and easily navigable
It provides multiple channels for communication with the client.
It connects to other marketing efforts.
It is recommended that you work with a professional web design company that is an expert in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your main business investments.

Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch monthly or bi-monthly email campaigns and connect with customers through social media. If you're really on a budget, these are efforts you can do internally (by someone with the right knowledge) or by an external digital marketing agency at a low cost. Make sure that all your efforts lead customers back to your website, where they can fully interact with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they communicate with you.

If you're interested in being aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside a few digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Today, many companies rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common mistake among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific keywords and phrases, metadata, page content and linking strategies that will help you reach the best search rankings.

Author's Bio: 

Today, everyone seems to be talking about digital marketing services.