What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing has become one of the most popular buzzwords in the last couple of years. Everybody is talking about digital marketing and professionals praise it’s the way to grow an online business.

Universities advertise their new digital marketing courses and in general, there is an increased demand from users to learn digital marketing and use it to improve their online presence.

In this guide, we will examine what is digital marketing, what are the various digital marketing channels, what is a digital marketing strategy and clear out some misconceptions about digital marketing and its role in the Internet world.

Digital marketing definition

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term that includes all marketing channels and methods you can use to promote products or services on the Internet but also on electronic devices such as TVs, mobile phones and electronic billboards.

The main difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is that digital marketing campaigns are executed exclusively through digital channels and this gives marketers more control, tools, and data to analyze the effectiveness of a campaign.

Digital Marketing Training

Digital marketing channels

Digital marketing has a number of channels and these can be separated into online marketing channels and offline marketing channels.

The main difference between the two is that online marketing channels are based solely on the Internet while offline marketing channels have to do with digital devices that are not necessarily connected to the Internet.

Digital marketing channels
Digital Marketing Definition and Channels

Online Marketing Channels

Offline marketing channels

Website Marketing

A website is the focal point of all digital marketing campaigns. By itself is a very powerful channel but it’s also the medium to execute most of the other online marketing campaigns.

Your website should represent your brand, product, and services in the best possible way. It should be fast, mobile-friendly and easy to use.

Once you have a website your next step is to come up with a digital marketing strategy and promote your website and content with the purpose of getting more traffic and customers.

Website Marketing – The Complete Strategy Guide For Beginners.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for search engines.

The main goal of SEO is to help a website rank higher in the search results and get organic traffic from search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO has a number of sub-processes. The main ones are:


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising gives you the ability to reach internet users on a number of networks through paid ads.

You can set up PPC campaigns on Google, Bing, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook and show your ads to people searching for terms related to your products or services.

PPC campaigns can segment users based on their demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc) or even their particular interests or location.

Every time a user clicks on your ads, you pay a fee to the provider (and thus the term pay per click).

The most popular PPC platforms are Google Ads and Facebook.

PPC Campaigns and SEO make up what is known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about the content. The digital world is a huge collection of content in different forms like text, images, audio, and video.

The goal of a content marketing campaign is to reach potential customers through the use of content.

Content is usually published on a website and then promoted through social media, email marketing, SEO or even PPC campaigns.

The difference between having a blog versus running a content marketing campaign is that the later has specific goals as to what content to publish and when to publish it, who to target, and how to monitor the effectiveness of your content campaigns.

The main tools of content marketing are:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Online Courses
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars


Email Marketing

Despite the increased use of social media networks, email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels.

Email Marketing Effectiveness Statistics
Email Marketing Effectiveness Statistics

Many people confuse email marketing with the hundreds of spam email messages we all receive per day, but that’s not what email marketing is all about.

Email marketing is the medium to get in touch with your potential customers or the people interested in your brand and this entails that these people want to hear from you and you are not hijacking their inbox.

In fact, many successful online businesses and marketers use all other digital marketing channels to add leads to their email lists and then through email marketing they create a number of funnels to turn those leads into customers.

Email Marketing Tips – 25 email marketing tips for small business owners.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has to do with reaching people in the various social networks either through content marketing campaigns (postings), paid ads or both.

The primary goal of a social media marketing campaign is brand awareness and establishing social trust but as you go deeper into social media marketing, you can use it to get leads or even as a direct sales channel.

Take for example Facebook. Facebook sales funnel consists of 3 major steps.

The top of the funnel is awareness. This is the stage where you can use Facebook ads to introduce your brand to Facebook users. Your goal at this stage is to get your ad in front of as many people as possible and gain new followers.

The second step is a consideration. At this stage, your goal is to get people (that showed an interest in your brand) and pass them through the middle of the funnel and get them to visit your website, engage with your page, install your app, send you a message, etc.

The third step is conversion. This is the final step where you try to convince people that enter your funnel to convert. A conversion can be anything that has value for your business like the sale of a product or service or a visit to your store.

As you can see in the diagram above, for each funnel stage, you have a number of options as to which type of campaigns you can use.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing that has grown considerably with the rise of Internet usage.

Basically, with affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products and you get a commission every time you make a sale or introduce a lead.

Many well-known companies like Amazon have affiliate programs that pay out millions of dollars per month to websites that sell their products.

When designing your digital marketing strategy, you should include affiliate marketing as a way to get people involved in your brand and sell your products for a commission.

In other words, when you have a product or service to promote online, you should consider setting up an affiliate program where people can sign up and find resources and material they can use to promote your products on the Internet.

They will get a commission as a reward but the benefits for you as a provider are much more.

Your affiliates cannot only drive more sales but they can become the best representatives of your brand and positively influence other people to buy or connect with your company.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is another fancy term that refers to how you can use various digital marketing channels to reach new customers mainly through the process of content creation and how to ‘push’ them through a funnel until they convert.

Inbound Marketing Costs Per Lead
Inbound Marketing Costs Per Lead

The main elements of inbound marketing are content, attention, engagement, trust, and satisfaction.

All these elements have a single goal: to help businesses connect with their potential customers and establish a channel of bi-directional communication with them that will lead to more sales.

All digital marketing channels have similar sales funnels. What differs in many cases is the terminology used to describe each stage of the funnel. In general, a digital sales funnel has 3 main goals: to get people learn your brand, to get them engage with your brand (either through your website or app), and to get them to convert.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing refers to the process of reaching customers in the different mobile app stores such as Google Play, Apple app store or Amazon marketplace.

These app stores have thousands of apps and millions of users per day. With mobile marketing, you can promote your apps either through paid advertising or through other methods (cross-app promotions, etc.), so that they can be seen and installed by more users.

Note: Mobile marketing is not the same as having a mobile friendly version of your website.

Making your website mobile friendly is a must and necessary otherwise your website won’t show up for Google searches performed on mobile.

Mobile marketing is about creating an app and uploading that app to Google Play or other app stores for users to download.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is something relatively new but recently it has become so popular that you simply cannot ignore it.

YouTube has become the second most popular search engine and a lot of users are turning to YouTube before they make a buying decision, to learn something or just to relax.

YouTube Statistics
YouTube Statistics

YouTube is just one of the mediums you can execute Video marketing. There are so many other platforms like Facebook Videos, Instagram, Vimeo to use to run a video marketing campaign.

The best way to take advantage of video is to integrate them into your SEO, content marketing and social media marketing campaigns.

Running standalone video campaigns can be costly and does not always create a positive return on investment, but when the video is used as part of your other campaigns, the ROI is justified.

We will examine some examples of how to use video marketing as part of a digital marketing strategy.

Offline Marketing Channels

The channels described above are the most important components of digital marketing. These are the channels that can be executed through the Internet (thus the term online marketing channels) and in many cases, it’s the only ones you need to use to have a strong online presence.

The offline digital marketing channels described below are still used but they are not suitable for all companies. For example, a small business does not have the funds to advertise on TV or electronic billboards.

TV Marketing

TV marketing is not dead, on the contrary, is a marketing channel that will experience a boost in the coming years.

Currently, TV advertising is not 100% targeted. Marketers can only make assumptions based on the statistics they have from a limited amount of people.

The adoption of Web TV will change this dramatically. Marketers will be able to target audiences based on a number of factors and make informed decisions as to what content to produce.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is still an option to get in touch with potential customers, although not among the most powerful.

There are better alternatives these days like push messages on the web and mobile and also on Facebook messenger.

Nevertheless, SMS marketing can be used to get more visits to your local community store.

Radio Marketing

Radio marketing is another tool you can utilize but not so effective as other methods. The main issue with radio marketing is that you don’t know exactly the return on your investment.

When you pay for a radio ad, you can only assume on the number of people that heard the ad, based on the number of listeners the particular radio station has.

Radio marketing is still good for local businesses though and small communities that are not so affected by the social media mania.

Billboard Marketing

Billboard marketing is considered to be part of digital marketing. Electronic billboards are available in a number of public places (think Times Square billboards or Super Bowl commercials) and it’s another more traditional channel in your digital marketing arsenal.

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a detailed plan on how you can utilize the different digital marketing channels to achieve your business goals.

When you design a digital marketing strategy you need to consider which channels to use, the resources (people, time and money) to assign to each channel and what to expect in terms of results.

A common mistake made by many digital marketing managers or small business owners is that they try to execute everything at once and at the end of the day they get no results.

Either because they don’t have the necessary expertise to run digital marketing campaigns or because they end up spending their budgets on channels that are not suitable for their business.

Example of a Digital Marketing Strategy

Although each and every digital marketing strategy is unique and based on the specific needs and goals of a business, you can read below an example to help you understand how all marketing channels can work towards a common goal.

Example: Digital Marketing Strategy for a company selling digital products (online courses, ebooks, etc.).

Step 1: Website – The first step is to create a website that is fast and mobile-friendly. The website should have several landing pages (or sales pages) to present the company and its products.

Step 2: SEO – The next step is to perform an SEO Audit and identify which areas need to be optimized for SEO. Technical SEO should be tackled first, then On-Page SEO and last Off-Page SEO.

Step 3: Content Marketing – Based on the results of thorough keyword research and findings of the SEO Audit, you should create a content marketing plan that will include:

  • What kind of content to create for the website (text and videos)
  • When to publish it (publishing calendar)
  • How to promote it (can include social media channels, email, and PPC campaigns).

Step 4: Social Media Marketing – Utilize all social media marketing campaigns to promote brand awareness and sales. Identify which social media channels are suitable for marketing your business (based on customer profiling) and create a schedule for publishing content on those networks.

At the same time, start creating lists of influencers and other people that are most likely to be interested in your products or share your content on social media.

Step 5: Email Marketing – Start building an email list using several CTA areas on your website and social media channels.

Your initial goal is to get people to sign up for your newsletter or register to download free material or register for free trials.

Create several email marketing funnels to get ‘push’ your subscribers from the awareness stage to the conversion stage.

Step 6: Pay-Per-Click Advertising – In parallel to the above activities set up an AdWords Campaign to target people searching for product-related keywords on Google and remarketing campaigns on Facebook to go after users that visited your website but did not convert.

Step 7: Video Marketing – Part of step 3 above is to identify which topics/keywords you can create video content. Publish your videos on a dedicated YouTube channel, on Facebook, Instagram and any other platforms you are targeting in your campaigns.

For each video create a blog post on your website and embed the video with text content.

Step 8: Mobile Marketing – Consider creating a mobile app that users can download from the App Stores that will include your latest news and ways for people to access your courses through your app.

Step 9: Measure and Analyze the results – Ensure that you have Google analytics installed and configured correctly and that you can accurately measure the effectiveness of the above campaigns.

Create an excel sheet and add for each campaign details about the cost, number of visits, number of conversions, people reached, etc.

The above it’s just a summary of what your digital marketing strategy should include. If you are a small business with limited resources then it’s normal that you won’t be able to execute the whole plan from the very beginning.

What you should do is to follow a step-by-step approach starting with your website, SEO and content marketing.

Once you manage to have these in place for a number of months, you will gradually experience an increase in traffic and revenue and then you can add the other tools to the mix.


Digital Marketing Checklist – The complete digital marketing checklist.

What is the role of a digital marketing manager

The role of a digital marketing manager is to create a well-defined digital marketing strategy. It’s his job to decide which channels to use, where to allocate the budget and in what order.

The DMM has also the role to oversee the work of the other managers and make sure that everybody is working towards the same goals.

A typical ‘digital marketing team’ has the following roles:

Digital Marketing Manager

A person with skills and good knowledge related to:

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Content marketing
  • PPC advertising

SEO Experts are not digital marketing managers. A digital marketing manager has a broad understanding of ALL digital marketing channels and not just SEO.

Most successful digital marketing managers are experienced SEO’s who have working experience with other marketing channels as well.


Content marketing manager

A content marketing manager is responsible to create and execute the content marketing plan. He is the person to decide what type of content to create and what channels to utilize.

Social media manager

He is responsible for the promotion of a company through various social channels. He works closely with the content marketing manager to push the right content to the right people at the right time.

SEO manager

Depending on the team structure, you may decide to have a dedicated SEO manager that can assist the Digital Marketing for SEO related tasks.

PPC manager

A PPC manager is responsible for running paid campaigns on different platforms, mainly Google Ads, Facebook Ads (including Instagram) and Bing.

PPC managers can become certified in Google Ads or Facebook, which another way to prove their qualifications.

Email marketing manager

The job of an email marketing manager is to ensure that any email leads created through all the other channels are entered into suitable email funnels that will eventually lead to conversions.

Sending a newsletter every now and then is not email marketing. A proper email marketing campaign turns leads into customers and this is the reason you need to have a dedicated manager to monitor these activities.

Digital marketing misconceptions

The term ‘digital marketing’ is relatively new and that’s why it has become common for people to use it even in cases where they mean something different.

Digital Marketing Overview
Digital Marketing Overview

The most common misconceptions are:

Digital Marketing VS Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a subset of digital marketing and is not the same thing.

Internet marketing or online marketing refers to the methods you can use to run campaigns on the Internet.

As shown in the diagram above, the main components of Internet marketing are: Search Engine Marketing (which includes SEO and PPC), Social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing. Mobile marketing and video marketing.

Digital marketing is over and above online / Internet marketing as it includes other digital channels as well.

Digital marketing VS Social media marketing

When you have an active presence in social media, you are essentially running social media marketing campaigns and not digital marketing campaigns.

Social media marketing is just one of the components of digital marketing. To fully experience the benefits of digital marketing, you need to add more digital channels to your plan.


Digital marketing is all about marketing on the internet and other electronic devices. It’s not a single process but it consists of a number of sub-components that you can use depending on what you want to achieve.

Not all methods work for all businesses, that’s why it’s important to come up with a digital marketing strategy that will detail how you will utilize each process.

A digital marketing manager is a person responsible to monitor all digital marketing activities.

He needs to have a broad knowledge of how the internet works so that can decide which marketing activities are more suitable for a given project.

Other typical members of a digital marketing team are content manager, SEO manager, social media manager, email marketing manager and PPC manager.

Digital Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing

According to Forrester, companies will invest more than $140 billion on digital marketing, also known as online marketing, in a few years. That’s because digital marketing offers a powerful and cost-effective way to promote your business to its target audience. Learn more about the basics of digital marketing now in this online marketing guide!

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the marketing and advertising of a business, person, product, or service using online channels, electronic devices, and digital technologies. A few examples of digital marketing include social mediaemailpay-per-click (PPC)search engine optimization (SEO), and more.

How is digital marketing different from traditional marketing?

The difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is simple.

Traditional marketing uses offline channels, while digital marketing uses online channels. A traditional marketing campaign, for example, may use billboards, radio ads, and news stories, while a digital marketing campaign may use social media, blog posts, and email to promote a business and its offerings.

Why is digital marketing important?

For companies today, digital marketing matters because it offers:

  • Multiple online marketing strategies
  • Cost-effective marketing solutions
  • Level playing field
  • Advanced targeting and personalization options
  • Accurate campaign tracking and measurement
  • Continuous campaign performance feedback

You can learn more about digital marketing’s benefits below.

Digital marketing offers multiple online marketing strategies

With online marketing, your company can pick from a range of tactics. Examples of digital marketing tactics include:

You have options, which isn’t the case when using traditional marketing. With traditional marketing, you have fewer choices. You only have a couple of channels available, like radio, print, and TV, and many of these channels are expensive, which limits your choices further.

Choosing to use Internet marketing gives your company access to a range of strategies. You can pick the ones that match your business, goals, and target market the best, which helps you maximize the impact of online marketing on your bottom line.

Digital marketing offers cost-effective marketing solutions

Price is another benefit of digital marketing.

Compared to traditional marketing, online marketing is extremely cost-effective. If you advertise online, whether on social media, websites, or search engines, you set your budget and bid for ad space. You have complete control over how much you spend, which isn’t the case when buying a billboard.

Plus, you can stop your strategy at any time. If you launch a PPC campaign, for instance, and see that it isn’t performing, you can go ahead and pause that campaign. In comparison, once you buy a billboard, you have it for that entire duration, whether it works or not.

Digital marketing offers a level playing field

If you’re a small-to-midsized business (SMB), digital marketing also helps your company stand apart from larger brands. That’s because online marketing offers cost-effective solutions, like SEO, that can help your business reach its audience.

With SEO as a digital marketing strategy, for example, your business can optimize your content for long-tail searches, or searches that feature three or more words, like “hvac residential maintenance services” or “how to clean house gutters.”

This approach can help your company bypass big brands and reach your target market.

You don’t have to worry about how your online marketing budget will compete with larger brands, either. Digital marketing offers several cost-effective strategies, including SEO, that you can use to get your products or services in front of your audience.

Digital marketing offers advanced targeting and personalization options

Making web marketing a part of your business strategy also gives you access to a range of advanced targeting and personalization options. Traditional marketing, which is broader, can’t compete with what digital marketing can provide you when it comes to targeting.

For example, with online marketing, you can use targeting options like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Marital status
  • Hobbies
  • Device
  • And more

These targeting options can help you amplify the other benefits of digital marketing, like its cost-effectiveness. If you launch a PPC campaign, for example, you could use targeting options like location and device to focus your ads on users most likely to convert, like by visiting your brick-and-mortar store.

Online marketing also makes it possible to personalize content with information like the following:

  • Name
  • Interests
  • Purchase behavior

Creating a personalized experience for users, whether via your email marketing campaign or website, can lead to better marketing results. An email that recommends products based on a subscriber’s past purchase behavior, for example, can lead to another sale and even a word-of-mouth recommendation.

Digital marketing targeting options graphic

Digital marketing offers accurate campaign tracking and measurement

Online marketing solves a traditional marketing problem — tracking.

With traditional marketing, it’s difficult to track whether someone found your business via a billboard, radio ad, or newspaper feature. When you can’t track your marketing efforts, you can’t measure their performance, which makes it challenging to prove marketing’s worth.

It’s easy to track the performance and results of digital marketing.

Tools like Google AnalyticsGoogle Search Console, and Google Ads make monitoring your strategy easy. With Google Analytics, for example, you can track website traffic, user behavior, and website conversions. In comparison, Google Ads provides a 360-degree view of your PPC ads.

Even better, you can use programs like Google Data Studio to compile all your digital marketing data into easy-to-read and easy-to-share reports. Tools like these help you showcase, as well as analyze, the performance of online marketing.

Digital marketing offers continuous campaign performance feedback

Making digital marketing a part of your business strategy also gives you access to a marketing approach that provides constant feedback on your campaign’s performance, whether it’s your SEO strategy or PPC ads.

For example, if you launch a PPC campaign and update your targeting to exclude mobile devices, you may notice a sudden drop in conversions. That immediate response helps you react fast. You can undo your targeting update and get your campaign back to optimal performance.

Even long-term strategies, like SEO, provide constant feedback.

For instance, you can see if your keyword targeting strategy works well by analyzing your website traffic and website conversion rates. This analysis can help you uncover other areas for improvement, too, like your site’s design and usability, as well as content quality.

With all its benefits, digital marketing is a massive asset for companies, including yours.

How does digital marketing work?

You know the definition of digital marketing, but how does digital marketing work?

Online marketing works by developing a coordinated, omni-channel strategy that supports your target audience’s unique buying journey. That means your business uses multiple channels, like social, email, and search, to support an overarching strategy, like generating brand awareness, leads, or sales.

Digital marketing cycle graphic

For perspective, think about this digital marketing example:

  • Goal: Earn leads
  • Channels: Search, email
  • Strategy:
    • Write a blog post that targets a middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) need.
    • Optimize the blog post for search engines and users.
    • Include a downloadable resource that requires users to share their email address.
    • Build a drip campaign for those email subscribers to move them to conversion.

Digital marketing targeting graphicIt’s a basic example, but the above scenario shows how companies can use digital marketing to achieve global goals, like attracting leads. While you can use online marketing channels by themselves, they work best when used together, which is one of the biggest challenges for digital marketers.

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10 ways to use digital marketing as a business

If you’re curious about how your company can use digital marketing, check out these examples:

  1. Build brand awareness with a social media ad campaign on Facebook
  2. Increase qualified website traffic with a content marketing strategy
  3. Generate purchases and leads with a PPC ad campaign
  4. Improve website conversion rates with CRO tests
  5. Grow qualified website traffic, search result visibility, and sales with an SEO strategy
  6. Target competitor locations and qualified leads with geofencing advertising
  7. Convert high-value leads with a dedicated account-based marketing plan
  8. Encourage customer loyalty and repeat purchases with an email marketing campaign
  9. Increase time on page and conversion rates by improving your site’s page speed
  10. Expand reach with marketing strategies on AmazonWalmart Marketplace, and Target+

These are just 10 digital marketing ideas.

Whether you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) market, you can find creative ways to reach your audience through online channels. The customization and versatility of online marketing techniques make them useful for every kind of company.

Digital marketing metrics

When it comes to digital marketing, there are a range of metrics you can measure, including:

Website traffic Number of users visiting a site. Organic
Traffic source The source for website traffic, like social media, paid ads, and organic search. Organic, Social
Pageviews The total number of views for a page. Organic
Bounce rate Percentage of single-page sessions or sessions when users did not visit another page on your site. Organic
Time on page The average amount of time spent on a page. Organic
Click-through rate (CTR) Percentage that measures the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions Organic, Paid, Social
Conversion rate Percentage of users that converted divided by the total number of users. Organic, Paid, Social, Email
Open rate Percentage of users that opened an email divided by the total number of users that received the email. Email
Follows Number of page follows Social
Shares Number of post shares Social
Return on investment (ROI) The revenue generated by a digital marketing strategy, minus its costs. Organic, Paid, Social, Email

What does a digital marketer do?

digital marketer develops, implements, manages, and measures an organization’s online marketing strategy and campaigns. Many online marketers specialize in different types of digital marketing, like social media, SEO, content marketing, and PPC.

Generally, digital marketers aim to accomplish their company’s overall goals, like increasing revenue, by achieving smaller goals, like improving the organization’s website traffic, social media following, and conversion rate.

In almost all cases, online marketers will measure the performance of their business’s digital marketing strategy with metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

Digital marketing definition graphic

How much does digital marketing cost?

Digital marketing budgets vary. The average small-to-midsized business (SMB), however, spends $2500 to $12,000 per month on Internet marketing. Generally, companies will dedicate 6.5% to 10% of their revenue to online marketing.

If your business earned $1 million in revenue, for example, you would then set aside $65,000 to $100,000 for digital marketing that year. Every company is different, of course, so you may invest more or less in online marketing.

What determines digital marketing costs?

A few factors influence how much you spend on digital marketing, including:

Your online marketing strategy’s complexity

Web marketing plans can become complicated quickly, especially if your company uses multiple channels and teams for marketing your business. That’s why complex projects require a more significant investment because they need more resources and team members to succeed.

Your digital marketing tools

Marketing your business online demands a toolkit, which will generally include tools for:

  • Tracking rankings in organic search results
  • Researching competitor strategies
  • Developing content calendars
  • Tracking content progress from writing to editing to publishing
  • Scheduling, publishing, and monitoring social media posts
  • Creating ads for social media and search campaigns
  • Building, sending, and monitoring email campaigns

Digital marketing cost graphicWhile your company can access some free tools, like Buffer for scheduling social media posts, you’ll often need to set aside some of your digital marketing budget for paid tools, like Ahrefs, for researching competitors and monitoring organic search rankings.

Depending on your business, you may also invest in some third-party services, like:

These services often help your in-house team with managing your online marketing strategy.

A freelance designer, for instance, can provide high-quality graphics for your company’s blog posts, social media posts, and ads, which saves you the time of creating these images yourself. In comparison, a digital marketing agency can streamline your entire strategy by leading and managing it for you.

Whether you choose to hire help or work in-house will depend on your company and its capabilities.

While large, enterprise-level corporations can often handle their digital marketing campaigns in-house, many SMBs encounter bottlenecks. Not having enough team members, time, or even experience in an area can all bring your digital marketing efforts to a halt, which is where a third-party provider can help.

Your online marketing strategy’s aggressiveness

Like complex strategies, aggressive online marketing strategies require a more substantial investment. Your business, for example, may invest closer to 10% of your total revenue versus 6.5% to make your plan more competitive.

Whether your company requires an aggressive strategy will depend on your goals, as well as your industry. If you operate in a tough market where everyone uses online marketing, you will probably need an aggressive plan for promoting your brand.

8 types of digital marketing to know (and how to use them)

Looking to use online marketing to grow your business? Our digital marketing guide tells you what you need to know about eight of the most common digital marketing channels. The types of digital marketing this guide covers are:


Average investment: $750-$2000 / month

Using SEO as a digital marketing strategy, companies can increase their visibility in search results on Google and other search engines. With a better spot in search results, your business can earn more website traffic, leads, and sales. Since 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, SEO is a must.

What is SEO?

SEO is an online marketing strategy that improves your visibility or ranking in search results relevant to your business and target market. Increasing your ranking requires on-page SEO and off-page SEO. These two tactics focus on making your site friendlier and more authoritative to search engines and users.

What are the types of SEO?

When you use SEO as a digital marketing technique, you’ll use a few types of SEO, including:

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the practice of using coding languages to identify different parts of a page.

Most of the time that requires using a coding language like HTML, CSS, Java, JavaScript, PHP, or Schema.

Regardless of the languages you use to create your site, you need to write the code well enough for search engines to read it.

You don’t have to be a computer programmer to make simple changes to your site’s code, though. In fact, if you spend some time doing your research, you can find places online to learn them for free.

But regardless of whether you learn the languages yourself, it’s important to remember the three most important HTML “tags” of technical SEO:

  • Title tag <title>: The name of your page and the blue text that shows up in Google search results.
  • Headings <h1>: The names of individual sections of a page.
  • Links <a href=””>: Links to other pages on your site or pages off your site.

With these three tags, you’ll at least have a start on your technical SEO.

Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of adding your business to online directories and targeting location-based keywords with content on your site. This helps you show up in multiple areas online with your brand name, address, phone number, and more.

When people look up your business name or industry online, local SEO increases the chances that they’ll find your company before they find your competitors.

Google My Business local SEO example
That helps you get more customers, earn more revenue, and grow your business.

Best of all, most local SEO outlets are entirely free.

The most popular local SEO outlet is Google My Business. It lets you add your company to Google Search and Maps results, which are two of the most popular online properties in the world.

How to use SEO as a digital marketing technique

When it comes to digital marketing techniques, SEO earns the most recommendations. With SEO, your business can drive long-term revenue to your company, without the upfront and continuous costs that come with strategies like social media advertising.

If you’re ready to use SEO for your online marketing campaign, use these tips:

Build your SEO knowledge and learn the basics

An umbrella of strategies make up SEO, which is why it’s essential to master the basics of SEO.

Understand which ranking factors, like links and mobile-friendliness, matter the most to search engines. Then, learn how to optimize your website for these factors, like by investing in a mobile responsive site for mobile-friendliness or developing an outreach and content process for attracting backlinks.

Guides, like SEO From Start to Finish, can get you started with SEO.

Audit your website’s SEO

As a part of your SEO strategy for online marketing, audit your website.

Use what you learned and apply it to your site. Check your current rankings in search results, for example, with a free tool like Google Search Console. Analyze your keyword targeting, as well as how you use keywords in your contenttitle tags, and meta descriptions.

If you want to audit your site fast, use a free SEO checker. You can even invest in professional SEO audit services if you want the help of seasoned SEOs. This option works well if you’ve practiced SEO before but can’t figure out why your company isn’t ranking well in search results.

Once you finish your audit, you can move on to optimizing your site.

Research your keywords

Keyword research is the process of identifying valuable words and phrases that your customers use to find your business online.

It’s the first step to almost every digital marketing strategy because it forms the foundation of each one.

To find keywords related to your business, you have a few research options at your disposal:

Google Autosuggest

While it’s not an official keyword research tool, Google has a built-in keyword research tool right in Google Search.

Google Autocomplete Example

All you have to do is start typing a word related to your business — like “shoes” if you sell running shoes or “garage door repair” if you’re a garage door company — and see what pops up.

The suggested keywords will be listed in order of popularity based on how many people search them.

Unfortunately, that means this keyword research strategy has a limited success ceiling. It won’t be able to tell you everything you need to know to create your plan, but it will give you a good place to start.


Keywordtool.io is a great way to generate long lists of keyword ideas.

All you have to do is type in the root of your keyword — so again, something like “shoes” if you sell running shoes — and Keywordtool.io will generate a list of possible keywords for you to target.

Keyword Research Keywordtool.io Example
Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t tell you how frequently people search for those keywords. So you’ll have to take your list and use it in another tool to get the full picture of keywords you should target.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to accomplish this task.


SEMrush is a paid SEO tool.

Most companies can research keywords with the cheapest SEMrush package, though you can upgrade to get more of SEMrush’s functionality.

Keyword Research SEMrush Example
With SEMrush, you can upload a spreadsheet of the keywords you find with tools like Keywordtool.io and get data, like how many people search for those keywords every month, current websites that rank for those keywords, and other information that can help you decide what keywords work best for your needs.

Ideally, you want to find long-tail keywords or phrases of four to five words. They may have low search volume, but they’ll also typically have lower competition.

Better yet, they’ll drive qualified traffic to your business because long search queries imply a searcher’s intent to make a purchase.

The idea is to target these keywords with future strategies so you can pull a consistent audience to your website.

Maintain your SEO

Once you’ve achieved your goals for rankings, website traffic, conversions, and other digital marketing metrics, you must maintain your site so you can keep growing in the future.

After all, digital marketing is continuously changing — and if you don’t keep up, your competitors could leave you in the dust.

With that in mind, you (or a digital marketing agency) have to keep up with recent trends, updates to SEO, and other factors that impact your ability to compete in the digital marketplace.

Once you’ve laid the foundation of your SEO strategy, maintaining it is typically much easier. In fact, it’ll be more time-consuming than difficult, as you’ll have to update tags, add content, remove content, test calls-to-action (CTAs), and other factors.

But some maintenance jobs are tediously difficult and knowledge-intensive.

The best example of this is adapting to algorithm updates, like “Mobilegeddon” of 2015. This required website owners to incorporate responsive design into their websites, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.

This wasn’t a big problem for most companies with SEO partners.

But for some smaller businesses, it destroyed their ability to rank online.

These updates mean that every company needs to stay on top of their site and work to maintain their rankings online, even after they’ve achieved their goals.

How much does SEO cost?

How much you invest in SEO will depend on your needs, goals, and project scope.

The average SMB invests $750 to $2000 into SEO each month. In comparison, hourly consultants cost around $80 to $200 per hour. If you’re looking to do a one-time project for your website’s SEO, plan to spend anywhere from $5000 to $30,000.

Learn more about using SEO for digital marketing

Find out more about incorporating SEO into your digital marketing plan with these resources:

Content Marketing

Average investment: $2000-$10,000 / month

Content marketing offers companies a cost-effective and long-term strategy for reaching, nurturing, and converting their target audience, as well as supporting their SEO strategy. With original, high-quality content, your business can generate 54% more leads, plus appeal to the preferences of 70% of consumers who want to learn about your company through blog posts, guides, and articles.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a digital marketing technique that focuses on creating original and helpful content for users. In most cases, this content, which can range from blog posts to videos to online guides, will get optimized for search, shared on social media, and promoted to increase its reach and exposure.

What types of content can you create?

If you use content marketing, you can get creative and create a range of content types, including:


Blogging is the most popular form of content on the Internet. Thanks to platforms like WordPress, anyone can run a blog for practically no investment. Blogs help build your brand, reputation, and authority online.

You can use your blog to post regular updates about timely issues in your industry. For an online shoe retailer, for example, that could be something like how someone can size their feet at home, how arch support works, and why some brands are more expensive than others.

Digital marketing blog example
In comparison, an orthopedic marketing campaign may post about different treatments and therapies, as well as weighing different treatment options. Their blog posts could answer common questions for people receiving or researching orthopedic care.

By giving that information away for free, you answer your potential customers’ questions. That brings them to your site, educates them, showcases your knowledge, and improves the chances that they’ll want to buy from you in the future.

Writing and publishing blog posts on a regular schedule also gives your readers a reason to come back to your site. On top of that, it encourages search engines like Google to crawl your site more frequently so your newest pages show up in search results.

Blogging is an easy, effective, and powerful way to build your brand online.

As a result, it’s often the first content marketing strategy most companies adopt online.


Article pages are evergreen pages on your site that you can use for a variety of purposes.

Most of the time, these pages are used for:

  • Service pricing: Service pricing pages are helpful because they show potential customers how much you charge for different tiers of service. This is especially useful for B2B sales.
  • Product information: Product information pages are great for ecommerce sales because they give your customers all the information they need to make an informed purchase.
  • Ecommerce category listing: Ecommerce category listings help collect similar products into categories, where customers can browse for what they want.

Some companies also use this format for FAQ pages, which is a great way to answer a lot of common questions all at the same time.

Aside from these options, you can also use article pages to target long-tail keywords that can continually pay dividends long after you publish them.

That evergreen content pairs well with blog posts to make a robust, well-rounded content strategy. By using both approaches together, you can target a variety of keywords and drive traffic to your site day after day.


Infographics are visual representations of information that make a compelling point with hard data.

Infographics are ideal for explaining complex concepts in simple terms. They don’t need to be anything fancy, either — some of the best infographics are lists of data points with charts and graphs.

Content Marketing Infographics Example
If you need infographic ideas, think about how you could best represent your products or services through data.

That could be sales trends in your industry by year, the popularity of certain products, the impact of different innovations, and more.

Then, once it’s on your site, you can promote it on social media and earn backlinks for it, both of which help spread the word about your brand.


Video is another excellent content medium that presents information in an engaging, efficient, and user-friendly way.

Plus, Google likes to see videos on pages since they provide a great user experience.

Your business can use videos to improve your rankings in search results, attract more traffic to your website, and provide a quality experience to your users.

That shows everyone — including Google — that you’re an authoritative source on your industry, and that kind of reputation goes a long way online.


Podcasts are episodic audio content that allow you to discuss issues in your industry. You can make a podcast for about $100, and it comes with a whole host of SEO benefits.

Podcasts let you showcase your expertise by discussing current industry topics, offering advice, or even making predictions about your industry’s future.

Content Marketing Podcasting Example
You can even use it as a source of revenue if you’d like to sell ad space. While that’s not common for business podcasts, it’s still a possibility.

More commonly, podcasts are used to interview influencers or discuss trends among coworkers. That keeps the format simple, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable.

You can also post your podcasts to networks like iTunes and enjoy search saturation as a result of your work.

Plus, podcasting is the only form of content that doesn’t require your audience to stare at a screen. Your listeners can enjoy your podcast in the car, on a walk, or while doing chores around the house.

How to use content marketing as a digital marketing technique

Use content marketing as a digital marketing technique with these tips:

Write for readers, then search engines

Content marketing and SEO work together, which is why content marketing often includes SEO.

When optimizing your content for SEO, however, you want to avoid over-optimizing it. Instead, focus on writing for your audience first, and then writing for search engines. Avoid keyword stuffing, for example, which can harm your user experience and rankings.

Add helpful visuals

Visuals can help your business deliver an unparalleled user experience.

Content marketing visuals example

Videos, infographics, custom graphics, and more can all help users follow along with your content and get answers to their questions. Add this kind of multimedia to your content to create a better user experience, which can help improve your rankings in search results and shares on social media.

Conduct outreach to promote your content

Outreach is the process of creating great content on your site and sending it to other website owners to earn a backlink.

This is similar to influencer marketing, but the goal of outreach isn’t to gain credibility or social clout — it’s to improve your SEO.

Outreach works best over email. You can send someone a short message that asks them to look at your content, repost it on their site, and link back to your website for credit.

This is important because backlinks play a huge role in SEO. When you have a lot of backlinks from high-quality websites, Google sees those backlinks as votes of confidence.

Google will then rank your site better in search results, which will help you attract more traffic and customers to your website from organic search results.

How much does content marketing cost?

Generally, SMBs will invest $2000 to $10,000 per month into content marketing. How much you dedicate to your content marketing strategy will depend on your plan, as well as its aggressiveness and whether you outsource tasks like writing, editing, and design.

Learn more about using content marketing for digital marketing

Get more information about using content marketing for your digital marketing strategy now:

PPC Advertising

Average investment: $9000-$10,000 / month

Over 60% of SMBs use PPC because it’s a fast and effective digital marketing technique for generating leads and sales. With PPC, your business can create a hyper-targeted campaign to reach ready-to-buy users in your target audience, which is one reason why PPC boasts an average ROI of $2 for every $1 spent.

What is PPC advertising?

PPC advertising is a digital media marketing tactic that promotes your business, products, or services on search engines, websites, apps, and more. PPC operates on a pay-per-click business model, which means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which can include text, images, and video.

Where can you use PPC advertising?

You can advertise your business, products, and services with several platforms, including these two:

Search engines

When you advertise with search engines like Google and Bing, you can assign ads to certain keywords. Then, you place a “bid” for how much you’re willing to pay for each click to your website, and the advertisers with the highest bids show up above the other search results.

This means when you outbid your competitors, your ad shows up directly underneath the search bar — right where search users look after a page loads.

Digital marketing PPC example
The idea is that more people will click your ad when you rank higher.

On the one hand, that means you’ll pay more by “buying” more ad clicks.

On the other hand, it means you’ll have lots of opportunities to convert ad clicks into paying customers.

In some cases, it only takes one or two conversions to recoup your cost and turn a profit on your PPC campaign.

So, once you determine the keywords that generate results for your business, you can use PPC to maximize your visibility and generate more qualified traffic.

Social media

Social platforms often let you choose between a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) and CPC payment model. That makes social ads more versatile than search ads, but social networks — even the big ones — don’t get as much daily traffic as Google.

However, social ads allow you to incorporate images, GIFs, and videos into your ads, so you don’t have to rely on text to get new customers.

Many social networks still have rules regarding their ads, though.

For example, Facebook doesn’t allow any images to have more than 20% text.

Digital marketing social media ad example
Other networks, like Twitter or Pinterest, are more accepting of different ad formats.

With social ads, you have so many choices that it’ll take some time to find the most effective network for your needs.

How to use PPC advertising as a digital marketing technique

Are you ready to use this digital marketing technique? Get started with these PPC tips:

  • Start with broad targeting

While you can create hyper-targeted campaigns with PPC, you want to avoid launching campaigns with this much targeting. Instead, keep your targeting broad at the start and then use your data (versus your hunches) to refine your campaign.

  • Optimize landing pages

Landing pages play a critical part in PPC.

If you have a slow, difficult-to-navigate, or irrelevant landing page, it will hurt the performance of your PPC campaigns. You’ll experience higher costs and lower CTRs. Plus, ad networks will show your ad less because they know it underdelivers when it comes to user experience.

Optimize your landing pages for users by coordinating your landing page with your ad. For example, if you advertise a pair of running shoes, your landing page should be the product page for those running shoes — not your running shoes category page.

You can also improve your landing page by improving its usability and speed.

  • Use responsive ads

Responsive ads offer your business a convenient way to test your ad headlines and descriptions.

With Google responsive ads, for example, Google will test different combinations of your headlines and descriptions to see which ones perform best. You can also use responsive display ads, which will also experiment with image and video combinations.

Preview of responsive display ad
If you use responsive ads, make sure the various combinations make sense. Having a headline and description that say the same thing, for example, will naturally fail, which doesn’t help your business maximize the performance of your ads or the value of responsive ads.

How much does PPC advertising cost?

On average, SMBs invest $9000 to $10,000 per month into PPC advertising. How much you invest in PPC will depend on your industry, strategy, ad network, and aggressiveness. Your PPC investment may also change over time, like if your business is seasonal.

Learn more about using PPC advertising for digital marketing

Keep building your PPC knowledge with the following resources:

Social Media Marketing

Average investment: $4000-$7000 / month

Almost 75% of people use social media when making a purchase decision, which makes social media marketing a must-use digital marketing technique. With social media marketing, companies can build a loyal following, as well as engage and interact with their followers to improve customer loyalty, increase sales, and reduce churn.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy that uses social media networks to promote your business, engage your target audience, and provide your customers with one-on-one support. Most approaches include sharing content, answering comments, and promoting posts.

What social networks should you use for social media marketing?

You have choices when it comes to social networks for your digital marketing strategy:


Facebook is the world’s most popular social network, with more than one billion users.

That means there are guaranteed to be a few possible customers on Facebook for your business, even if you only operate a single storefront in a small town.

Facebook lets you set up a business page for free, which you can optimize quickly with your business name, hours of operation, address, phone number, and more.

In that regard, Facebook helps with your local SEO strategy, too!

Once you have everything set up, you can post updates to Facebook that include content from your site, contests for followers, and more.


Instagram is another popular social media network for businesses.

With Instagram, you can engage users with eye-catching images and videos, as well as limited-time Instagram Stories. Plus, you can upload product or service images, which you can tag as shoppable products, making it easy for users to go from browsing social media to buying your products.


Twitter is one of the largest social networks and limits its users to 280-character updates, called tweets.

Twitter is another place where you can post your brand name, images, and the city of your headquarters. It also lets you quickly gain followers by tweeting links to content, exciting stories, industry news, and more.

This social media network is also a customer service medium. This is more common for larger businesses, but its format makes it easy for customers to reach out to the companies they buy from.

When you address their questions or concerns professionally, Twitter can become a powerful medium to improve your company’s reputation and serve your customers.


Pinterest is one of the Internet’s most popular social networks, especially for images, DIY ideas, and crafts.

That may not sound like it’s ideal for every business, but it’s helpful for every industry — including B2Bs.

Pinterest lets you share images of your team, the results of your work, and how your products work, among other opportunities.

This allows you to inform your customer base more effectively than you could with text alone. This is the same principle behind infographics and videos, which is why Pinterest is such an effective social network for marketing.


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network.

It’s one of the most crucial online meeting places for professionals, from new graduates to Fortune 500 CEOs.

When you use it for marketing by posting links to your site and participating in discussions, you show that you’re a part of a quality business that strives for excellence.

Creating a business page allows you to list essential information about your company in yet another location online, and it lets people follow you to get updates about your business.

The most powerful part of LinkedIn is its professional context. Since its users are there for professional purposes, you can use it to establish new business relationships, promote your company to potential customers, and more.


Snapchat is one of the newest ways to promote your business online.

Snapchat is exceptionally popular with young smartphone enthusiasts, which is a growing demographic with more spending money by the day.

You can use the app to send or post photos and videos to attract new followers to your account.

Snapchat’s primary purpose is to connect with followers through humor or entertainment.

This is easier to do for more laid-back brands than it is for professional brands, so it’s up to you whether Snapchat is worth testing.

But if you do, you have the potential to engage with millions of users and grow your brand awareness every day.

How to use social media marketing as a digital marketing technique

Start using this digital marketing technique with these tips:

Use your audience’s favorite platforms

While it’s helpful to create a business page on every social media platform, you want to focus your social media marketing efforts on the networks that your audience uses the most. If your audience doesn’t use Twitter, for example, don’t dedicate a lot of time to that platform.

In most cases, almost every business will benefit from having a Facebook account. Other networks, however, like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, will require you to research your audience and how they spend their time online.

Optimize your social media profiles

An optimized, professional social media profile can make an excellent first impression.

You want people to visit your page and see that you’re a trustworthy company. Make that happen by uploading a high-quality profile picture and cover photo — if applicable. In most cases, companies will use their logo as their profile picture, which works well for building brand awareness.

If you need help with creating a professional-level profile, invest in social media design services.

Spice up the content you share

Social media is an excellent platform for sharing content about you, but that doesn’t mean you always should. As a business, you want your social media content to offer value to users. That value can take the form of a helpful blog post, funny photo, or poll.

Resist the urge to always post about your business and your products or services.

Instead, brainstorm ways to capture your audience’s attention as they scroll their newsfeed.

Digital marketing social media content example
A funny photo, client testimonial, or timely post about a seasonal sale, for instance, may get them to like and comment, as well as visit your store or site. In comparison, a slew of posts about your services or products may earn an unfollow.

How much does social media marketing cost?

Companies using social media marketing as a digital marketing technique typically invest $4000 to $7000 per month. Like other online marketing strategies, your investment will depend on your plan, as well as how many networks you use.

Learn more about using social media marketing for digital marketing

Keep expanding your social media marketing knowledge with the following resources:

Email Marketing

Average investment: $9-$1000 / month

Email marketing is one of the most powerful types of digital marketing a company can use. On average, businesses earn $44 for every $1 they invest in email marketing, demonstrating the usefulness of email marketing as a lead nurturing tactic. Email marketing also works well with strategies like content marketing and video marketing.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a digital marketing technique that focuses on generating and nurturing leads. With email marketing, businesses can send a range of emails, including to promote products, share company announcements, and pass along helpful advice or articles.

What types of emails can you send?

You can create a range of emails for digital marketing, including:


Newsletters are emails that go out to a large list and provide general information on your company or industry. So, if someone wants to keep up with your business, they’d subscribe to a newsletter.

This is ideal for people in your industry who want to know what you’re doing, and it allows your business to show the public that you’re an authoritative resource in your sector.

Newsletters accomplish that by going out at regular intervals, like every week. They showcase important information, like new hires or other company news.

In fact, you could have a newsletter dedicated to curated industry news from around the Internet. Then, you don’t just prove you’re an authority — you prove you’re helpful and informed, too!

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of converting leads into paying customers by sending them additional information based on where they converted on your site.

This kind of marketing requires a lot of in-depth thought, testing, and revision to work. But once it does work, any lead-based business can earn new customers (and more revenue) much more quickly than before.

Digital marketing newsletter example
So, let’s say you sell industrial equipment to construction companies.

A new user converts into a lead and gives you their contact information. They converted on a page about bulk movers.

Another user converts on a page about backhoes.

While these machines fall under the same category — construction equipment — they’re used for different purposes. That means the company that’s interested in bulk movers won’t want the same information as a backhoe.

By sending them different emails that are tailored to their specific needs, which you can also automate, you increase the odds that one of those leads will convert into a paying customer.

How to use email marketing as a digital marketing technique

Make the most of this digital marketing technique with these tips:

Create segmented audiences

Segmenting your emails can result in a 760% increase in revenue.

With segmentation, you break your subscribers into dedicated audiences. You base these audiences on subscriber interests, actions, locations, and more. Either way, when you segment your subscribers, you make it possible to provide them with more personalized and relevant emails.

Use A/B testing

Testing is a valuable tool in digital marketing. With regular experimenting, you can discover new insights about your audience, like a can’t-resist CTA, which can enhance your entire digital marketing strategy and its results.

Adopt an “always be testing” attitude for your email marketing strategy, and test elements like:

  • Subject lines
  • Email content
  • Send times
  • And more

With regular testing, your company can build a list of actionable takeaways, which you can apply to not only your email marketing strategy but also your overall digital marketing strategy to supercharge your results.

Personalize emails

Personalization works well for this digital marketing technique.

On average, for example, personalization increases email open rates by over 40%. Even better, personalizing emails can boost conversions by 10%, which translates to more leads and purchases for your business.

You can personalize emails with a subscriber’s name, purchase history, shopping cart, and more.

How much does email marketing cost?

Most businesses invest $9 to $1000 per month into email marketing. Your email marketing costs will depend on a few different factors, including your number of subscribers, sending frequency, and overall strategy.

Learn more about using email marketing for digital marketing

Use the following resources to get more information about using email marketing for digital marketing:

Social Media Advertising

Average investment: $6000-$10,500 / month

With the decreased visibility of business account posts due to social media algorithm updates, social media advertising is becoming an essential digital marketing technique. Using social media ads, your company can reach its target market, build its online following, and generate valuable sales and leads.

What is social media advertising?

Social media advertising is a digital media marketing tactic that promotes your business, products, services, or social media page on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Ads on social media can include text, images, videos, and more.

How to use social media advertising as a digital marketing technique

Are you looking to use this digital marketing technique? Here are a few tips for getting started:

Advertise on the platforms with the best ROI

Your company may have a presence and page on every social media platform. That doesn’t mean you should advertise on every single social media network, though. Instead, you should dedicate your ad spend to the most profitable platforms.

For example, if Facebook drives consistent conversions for your business, then it makes sense to continue advertising on that network. If you advertise on Twitter, however, and fail to get any results, then stop. Pause those campaigns and redirect that ad spend to the platforms that deliver.

Use remarketing

Remarketing is an excellent tactic for social media advertising.

With remarketing, you get a second chance to reach your audience and convince them to act, whether by following your social media page, browsing your products, or purchasing your items. These ads are super effective, too, as people who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.

Make visuals a priority

Almost every social media network thrives on visuals.

While you can use text-based ads, visual ads can help you achieve better results with social media advertising. For example, you can use image, video, and image carousel ads on networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to grab your audience’s attention and engagement.

Digital marketing Facebook ad example
If you do use image or video ads on social media, make sure your creatives match your brand and the aesthetic of the network. Instagram, for example, has a different aesthetic than LinkedIn and even Facebook.

How much does social media advertising cost?

The average SMB invests $6000 to $10,500 per month into social media advertising. How much your company invests, however, will depend on your strategy, industry, ad campaign, social media network, and aggressiveness.

Learn more about using social media advertising for digital marketing

Do you want to learn more about social media advertising? Browse the following resources:

Video Marketing

Average investment: $1200-$50,000 / project

With 90% of users crediting video for helping them make a purchase decision, video marketing is a valuable digital marketing technique for businesses. Using video, your company can capture the attention of your target market, as well as move them from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Plus, you can integrate video into other online marketing strategies, like email and content marketing.

What is video marketing?

Video marketing is a digital media marketing tactic that uses video to attract, engage, educate, and persuade users. Companies can use video marketing on their website, as well as video hosting sites like YouTube. Video types range from product showcases to vlogs to how-tos to testimonials.

How to use video marketing as a digital marketing technique

You can get started with video marketing as a digital marketing technique with these tips:

Optimize for SEO

For the best results with video marketing, optimize your videos for SEO.

If you’re uploading your videos to YouTube, for instance, you’ll want to follow SEO best practices for YouTube. These best practices include using your targeted keyword in your video title, adding relevant video tags, and creating custom thumbnails.

You can also use YouTube SEO services to get your video content optimized and ranking on YouTube.

Focus on content quality, not video quality

A lot of companies hesitate about video marketing because they think they need a blockbuster-level video. That’s not the case with this digital media marketing tactic. People respond well to homemade videos, even from companies.

Digital marketing video marketing example
With the quality of smartphone cameras, it’s also easy for your business to get started with video marketing. You don’t have to purchase a video camera. Instead, you can use your smartphone to shoot your first video, whether it’s a clip showing off your product or answering your most common questions.

Overall, focus on the quality of your content.

Make sure your video provides value to your audience, like by responding to questions without getting sidetracked. When you post valuable content, it will build your audience’s trust and respect, as well as interest and enthusiasm in sharing your videos.

Use a script

For the best results with this digital marketing technique, create a video script or outline.

You don’t have to write what you will say word-for-word. Outlining what topics or questions you want to cover, however, can keep your videos focused. A focused video can prevent viewers from getting bored, as well as maximize the value of your content.

How much does video marketing cost?

Video marketing costs depend on several factors, including video quality, duration, and scope. On average, however, professional video marketing services cost $1200 to $50,000 per video. For the most accurate pricing, request a quote for your project.

Learn more about using video marketing for digital marketing

Get more information on incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy with these resources:

Web Design and Development

Average investment: $12,000-$150,000 / website design, $400-$60,000 / year for maintenance

Your website’s design and development serve as your digital marketing strategy’s foundation. An attractive, functional, and mobile-friendly site helps your business maximize the results of its SEO, PPC, and other online marketing techniques.

What are web design and web development?

Web design and web development refer to the design and development of your website — its frontend and its backend. While web design focuses on the look of your site, web development focuses on the functionality, usability, and speed of your website. Both matter to digital media marketing.

How to use web design and web development as a digital marketing technique

If you want to use web design and web development for digital marketing, follow these best practices:

Use responsive design

Today, modern websites use responsive design, which makes them work seamlessly on desktop computers, smartphones, and every device in between. Your site needs a responsive design, as 50% of the world’s Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.

If you don’t use a responsive design, your hurt several other digital marketing techniques, like SEO. That’s because search engines like Google don’t like sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Those websites deliver a poor user experience, so Google doesn’t rank them as high in search results.

Ensure site functionality

Proper web development ensures every part of your site works the way you intend it to work, whether that means links taking people to the right pages, setting up a sitemap for Google to read, or any other back-end quality that improves your website.

A site with poor functionality ruins the user experience. If your website delivers a poor user experience, whether due to broken links, tools, or navigation bars, it will lower your online conversions, sales, and revenue. Lackluster user experiences also harm another critical digital marketing technique: SEO.

Search engines won’t send users to difficult-to-use websites. They know, from measuring user behavior metrics like time on page and bounce rate, that these sites deliver a poor user experience. In response, search engines will lower the rankings of these websites.

Maximize page speed

Page speed is also critical to online marketing.

People won’t wait around for your site to load. Studies show that more than 50% of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. That translates to lost leads and sales for your business, which you don’t want.

page speed example for digital marketing

Improve your site’s page speed by taking actions like:

  • Compressing images
  • Reducing redirects
  • Minifying HTML, JavaScript, and CSS

You can check your page speed now with Google’s free tool, PageSpeed Insights.

How much does web design and web development cost?

Web design and web development costs include upfront and routine costs. The average investment for designing, building, and launching a website, for example, ranges from $12,000 to $150,000. In comparison, the cost of maintaining your site ranges from $400 to $60,000 annually.

Learn more about using web design and web development for digital marketing

Check out these helpful articles to learn more about web design and web development for marketing:

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How to create a digital marketing strategy

Every discussion on digital marketing basics should cover how to do digital marketing — or how to create an online marketing strategy.

Even if you plan to outsource your online marketing by partnering with an Internet marketing agency, it’s helpful to understand the workings of your plan.

Digital marketing results graphicLearn how to create your digital marketing strategy now:

1. Determine your digital marketing goals

Before you start writing content or launching ad campaigns, stop and think about your goals.

What do you want to accomplish with online marketing or specific digital marketing techniques? Do you want to generate more leads with a PPC campaign, for instance? Or, do you want to increase and improve the quality of website traffic?

As you brainstorm your goals, think about your company’s overall goals too.

You may want to increase your social media followers on Facebook, for instance, but your business wants to drive more purchases. You can relate these two goals by building a social media strategy that focuses on increasing sales by generating an active online following on Facebook.

No matter what goals you choose, make them S.M.A.R.T., which stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

As an example, you might create the following S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Reach 500 social media followers on Facebook in six months
  • Achieve an 8% website conversion rate in 12 months
  • Attract 35 qualified leads with PPC by January 1, 2021

If you decide to partner with a digital marketing agency for online marketing, they can help you create S.M.A.R.T. goals. It’s helpful, however, if you come to them with ideas for what you want to accomplish, like increasing sales, lead quality, or website traffic.

2. Choose your digital marketing channels

In coordination with developing web marketing goals, you should also decide which digital marketing techniques or channels you want to use. An omni-channel approach, which uses multiple channels, performs best because it reaches users across email, search, social media, and more.

Some of the most valuable types of digital marketing include:

With these strategies, your company can accomplish a range of goals, from generating website traffic and brand awareness to increasing lead generation and purchases. Plus, these techniques, like SEO and PPC, work well together.

3. Set your digital marketing budget

Once you determine your goals and preferred digital marketing tactics, you can set your budget.

For reference, most SMBs dedicate $2500 to $12,000 per month into online marketing. Depending on your company, strategy, and resources, you may invest a different amount. Either way, it’s crucial to have a realistic budget.

Setting an unrealistic budget, for instance, can result in your business wasting money because you didn’t provide enough of an investment to support a strategy fully. Settling for cheap SEO (think $100 a month) is an excellent example because your company pays for a service without getting any results.

Take the time to research your costs and strategy so you can receive a realistic marketing budget.

4. Develop your digital marketing strategy

Next, start building your online marketing strategy.

As you develop your strategy, you want to think about your target audience. How can you reach users with the techniques you’ve selected, as well as accomplish your goals? Not to mention, how will you divide your digital marketing budget between your tactics?

You’ll also need to think about how you will assign and accomplish tasks.

If you’re working with a team, for instance, you will need to outline what tasks need accomplished, who will accomplish them, and when they will accomplish them. Building a dedicated marketing calendar can help you streamline and track your progress.

This step plays a critical part in your digital marketing strategy’s foundation, so don’t skip it!

5. Launch your digital marketing strategy

Once you’ve developed your approach, you can move forward with launching it.

Depending on your chosen digital marketing techniques, your launch may include posting your first blog post, launching your first ad campaign, or creating your social media profiles. Online marketing isn’t a once-and-done strategy, so your launch date is only the beginning of your efforts.

If you’re starting an ad campaign, keep an eye on your ads. You want to make sure they comply with the ad network’s rules and standards. If they don’t, the networks won’t deliver your advertisements. Monitoring these ads closely, however, can help you act fast with fixing any problems.

6. Monitor your digital marketing campaigns

Following the start of your online marketing strategy, you want to monitor each tactic’s performance.

For example, if you launched a social media ad campaign, you want to watch impressions, clicks, and CTR. In comparison, if you started an SEO strategy, you want to monitor your rankings and website traffic over the next few months.

A proactive approach to monitoring your digital marketing can help you spot and fix issues fast. Your speedy response time can improve the cost-effectiveness of your strategy because you reduce wasted ad spend or poor keyword targeting.

As you track your campaigns, watch for trends and potential areas of improvement.

7. Implement digital marketing campaign improvements

Your close monitoring and tracking in the previous step can lead to tremendous gains in the long-term performance of your digital marketing campaigns. That’s why it’s essential for your digital marketing to focus on continuous improvements.

For example, if you notice that location-based keywords perform well for your SEO strategy, you may focus on that tactic more. Or, that your social media ads on Facebook outperform those on Instagram, leading to a more significant Facebook ad spend.

On a routine basis, look at your digital marketing techniques and find areas for improvement.

This proactive approach will not only help improve your strategy but also help your business get ahead of competitors that don’t take the time to analyze their tactics. For your company, that can mean more leads, sales, and market share.

8. Measure your digital marketing ROI

Throughout your online marketing strategy, you want to measure its performance, results, and ROI.

Understanding how your strategy performs and how it helps your business can help you increase digital marketing support from business leaders. With more support, you can scale your plan and increase your investment, which can lead to even bigger results.

You can measure your digital marketing ROI by looking at the revenue generated by online marketing, minus its costs. Of course, you’ll need to consider some hard-to-measure revenue points, like the value of brand awareness or an active social media following.

In some cases, it’s helpful to determine the worth of hard-to-measure data points, like brand awareness, before launching your campaign. That way, you and your company’s decision-makers have an agreement on the worth and value of brand awareness, social media follows, and other factors.

Digital marketing services: What are they, and should you use them?

You’ve learned about how to do digital marketing, as well as the types of digital marketing, and (as you can tell) there is a lot that goes into online marketing. The time and skill required is one reason why many companies invest in digital marketing services.

If you have questions about online marketing services, keep reading for answers!

What are digital marketing services?

Digital marketing services are professional services that market your business, brand, products, or services online. In most cases, you can customize online marketing services to include the strategies you want, though some agencies offer digital marketing packages.

For the best results with digital marketing services, choose a provider that customizes their packages to your company’s needs. If you’re a local business, for example, you probably want online marketing services that include not only SEO but also local SEO.

Generally, online marketing services get provided on a routine basis versus a one-time basis. If you’re looking to work with a digital marketing agency on a consulting basis or for a one-off project, however, you can usually find them.

What do digital marketing services include?

Every online marketing service, as well as Internet marketing agency, is different.

Digital marketing process graphic

For the best results with digital marketing services, you should invest in services that include:

  • Custom strategy
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Regular reporting
  • Upfront pricing

If you’re curious, our services include these four features, plus some additional perks for our clients.

For example, we provide MarketingCloudFX, a marketing automation platform that uses the artificial intelligence power of IBM Watson to deliver actionable insight into our client’s campaigns, which gives their web marketing strategy a competitive advantage.

Should I use digital marketing services?

Before researching service providers, requesting quotes, and scheduling meetings, make sure that online marketing services are the best option for your business. This proactive step will not only save you time but also help you determine what you need or want in a digital marketing agency.

Determine if you need online marketing services by answering these questions:

  • What strategies do I want to use?
  • What resources will I need to use these strategies?
  • How much time will I need to dedicate to these strategies?
  • Do I have the in-house resources (including time) to use these strategies?

If you find that you don’t have the time, resources, or skill to use the digital marketing techniques that you want to, like SEO or CRO, then it’s worth considering an online marketing agency. An agency can help you take advantage of these strategies without consuming your time or energy.

How much do digital marketing services cost?

Prices for digital marketing services depend on several factors, including:

  • Number of services
  • Aggressiveness of strategy
  • Complexity of strategy
  • Agency size, experience, and capabilities

Generally, however, SMBs invest $2500 to $12,000 per month into online marketing, including for professional services. Your business may dedicate a different amount depending on your needs and goals.

For the most accurate price, request a quote from the agencies you’d like to work with and hire.

How do I find a digital marketing agency?

You can find dozens of digital marketing agencies with a search on Google, but finding the perfect one for your business takes work. You need to determine your budget, research your options, meet your potential partner, and more to find the best agency for your company.

Get started on your search by following these steps:

  • Brainstorm some digital marketing goals
  • Choose a few preferred web marketing strategies
  • Determine an online marketing budget
  • Compile a list of potential agencies by searching online and asking colleagues
  • Review each agency’s prices, services, and what their services include
  • Explore each agency’s case studiestestimonials, and reviews
  • Request a custom quote or proposal from each agency
  • Meet with the agency and ask questions about their approach, results, and background

These initial steps can help you build a vetted list of digital marketing companies to work with, which can save you from signing with an agency that will underdeliver when it comes to results. Plus, you’ll learn how much you want to invest and what you want to accomplish with online marketing.

Learn about our relationship-driven approach to digital marketing in this video:

What is digital marketing?

In the most basic of terms, digital marketing is simply marketing that’s happening on digital channels. (Pretty obvious, right?) But what does that mean? How does digital marketing differ from traditional marketing? And why is it something you should be considering for your business? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is digital marketing?

a supermarket, a pizza shop and a restaurant
The retail landscape has been transformed by digital marketing and the likes of Amazon. Billboard design by LittleFox

“Digital marketing” is basically any form of marketing that uses digital tools and channels.

For decades, marketing teams were churning out the same old recipe of TV copies, print ads and billboards to tell customers about their companies’ products and services and to convince them to spend their money. Then the internet came along in the 1990s and the number of websites exploded. The new channels that have popped up, like Facebook in 2004 and Google in 2007, have created a whole new arena for marketing.

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In the early days, the approach to digital marketing was the same as the traditional marketing approach, just using the new channels: talk about your products on your own website, run some banner ads on other popular websites and online publications (just like print ads in magazines) and then sell your products or services in the same way you’ve always sold them. With time, marketers realized that digital offered a whole new way of interacting with and selling to customers and that demanded a much different approach (more on this in a minute).

Another change is that marketing departments used to have a digital team that was separate from the traditional team working on TV and print. Today, everything in marketing is digital and it needs to be fully integrated into your company’s overall marketing strategy and organization.

Why is digital marketing important for your business?

You don’t need to be a digital expert to know that your customers are spending a lot of time (and money) online these days. Like, a LOT. They’re googling, scrolling through their newsfeeds, posting selfies on Instagram and chatting to friends on WhatsApp. That means your business and your marketing campaigns need to be present during these moments as well.

different people reading in different places
Digital marketing can help you reach a single Fortune 500 CEO vacationing on Koh Samui, a dog-loving bookworm in the Northwest Territories of Canada, or a silver-haired, free-spirited entrepreneur setting up his online business in Santa Monica. Newsletter images by LittleFox

Digital marketing can be more effective than traditional mass marketing:

  • It lets you focus your time and money on where your customers are spending their time and money. (It also levels the playing field between big and small companies as you can achieve a lot and really stand out against your competitors without a massive advertising budget.)
  • It’s much more targeted and can be ‘hyper-personalized’ to a very specific target.
  • It’s also very fast and flexible. You can easily increase or decrease the amount you’re spending from one day to the next and either run with an idea if it takes off or reel it in if you see that it’s not generating any engagement.

How do you get started with digital marketing?

website graphic
Let’s face it, a basic website is one of the very first steps in getting started online. Illustration by Spoon Lancer

To get started with digital marketing—if you’re truly starting from scratch—you need to get the not-so-sexy-but-oh-so-important basics in place. That means:

  • Building a website that’s optimized for the user (easy to navigate and with a clear message), for different devices (works on all different mobile phones and screen sizes) and for search engines (helping Google and co. find your content).
  • Cultivating a social media presence, which might be a simple company page on LinkedIn to start with, a Facebook page, an Instagram account—or all three.
  • Investing in some paid advertising—a few basic Facebook or Google ads—to get more people seeing what you’re posting.

If you’re missing these basics, then go back to the drawing board and spend some time on getting the foundations in place before you move on to the fun stuff. When you’re ready, you can start experimenting with the latest trends in strategy, design and execution.

Digital marketing basics: 4 Ws and an H

1. WHY do you want to use digital marketing?

marketing graphic
Understanding your goals will help you build a digital marketing plan that hits that bullseye for you. Illustration by Pinch Studio

The first step before you do something is always to understand why you’re doing it. What’s your overall vision for the business? What are your goals for this year? What are your specific objectives when it comes to marketing and what role is digital marketing going to play?

Digital marketing can help you attract a bigger audience to your company and your message; connect and build relationships with those prospects, turning them into fans of your brand; and ultimately sell more of your products and services as you convince people how amazing you are. So what’s your focus going to be? (And no, you can’t do everything—at least not at once!)

Get clear on what you want to get out of your digital marketing before you dive into Facebook or Instagram, videos or articles and this or that ad format.

2. WHO are you targeting?

different customer characters
Getting super clear on your ideal customer will help you design your campaigns to speak to that customer. Game avatars by LittleFox

To reach your potential clients, you need to first know who those clients are! What do you understand about them? What do they want? What problems are they facing? What do they need? More practically: where do they hang out?

The answers to these questions will help you create content and choose channels that put you in front of the right people, at the right time and with a message that’s relevant and meaningful to them.

3. WHAT content will you be creating?

book with character illustrations
Creating content that your customers actually want to consume is critical. Illustration by Sveta Medvedieva

Digital marketing is not about big ad campaigns that tell people to buy your product.

Instead, it’s about content: creating and sharing content that attracts an audience to your brand, adds value and builds trust with your potential clients and then convinces them that your products and services offer the best solution to their problems.

Your content should sit in the magical space where your brand—and what it stands for—overlaps with your clients and what they want to know. That means you’ll be getting your message across. and your client will actually be interested in what you have to say.

The latest digital content trends

  • Video production: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram… All the big platforms are pushing video and that means your videos will automatically be seen by more people than articles and pretty pictures alone. Video is also a great way to engage and emotionally connect with your audience, so you can have a look at how you can start creating video for social media.
  • Live video: Live streaming is growing fast. This form of video is being pushed by the major channels as it gets people not only watching but also commenting and sharing. Going live brings a sense of immediacy (it’s happening right now!) and excitement and narrows the gap between the audience and your company.
  • ‘Micro-content’ and stories: In an age where attention spans are shorter than ever (“Squirrel!”), short-form content does really well. A good example is the rise of ‘stories’ on Facebook and Instagram—and the good news for you is that shorter posts take less time!
  • Long-form content: Wait, what? Yeah, as well as shorter content we’re also seeing even longer content. Think Netflix bingeing, long YouTube sessions and the new IGTV platform on Instagram where you can upload longer videos to tell more of a story.
  • Interactive content: Your goal is to get a very distracted and passive audience to stop scrolling and spend a moment or two with your brand. Instagram stories are a good example again as they let you use all kinds of stickers, polls and questions to get a response.

Check out this article on 10 ways great design will transform your content marketing strategy.

4. WHERE will you distribute your content online?

reading a newspaper in the water
You need to get in front of your clients where they are spending their time. Hand-drawn illustration by Naska design

Once you know what content you’re going to create, you need to decide where you’re going to publish it. It’s not as simple as uploading one video or blog post onto Facebook. It’s also not very effective to post the same piece of content on every channel in the exact same format. You need to choose the right channel based on your objective, the type of content you’ve created and where your target audience is hanging out.

The latest channel trends

  • Facebook groups: With the algorithm changing so that pages and page posts are less impactful, Facebook has been focusing more on groups—and you should do the same. Groups can help you build an engaged community of genuine fans of your brand.
  • Influencer marketing: Partnering with people who are seen as role models or experts for your target audience can be a great way to influence that audience to consider your brand. You just need to make sure you do this transparently and authentically (see #5 below!).
  • Social messaging apps: Your customers are spending more and more time on apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. Most brands haven’t started marketing on those channels so far but if you want to be an innovator, there’s a lot of potential there to build more direct and meaningful relationships with your audiences.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): No, robots are not taking over the world (yet) but using chatbots to answer customer messages can free up your team to work on bigger priorities. Businesses are also starting to look at how they can optimize their content for voice search and launching brand-specific ‘skills’ on virtual assistants like Alexa.
  • Google My Business: Everyone knows that Google is important and a newer development to consider is creating and optimizing your Google My Business listing. Not as exciting as AI but it will give you a stronger search presence, especially for local search and maps.

5. HOW will you effectively bring your content to life ?

map with different goals
The final step is to find a way to bring all this to life as you build your brand world online. Map design by Suzan yousef

When a channel is new, the businesses that jump on it right away get big results with little effort. Now that digital marketing is quite mature and more and more businesses have woken up to the importance of content, there is quite a lot of content out there.

In a cluttered space, where everyone is being bombarded with marketing messages every day and there are tighter regulations around data privacy, how you execute your strategy is as important as the strategy itself.

Current best practices

  • Distribution over creation: Most businesses are now busy creating content and that means you need to work even harder for that content to be seen. Don’t just post once and think that’s enough—you need to publish, promote and re-publish across all your channels.
  • Engagement over reach: In the early days, you’d have been excited about getting a load of likes on your Facebook page. Today,  the number of followers is less important than the number of genuinely active followers, the people who are seeing, engaging with and responding to your content. These are the metrics you should be looking at improving.
  • Personalization: People are sick of mass marketing and want tailored content and messages that speak directly to them. Look at how you can bring the personal touch and engage on a one-to-one basis. (You can even use chatbots to help you scale.)
  • Authenticity: Your customers, especially the famous Millennials and the generations after them, are cynical about businesses over-promising and under-delivering. They prefer honesty and being ‘real’ over perfection and being ‘fake’ so try to embrace that in your marketing.
  • Transparency: Given everyone’s worries about hacking and misuse of their data, customers are increasingly placing more value on an honest and open approach where it’s clear exactly what a business is going to do with their data and why. Make sure you’re complying with all regulations but more than that make sure that you’re putting your customer’s interests first.
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Now get creating!

digital marketing illustration
Illustration by OrangeCrush

All marketing is digital now. Even offline activities use digital tools like iPads or mobiles or interactive billboards. Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to be more targeted, more personalized and more interactive in your campaigns. Ultimately, it helps you attract new audiences and turn prospects into customers—or, even better, real fans. Convinced yet? It’s time to start creating and sharing your content.

Need a video, website or banner ad

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

There is a talent gap in the market, and digital marketing jobs take 16 percent longer to fill than other postings and show a growth rate of 30 percent over traditional marketing roles.

A McKinley Marketing Partners report on 2017 Marketing Hiring Trends revealed that 56 percent of companies plan to hire more digital marketers in 2017.  2017 demand for marketing talent by function

If you take a closer look at the hiring landscape, it’s clear to see that the talent gap directly affects the hiring in digital marketing roles.

2017 hiring landscape by marketing function

The most in-demand marketing skills were digital advertising (46 percent), content creation and curation (38 percent), and content strategy (34 percent).

2017 demand for skills within digital marketing

But what about the salary of digital marketing professionals? Has the incentive kept pace with the demand? Well, yes.

Digital marketing professionals make $7,000 over their traditional counterparts, and according to data collected by Glassdoor,  a digital marketing manager earns an average of $77,015 per year.

How can professionals take advantage of the talent gap in digital marketing to advance their careers and increase compensation?

Is there a four-year degree requirement to enter this field?

If it takes 16 percent longer to fill a position, do you have a chance of being a qualified choice?

Let’s expand and learn how you can transition your career into digital marketing.

digital marketing manager salaries

There is a lot of opportunities available for digital marketers. It is time to take advantage of this career choice.

The truth is, you don’t even need to attend a regular university class to earn a digital marketing certificate.

You can go for an online digital marketing certificate in the comfort of your home. It is fast and convenient. Renowned universities are offering different courses in digital marketing online.

Also, if you prefer a regular classroom teaching, there are good universities that offer such opportunities.

This article provides a guide for prospective students and professionals who want to undertake courses in digital marketing certificate programs whether online or in a typical classroom setting.

1. Duke Continuing Studies


Duke University was founded in 1838 to serve the needs of the community in Randolph County, North Carolina and over the years transitioned into one of the most prestigious universities in the southeastern United States with the motto “knowledge and religion” at its core.

The Digital Media and Marketing Certificate, offered through the Office of Continuing Studies at Duke University, is a self-paced program designed for people who want to improve their skills in digital marketing or start a new career in the field. It is one of the most comprehensive, non-credit programs with 350 combined instructions/study hours.

The age range of applicant is from 18 years upwards. Applicants should be fluent in the English language, both reading and, writing. They are also required to be computer literate, have a good internet access, and an active email account.

The course empowers students with the right skills required to be professional digital marketers. The syllabus includes:

  • Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA)
  • Search Engine Optimization Practitioner
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Practitioner
  • Mobile Marketing Practitioner
  • Pay Per Click Practitioner
  • Conversion Optimization Practitioner
  • Web Analytics Practitioner
  • Email Marketing

The program, which also covers the labs, tools and other short courses, is delivered through streaming video lessons by top-notch authors, speakers, and consultants.

To receive a digital media and marketing certificate, you are required to:

  • Complete the required module.
  • Complete six advanced modules of your choice.

Registration for the digital marketing course is always on.

Tuition: $3,195.00

Duration: 12 Months

Contact details: Email digitalmedia-marketing@duke.edu or Call 919-684-3255

2. University of Vermont

2-university of vermont

Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont is a New England university with an excellent reputation and storied history. It ranks as one of the 5th of the New England higher education institutions established after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown and #11 by Value Colleges for the best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The University of Vermont’s Digital Marketing Fundamentals Certificate ranks as the #1 in the nation by Best Online Marketing Degrees. Taught by professional practitioners who work with Fortune 1000 companies to create and implement digital marketing plans, the course is designed for marketing generalists, people who are new to marketing, and seasoned marketing leaders who need to know more about the digital marketing landscape.

It offers a detailed overview of digital marketing through research and developing marketing plans. The program modules include:

  • Overview and Introduction
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Search
  • Email Marketing
  • Display Advertising
  • Social Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Analytics
  • Careers/More Marketable You
  • Capstone Project

The course is delivered online.

Discounts are available for members of PMI-CV, VBSR, LCRCC or UVM and UVM Medical Center Affiliates.

Tuition: $1,695.00

Duration: 10 weeks

Contact details: Call (802) 656-2085

3. DePaul University

3-DePaul university

Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul University was founded in 1898 and is known for enrolling first-generation students and others from the less privileged background. It ranked #120 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities.

Its Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate program provides a detailed knowledge of the basics required to create a clear, cooperative communication strategy for your organization by using advertising, promotion, direct and digital marketing.

Delivered online or on campus, the program is designed for marketing managers, account managers, experienced marketers, and advertising professionals looking forward to launching into the digital marketing niche.

To qualify for the digital marketing certificate, students need to complete three required courses (options below), two elective courses, and one seminar.

  • Building an Effective Marketing Plan Certificate Program
  • Jacobs & Stone Multichannel Marketing Communications (MC2) Certificate Program: Creating Direct, Interactive and Measurable Media Strategies
  • Online Practical Internet Marketing Certificate Program
  • Practical Internet Marketing Certificate Program

Tuition: $1,495.00

Contact details: Email jmurray9@depaul.edu or call (312) 362-5913

4. University of California, Irvine

4-university of california

The University of California, Irvine located in Orange County, California, is a public institution founded in 1965. It is one of the campuses in the University of California system and has a reputation for academic achievement, premier research, and innovation.

The university’s online Digital Marketing Certificate Program is designed for professionals who want to enhance their website performance, create online marketing campaigns, and acquire analytic skills and those who will like to advance in their marketing career.

It covers strategies across mobile marketing, social media, search engine marketing, geared towards helping students to acquire, convert and retain customers.

To earn the digital marketing certificate, enrollees are required to complete six required courses and two elective courses with a grade of “C” or better for a minimum of 16 units.

The required courses are:

  • Overview of digital marketing
  • Social media and Internet Audience Profiling
  • Online Analytics & Measurements
  • Planning and Developing your Search Engine Marketing Strategy
  • Website Optimization and Personalization
  • Developing a Social Media Strategy

The elective courses include:

  • Display Advertising
  • Transmedia Marketing Through Storytelling
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Online Video Marketing
  • Content Marketing

To enroll in the program, you must be proficient in the English language.

Tuition: $3,765.00

Duration: 3-12 months

Contact details: Email henry.ngo@uci.edu or call (949) 824-9796

5. Oregon State University

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Oregon State University was founded in 1868 and is located in Corvallis, Oregon, northwest United States. The University has the largest total enrollment (more than 230,000 graduates since its inception) in the state. It ranked #15 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate and #145 in the edition of Best College is National Universities.

It offers a certificate in Digital Brand Management that provides a detailed overview on how to get found on the first page of Google, how to use Social media for marketing, how to get the best out of your branding effort and SEO, SEM, and AdWords.

Taught by top leading industry pros, the online program is designed for marketing and communications professionals who want to be certified in essential digital strategy, technology, social media and content development skills as well as industry-leading professional marketers from top agencies in the world.

It covers four courses that are conducted individually for a period of 5-7 weeks. Upon completion, you will be given a certificate and a digital badge to showcase your credentials.

The courses include:

  • Social Media & Mobile Marketing
  • Digital Brand Strategies
  • Building a Digital Content Strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing

Tuition: $1,950.00

Duration: 5-7 weeks

Contact details: Email PACE@oregonstate.edu or call (541) 737-4197

6. University of La Verne

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

The University of La Verne is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian university founded in LaVerne California in 1891 by the Church of the Brethren. It has 8,500 graduate students, part-time, and online learners and about 2,809 undergraduate students.

Its Digital Marketing Certificate Program is intended for sales and marketing professionals who want to enhance their digital marketing knowledge and learn practical skills that will impact their job.

The course topics include:

  • Digital Marketing(DM) Channels
  • Plan and Develop DM Channels
  • Optimize Website
  • Optimize Mobile Channel
  • Optimize Social Media
  • Other important elements of DM channels

Tuition: $2,499.00

Duration: Four days (32 hours)

Contact details: Email jrush@laverne.edu or call (909) 448-4993

7. Rutgers University

7-Rutgers university

Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, was founded in 1766 and is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. Ranked #15 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate, the university also placed #69 in the 2018 edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category in Best Colleges.

It offers 11 online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including an online Mini-MBA in digital marketing and a Digital Marketing Certificate program.

The courses aim to build enrollees’ understanding of digital marketing in an interactive setting, with a syllabus that’s designed for world application by thought leaders in the industry.

Furthermore, the courses are ideal not only for new people who want to explore the digital marketing space, but also for managers, team leaders, and marketing executives who partner with sales, HR, or individuals running their own initiatives.

The two digital marketing courses consist of 10 self-paced modules that include:

  • Techniques for growing your search engine rankings and managing paid search campaigns
  • Popular digital marketing tactics throughout the online sales funnel
  • 26 key measurements to mastering web analytics, as well as how to construct key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business needs
  • How to manage organizational change to improve digital marketing
  • Ways in which digital innovation will change the future of marketing (Internet of Things, wearable devices, and the like)

The digital marketing programs are offered in two formats: a 5-day in-person accelerated program (located in New Jersey, Chicago, and Toronto) and a 12-week, self-paced program delivered online through video and interactive course materials.

Tuition: $4,995 (online) or $3,495 (in-person)

Duration: 12 weeks or five days

Contact details: Email cmurphy@business.rutgers.edu or call (848) 445-9243

8. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

8-the university of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a public urban research university founded in 1956, is the largest in Milwaukee’s metropolitan area and the second largest University in Wisconsin overall. As

Its Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing includes courses in digital content strategy, digital advertising, and marketing analytics and aims to help students better understand marketing tools and the knowledge required to manage their business.

The program is designed for people who are responsible for marketing activities regardless of the type of organization. Applicants, however, are required to have a degree in marketing or a similar field and one to two years of marketing-related experience before they can be admitted into the digital marketing certificate program.

Students are required to complete three core courses and two elective courses within two years in order to earn the certificate.

The following are the program’s core courses:

  • Building an Integrated Digital Content Marketing Strategy
  • Foundations for Effective Digital Marketing
  • Improving Marketing Results Using Advanced Analytics Techniques
  • Introduction to Digital Marketing Analytics

Below are the elective courses:

  • Adobe Indesign – Basics
  • Adobe Photoshop – Basics
  • Advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Platforms
  • Essentials of Leadership
  • Google AdWords: Getting the Most from Paid Search
  • Definitive Guide to Higher Ratings
  • What’s New in Social Media: Leveraging Trends to Build a Successful Social Strategy
  • Write High-Impact Copy for Your Website

Tuition: $4,344

Duration: Two years

Contact details: Email nellenp@uwm.edu

9. University of Washington

9-the university of Washington

Located in Seattle, Washington, the University of Washington, popularly known as UW or U-Dub, is a public research University founded in 1861. It is the flagship institution of the six public Universities in Washington state and has over 55 undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, options, and concentrations.

U-Dub offers a certificate in storytelling and content strategy designed for marketing professionals, communications, advertising and public relations professionals and those who want to enter the niche.

With the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Create a content strategy plan for a real-world client
  • Create content audit of a brand and its competitors
  • Develop content and a storytelling strategy for a specific online channel and use tools such as HootSuite and Google Analytics

The course is delivered online with real-time meetings. It affords students the opportunity to interact with instructors and fellow students through chat, web conferencing or phone all in real time.

Tuition: $3,225

Duration: 7-9 weeks

Contact details: Call (800) 506-1325

10. University of Illinois

10-university of Illinois

Established in 1867, the University of Illinois, Urbana is a public research university with about 34,000 undergraduate students enrolled. Popularly known as U of I or UIUC, the university is the second oldest University in the state and is ranked #5 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate and #52 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities.

The University of Illinois’ Digital Marketing certificate consists of three courses:

  • Marketing in a Digital World
    • Digital Tools for Developing Innovative New Products (Case Study: Local Motors)
    • Digital Tools for Persuading Customers to Buy your Products (Case Study: Pepsi Refresh)
    • Digital Tools for Effectively Distributing your Products (Case Study: Zappos)
  • Digital Analytics for Marketing
    • Digital Influence on Marketing
    • Basics of Web Analytics; The Consumer
    • Introduction to Web Analytics Tools; Collecting and Analyzing Qualitative Data
    • How and Why Data is Collected in Digital Search, Display, and Video Channels; Framework for Measuring Digital Campaigns
  • Digital Marketing Channel
    • What it Means to Go Digital; Why You Need a Digital Strategy
    • Digital as Part of IMC Plan; Converging Media
    • Pitching Your Digital Strategy; Research in the Digital Space
    • What’s Next in Digital? Digital Marketing Case Studies

Delivered exclusively through video lectures, exercises, and quizzes, each of the courses has a four-week duration and requires six to eight hours of work each week.

Tuition: $2,974

Duration: Four weeks

Contact details: Call (217) 333-2747

11. University of San Diego

11-university of San Diego

Founded in 1949, the University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic University that is ranked #90 in Best Colleges’ National Universities.

The university offers the Strategic Online Marketing Certificate program for marketers, business owners, business professionals who want to enlarge and increase their online presence by acquiring digital marketing skills.

Delivered by experienced industry professionals, the courses are also useful for people who are looking for a change of career.

To earn the certificate, applicants are required to complete eight core courses (shown below) with a final GPA of 2.4 or higher, develop and present a portfolio consisting of an online marketing strategy tailored to the company’s needs, and attend 70 percent of scheduled classes.

Core courses:

  • Building your brand and website foundation
  • Principles of SEO and Onsite Optimization
  • Offsite SEO Strategies: Link Building, Content Marketing and Website Authority
  • Email, Blogging and Video Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Online Advertising
  • Web Analytics
  • Capstone Project Presentations

Tuition: $3,077

Duration: Nine months

Contact details: Email continuinged@sandiego.edu or call (619) 260-4585

12. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

13-Massachusetts institute of technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private institution founded in 1861. The majority of its enrollments are in graduate and professional programs. MIT ranks #5 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities and #2 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The institute offers the Digital Marketing and Social Media Analytics program for many professionals, including top executives, managers, chief marketing officers, marketing managers, and agency executives who want to know the rules of marketing in this new digital era in order to better guide their digital marketing campaigns.

The program is delivered in person and covers a range of topics including:

  • Search marketing
  • Social network marketing
  • Social media analytics
  • User-generated content management and marketing
  • Mobile advertising and commerce
  • CRM strategy in the age of big data and digital advertising
  • Earned vs. paid media
  • Predictive modeling for ad targeting
  • Viral product design
  • The multichannel experience
  • Randomized experimentation
  • A/B testing

Tuition: $3,900 (excluding accommodations)

Duration: Two days

Contact details: Call (617) 253-7166

13. University of Notre Dame

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

A private, non-profit Catholic research university established in 1842, the University of Notre Dame boasts an undergraduate enrollment of 8,530 students. Notre Dame is ranked #18 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities and #4 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, in conjunction with Rutgers Business School Education, runs a top-notch accelerated Digital Marketing Certificate Program designed for executives working in marketing, advertising, communications, sales, and IT professionals.

The program teaches you how to create a digital marketing strategy, personalize the digital experience and online customer acquisition process and analyze the return on investment. Taught by a faculty of professionals who are industry leaders in the digital marketing niche, it offers courses in:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Mobile & Marketing innovation
  • User Experience & Marketing
  • Online Customer Acquisition
  • Personalized Digital Experiences
  • Web Analytics and ROI

This in-person program also includes case studies, interactive sessions and class exercises.

Tuition: $4,996 (includes course materials, breakfast and lunch and a new iPad with a 20 percent discount for employees of not-for-profit organizations and alumni of the University of Notre Dame and Rutgers University)

Duration: Five days

Contact details: Email info.mendoza@nd.edu or call (514) 631-7236

14. University of Georgia

15-University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is a public institution established in 1785 – the country’s oldest state-chartered university and served as a model of the American system of public higher education.

It is ranked #54 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities and #9 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The University of Georgia offers three different Digital Marketing Course tracks. They are:

  • Digital Marketing Course Tracks
    • Duration: Three months
    • This course track is designed for business professionals who need to enhance their knowledge in digital marketing. The courses include the basics of digital marketing channels.
  • Digital Marketing for Marketing Professionals
    • Duration: Six months
    • This track is designed for marketers who want to improve their digital marketing skill sets. It includes search/PPC marketing, SEO, Conversion optimization and web analytics.
  • Digital Marketing for New Media
    • Duration: Six months
    • This third track is designed for media and marketing professionals who want to learn the techniques of digital media marketing. The courses include social media, content strategy, email and mobile marketing.

Once completed, the programs will have students prepared and qualified for the Online Marketing Certified Associate (OMCA) or Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) exams.

All three tracks are taught online and you can register whenever you want.

Tuition: $996  – $1,895

Duration: Six months (for each course)

Contact details: Email info.mendoza@nd.edu or call (866) 238-0756

15. Southern Methodist University – Continuing and Professional Education

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Established in 1911, Southern Methodist University currently has 6,521 students enrolled. This private institution is ranked #61 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National universities and #12 in best value for a digital marketing online certificate by Value Colleges.

The university’s digital marketing certificate program is a one-semester course that aims to help students to create a digital marketing strategy, execute it and integrate it with digital marketing channels, measure ROI with relevant metrics, and know content development and project management.

Delivered in a classroom format, this fast-paced program is designed for marketing, advertising, communications and PR professionals, new marketing graduates, digital marketing professionals and small business owners.

It consists of two concentration areas. Students are required to choose one area and three electives that deal with the desired topics. The concentration areas are:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy and Analysis
    • Digital Marketing Strategy and Management
    • Digital Marketing Analytics
  • Digital Branding and Communications
    • Best Practices in Social Media & Digital Communications
    • Digital Engagement and Advanced Social Media Management

Tuition: $3,495 – $3,745

Duration: 18 months (for the whole program) or 6 months (for each course)

Contact details: Email capeadmissions@smu.edu or call (214) 768-1086

16. Wilmington University

17-Wilmington University

Established in 1968 by Dr. Donald Ross, Wilmington University is a private non-profit open access research institution that now has a total of 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. It ranked #19 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing offered by the university provides applicants with the skills they need to create digital content including how to design a website and create online advertisements.

Participants will acquire the knowledge and skills they need to advance their career or explore a new field, tools that can launch them into greater opportunities in their respective fields.

Delivered both in a traditional classroom and online, the digital marketing course includes:

  • Marketing
  • Technology Orientation
  • Basic InDesign
  • Basic Photoshop
  • Concept Development
  • Basic Web Design & Development

Tuition: $5,310

Contact details: Email infocenter@wilmu.edu or call (877) 967-5464

17. Ferris State University

18-Ferris State University

Ferris State University is a public institution established in 1884 that features an undergraduate enrollment of 12,866 students. It ranks #83 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ Regional Universities Midwest and #21 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The university offers an online Graduate Certificate in Digital marketing designed for working professionals that aims to develop skills in multi-channel marketing, online marketing, database management, digital marketing best practices and creation and execution of advertising plans and campaigns.

To receive a digital marketing certificate, students must have completed the requirements with a minimum of 2.0-grade point average.

Contact details: Email MKTG@ferris.edu or call (231) 591-2426

18. Benedictine University

19-Benedictine University

The Benedictine University is a private Roman Catholic University established in 1887, and has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,171 students. It ranks #223 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities and is ranked #23 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The university, in partnership with Market Motive, offers an online Graduate Certificate in Internet Marketing designed and taught by industry professionals. It helps students understand the relevant marketing tools required to create successful marketing campaigns and advance your career in the marketing niche.

The program includes four major courses:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Web Analytics
  • Landing Page & Conversion Optimization

The program is online-based and flexible, easily accessed and customized to fit any student’s needs.

Tuition: $10,400

Contact details: Email onlinedegrees@ben.edu or call (866) 295-3014

19. Portland State University

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Portland State University is a public research university established in 1946. It ranked under Tier 2 of Best Colleges’ National Universities rankings and placed#4 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The University offers a Digital Marketing Strategies certificate designed for professionals who are trying to move into the digital marketing niche and people who want to know more about digital marketing in general. It teaches students how to start, strategize and implement digital marketing strategies to boost the return on investment.

The program consists of four required certificate courses and additional one course:

  • Intro to digital strategies
  • Content strategy
  • Social media marketing
  • Analytics
  • Search engine marketing

Tuition: $2,796

Duration: The program is offered twice a year and must be completed within four years.

Contact details: Email cepe@pdx.edu or call (503) 719-7655

20. Florida International University

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Florida International University, a public institution established in 1972, started back when there weren’t any major public universities in Miami. Today, it is the fourth largest university in the USA and is recognized as one of the major universities in the South with an undergraduate enrollment of 45,813.

It ranks #216 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ national Universities and #23 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

The university’s Social Media and E Marketing Analytics certificate program is open for degree and non-degree seeking students seeking for greater access to better employment, as well as interaction with top professionals in the field, seminars, corporate tours, and other related events.

The online course includes:

  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Customer Relationship Management

Tuition: $3,870

Duration: The program is offered twice a year and it must be completed within four years.

Contact details: Email jacqueline.herrera2@fiu.edu or call (305) 348-3792

21. Full Sail University

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Full Sail University was established in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio. This private for-profit university is ranked #30 by Value Colleges for best value for a digital marketing online certificate.

Although the university started out as an audiovisual production tech school, it expanded over time to additional fields such as business, marketing, and technology.

Its online Internet Marketing certificate provides a detailed overview of digital marketing current trends such as search engine optimization, marketing analysis and consumer behavior patterns.

Designed particularly for professionals, the program topics include:

  • Internet Marketing Fundamentals
  • New Media Marketing
  • Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies
  • Web Analytics and Optimization

Tuition: $7,500

Duration: Four months

Contact details: Call (800) 226-7625

22. University of Denver

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

The University of Denver is a private university established in 1864 – the oldest school of its kind in the Rocky Mountains region. It is recognized all over the world as a progressive and excellent institution of education with a current undergraduate enrollment of 5,754. It ranks #86 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities.

The University of Denver offers a Certificate in Marketing Communication, which teaches students how to create digital marketing campaigns that can reach their audience and produce maximum results.

After completing this course, certified individuals will be able to measure marketing communication efforts and create strategies to lift organization marketing efforts.

To earn the certificate, students are required to complete six courses. The mandatory courses are:

  • Marketing Strategy and Process
  • Branding and Market Positioning
  • Digital Marketing Communication
  • Web Analytics

The certificate program is available online and on campus.

Tuition: $15,072

Duration: 10 weeks

Contact details: Email erin.toothaker@du.edu or call (303) 871-4054

23. University of St. Thomas

24-University of St Thomas

The University of St Thomas is a private institution established in 1885. It has an enrollment of 6,111 undergraduate students and ranks 115th in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities.

The university offers a certificate program in Digital Marketing Fundamentals that teaches students how to develop a digital marketing strategy, tools to use in your strategy, why a website is necessary for marketing and how to get customers to your website.

The course is taught by industry experts, and the topics covered are:

  • Overview of digital marketing
  • Digital marketing strategy
  • Hands-on-keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO) and Paid search planning
  • Optimizing website experience
  • Hands-on-social media advertising
  • Hands-on- email marketing
  • Hands-on-build a website

The course is designed for traditional marketers who want to enhance their skills, supervisors leading teams, technical professionals and those who want to change their career to digital marketing.

Tuition: $4,695

Contact details: Call (651) 962-4602

24. University of Toronto

25-University of Toronto

The University of Toronto, a public research university established by royal charter in 1827, runs three campuses – St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough in Toronto. It is internationally recognized for its developments in literary criticism and communication theory fields.

The University’s Digital Marketing Management program teaches the key concepts and trends associated with e-commerce and e-business, how to use leading tools, techniques and best practices in customer service and learn from industry leaders.

The required courses of the three-year certificate program are:

  • Foundations of digital strategy and marketing management
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media strategy

Tuition: $4,900

Contact details: Email learn@utoronto.ca or call (416) 978-2400

25. Georgetown University

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Georgetown University was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, the first Bishop of America. The university has 7,453 undergraduate students and uses a semester-based academic calendar. It ranks 20th in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities.  It also ranked as the 21st university in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

It offers a Certificate in Digital Marketing that helps students build skills and marketing knowledge required to build relationships with customers.

Students are required to complete four major courses:

  • Applied Marketing Analytics and Reporting
  • Customer Relationship and Database Marketing
  • Applied Digital Marketing Capstone
  • Digital Marketing Strategy

Additionally, students must complete two courses from the list below:

  • Code Literacy: An introduction to HTML and CSS
  • Building Strong Brands
  • Customer Strategy and Business Development
  • Business Statistics
  • Web and Mobile Design and Usability
  • Social, Mobile and Search Marketing
  • Communication in Organizations

The on-campus program must be completed within two years.

Tuition: $5,370

Duration: Six months to three years

Contact details: Email ccpeprograms@georgetown.edu or call (202) 687-7000

26. Syracuse University

27-Syracuse University

Syracuse University was founded in 1870 and it ranks #61 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities. The University of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of public communications teamed up with Hootsuite to create a course in Advanced Social Media Strategy (ASMS) certificate.

It is a detailed program for managers, strategists, and leaders who want to learn how to build social media strategies that get results.

Students will learn how to use advanced skills such as content strategy, influencer marketing, and tracking ROI.  These proven strategies and new tactics are taught by top professionals in the industry.

The courses include:

  • The Strategic Planning Process
  • Social Media Strategy and Tactics
  • Monitoring and Listening
  • Social Influence
  • Content Marketing in the Social Space
  • Social Media ROI
  • Tying It All Together
  • Planning for the Future

The courses are delivered through video lessons, interactive text-based learning, supplemental readings, quizzes, and a final exam.

Tuition: $999

Duration: 40 hours

Contact details: Email education@hootsuite.com

27. Assumption College

The Top 28 Digital Marketing Certificate Programs to Enroll

Assumption College, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a private institution established in 1904 by the Austinians of the Assumption. It ranks 28th in the 2018 Best Colleges’ regional Universities North and No. 14 by the Value Colleges.

Assumption College’s Online Certificate in Digital Marketing is a great program for marketing professionals who want to enhance their skills and for people who want to make a first leap into the digital marketing niche.

The program consists of eight courses:

  • Foundations of marketing
  • Digital marketing strategies
  • Digital analytics
  • Marketing research and analytics
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Consumer marketing behavior
  • Writing and content management

The above courses cover the necessary areas required to launch a successful career in digital marketing or build new skills as a professional marketer.

Tuition: $8,640

Duration: 16 months

Contact details: Email goplaces@assumption.edu or call (508) 767-7364

28. California State University, Fullerton

30-California State University

The California State University, Fullerton is a public research university established in 1957. It is a leader within the California State University System. It ranks #202 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges’ National Universities.

Cal State Fullerton offers a Digital Marketing certificate program that is nationally ranked and is designed for top professionals who would like to add digital marketing to their existing career and new graduates who want to move into the digital marketing niche.

The program consists of six online courses – each of which takes 4-6 weeks to complete. When the courses are completed, certified graduates are awarded twelve continuing education units.

The courses include:

  • The Digital Marketing Landscape
  • Site Optimization and Strategic Search Engine Marketing
  • Getting Results with E-Mail Marketing and Online Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing Strategy and Execution
  • Mobile Marketing: Getting Mobile-lized
  • Capstone Project and Presentations

Tuition: $2,700

Duration: 10 months

Contact details: Email UEEinfo@fullerton.edu or call (657) 278-2611

41 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools to Help You Grow

Not to be dramatic, but digital marketers today live and die by the tools of the trade. Modern marketers are expected to be a million places at once. Whether we’re digging through data or fine-tuning our social presence, relying on the right digital marketing tools means saving time and maintaining our sanity.

We’ve set out to put together a list of tools that are valuable to marketers of all shapes and sizes. After all, no two marketing teams are created equal. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a pint-sized team or you’re looking for enterprise-level digital marketing tools–this all-inclusive list has you covered.

To make it easier to navigate to the products you need we’ve added the jump links below. Please note that the ordering below is simply to organize the tools and is not indicative of preference. If we had the time, we’d use them all.

Digital Marketing Tools by Strategy:

Organic Social Media Tools

As of September 2017, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 320 million and Instagram has well over 700 million. With so many people spending so much time on social, it’s becoming one of the most important channels for brands to leverage. That’s why social media management tools have become the staples of companies both big and small.

1. Sprout Social

Sprout calendar view

You can’t really blame us for talking up Sprout first, can you?

While Sprout Social may be behind this massive list of digital marketing tools, we’re also some of the biggest users and brand advocates of the companies noted below.

Sprout is a social media management and engagement platform for business that makes it easy for brands to effectively engage with current customers and prospective customers. We believe Sprout’s features and functionalities can speak for themselves – request a demo today!


But really, why Sprout? Glad you asked.

As social media has evolved, so too have consumer expectations regarding transparency, authenticity and brand connection.

To not just meet but exceed those expectations, you need a social media management solution that empowers you to do so.

And that’s just one of the reasons to try Sprout. But don’t just take our word for it. Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself!


2. Wyng

Wyng (formerly Offerpop) is an engagement marketing platform with a focus on garnering engagement via user-generated content, hashtag campaigns, referral programs, quizzes, contests and more. They’re focused on transforming the way that global brands engage and convert today’s mobile and social consumers. Additionally, their platform boasts a built-in analytics dashboard that monitors the performance of any given campaign.

3. Woobox

Similar to Wyng, Woobox is a social engagement platform that emphasizes interactive content. The platform is perhaps best known as a turnkey solution for running social giveaways and competitions, Instagram contests in particular. From curating #hashtag entries to selecting winners at random, WooBox takes much of the legwork out of running a contest or giveaway via social.

The power of social sites goes far beyond organic reach. Paid platforms can get your brand in front of large groups of active users that you’d otherwise be unable to reach. The major social networks have so much data on their users that targeting can become extremely granular and effective, making social an ideal place to pay for impressions.

4. Nanigans

Nanigans is a multichannel advertising software with an emphasis on Facebook marketing. Its software has access to the Facebook Exchange (FBX) for retargeting and a plethora of other tools that make targeting more efficient. Beyond Facebook remarketing, the platform boasts features focused around Twitter ads and Instagram growth as well. Nanigans is the tool of choice for companies such as Zynga, Wayfair and Rovio.

Nanigans screenshot

5. Facebook’s Power Editor

The Power Editor is Facebook’s own tool for creating and running hyper-specific advertising campaigns. Facebook is constantly improving its ad platform, and the tool frequently releases new targeting and budgeting features for users. For marketers just starting on the paid social front, this is easily one of the best digital marketing tools with no third-party fee to create and manage your advertisements. The platform’s detailed parameters ensure that you target exactly who you want; meanwhile, you can also set limits to avoid blowing out your budget.

Facebook ad creator

6. Twitter Native Platform

Twitter is another major network brands should consider paying to advertise on. Twitter has some fantastic features for targeting, with segmentation functionality that includes the ability to target certain keywords so that whenever someone Tweets out, or engages with a Tweet, using that key phrase they’ll be targeted. The platform is especially useful when targeting mobile users, as 86% of Twitter’s ad revenue came from mobile in 2015.

Twitter native ad platform

Email Marketing Tools

The first email was sent way back in 1971, so it’s kind of strange to think of how big a part it still plays in digital marketing at large. Despite being old-school, email is easily one of the most effective marketing channels in terms of ROI. Email usage continues to grow approximately 4% year-over-year and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

7. HubSpot Email Marketing

HubSpot, a company well known for its CRM and inbound marketing software, recently launched an email marketing product. HubSpot Email Marketing is easy to use, boasts impressive deliverability, and of course, comes natively integrated with all other HubSpot products, such as the free-forever CRM, as well as hundreds of other popular marketing tools. The tool comes with a Free Plan which includes up to 2,000 email sends/month, contact lists, a drag-and-drop email builder, and ready-made templates so you can get started right away.

8. MailChimp

MailChimp represents an absolute giant within the email marketing space, with over 250 billion emails sent by its users last year. The beauty of MailChimp is the platform’s usability and sliding price tag based on the size of your email list. In particular, their “forever free” plan is perfect for smaller marketers looking for an introduction to email marketing. If you’re new to digital marketing tools or email in general, MailChimp represents a great starting point.

Mailchimp's email marketing platform

9. Marketo

If you’ve dabbled with some email platforms and feel ready to take it to a more advanced level, Marketo could be the solution for you. Although email is a huge facet of its business, it is by no means the only part of the tool. This makes Marketo ideal for those in search of all “all-in-one” weapon for their marketing arsenal. Marketo emphasizes automation as part of its suite of digital marketing tools, with email marketing as a major piece of that puzzle.

10. GetResponse

GetResponse’s unique email marketing platform stresses the growing trend of automation. This solution analyzes specific trends and behaviors from your list to trigger specific messages and autoresponders instantly. The end result is a smarter email marketing presence and a more engaged list.

GetResponse email workflow

Display Retargeting Tools

Ads that “follow us around” from sites we’ve visited or shopped on have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. These are retargeting ads, and even if you haven’t heard of them by name you’ve certainly been targeted by them in the past. Retargeting is incredibly efficient for getting customers back to your site to make a purchase or become a lead when they otherwise would have been bounced traffic.

11. AdRoll

AdRoll is one of the most well-known names in the retargeting space, boasting a customer base of over 35,000 advertisers. Its platform grants access to over 500 ad exchanges, which includes most of the major social media networks. It offers a self-service platform, but you can also leverage its employees for additional help if you need it. The success stories behind many AdRoll users are absolutely insane, with reports ranging from a 35% lower CPC to a 265% lift in sales in some cases.

How Adroll works

12. ReTargeter

ReTargeter is a diverse tool that uses site retargeting, search retargeting and dynamic retargeting. You can use ReTargeter as a self-service platform or you can pass all of your campaigns onto an account team to run your retargeting for you. You can use these search services à la carte or combine several into a custom package. The platform emphasizes use for ecommerce brands given that the ReTargeter has access to consumer behavioral data of over 150 of the web’s top retailers.

Programmatic Advertising Tools

Programmatic advertising refers to the use of software to automate the purchase of media from both online and offline channels. In other words, ads are purchased and displayed automatically based on data. Two of the largest benefits of using programmatic media buying solutions is you can reduce the time you spend finding the best networks to advertise. Secondly, you gain access to the plethora of data that most of these companies have access to.

13. ChoiceStream

ChoiceStream’s technology is able to process a ton of audience data and discern which of it is actually useful knowledge for brands. ChoiceStream then uses that information to properly target ads to your audiences it knows will be a good fit, boosting the relevance of your ads to your targets.

14. Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel is a popular tool with a feature called “Moment Scoring” which sets it apart from the competition. Moment Scoring assesses anonymous user data to calculate how likely someone is to respond to your advertisement and then uses that information to decide when and where to serve your ads. Rocket Fuel offers both a self-service platform and managed services.

Rocket Fuel's Moment Scoring in Action

15. Simpli.fi

Simpli.fi differentiates itself from other tools by taking complete advantage of unstructured audience data. This means that–unlike some other tools on the market–Simpli.fi doesn’t need to rely on pre-made audience segments to categorize audience data. This be a big advantage when working with a lot of data.

Website Testing Tools

The smallest changes can make the biggest difference when it comes to getting people to convert on your landing pages. Just changing the color of your call-to-action button can spell the difference between scoring a free trial sign-up and someone bouncing. Among the digital marketing tools in your toolbox, anything that helps you test or optimize your site for conversions is a major plus.

16. Unbounce

Unbounce is an amazing tool for quickly building, tweaking and publishing new landing pages to test. One of the most fantastic features of Unbounce is how easy it is to use the platform to create brand new pages. Even if you’re not much of a designer, you can use some of the templates available as a jumping off point, then tweak them to fit your style.

Unbounce's drag and drop functionality

17. Oracle Maxymiser

Maxymiser is a tool that goes far beyond the realm of landing page testing. This enterprise-level software solution was built to test multiple aspects of any given site and to run several different tests simultaneously. Maxymiser also allows you to segment who you want to send to each test, creating a more catered experience for your website visitors.

social media analytics banner

18. Optimizely

Optimizely combines tools for visual creation and robust targeting into its platform, making it easy to quickly create and target tests to the proper groups of users. The company also has a formidable amount of partners to make it easier to centralize customer data for your various tests.

19. Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)

Even though the mantra of “always be testing” has become a bit cliche, there’s no denying the importance of A/B testing any given page of your site. Visual Website Optimizer streamlines the process by allowing you to quickly play with elements of your pages such as headlines and images to generate multiple versions of your site for visitors to land on. Coupled with a powerful analytics platform, you can quickly see which version of your site is the clear winner in terms of clicks and conversions.

VWO dashboard

20. Hotjar

Hotjar’s platform provides a real-time visual record of your visitors’ actions and behaviors on-site. Through heatmaps that clue you in on where people are (or aren’t) clicking to actual video recordings of your visitor’s journey, you can quite literally see what needs to be optimized rather than second-guess.

Hotjar's heatmapping tool in action

Video Hosting Sites

Video content is on track to take over 80% of all web traffic by 2021. As a result, video has become a marketing must-do rather than an “extra” or secondary channel. With much effort needed to create and publish videos, it’s important to make sure you get as many eyeballs on them as possible. A solid way to do that is to host them on some of the popular video platforms which draw in large crowds of viewers beyond YouTube.

21. Wistia

Sprout has worked with Wistia on content in the past and the company is such a fantastic group of individuals. Not only does the team rock, but the platform is amazing for brands looking to host, customize and share videos across the web. One of the best functions of its platform is the ability to include a custom CTA at the end of each individual video, making it easy to drive viewers to specific pages.

Wistia CTA example

22. Vimeo

There are over 35 million people and businesses that trust Vimeo to host their high-definition, ad-free videos. With Vimeo, the concept is to get everyone to host some of their high-quality videos on the site, thereby driving viewers who are looking for visually stunning videos. Take a look at the sample below to see the type of quality content they collect.

Content Creation Tools

We have no shortage of options when it comes to content creation—infographics, blogs, videos–but what’s going to resonate with our audiences?  We’ve recently created a list of 39 free image creation tools which includes a ton of different digital marketing tools, but here are some of our favorites.

23. Landscape by Sprout Social

A great way to make sure your online content stands out is to include an image, but sourcing images that satiate the unique requirements for each social network can be tough. We aimed to solve that problem with our new social media image resizing tool known as Landscape. Quickly turn one image into multiple, each perfectly sized for the social media networks you’re using.

Landscape by Sprout

24. Canva

Canva is a free, web-based design tool you can use to create unique images to share on your blogs, social networks and beyond. You can use Canva to create completely unique images from scratch or to polish up some photos that you already have on hand.

Canva image editing options

25. Visual.ly

If you don’t have the time or artistic flair to create your own pieces of content, then you can use a tool like Visual.ly. Visual.ly is a platform that pairs those who need content up with those who can create it. The site charges a flat rate for each type of project, which includes Infographics, e-books and video.

Content Curation Tools

Marketers constantly need to fill their content calendars if to keep up with the competition and reach as much of their audience as possible. However, we don’t always have the time to put together something unique for every single post we create. That’s why it’s good to have some content curation tools on hand to help you fill up those gaps and keep your fans satisfied.

26. Feedly

With Feedly you choose all of the different blogs, publications and topics that you’re interested in; meanwhile, the platform aggregates all of the recent content from those sites into a feed you can monitor. You can integrate your Feedly feed with a tool like Sprout Social to continuously share these articles with your fans and followers.

Feedly screenshot

27. Scoop.it

Scoop.it is an awesome tool for easily finding and sharing unique, relevant content to your social networks, blogs and more. With Scoop.it you can find months worth of great in no time flat.

28. Kapost

Kapost is a platform that takes into account every step of the content marketing cycle. One fantastic function is the ability to assign different pieces of content different buyer personas, which shows which stages of the content marketing cycle your prospects are most likely to convert on.

Kapost Analytics

Website Analytics Tools

Most digital marketing tools out there have built-in analytics, right? For instance, Sprout Social has social media analytics that show how your content performs on a variety of social platforms. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the data about events that actually take place on your website from clicks to conversions and beyond.

29. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics offers analytics tools that help you increase conversions across your entire website. The platform tracks your site visitors throughout their entire conversion journey and gives you reports on each part of the funnel. This helps you fine-tune your entire conversion process to increase sales and revenue.

Kissmetrics' analytics platform in action

30. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the gold standard for most websites these days. Google has advanced analytics that shed light on a variety of your website information, including who your visitors are, how they make their way through your sales funnel and what they do on your website in real-time.

Google Analytics monitors every step of your funnel

31. Adobe Analytics

Adobe provides an enterprise-level analytics solution for companies who want to gather deep analytics on their website data and performance. The platform has cross-channel attribution functions, 360-degree customer analysis and predictive intelligence which enables you to observe and respond to customer actions in real time.

32. Woopra

Woopra is an analytics platform that’s specifically tailored for ecommerce businesses. Looking to help battle the problem of cart abandonment, Woopra analyzes each step of your site’s checkout process to determine where visitors are dropping off and which traffic source is the most valuable in terms of checkout success.

Woopra's funnel analytics

Customer Service Tools

Given that we live in a call-out culture, customers are turning to online channels to reach out to brands with their inquiries and complaints more than ever. If you’re not there to engage with these customers it reflects poorly on your brand, and you could potentially lose their business forever. Consider one of these customer service tools to streamline your customer service process and to ensure you’re responding to all of your inbound messages.

33. Zendesk

Zendesk provides a full suite of tools that can get your support team up and responding to all of your customers’ needs. The platform aggregates all of your communication channels into one place, which makes it simple to respond to your emails, phone calls and chats. Zendesk also integrates with Sprout, which streamlines your social customer service efforts.

Zendesk customer communication options

34. UserVoice Helpdesk

UserVoice’s beautifully designed customer service platform is a great place for large teams to tackle online customer service needs. The reports offered make it easy to see which agents are performing best, and customer satisfaction surveys let you know how your team performs as a whole. Furthermore, the platform optimizes the process of collecting and analyzing customer feedback without interrupting your visitors.

UserVoice Feedback Widget

35. LiveChat

LiveChat takes a more proactive approach to customer service by facilitating conversations with the people visiting your website. The passive chat box that lives on your page lets your potential customers reach right out to some of your service reps, helping you effectively answer questions and inquiries.

LiveChat's "Chat Now" box

Search Engine Optimization Tools

When it comes to digital marketing tools, SEO is where most of us need some major help. With so many tools available and several moving pieces of our search engine presence, finding the right fit is easier said than done. Thankfully, there are a myriad of tools out there to help simplify the ever-complicated world of SEO.

36. Moz

Moz offers two key products to customers: Moz Pro and Moz Local. The Moz Pro product helps with the classic SEO practices, such as tracking rankings, monitoring link building efforts and informing content marketing campaigns. Moz Local helps businesses improve their local SEO listings. All you need to do is enter your business’s location information and Moz goes to work getting you listed.

Moz Campaign Tracking

37. SEMRush

SEMRush has a ton of built-in digital marketing tools that help both paid search experts and SEOs track and improve their search rankings. One key use of SEMRush is to track your competitors. You can use the tools to pull your competitor’s backlinks, monitor their fluctuations in ranking and conduct a full competitive analysis.

38. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a spider tool that can quickly crawl websites, lists of websites or specific web pages to give you a complete analysis on their performance. You can use the tool to see if you have any broken links, broken pages, bad redirects and much more. Fixing most of these errors is a quick win for search marketers.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple: allow others to sell products on behalf of your brand by becoming affiliates. In turn, all you have to do is pay them a percentage of every sale that they generate. It can be an effective channel because people tend to trust friends and brand advocates more than they trust a company when it comes to selling. Plus, there’s a safety net involved as you only pay for the sales that those people generate.

39. CJ Affiliate

CJ is one of the most popular choices for advertisers looking to get their product picked up and sold by publishers. CJ has one of the largest networks of bloggers and its self-service platform makes it easy to scale your affiliate marketing efforts.

40. VigLink

VigLink is an incredible tool for affiliate marketing. The site has a massive database of content provided by publishers which they scan in real-time and add links to relevant keywords they find. The use of this type of contextual advertising makes it much easier to drive sales.

VigLink dashboard

41. Rakuten Affiliate Network

Rakuten is similar to VigLink, except that it advocates long-term relationships between brands and their affiliate. Long-term relationships with your partners helps to build trust and knowledge of your product, which in turn makes it easier for those individuals to sell it.

Which Digital Marketing Tools Do You Swear By?

Now that you’ve seen our complete list of digital marketing tools, you’re probably hungry to get out there and try some free trials. Good! Thankfully, companies these days don’t typically ask for too much information to get your foot in the door of their platform.

And who knows, you may end up finding the cost is worth the time you save–we know we’d be lost without Sprout Social.

Of course, there are tons of other tools out there that might not have made our list. What digital marketing tools do you swear by? Anything that you wish existed that still isn’t out there yet? Let us know in the comments below!


Today, almost everyone is online. With access to cheap data and affordable smartphones, the number of people across the country (Bangladesh) who have access to the internet has increased exponentially. This means that if the companies want to connect with their target customers, engage them, create brand awareness and sell them some products or services, they can easily do it through online channels.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing and email marketing.

When you get down to it, digital marketing is simply marketing on digital platforms.

It’s how today’s businesses are getting their message in front of their best prospects and customers.

That is what Digital Marketing is all about.

Digital marketing has become quite popular in Bangladesh too.

nestle Bangladesh- Digital marketing

Businesses in Bangladesh today leverage digital channels such as social media, search engines, email, and websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

Marketing methods have evolved over the years as the way customers consume information changes. Radio advertising led to television advertising, which then evolved into the digital marketing tactics we see seemingly everywhere today.

While TV remains one of the prime advertising fields for many businesses, the shift to digital marketing has allowed advertisers to reach a worldwide market by targeting customers online. As this field continues to grow at a brisk global pace, it is no surprise that the number of digital marketing jobs has also increased.

Here, we take a look at why digital marketing matters and what career paths are available in the field of Bangladesh.

Why Lean Toward Digital Marketing?

With advanced growth in marketing technologies, companies are trying to maintain their revenue flow either by adding online components to their brick-and-mortar stores or combining various digital marketing strategies to join the lucrative online marketplace.

Because most people today use smartphones and research products online prior to making purchases, it has become vital for these businesses to have digital marketing plans in place to attract their respective target audiences. But smartphones and online research are not the only reasons companies across the globe have turned to digital marketing. They’re using these strategies to more easily target audience segments online and through mobile—and many are seeing a significant return on investment (ROI).

  • Ease of Audience Targeting With digital marketing, advertisers can use data to target audiences more easily based on factors like gender, age, location, interests, and education, and can retarget potential customers who are already familiar with their brand using different methods and messages for each audience segment. There are even advanced online marketing certifications available to help digital marketers master this art.
  • Low Investment, High ROI The cost per lead with digital, or inbound, marketing is 61 percent less expensive than traditional marketing. Businesses that advertise on social media, use paid search and employ other digital strategies spend considerably less on their campaigns, largely because many use pay-per-click (PPC) strategies to keep costs down and hone in on their specific audiences. Generally speaking, their ROI is not only higher but also more immediate.
  • Reaching Mobile Users There are 8.6 billion mobile connections worldwide, which is more than the world’s population. Because most of today’s smartphones have internet access, it is easier than ever for businesses to reach potential customers anywhere, anytime.

The Scope of Digital Marketing in Bangladesh

Digital marketing has exploded over the past few years, with 88 percent of companies using social media as a primary advertising tactic.

Digital marketing- RFL- Bangladesh

They are taking the leap into this brave new world through either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) digital marketing:

  • B2B: To generate leads, B2B marketers rely on web traffic but also are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. They also often rely on PPC campaigns to reach target audiences inexpensively.
  • B2C: B2C marketers focus on improving brand awareness and attracting customers to their websites and products using social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

In addition to social media, businesses are using paid search, email marketing, and other methods to reach new audiences.

Digital Marketing in 2020 and Beyond

Digital marketing trends continue to evolve each year as more companies enter the space and new technologies are born. Looking ahead to 2020, here are some trends that will help continue to shape this space.

1. Social Media Influencers

Advertisers in all sectors are connecting with social media influencers to help enhance their brands. This is proving to be an effective digital marketing strategy, largely because consumers tend to believe other consumers rather than the actual companies advertising their products. Expect more companies in 2020 and beyond to use these influencers to drive sales.

2. Video Remains King

In 2020, the video will remain a top strategy as digital marketers capitalize on users’ short attention spans and desire to stream rather than the read content. Most of today’s social media channels offer live video as well as video-sharing capabilities to keep up with both advertiser and user demand.

3. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has allowed digital marketers to gather more productive data analysis so they can further customize the customer journey. With AI, programs are designed to help understand everything about a persona and provide results that will most likely appeal to specific segments of the population. AI also provides a more personalized experience for users, giving them customized assistance at each stage of the buying process. Part of this can be achieved through automating ads to targeted audiences using programmatic advertising. In fact, almost 90 percent of online display ads will be programmatic in the United States by 2020.

Careers in Digital Marketing in Bangladesh

Digital marketers are responsible for following these trends and incorporating them into their strategies. They rely on digital marketing as a reliable, influential, measurable, and user-friendly platform – and as companies continue to explore the online marketplace for a wider reach, more jobs than ever are becoming available to meet these needs.

Digital marketing roles include social media marketing specialists, PPC specialists, digital marketing consultants, and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists. Bloggers and YouTubers can also find themselves writing and vlogging professionally in the digital marketing space.

Careers are widely available in the digital marketing space, but a solid understanding of these techniques and tactics is essential to succeed in the field. Through dedicated online training, marketers and learn social media, PPC, SEO, web analytics, email, and content and mobile marketing tactics to be able to launch and maintain effective campaigns.

42 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020

At one time, artificial intelligence, data-driven marketing and voice search engine optimization (VSEO) were ambitious concepts bordering on the ridiculous. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020.

And why wouldn’t they be? After all, if your business has any intention of remaining competitive in today’s online landscape, you must adapt to the rapidly evolving changes in digital marketing. As Brian Solis puts it:

“Each business is a victim of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to exploit it. Digital Darwinism does not discriminate. Every business is threatened.”

Make no mistake: We live in a time when technology marketing moves fast and consumer interests and behaviors are hard to predict. Marketers can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever.

Read on to discover 42 digital marketing trends for 2020 that will help your business not just survive, but thrive in this age of innovation.

Bonus Trend: We built ClickFlow to help you monitor SEO trends on your own site—so you can rank higher, revive old content, and grow your organic traffic faster. Click here to request a personalized demo. ←

1) Artificial Intelligence

If you haven’t already realized it, 2020 may be the year that a lot of people wake up to the dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.

For example, Microsoft and Uber use Knightscope K5 robots to “patrol parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime. The robots can read license plates, report suspicious activity, and collect data to report to their owners.” You can rent these R2-D2-like robots for $7 an hour – which is less expensive than a human security guard’s wage:



Just a couple years ago, Gartner analysts predicted that by 2020, AI technologies would be pervasive in almost every new software product and service – a prediction that Harvard Business Review seconded earlier in 2019.

According to Techgrabyte:

“Artificial intelligence is the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades” and “will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030,” which means that “AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.”

Here are the top reasons why organizations are adopting AI in their business:

Reasons for adopting AI

AI can analyze consumer behavior and search patterns, and use data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers find their products and services.

One exciting example of AI in practice is chatbots (more on that later). Mastercard created a Facebook messenger bot – which uses natural language processing software to decipher what the customer wants and respond as if it were a real person – to automate handling payments:

Mastercard chatbot

Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force behind many services and, currently, we already see it implemented in such areas as:

  • Basic communication
  • Product recommendations
  • Content creation
  • Email personalization
  • E-commerce transactions


Businesses adopting AI in 2020 will be able to cut staffing costs and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.

Dive Deeper:

2) Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising means using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. Real-time bidding, for example, is a type of programmatic ad buying. This automation is much more efficient and fast, which means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.

It’s changing the face of digital advertising so swiftly that, according to eMarketer, 86.2% of digital display ads in the U.S. will be programmatic by 2020.

According to Irina Kovalenko of SmartyAds:

“Most search-driven manual advertising campaigns (even those performed with professional tools) take into account three or four targets: the keyword, time of day, and location. Such tools like programmatic demand-side platforms can use hundreds of targeting signals to individualize the advertisement and even target according to lifestyle or behavior habits when integrated with customer data platforms.”

Here’s a quick look at how programmatic advertising works:


To learn how to capitalize on this digital marketing trend, check out PPC Hero’s guide to get started.

Dive Deeper: 5 Trends that Will Define the New Vision of Marketing Automation

3) Chatbots

Chatbots will continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2020. This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.

Surveys show that:


Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service by meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means that you can focus on more important work.

Many brands already use chatbot technology, including rideshare brand Lyft. You can request a ride from Lyft via chat (Facebook Messenger and Slack) or voice (Amazon Echo), and their chatbot will let you know the current location of your driver:

Lyft's chatbot

Passengers can use the app to choose the type of ride, make a request, track the location of the car, send friends a time estimate of their arrival, and make payment.

Other brands that are successfully using chatbot technology include Whole Foods Market, Fandango, Sephora, Staples, The Wall Street Journal and Pizza Hut.

Click here to download it for free right now!

Dive Deeper:

4) Conversational Marketing

With all that talk about chatbots, the reality of modern marketing becomes clear: it’s more conversational. People want it that way, and so brands are reacting. When consumers have a question, 82% want an “immediate” response.

Conversational marketing facilitates a one-to-one, real-time connection between marketers and customers:

conversational AI dialogue

Unlike traditional strategies, this form of marketing is now available across multiple channels, allowing brands to meet customers on their terms: on the devices, platforms and time schedules that suit the customer best.

As per David Cancel, founder and CEO of Drift:

“Today’s buyers expect to find what they’re looking for now, not later. As we prepare for the future, it will be more important than ever for businesses to be available across a broad spectrum of channels, and to make sure you’re communicating the way people prefer to communicate.”

Ultimately, the primary goal of conversational marketing is to enhance the user experience through a feedback-driven model that fosters higher engagement and greater loyalty.

Dive Deeper:

5) Personalization

If you want to stand out in 2020, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails and more.

Consider these personalization stats:

  • 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
  • 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
  • 90% claim they find personalization appealing

Kevin George from EmailMonks asserts that personalized, triggered emails based on behavior are 3x better than batch-and-blast emails.”

When you want to study examples of the power of personalization, it’s hard to overlook Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored recommended products or movie titles. Here are a few other companies that are successfully using personalization today:

  • EasyJet launched a data-driven email campaign that uses customers’ travel history with the airline to build personalized stories, which then suggest where they might like to travel next. About 12.5 million unique emails have been sent, which had a 25% higher click-through rate than non-personalized emails.
  • Cadbury’s created a personalized video campaign that matches a Dairy Milk flavor with users based on data from their Facebook profile, including age, interest and location. The campaign generated a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate, proving that the personal touch works.
  • Starbucks uses a gamified mobile app that draws on data like purchase history and location to get as personal as possible, allows customers to customize their drinks, and encourages further use with its rewards system – which skyrocketed their revenue to $2.56 billion:

Starbucks app

Dive Deeper:

6) Video Marketing

Video marketing is one of, if not the, most important marketing trend today and likely for the next 5-10 years. These numbers show the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy in 2020:

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
  • 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions
  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video

Video is by far the most popular way customers want to learn about new products:


And don’t just think YouTube. There are plenty of ways to drive higher engagement with your video marketing, as you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

One of the issues that marketers have faced in recent years is the growing shift to mobile devices. Those long-form sales pages and emails of yesteryear are fading fast because they’re simply too difficult to read on small mobile screens. However, video can present the same information in a format that works perfectly regardless of the device.

If your site includes video, it’s 50X more likely (50 times!) to drive organic search results compared to text. Why? Because people find video content more compelling, so Google pushes pages that include videos higher in the rankings.

One of the best things about video marketing is that it makes it easy to reformat your content. Imagine that you’ve recorded a video for your YouTube channel. Instead of just publishing it on YouTube, you could also:

  • Get it transcribed so you have a text version of the video
  • Publish the transcription on your blog under an embedded YouTube video for better rankings
  • Upload the raw video with the transcription as subtitles to Facebook (native Facebook videos get a much higher impression share and engagement than shared YouTube videos)
  • Turn the transcription into a standalone blog article with a short rewrite and addition of relevant stats and images
  • Rip the audio alone and use it as a podcast episode
  • Use video thumbnails in your email marketing campaigns and the word “video” in subject lines to increase open rates by 19%

Here are some other video marketing trends that are gaining more and more traction:

  • Live video is particularly popular with a large number of businesses who use it for interviews, product demos and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand, such as life in the office, how products are made, company events, etc.
  • 1:1 video is when businesses or marketers create personalized video messages rather than make phone calls or send emails. With the decreasing cost of film equipment and increasingly high-quality smartphone cameras, this is easier than ever.
  • Video SEO. YouTube and other videos are displayed in the SERPs, so video optimization is becoming much more important – like using text overlays and closed captions, in addition to your description, title and file names. Check out this guide to learn more about YouTube SEO.
  • 360-degree video content. This trend towards a more interactive experience is on the rise – just look for the circular symbol in the top left corner to start sliding the moving image left or right as it’s playing, like this 360˚ video from Hong Kong Airlines (香港航空):



Dive Deeper:

7) Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. Influencers can be well-known celebrities, but more often they are Instagram or YouTube personalities with a huge niche following who can help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.

Because influencer marketing is generally more authentic than corporate advertising:

  • 63% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves
  • 58% of people have bought a new product in the past six months because of an influencer’s recommendation

For this reason, Iceland, a popular British supermarket chain, switched from ads with celebrities to a campaign that features real-life moms. Teaming up with YouTube community Channel Mum, it now works with a number of vloggers to promote its products in a more “authentic” fashion. And research shows that 35% of moms trust online videos like the one below more than traditional ads:



Influencer marketing is not just a trend: A mediakix study predicts that the ad spend for influencer marketing could reach $10 billion by next year:


Influencer marketing is also going to be affected by artificial intelligence. With each year, AI is making the process of finding the right influencers to partner with easier and faster. It’s helping identify those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher chance of generating a positive return on investment (ROI). In addition, artificial intelligence is transforming influencer marketing in the following ways:

  • Image recognition with ANN (Artificial Neural Networks)
  • Determining influencer performance with NLP (Natural Language Processing)
  • Predicting incentives with ANN
  • Determining an influencer’s influence
  • Flagging posts that don’t follow disclosure guidelines
  • Elimination of fake engagements and spam bots


Dive Deeper:

8) Social Messaging Apps

If you think social messaging apps are just for sending emojis to your friends, take a look at these numbers:


These statistics show the popularity of social messaging apps, and since people are spending more time messaging each other, it makes sense to market your company’s products and services where your potential customers are hanging out.

Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization and add value to the user experience. In addition, people expect businesses to have a presence on messaging apps because it’s a direct and easy way to interact with them. In fact:

63% of customers are more likely to return to a company website that has live chat.CLICK TO TWEET

Reasons for your brand to use messaging apps include:

  • Cultivate contact
  • Deliver information
  • Boost sales
  • Involve people in events
  • Regain potential customers
  • Provide support and assistance

9) Visual Search

Visual search can take the user experience to a totally new level: People can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results.


A) Pinterest Lens

Not surprisingly, Pinterest has jumped on the visual search bandwagon. They came out with Lens, a visual search tool that allows users to take a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products or view pinboards of related items.

As Marketing Land puts it, it turns your phone’s camera into a search bar:Pinterest_LensGIF

Since the launch of the beta version, Pinterest’s Lens now recognizes 2.5 billion home and fashion objects, has inspired over 600 million searches on Pinterest’s mobile apps and browser extensions, and has seen a 140% uptick from launch day.

Pinterest has continued to update its functionality:

  • They introduced Pincodes, a QR code-type technology that enables you to find inspiration while you’re out shopping or flipping through your favorite magazines.
  • They launched Lens Your Look to take the guesswork out of outfit planning.
  • They partnered with brands like Samsung to bring visual search to its latest smartphones and Target to allow customers to search their catalog using related products they see in the real world.
  • They’ve fully automated Shop the Look, a feature that helps users buy products from companies that work with Pinterest, so you can, for example, buy a pair of jeans you see in a picture.
  • They launched a bunch of new tools to help merchants sell their products, including Catalogs, which lets anyone upload and convert their entire product catalog into shoppable Pins.

Make sure you are optimizing for visual search, because (not surprisingly) the top search categories for Lens are:

  • Fashion
  • Home decor
  • Art
  • Food
  • Products
  • Animals
  • Outfits
  • Beauty
  • Vehicles
  • Travel

B) Google Lens

And Pinterest is not the only one with visual search. Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects and landmarks through a camera app. Here’s what you can do when you take a photo of the following items:

  • Apparel and home goods: Find similar products and where to buy them.
  • Barcodes: Use a barcode to find info about a product, like where to buy it.
  • Business card: Save the phone number or address to a contact.
  • Book: Get a summary and read reviews.
  • Event flyer or billboard: Add the event to your calendar.
  • Landmark or building: See historical facts, hours of operation, and more.
  • Painting in a museum: Read about the artist and learn more.
  • Plant or animal: Learn about species and breeds.

As CNet says, “Google Lens is turning into what Google Glass never was” when it comes to real-time augmented reality.

C) CamFind

CamFind is another visual search mobile app which enables you to search for anything from your phone simply by snapping a picture.

Instead of typing queries into a search engine, you can directly search via images to find similar images, price comparisons, local shopping results, etc. You can also take a picture of a movie poster and CamFind will show you movie information, trailers, showtimes and local theaters.

Video Player



D) Bing Visual Search

And with Bing Visual Search, you can search for a specific element within an image without having to go through all the current hoops.

For example, say you’re looking for kitchen decoration inspiration and an image attracts your attention. You click on a thumbnail result to get to the “Detail View.” The overall décor is great, but you’re particularly interested in that nice-looking chandelier. Wouldn’t you love to know where you can get one just like it? With Bing Visual Search, now you can.


As per Social Media Today:

  • 62% of Millennials are more interested in visual search capabilities than any other new technology
  • Images are returned for 19% of search queries on Google
  • There are over 600 million visual searches on Pinterest each month

Marketers can get the edge on competitors by jumping on the visual search trend in 2020 to draw customers and serve them the perfect product.

10) Micro-Moments

micro-moment is “An intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do or buy.”

Micro Moment definition

People generally make instant decisions within these four Micro-Moments:

Micro Moments

To take advantage of micro-moments in 2020, you need to be where consumers are searching for information in the moment – or, as Google puts it, marketers have to “be there, be useful, be quick.”

The growing popularity of micro-moments means that marketers must rethink the linear marketing funnel that follows a set path: awareness, consideration and decision.

In 2020 and beyond, the customer journey will be more dynamic and unpredictable, as it needs to respond to rapid changes in consumer desires. After all, in the mobile age, people have become accustomed to instant gratification. If they think or talk about something, they want to learn more, see more and buy more of it with just a few clicks of a button.

According to Mention: 

“When we act on our needs in the moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.”

To get the most out of micro-moments in 2020, you should:

  • Identify your consumers’ “I want to buy” moments
  • Be there in these moments of need
  • Deliver relevant content
  • Make it easy for them to make a purchase
  • Measure every moment that matters

11) Voice Search & Smart Speakers

The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2020. Consider these numbers:

  • 50% of all searches will be via voice by 2020
  • 55% of all American homes will own a smart speaker by 2022
  • 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
  • Voice shopping is set to jump to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion today
  • Global smart speaker shipments have almost trebled between Q1 2018 and Q2 2019, growing from 9.36 million units to 26.1 million units

Overall, people expect to be using voice search far more in the future:


Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. AI is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google has reduced greatly.

As Digital Marketing Institute puts it:

“Adopting a voice search strategy isn’t just about remaining relevant – it’s also about creating a unique and optimized customer experience that will foster relationships and build brand loyalty.”

Many brands are already including voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers:

  • Patrón Tequila helps consumers access personalized cocktail recipes
  • Domino’s allows pizza-lovers to order from the comfort of their couch without having to pick up the phone or even place an online order
  • PayPal users can engage Siri to send money to friends, family or businesses
  • Nestlé created a skill that provides voice instructions as you cook
  • Campbell’s has a skill that helps hungry consumers choose and cook recipes

Google Assistant has 2,000 “actions” and Alexa has 30,000 “skills,” which are functions that allow these voice assistants to react very specifically to user commands and queries:

Alexa skills

And keep in mind that not only will more companies produce audio content in the hopes of gaining brand awareness (so you should, too), but ads are likely on their way next. That means that Alexa will tell you the answer to your question along with a “word from her sponsor.”

For all voice technology, remember to write in a conversational tone, focus on getting featured snippets on Google, and think about keywords that people will speak rather than type.

Optimizing for voice search is a great way to spread brand awareness, but how is that going to convert into sales? Well, in 2020, we’ll see more businesses try to tap into this potential, experimenting with new ideas to use smart speakers as a lucrative channel for driving sales.

Right now, Jetson is an early runner in the voice commerce space, allowing people to use their voice-enabled devices to make purchases:

The key for companies to realize is that voice search isn’t another channel to force messaging and sales. Instead, marketers must develop a unique approach to consumer interaction, and this channel should be part of a broader, more connected brand experience.

Dive Deeper:

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12) Social Media Stories

First, Snapchat came out with the concept of “My Story,” then Instagram and Facebook stories were introduced, and then YouTube unveiled their own story format: Reels.

To keep it all straight, here’s a social media stories timeline:


Since these types of stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a great opportunity for marketers to make good use of FOMO (fear of missing out).

The benefits of using social media stories include:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Constant engagement with followers
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Increased traffic to your web page
  • Opportunity to reach younger audiences

Get inspired by some of these ways to use social media stories:

  • Use polls within Instagram Stories
  • Add links to your social media Stories
  • Take advantage of Snapchat geofilters
  • Add location tags
  • Add mentions for other brands and your fans
  • Give live video a try when creating Stories
  • Invite followers to explore more with clear call-to-actions

13) Browser Push Notifications

Push notifications are on the rise, with 85% of online stores using them in 2019. Consider these other stats:

  • At least twice as many people sign up for web push notifications compared to a newsletter.
  • Only 10% of the best email marketers can achieve a newsletter sign-up rate that matches the performance of web push.
  • 6.4 hours is the average time that passes before the recipient opens a newsletter. In the case of web push, the recipient will see the message immediately.

The updates to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and stricter filters have dented the potency of email marketing. Moreover, the younger audience favors other methods of communication and prefers to deal with less touchpoints when engaging brands.

As part of the bid to engage users on multiple channels, browser push notifications are something you will see more and more brands adopting in 2020 – and they are getting more sophisticated and personalized. In fact, using personalized push notifications increases conversions:

  • 7% open rate for segmented push messaging compared to a 3% open rate for generic, broadcast messages (a 2x improvement)
  • 54% of users convert from a segmented push notification, compared to only 15% for broadcast messages (a 3x improvement)

Notifications triggered by behavior are being used to re-engage people who have shown interest but failed to convert, and in recovering revenue from abandoned shopping carts:

push alert, simple

Notifications can even include images and CTAs to maximize conversion rates from such efforts:

push alerts

Dive Deeper:

14) Content Marketing Continues to Dominate SEO

In November 2019, Google rolled out some major updates to its search algorithm. The updates included the new BERT system, which is designed to aid Google in its efforts to understand the natural language that people use in their search queries.

The advice from Google’s John Mueller is that “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site has fast speeds, useful links, and well-written content.”

In fact, content marketing is so important that 88% of B2B content marketers agree that creating content makes their audience view their organization as a credible and trusted resource:


Stats from Content Marketing Institute:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates 3x as many leads.
  • Content marketing has lower up-front costs and deeper long-term benefits than paid search.
  • 615 million devices now use ad blockers, which means your ads are not being seen by as many people.
  • Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without blogs.
  • Content marketing rakes in conversion rates 6x higher than other methods.

Even amid all the innovation, content marketing remains a reliable, powerful way to attract new customers to your site and build relationships with them in real, quantifiable ways that deliver long-term value for your business.CLICK TO TWEET

With Google continuing to value well-researched, regularly updated articles, many leading businesses will continue to invest heavily in content marketing throughout 2020.

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15) SEO A/B Split Testing

Modern marketing is all about testing and analysis. By using A/B split-testing, you can isolate the variables in your campaign and easily identify which versions are driving the results you need. This form of testing offers marketers a methodical approach to making effective changes to their content.

Platforms like ClickFlow suggest pages with untapped SEO potential — a high-impression count but a low click-through rate (CTR) — which you can then improve to increase traffic, leads and, of course, conversions:


ClickFlow lets you set a target CTR value, then it serves up pages along with a keyword report that lists the keywords that your page is already ranking for now. Better yet, it suggests valuable new keywords that you should target to get more traffic.

Inside the app, you make changes to title, meta description, title tag and body content, which are automatically reflected on your site:


Choose your target CTR:


Run the experiment for at least 15 days and ClickFlow will show you how many more clicks you’re getting — and the additional revenue you’re gaining from the enhancements.

SEO A/B split testing squeezes the most SEO juice out of your site and gives you insight into the variables that move the needle. With this strategy and the right tools, even a small budget can deliver a great ROI.

Dive Deeper: 

16) Social Commerce & Shoppable Posts

With e-commerce and social media both growing at alarming rates, it’s no wonder brands are using the two together to maximize opportunities for sales.

In March 2019, Instagram unveiled Instagram Checkout, which lets users complete their purchase from within Instagram:


E-commerce brands hope this will reduce the risk that customers will abandon their purchase because they have to switch apps or sign in to an unknown store.

By now you’ve heard that Instagram is hiding likes, and with all the fuss, you’d think that the photo-sharing app was on the decline. Think again.

Social media is integral to digital marketing, and visual platforms like Instagram are gold for marketers. Better yet, visual commerce is taking off as more consumers are willing to buy products through ads they see in their feeds.

Instagram reports that the platform has 1 billion users, and 90% of them already follow active shopping brands, with many visiting these profiles on a daily basis. So what better way to leverage this massive potential than by using shoppable posts?



E-commerce brands can create and post interactive ads that allow users to click and shop with ease. Instagram believes this will make it easier for businesses to reach prospective new customers, as it will effectively shorten the sales funnel, giving consumers the instant access they desire.

17) Interactive Content

Speaking of instant access, that brings us to one of the fastest-growing digital marketing trends in recent times: interactive content.

In 2020, we’re destined to see a shift from traditional text-based content toward dynamic, engaging content that offers users an immersive experience. For example, think about:

  • Quizzes and polls
  • Embedded calculators
  • Augmented reality ads
  • 360-degree videos

Here’s a good example of a 360 VR video:



And here’s an example of our Marketing Impact Calculator to help you calculate how much more money you’ll make with marketing:

Single Grain's Marketing Impact Calculator

If you need convincing, consider that 91% of buyers are actively searching for more interactive content. People like it not just because it’s fresh and original, but because it makes them feel more connected to brands and more involved in the buying process.

Interactive content is more engaging, more memorable and more likely to generate the results your business needs.

Learn More: 7 Types of Interactive Content – Why & How to Use Them

18) Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing was one of the buzzwords of 2019. While the phrase may now seem a little worn out, the strategy is as ripe and relevant as ever in 2020.

Omnichannel marketing is the process of marketing across multiple platforms (such as social media, apps, email and blog) so you can connect with prospects on more touchpoints. When you do omnichannel marketing right, you can offer an enhanced user experience and cohesive brand message that drives people to action.



To stay ahead, brands must present a seamless, consistent voice and message across all available mediums, including physical storefronts, social media channels, online, in catalogs and anywhere else you can imagine. All channels should be linked in one all-encompassing strategy for the best results.

Stats show that brands using three or more channels in an automation workflow can generate great results:

  • Engagement rate: 18.96% on omnichannel vs. 5.4% on single-channel
  • Purchase frequency: 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single-channel
  • Average order value: 13% more per order on omnichannel vs. single-channel
  • Customer retention rates: 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single-channel

With ever-more sophisticated SaaS companies providing the tools to manage multiple channels more efficiently, it’s becoming easier to manage an omnichannel strategy, although it can be a challenge.

Users demand personalization and want to be able to browse a physical store, view products on social media, and purchase online. And if you’re not keeping up with their demands, someone else will get that business.

This is another area where AI and big data are playing a role by helping brands understand consumer behavior better and personalize at an individual level at scale. Getting inside the head of your ideal customer’s buying journey is key to actioning an effective omnichannel approach.

Dive Deeper:

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19) Augmented Reality (AR) & Immersive Technologies

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies, and 25% will have deployed to production.

While virtual reality (VR) makes a lot of noise and gets everyone excited with grand sci-fi ideas, AR is much more implementable from a marketing standpoint. Experts predict that AR will continue to outpace VR in terms of market share:


Brands are increasingly using this technology to enhance the consumer experience and increase sales.

ModiFace, which has recently been acquired by L’Oreal, produces AR applications for brands. Sephora Virtual Artist, an impressive example of ModiFace’s technology, allows you to see how the different colors of various forms of make-up will look on your face, without having to go to a store and physically apply it:

Sephora GIF
And IKEA has their own AR app called IKEA Place which allows you to take a picture of a room in your home with your smartphone camera (with just iOS 11.0.1 for now) in order to “test drive” IKEA’s furniture in it. You can move the furniture around and check out how it looks from different angles:


With AR improving rapidly, we will see a huge uptake in brands finding useful applications for the technology in the future.

20) Predictive & Augmented Analytics

Predictive analytics is the practice of using data mining, predictive modeling and machine learning to identify patterns and attempt to predict the future. It is becoming more and more sophisticated and widespread in many industries.

In terms of digital marketing trends, we will see a lot more of this, as it is being used in advanced lead scoring, as well as for segmentation and individual personalization, which helps marketers reduce churn and improve customer loyalty.

One such example is Amazon Assistant, a Chrome extension from the retail giant that allows users to permit product recommendations from Amazon to extend beyond the website to make personalized offers while they are browsing elsewhere on the web:


Augmented Analytics, on the other hand, uses machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automate data preparation and enable data sharing.

As Bonnie D. Graham, host of the Game-Changers Business podcast, says:

“Where predictive analytics uses machine learning to predict what will happen, augmented analytics uses machine intelligence to boost human intelligence with the why, so we can work faster and smarter on ever-larger datasets.”

Gartner predicts by 2020 over 40% of data science tasks will be automated, which means that insight into the enormous amounts of big data that businesses are collecting will allow for better and more personalized decision-making and thus increased productivity.

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21) Growth of Geo-Fencing

While the idea of marketing to people based on their location is nothing new, we do expect an increase in the use of geo-fencing – this market is set to grow to $2.4 billion by 2023 – along with the rise of mobile use:


Geo-fencing allows real-time targeting based on a user’s location. A target area is defined as, say, within a mile of a restaurant, and when a user enters or leaves this area, they receive a push notification, text message or another form of marketing communication.

Research shows that of people who open a push notification, 54% of users convert from segmented push compared to only 15% for broadcast messages. And 52% of users enable push messaging on their apps.

76, an American gas company, used Waze to mark their gas stations on a map throughout California. As drivers approached, a logo would pop up on their map showing them where to stop for gas and offering entry to a competition if they filled up. Their “Tank 5” campaign resulted in a 6.5% navigation rate to fuel stations:

76 and Waze

For industries that need to convert digital users into brick-and-mortar customers, geo-fencing is going to become more and more important in their marketing strategy.

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22) Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps are essentially websites that work like mobile apps. They offer the functionality of a native mobile app – fast load times, push notifications, working offline, utilizing device hardware, etc. – without being limited to one platform (which in reality means Android or iOS).

This allows development teams to create web apps for any device that works just like a mobile app.

By 2020, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.87 billion. With total page views on mobile increasing year-over-year by almost 50% worldwide, mobile is more crucial than ever to your digital strategy:


PWAs are going to become ever-more prevalent as the mobile revolution continues at pace.

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23) User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) is a potent resource for marketers who want to tap into the Millennial and Gen Z markets. You can encourage your audience to share unique content by offering them an incentive, such as a discount, or even partnering with them for a good cause.

Aerie, a women’s clothing company, “made a pledge to stop retouching photos of models in its bathing suits. And for every Instagram user that posted an unedited photo of themselves in a bathing suit (using the hashtag #AerieReal, of course), Aerie now donates $1 to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).”

Aerie UGC

This simple UGC strategy can quickly increase brand engagement and drive conversion rates as more people discover your brand, and its products and services.

People trust others like themselves far more than they trust companies. In fact, one survey found that 90% of shoppers reported that UGC influenced their decision to purchase more than any other form of advertising, with a whopping 97% of 18-29 year olds saying that it had an “extreme influence.”

UGC can be as basic as blog comments and testimonials or it can take the form of blog posts, images and videos created by users. GoPro’s entire YouTube channel is dedicated to UGC, showing high-quality videos produced by its customers using its hardy, portable cameras. The channel is currently pushing 8 million subscribers.

Recently, GoPro created a UGC contest with the hashtag #MillionDollarChallenge in which their customers created and shared videos – and 25,000 people entered!



Dive Deeper: 8 Ways to Encourage More User-Generated Content (UGC)

24) Blockchain Technology

As defined by Blockgeeks:

“A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable data records that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).”

How a Blockchain Works


The uses of blockchain are far more wide-reaching than just the financial world, however; this technology is also making waves in the digital marketing world. Blockchain eliminates the digital marketing intermediary, builds trust by means of transparency, drives public accountability and offers benefits for branding.

But in 2020 and beyond, we’ll see these trends in blockchain:



Dive Deeper:

25) Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a new technology based on a quantum physics theory, which asserts that subatomic particles exist in more than one state simultaneously.

As per ITSPmagazine:

Traditional computers store data in bits, which can exist in one of two states: one or zero. Quantum computers, however, use a new unit of measurement, a single atom known as a qubit (literally ‘quantum bit’), which greatly increases the computational power of a system.”

Another way to visualize quantum computing is to imagine a huge library:

“While a classic computer would read every book in a library in a linear fashion, a quantum computer would read all the books simultaneously. Quantum computers are able to theoretically work on millions of computations at once.”

Quantum computing


So, how can marketers use quantum computing? Here’s what we can expect:

  • Improved mobile data coverage (a boon for mobile marketers)
  • AI becoming more human-like (Google AI is developing quantum algorithms that will drastically improve machine learning)
  • Increased relevance of ads (quantum annealing can help advertisements reach a wider range of people at a better cost)

quantum computing uses


26) Big Data and Deep Learning

In 2020, the world’s big data industry will continue to grow exponentially, which is great news for marketers – if you know how to harness the power of big data. A huge part of this task comes down to the tools you use, which is something that a lot of companies find challenging.

Forbes report that 78% of organizations either already have or are developing a customer data platform to help manage, analyze and leverage their data. It comes as no surprise that data experts top the priority list for many enterprises, with 41% of company owners saying it’s now their most desired skill to hire.

With the benefits of big data comes the need for companies to leverage this data better to “significantly simplify tasks that formerly could only be completed by data scientists.” More importantly, “This continued democratization will lead to new use cases that are closer to the needs of business users and will enable faster time-to-market for AI applications in the enterprise.”

big data

One caveat is that as big data grows even more powerful, the demands on how companies should manage consumer data becomes increasingly precarious. The GDPR changes lit the touchpaper for a global revolution on data privacy, with California set to roll out the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on January 1, 2020.

As such, big data is a double-edged sword, but one that many digital marketers will find hard to resist in the very near future.

Dive Deeper:

27) Automation (& AI)

Gartner projects that 30% of businesses will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) in their sales processes in 2020. In fairness, we should expect more, especially when you consider the amazing benefits of AI and automation for sales and marketing:

marketing automation uses

For example, you can use artificial intelligence and automation to:

  • Improve Customer Retention and Loyalty
  • Predict the Behavior of Your Customer with Propensity Modeling and Predictive Analytics
  • Use AI-Powered Chatbots to Improve User Experience
  • Leverage the Power of Audience Insights to Boost Search Ads
  • Scale Up Your Content Marketing with AI-Generated Content
  • Deliver a Highly Personalized Website Experience to Every User
  • Optimize for Voice Search Queries
  • Identify “Hot Leads”
  • Reduce Cart Abandonment
  • Target Customers Across Different Channels
  • Boost Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Upsell and Cross Sell to Customers
  • Improve Blogger Outreach
  • Generate Leads from Thank You Pages
  • Automatically Suggest Content to Visitors
  • Identify Bottlenecks in Your Sales Pipeline
  • Measure the Performance of Your Marketing Campaigns
  • Maintain a Central Hub for all Your Marketing Activities
  • Cut Costs and Save Time

But don’t just take our word for it. As Neil Patel says:

“Marketing will become a more even playing field and you’ll have no choice but to use automation.”

Related Reading:

28) Google Ads Smart Bidding

With intense competition on social media slowly suffocating organic reach, paid advertising will become a more trusted force in 2020. And when you consider the Smart Bidding feature on Google Ads, you’d be a fool not to give it a try.

Google explains that with Smart Bidding:

“Machine learning algorithms train on data at a vast scale to help you make more accurate predictions across your account about how different bid amounts might impact conversions or conversion value.”

In other words, advertisers can hand the reins of their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to Google’s AI system, which will then optimize their budget to maximize their ROI. This works for any number of PPC goals, including:

  • Target CPA – Generate new leads and customers for a maximum cost per acquisition that you set.
  • Target ROAS – Set your sights on getting the best return on your advertising spend.
  • Maximize Conversions – Rack up your advertising conversion rates, whether your aim is to get more email subscribers, downloads, or product sales.

Smart bidding allows you to use many different signals for your bid optimization, including:

  • Device
  • Physical location
  • Location intent
  • Weekday and time of day
  • Remarketing list
  • Ad characteristics
  • Interface language
  • Browser
  • Operating system

Some of these signals are available as manual bid adjustments, but other signals (and combinations of signals) are only available via Smart Bidding:

Smart Bidding signals

The bottom line is that with Smart Bidding running the show, marketers will have more free time to focus on strategy, copywriting, and analytics.

Click here to download it for free right now!

29) SERP Position Zero

For the past couple of years, voice search has been causing waves, changing the way search engine optimization works. Most notable is the rise of the featured snippet, which appears in the highly coveted “position zero” in Google’s search engine results pages, like in this example:

featured snippet, position zero

In 2020, at least 30% of all Internet searches will be conducted without a screen, and since 40.7% of all voice search answers come from a featured snippet, if your marketing is strong enough, you could be the one hitting that coveted spot.

Also known as rank zero snippet or position zero, this is the holy grail of modern-day SEO, as it directly answers user search queries without any need for the user to click a link. VSEO (voice search engine optimization) can give you an enormous competitive advantage (of course, this is only good news for one brand…).

This trend is growing, with 62.5% of mobile searches and 34.4% of desktop searches now resulting in “zero-click search” results. And according to Ahrefs, these are the most common words in search queries with featured snippets:


Because of this, more marketers will invest their resources in On-SERP SEOwhich is the practice of optimizing web pages with the goal of claiming as much space in Google SERPs as possible. This boosts your click-through rate (CTR), driving more organic traffic to your site and increases the likelihood of claiming the top spot.

Dive Deeper:

30) Branding

We live in a time when consumers are spoiled for choice. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in – it’s unlikely that you operate in a vacuum. 66% of consumers say that they feel connected to a brand whenever they trust it, and to earn their  trust, you have to establish a solid brand.

The reason branding is so important now is because of Google’s E.A.T. ranking factor, which stands for:

  • Expertise: the page needs to have quality content written by an expert writer
  • Authority: the site itself needs to have some authority on the subject
  • Trustworthiness: the site needs to have other authoritative links pointing to it from trusted sites

In essence, Google wants to do more than rank good content; they are catering to the user experience by demanding the most accurate, up-to-date, well-researched (i.e. authoritative) content on any given topic, preferably created by true experts in the field.

If Jimmy’s Medical Blog (not a real site) gives some bad advice that leads to a mom poisoning her child with some amateur advice on home remedies, that’s not good for Jimmy’s brand – or Google’s reputation of delivering quality results. So as the new year progresses and SEO evolves, Google may crack down on major industries, particularly in health and finance where accurate information is critical.

Neil Patel advises marketers to focus on building their expertise, pointing out that they can bolster their reputation with guest posts on industry-leading blogs, speaking at conferences, and by applying for awards. Always include an updated author bio at the bottom of all your published content pieces to build brand recognition and earn readers’ trust:


Dive Deeper:

31) Better Analytics

Modern marketing and metrics go hand-in-hand, so if you’re not investing in better analytics, you’ll struggle to drive the results you want to see. The problem, however, is that the customer journey is more complex now. We live in an omnichannel age where the average consumer engages a brand on up to six touchpoints before making a purchase.

With multiple channels to manage and a myriad of ways to market your products and services, the job of analytics tracking is fast becoming a gargantuan mission. As a result, many companies are looking beyond the basics of Google Analytics for a comprehensive business intelligence solution or analytics dashboard like Amplitude:


Another way this trend will play out is by moving towards business intelligence, the “technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making.”

As Neil Patel puts it, a BI options is “A central place where you can tie in all your data and make better-informed decisions so you can optimize for your lifetime value instead of your short-term income.”

There are many business intelligence options, both paid and free, such as Google Data Studio (Google’s reporting solution for power users who want to go beyond the data and dashboards of Google Analytics), Metabase and Tableau:


Dive Deeper:

32) 5G Technology

In a world gone mad for mobile, arguably one of the most significant digital marketing trends of 2020 is the dawn of 5G technology, or fifth generation of mobile technology. This update heralds a new era of digital communications and its impact will be felt across virtually every industry.

Asha Keddy of Intel says:

“5G will enable a fully-mobile and connected society — unleashing human and technological possibility, and fuelling business and financial opportunity.”

As Adage puts it:

“The arrival of 5G may also finally bring millions of rural consumers into the high-speed data lanes where marketers increasingly sell their products. It might even disrupt the digital duopoly of Google and Facebook by arming telecom companies with unprecedented data for ad services.”

T-Mobile points to the benefits 5G speed has for the burgeoning augmented reality industry, noting how it could be instrumental in developing a virtual heads-up display. As this picture below shows, 5G Internet speeds can help cyclists spot danger from all sides:


The European Union has an ambitious 5G action plan that includes uninterrupted 5G coverage for major roads and railways by 2025. What’s more is that the technology is expected to power a staggering one hundredfold increase in the number of connected devices. Of course, this brings up concerns of adverse effects on health and the environment from RF (radio frequency) radiation, the electromagnetic emissions produced by wireless phones, but that is a topic for another article.

All that is to say 5G technology will transform how we access online content, from digital marketers to the average user.

33) Privacy Marketing

Recently, Forbes reported that British Airways was slapped with a £183M fine for a data breach, and the hotel chain, Marriott, got stung for £99M after failing to protect the personal data of 339 million guests.

The aforementioned CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) in trend #26 above will be the most restrictive state privacy law passed in the U.S. when it comes into effect in 2020. Despite opposition from big players in Silicon Valley like Facebook, the world’s fifth-largest economy is pushing forward with its new consumer privacy act.

It’s clear that the people (but not the companies) of the world are getting serious about privacy, and marketers – who rely on those people – have no choice but to play by the new rules or miss out. One of the new rules is that marketers and brands will have to “‘earn’ the contact information of their targets” rather than engage in mass marketing. As Forbes points out:

“In the United States, marketers have become so lax in their targeting practices that every one of us has to take several minutes a day to delete from our inbox – both professional and personal – the dozens of emails that are not relevant and clearly not welcome.”

People want to know they can trust brands, and that their personal data is safe. Instead of being complacent, digital marketing teams should get strategic to reinforce their commitment to privacy so they can earn the trust of potential customers.

Some of the ways brands can earn consumers’ trust is by:

  • Researching and understanding our audience(s)
  • Developing a relevant message to get an audience to engage
  • Finding the right channel to engage with that specific audience
  • Developing an “intimate” relationship through thoughtful engagement

Dive Deeper:

34) Website Security

In the same breath as privacy, we need to mention website security.

When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, they’ll make up their mind about your security within seconds. If they don’t feel safe, they won’t hang around, which leads to increased bounce rates. Over time, a high bounce rate is bad news for your business, as you’ll slide down in the SERPs when Google realizes that people don’t want to stay long on your site.

Tech Republic notes that there have been over 3,800 data breaches within organizations – in 2019 alone! While the hacks at huge companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Equifax and Marriott make the headlines, there are plenty of breaches at smaller firms, too. As a result, just 25% of consumers believe that most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly.

In 2020, website security is no longer an option. As of August 2014, Google announced that HTTPS is a ranking signal and flags every site as unsafe unless it has an HTTPS (the “S” stands for “secure”) certification:


From now on, the bare minimum is to enable the HTTPS protocol for your site, which will show your visitors a little green padlock icon in the URL:

SSL green padlock green bar

In addition, prominently displaying a security seal of trust or trust badge on your website will reassure your site visitors that you take their safety seriously:


Learn More: How Poor Website Security Negatively Impacts SEO Rankings

35) IoT Advertising

Never mind our mobile devices and laptops – from smart cars to household appliances to wearable tech, the Internet of Things (IoT) is getting more and more connected:


As per QuanticMind:

“These days, it’s expected that connected devices and technologies will unobtrusively, and sometimes stealthily, collect data on our vital functions, what we do, where we go, what we share, what we believe, what we buy, who we know, how we move and even what we eat.”

Which means, of course, that brands and marketers want to use (or are already using) this data for their own business and advertising purposes. For example:

  • Johnnie Walker has a Blue Label bottle with built-in electronic sensors that can tell if the bottle has been opened and where it is in the supply chain.
  • Malibu, another drinks company, takes it a step further, using their “connected” bottles as digital touchpoint to promote exclusive content.

And as 5G technology matures, more IoT devices will present more on-demand content for consumers and more advertising opportunities for marketers.

36) Long-Form Content

In 2020, shorter posts won’t get you anywhere – with Google or your audience. Typically, posts that are at least 3,000 words long attract the most traffic, as they offer readers an in-depth exploration of topics. Long-form content allows content creators to establish themselves as an expert on a subject and gives them more scope for targeting keywords.

A study from Search Engine Journal indicates that long-form content gets 77% more backlinks than short articles, which is critical for driving organic traffic:


According to Small Biz Trends, 56% of bloggers generate a better ROI on their content when they spend over six hours creating a single blog post. That may seem excessive, but when it attracts more traffic, increases on-page time, and boosts your organic search rankings, it’s a great business investment.

These epic posts are sometimes called 10X content or pillar content, which is basically content that provides a complete answer to any question a user may be searching for on a given topic. It’s specifically designed to provide value for the reader, and also to rank highly in the search engines.

The benefits of long-form or pillar content are:

  • Longer time spent on your site’s pages. The more content available for users to consume, the more time they’ll spend doing so.
  • A decrease in bounce rate. If users find what they’re looking for on your page, they won’t go back to Google to find another source.
  • Backlinks and a ton of social media shares. Pillar pages get shared widely and often, especially among influencers in a given space.
  • Gets traffic throughout the lifetime of your blog or website. Pillar content is evergreen content, so its value doesn’t diminish over time.
  • A high Google ranking. The high word count, shares and backlinks will all contribute to improved visibility on SERPs.

Dive Deeper:

Click here to download it for free right now!

37) Semantic Keyword Research

Here’s something you need to keep in mind when you’re creating long-form content: You must write for people, not for Google.

Banging out a 5,000-word post every other day is great, but you won’t see the results you’re hoping for if you don’t keep user intent in mind. Also known as search intent or keyword intent, this is the main goal that a person has when they type or speak a search query. It could be to find a product, information or a store location.

Think about how Google analyzes your content. The search engine doesn’t just evaluate keywords in a search box; it considers the content of a query and drills down to determine the user search intent. In this example below, if someone were searching for a missing cat, Google would use semantic analysis to include concepts like:

  1. Related concepts (i.e. “pets” not just “cats”; “lost”, not just “missing”; “pet shelters” and “animal control centers”)
  2. Related areas
  3. Other possible ways to help you out


This analysis is called semantic search, and with AI and voice search on a meteoric rise, it’s becoming a more central aspect of how search works.

Content marketers can leverage this to their benefit by going beyond their primary keyword to include related terms, questions and phrases in their content. Together, these latent semantic keywords will give Google a much better understanding of the nature of your content, as well as the solutions and benefits it offers to users.

In 2019, the annual Content Marketing Institute B2B report revealed that 90% of the world’s most successful marketers put their audience’s needs ahead of promotional targets. The companies with this attitude will rise to the top in 2020.

Dive Deeper:

38) Structured Data SEO

Among all the digital marketing trends you’ll hear about soon (if not already), there will no doubt be the now obligatory annual claims that SEO is dead.”

Ignore these claims. Once again, SEO is not dead – it’s a shapeshifter. In 2020, we’ll see that structured data will become more prevalent in search engine results.

Structured data is any data that is organized in such a way that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and categorize. Content creators can do this in their back-end code or by neatly organizing information in tables with labeled columns and rows.

When it’s done right, structured data delivers a big SEO boost, as you may rank in that coveted Position Zero in one form or another, such as a Knowledge Graph Box, which displays important information about your business:


Another possible boon of using structured data is that you can generate Rich Snippet results, which display images, review stats, and pricing. These rich snippets – also known as rich cards – are excellent for driving clicks, especially on mobile.


Schema.org is a semantic vocabulary of tags that enables website owners to embed structured data on their web pages so that search engines can clearly understand, interpret and represent the content in response to a search query. The list keeps growing but so far, here are the content-only schema.org types that Google is actively using:

Schema types

With almost 50% of all global Internet traffic now happening on mobile devices, the competition for these rich results is heating up, so we’ll see a lot of marketers focusing on leveraging structured data in 2020.

Learn More: How (and Why) to Create an Effective Content Structure for Better Ranking

39) Alternate Search Engines

Research from StatCounter shows that over 92% of all traffic on search engines is through Google, dwarfing its “closest” rivals, Yahoo and Bing:

Search engine market share

The world’s most dominant search engine is a sophisticated juggernaut of innovation, finely-tuned to deliver the most relevant, recent and comprehensive results for any user search query. It’s hard to fathom a catastrophic collapse happening any time soon, making it seemingly impossible for any other search engine to give Google a run for its money.

That being said, DuckDuckGo – a privacy-focused search engine founded in 2008 that has gained a niche popularity among privacy-minded users – has made some waves recently with its tagline “the search engine that doesn’t track you” because “search engines don’t need to track users to make money.”

According to DuckDuckGo’s general counsel and head of policy, Megan Gray, this model is profitable: “We make a ton of money. We are a privately held company, so I can’t tell you exactly how much we make. But we are subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which requires at least $25 million in annual revenue, and we are well above that.”

In the spirit of online privacy (trend #33 above), while Google has become embroiled in data scandals such as the Cambridge Analytics fiasco, DuckDuckGo has meanwhile seen massive growth as it hit 1 billion searches in the month of January 2019:


Just recently, the engine got another boost when it was endorsed by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey:


Ultimately, marketers should consider their audience and think about where their brand’s content is likely to be viewed. With that in mind, optimize your content for more than just one search engine.

40) Voice Marketing Funnels

We already mentioned the impact of voice search earlier in this guide (trend #11). What we didn’t explore was the cumulative impact that voice-enabled devices and voice search will have on a fundamental aspect of business: your marketing funnel.

With these rapidly growing digital marketing trends, there’s no way that your traditional funnel can stay the same. It must evolve. In 2020, the linear funnel will cease to be relevant. In fact, that transition is already underway.

In the new voice marketing funnel, leads can enter the funnel at different stages of the customer journey, as many consumers now conduct a lot of their own research online. This updated model demands that each customer is treated as an individual instead of a generic prospect. As a result, the funnel must cater to the demand for customized solutions:


Another way that the sales funnel is being revolutionized is from funnel to engine, in which the brand no longer dictates the buyer’s journey – rather, the brand and customer “synergistically interact with each other”:

from funnel to engine

The bottom line is that we can, and should, expect that technology will continue to metamorphose, so marketers must develop funnels that are capable of reacting to constant shifts in the digital landscape.

Search Engine Journal asserts that the first brands to adjust to the demands of voice search will reap the greatest rewards, increasing their digital online revenue by 30% or more.

Related Reading: How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Funnel (Templates Included)

41) Social Media Marketing

In 2020, we’ll see brands tapping more into the potential of video and interactive content on social media to get attention, but they must follow it up by being authentic on their social channels, and by working hard to nurture a community of engaged, loyal followers.

As social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer puts it:

“If your business wants to survive in organic social media in 2020, I believe that this sort of humanization of your brand will be necessary.”

This growth is unlikely to falter in the wake of Instagram removing likes from the platform.

From Social Media Today, here are some social media trends to keep an eye on:

  • Facebook Pay: Launched in the U.S. in November 2019, this payment feature would “facilitate on-platform payments, in-stream, making it easier for people to buy products on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.”
  • Facebook Watch: Facebook’s own video-on-demand service.
  • Oculus: VR technology that makes social media more interactive, which Facebook is touting as “the next evolution of social.”
  • Cross-stream messaging: Facebook’s integration of messaging functionalities of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
  • Instagram removing likes: In response the growing realization of the adverse effects on mental health, Instagram is focusing on better humanization of their brand.
  • IGTV: Instagram’s long-form video platform is not new, but will probably get another push in 2020.
  • Twitter’s mDAU: A new monthly and daily active user metric called “monetizable daily active users,” a move to clean up its platform from bots.
  • Narrowcast tweets: An option that would “limit the audience and usage of your tweets, including the capability to remove the retweet function from chosen tweets, and to restrict your tweet reach to only chosen hashtag discussions and/or to certain friends…[and allow you] to target your tweets to specific audiences.”
  • Tweet streaming: A new live-streaming feature.
  • LinkedIn groups: Similar to Facebook Groups. Not exactly a new feature, but LinkedIn may try to push it again next year.
  • LinkedIn video: Since LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video on this platform than any other type of post, LinkedIn seems bent on improving their video discovery tools and putting more emphasis on uploaded video content.
  • Snapchat AR: An Augmented Reality version of its Spectacles could be on the way, which would “overlay digital graphics over people’s real-world view.”

Dive Deeper: The Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Highly Effective Social Media Strategy in 2019

42) Neuromarketing

Last, but certainly not least, we’ll dip our toes into one of the most wow-inspiring digital marketing trends of 2020: neuromarketing. While this may sound like we’re quoting from a sci-fi movie, the reality is that this technology is advancing quickly and may become a viable tool for marketers soon.

For the uninitiated, neuromarketing is a strategy that analyzes measurements of a person’s brain activity and nervous system to determine which types of content they find engaging.

It is essentially designing marketing materials (including your website, ads, email campaigns and content) to evoke specific neurological reactions that trigger emotions or responses that are linked to purchasing. You can use this information to optimize your content accordingly and adjust your strategies, improving the effectiveness of your marketing.

SPARK Neuro, a neuroanalytics company that measures emotion and attention to optimize advertising and entertainment, is a leader in the space. The company combines biometrics, neurometrics and complex algorithms to analyze attention and emotion levels, effectively helping marketers figure out what content to focus on and what to avoid.


Forbes reports that the company is expected to work with political campaigns in the future. But whether that happens or not, we can be sure that neuromarketing will have a major impact on the future of marketing. The richest consumer data resides in the brain and any tool that helps companies understand the brains of their prospective customers is sure to be worth its weight in gold.

Bonus Trend: We built ClickFlow to help you monitor SEO trends on your own site—so you can rank higher, revive old content, and grow your organic traffic faster. Click here to request a personalized demo. ←

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it – our definitive guide to the 42 most important digital marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2020.

As John F. Kennedy once said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

For anyone in digital marketing, change is an integral part of the job. You must keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools and strategies in order to gain an edge over your competitors.

Check out our 10-minute video How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2020 (and find tons more marketing videos on our YouTube channel!):


Digital Marketing

What is digital marketing?

At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands. Consumers heavily rely on digital means to research products. For example, Think with Google marketing insights found that 48% of consumers start their inquiries on search engines, while 33% look to brand websites and 26% search within mobile applications.

While modern day digital marketing is an enormous system of channels to which marketers simply must onboard their brands, advertising online is much more complex than the channels alone. In order to achieve the true potential of digital marketing, marketers have to dig deep into today’s vast and intricate cross-channel world to discover strategies that make an impact through engagement marketing. Engagement marketing is the method of forming meaningful interactions with potential and returning customers based on the data you collect over time. By engaging customers in a digital landscape, you build brand awareness, set yourself as an industry thought leader, and place your business at the forefront when the customer is ready to buy.

By implementing an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, marketers can collect valuable insights into target audience behaviors while opening the door to new methods of customer engagement. Additionally, companies can expect to see an increase in retention. According to a report by Invesp, companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers compared to companies with weak omnichannel programs that have a retention rate of just 33%.

As for the future of digital marketing, we can expect to see a continued increase in the variety of wearable devices available to consumers. Forbes also forecasts that social media will become increasingly conversational in the B2B space, video content will be refined for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, and email marketing will become even more personalized.

“Digital is at the core of everything in marketing today—it has gone from ‘one of the things marketing does’ to ‘THE thing that marketing does.’”

 – Sanjay Dholakia, Former Chief Marketing Officer, Marketo

Common problems that digital marketing can solve

To optimize your marketing strategies, digital is mandatory. Digital marketing can help you to get to know your audience, learn important data about them, and provide metrics that will give your marketing team credibility.

  • Problem: I don’t know my audience well enough to get started. Getting to know your audience takes time, and while your marketing team may have developed audience personas that can be of use, consumers actively spending time online may not behave in the way you’d expect. You’ll need to test different language with different targets, keeping in mind that certain descriptors will appeal to different people and their place in the buying cycle. Attune yourself to your audience and you’ll build credibility that will set you apart from the competition.
  • Problem: I haven’t optimized my channels for SEO. Regardless of your position in the marketing process, it’s important to have an understanding of SEO best practices. In addition to improving search engine ranking, SEO can reinforce and support your campaign testing and optimization to ensure you’re delivering high quality, valuable content that your potential customers want.
  • Problem: I don’t have a social media strategy. Regardless of whether you want to develop an organic social media strategy, a paid social media strategy, or a blend of the two, it’s important to have some form of social marketing in place. While social media is excellent for branding and engagement, it can also be a useful channel for digital marketing advertisement. Find a niche and a consistent voice, be patient, and as your following increases, the impact of your ads will increase as well.
  • Problem: My marketing teams are siloed. It’s important to break out of silos to create nimble, fluid structures. Your customers aren’t sequestered in one channel waiting for ads, so your marketing efforts must deploy cross-channel functionality with teams that bring multiple skill sets to the table to engage customers where they are. Each social network and channel includes different audiences and expectations, so marketing efforts may look completely different for each. This includes tone, imagery, offers, and even the time of day you post.
  • Problem: I’m under pressure from my CMO to report on metrics that support the bottom line. Digital marketing supports a vast universe of metrics that can be utilized to determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, but these metrics should be chosen with care. Each case will depend upon your audience makeup and focus on each channel. Keeping this in mind, start by determining your goals for each channel and set metrics your CMO will want to see the most.

Make sure you have all the implementation roadblocks cleared with our guide The 8 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

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Components of digital marketing

Digital marketing spans across a massive network of digital touchpoints that customers interact with many times a day. To properly utilize these channels, you need to have an understanding of each.

  • Paid search. Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, typically refers to the sponsored result on the top or side of a search engine results page (SERP). These ads charge you for every click and they can be tailored to appear when certain search terms are entered, so your ads are being targeted to audiences seeking something in particular. These ads can be extremely effective, as they rely on data gleaned from individuals’ online behavior and are used to boost website traffic by delivering relevant ads to the right people at the right time. These ads also involve retargeting, meaning that depending on the customers’ actions, marketing automation tools can craft unique, personal cross-platform ads.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing the content, technical setup, and reach of your website, so that your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a specific set of keyword terms. Using SEO can drive visitors to your site when they display behavior implying that they’re searching for relevant products, which can be a game changer considering that 90% of people searching haven’t formed an opinion about a brand yet (Status Labs, 2018). While PPC and retargeting have their place, organic online traffic earned through search engine optimization has enormous influence on search rankings and, by extension, organic site traffic. By using keywords and phrases, you can use SEO to massively increase visibility and begin a lasting customer relationship. SEO is defined as increasing a website’s rank in online search results, and thus its organic site traffic, by using popular keywords and phrases. Strong SEO strategies are hugely influential in digital marketing campaigns since visibility is the first step to a lasting customer relationship.
  • Content marketing. Effective content marketing is not outwardly promotional in nature, but rather serves to educate and inspire consumers who are seeking information. When you offer content that is relevant to your audience, it can secure you as a thought leader and a trustworthy source of information, making it less likely that your other marketing efforts will be lost in the static. In the age of the self-directed buyer, content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising, so it’s well worth the additional effort.
  • Social media marketing. The key to effective social media marketing goes far beyond simply having active social media accounts. You must also be weaving social elements into every aspect of your marketing efforts to create as many peer-to-peer sharing opportunities as possible. The more your audience is inspired to engage with your content, the more likely they are to share it, potentially inspiring their peers to become customers as well.
  • Email marketing. After more than two decades, email is still the quickest and most direct way to reach customers with critical information. Today, successful email campaigns must be incredibly engaging, relevant, informative, and entertaining to not get buried in your customer’s inbox. To succeed, your marketing emails should satisfy five core attributes. They must be trustworthy, relevant, conversational, coordinated across channels, and strategic.
  • Mobile marketing. Mobile devices are kept in our pockets, sit next to our beds, and are checked constantly throughout the day. This makes marketing on mobile incredibly important—two-thirds of consumers can recall a specific brand they have seen advertised on mobile in the last week—but mobile is also very nuanced considering its intimate nature. SMS, MMS, and in-app marketing are all options to reach your customers on their devices, but beyond that, you must consider the coordination of your marketing efforts across your other digital marketing channels.
  •  Marketing automation. Marketing automation is an integral platform that ties all of your digital marketing together. In fact, companies that automate lead management see a 10% or more bump in revenue in six to nine months’ time. Without it, your campaigns will look like an unfinished puzzle with a crucial missing piece. Marketing automation software streamlines and automates marketing tasks and workflow, measures results, and calculates the return on investment (ROI) of your digital campaigns, helping you to grow revenue faster. Marketing automation can help you gain valuable insight into which programs are working and which aren’t, and it will provide metrics to allow you to speak to digital marketing’s efforts on your company’s bottom line.

Learn more about what digital marketing can offer in our guide Digital Marketing 101: Key Tools for Engagement Marketing.

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ROI of a successful digital marketing program

Digital marketing ROI involves much more than the up-front payback of standard banner ads, organic content marketing is also a major player in the digital marketing space.

  • Digital marketing reaches customers beyond advertisements. Seventy percent of internet users want to learn about products through content versus traditional advertisements (MDG, 2014).
  • Digital marketing drives content marketing. The top five B2B content marketing tactics are social media content (92%), e-newsletters (83%), articles on your website (81%), blogs (80%), and in-person events (77%) (source).
  • Digital marketing is vital for SEO. The first organic search results on Google account for 32.5% of traffic share for a search term (Chitka)

Learn more about investing and budgeting to maximize ROI with our ebook The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Resource and Budget Allocation Across Channels.

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Planning, implementing, and optimizing your digital marketing program

Begin the launch of your digital marketing program by first determining your audience and goals, and then putting in place metrics to ensure you’re always improving.

Step 1: Identify and segment your audiences. Today buyers expect a personalized experience across every touchpoint. To do this, you must understand their demographic, firmographic, and technographic attributes as well as how to address their questions and pain points.

Step 2: Establish goals and measurement strategy. Use audience information to determine personas and get a clear view of their sales journey to establish your goals and measurement strategy. Important metrics include impressions, reach, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), engagement rate, conversions, cost per lead (CPL), effective cost per thousand (eCPM), as well as back-end metrics like return on investment (ROI), return on ad spend (ROAS), first- and multi-touch attribution, and lifetime  customer value (LCV).

Step 3: Set up your adtech and channels. Ad technology can take some time to navigate, so make sure you have the right data management platforms (DMPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPS), and ad exchanges in place before you get started. Align your team, communicate everyone’s objectives, and show how their channels fit into the big picture of digital marketing.

Step 4: Launch and optimize. Digital marketing can be used for acquisition, nurturing, building customer loyalty, and branding. Review metrics regularly, so you can know where you are excelling and where you need work to become a leader in this high-impact, high-demand space.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

The perfect resource for beginner-to-advanced digital marketers looking to learn new skills or hone existing ones.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing is full of insights and strategy for business owners, marketing professionals, students, and anyone else looking to hone their current skills and get up to speed on the latest in digital marketing.

Read it now to build or refine your digital marketing plan without the false starts and missteps that come with doing it alone.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search marketing, and email marketing.

When you get down to it, digital marketing is simply marketing.

It’s how today’s businesses are getting their message in front of their best prospects and customers.

Rule #1 in marketing is to make the right offer at the right time and in the right place. Today, your customers are online: hanging out in social media, staying updated on news sites and blogs, and searching online when they have a need.

Digital marketing puts you in those same channels, so your best prospects can see you, learn more about you, and even ask questions to learn more about you and your products or services.

If you’re new to digital marketing, it may feel overwhelming to think about mastering all the online marketing tactics used in digital marketing.

We get that…

And yes, there are different tactics you’ll need to learn. But they all work together to create a foundation for your business: attracting prospects, nurturing relationships, and making offers your audience will appreciate and respond to.

Let’s take a closer look at how that happens.

How Does Digital Marketing Work?

In many ways, digital marketing is no different than traditional marketing. In both, smart organizations seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with prospects, leads, and customers.

But digital marketing has replaced most traditional marketing tactics because it’s designed to reach today’s consumers.

As an example…

Think about the last important purchase you made. Perhaps you purchased a home, hired someone to fix your roof, or changed paper suppliers at your office.

Regardless of what it was, you probably began by searching the Internet to learn more about available solutions, who provided them, and what your best options were. Your ultimate buying decision was then based on the reviews you read, the friends and family you consulted, and the solutions, features, and pricing you researched.

Most purchasing decisions begin online.

That being the case, an online presence is absolutely necessary—regardless of what you sell.

The key is to develop a digital marketing strategy that puts you in all the places your followers are already hanging out, then using a variety of digital channels to connect with them in a multitude of ways…

…Content to keep them updated with industry news, the problems they’re facing, and how you solve those problems…

…Social media to share that content and then engage with them as friends and followers…

…Search engine optimization (SEO) to optimize your content, so it will show up when someone is searching for the information you’ve written about…

…Advertising to drive paid traffic to your website, where people can see your offers…

…And email marketing to follow up with your audience to be sure they continue to get the solutions they’re looking for.

When you put all these pieces together, you’ll end up with an efficient, easy-to-operate digital marketing machine. And while it looks intimidating to build that machine from scratch, it’s as simple as learning and integrating one digital marketing tactic at a time.

Which is why we’ve put together this guide: To help you build or refine your own digital marketing plan without the false starts and missteps that come with doing it alone.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

Having a strong digital presence will help you in multiple ways:

Learn the Strategies That Get Real Results

Be aware, the digital marketing scene is ever changing. Gurus, podcasts, and bloggers declare a tool or tactic hot one week and dead the next.

The truth is, digital marketing is less about “digital” and more about “marketing,” largely because digital marketing has come of age. Its fundamentals have already been established.

At DigitalMarketer, our objective is to clear the confusion about the tactics that work and how to use them to grow your business. We stand firmly against the so-called “gurus” who promote the next “shiny object” or “quick fix” that will reportedly kill email marketing, digital advertising, or search engine optimization.

Here, we’re all about the fundamentals.

As you’ll see in this guide, these 8 core disciplines of digital marketing will be critical to your business growth today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Each of these disciplines will be covered in depth in a chapter of this Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing as shown below.

About The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing isn’t magic, and you don’t need to be a computer whiz to be good at it. If you offer a product or service that the market desires, you can successfully market them in digital channels using the strategies taught in this guide.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing doesn’t present hype about the latest flashy tactics in marketing—digital or otherwise. Instead, this resource covers foundational disciplines such as content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, always in the context of the goals that businesses care about.

These goals include acquiring new leads and customers, monetizing the leads and customers you already have, and creating communities of brand advocates and promoters.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

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What You’ll Learn

In each chapter, we’ll cover 4 key aspects to the strategy being discussed:

Digital Marketing Methods

The Methods: the strategies and processes you’ll use to create your plan and execute it in your own business. This is the bulk of each chapter—because in digital marketing, how you execute a strategy is key. And in this Guide, we share the exact methods we use here at DigitalMarketer.


The Metrics: the numbers you’ll watch to measure your success and identify areas that need tweaking (or are worth doubling down on).


Digital Marketing Lingo

The Lingo: the terminology used by experts, so you can communicate intelligently (even if you don’t consider yourself a pro).


The Roles: the people in your organization who will likely have responsibility for planning and running each digital marketing tactic.


We’ve organized this Guide in a logical progression. Though you can jump around, learning the tactics in whatever order you feel you need them, we recommend you read through the chapters in order.

Take your time. Read and study one chapter at a time. Apply what you learn. And when you feel you’ve got the methods up and running, move on to the next chapter.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can implement these digital marketing tactics if you focus on them one at a time. Then, when everything is up and running, you can focus on optimizing and improving your processes for maximum growth.