Do you know there is more to digital marketing than just social media? It sounds kind of funky and a little bit like a dark art, but I promise you it isn’t and, more than that, my bet would be that you’re doing some kind of digital marketing already.

When most people think of digital marketing, they think of social media and that’s hardly surprising. Social media has become an integral part of day to day life. The figures surrounding its usage are huge. More than two billion active users a month use Facebook, just one social media platform. According to Google, the world population is 7.6 billion so that puts the size and scale of Facebook into perspective.

See also: Which social media platforms should you be on?

Of course, social media isn’t just about Facebook – there’s Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube and lots more. The fact that the cost of entry for all of these is zero is just incredible and really levels the playing field. Yes, early adopters will have bigger follower numbers, and people with money to spend to advertise on these platforms will grow faster, but you can get involved for free. And if you want to advertise, you can for very little money.

Other forms of digital marketing

Part of social media is Youtube, and Youtube is video, and video is huge when it comes to digital marketing. It’s predicted that there will be a huge swing towards video content in the next few years and it’s already showing high levels of engagement. The platforms available to host this content and the technology available to create it are now so accessible that there’s no excuse not to get involved. It’s game changing. Whether you pre-record or embrace Live streaming, video is so powerful and so big in digital marketing.

See also: A guide to Youtube

Content marketing is a big part of digital marketing. Vlogging is a part of it (see above: video) but blogging is huge too. Blogging can be a great way to become a thought leader in your space, create superb content for your customers and potential customers, and it can also have a really positive impact on your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Guest blogging can also form part of your blogging strategy.

Email marketing falls into this category too. Some people don’t believe in the power of email marketing and I agree yet disagree in the same sentence. If you have built an email list of genuinely interested fans and customers that you’re sending interesting content to it has huge value. If you’re just throwing random rubbish at people that don’t care, the results will be horrible (low open rates, low click-throughs, maybe a few spam reports). Open rates vary from industry to industry with averages in the agricultural sector being open rates of 24.71% and click-throughs being about 10% of that. But depending on the size of your list, that could still be a good number of people.


Of course, we couldn’t talk about digital marketing without talking about advertising. Adwords is one key example that is accessible to anyone who wants to pay. On Google, these are the results with ‘Ad’ next to them that appear above the organic search results. Ads allow you to pay to get to the ‘top’ of Google when your SEO won’t, and it’s much quicker than SEO too. Put simply, you choose keywords and search terms that apply to what you’re selling and your ad appears there when this type of campaign is activated. Most accounts are charged when the ad is clicked (Pay Per Click or PPC).

See also: Why digital marketing is an essential tool for even the smallest rural businesses

And this leads to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which feels like a good place to finish this introduction to digital marketing. Everyone who has a website, in my opinion, should at least understand the very basics of SEO. Of course, there are other ways that you’ll get website traffic (from social, email marketing, etc), but if you’re looking to attract people who have never met you before, SEO is a good thing to look into.

You can work with SEO experts, you can buy books, do online courses, trawl Youtube, or any combination of the above. I’m not saying you need to be an expert in it, but if you want your content to be ranked by Google, to get yourself on the first page (and as close to the top as possible), do a little research.

At an incredibly basic level, SEO helps search engines see your site. A search engine’s job is to help its customer find what it’s looking for as quickly as possible in the minefield that is the internet. And there are lots of ways you can help search engines to see your site for key terms. Creating amazing content using the right keywords at the correct density is one part, but there’s a lot more to it.


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