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Digital Marketing For Non-Marketers

What Is Digital Marketing?
Step-by-step Guide With Strategies (2024)

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Written by Alexander Ang

Last updated May 30 , 2024

What is Digital Marketing

There's no standard "Oxford definition" of what Digital Marketing is.

Still, after doing some research from authority sites such as Mailchimp, Forbes, Digital Marketing Institute, Investopedia and others, my summary would be this:

Digital marketing is the act of promoting your products and services through digital technology, such as a social media network or a search engine, to help you achieve your marketing goal.

Goals Of Marketing

Your goal is to communicate your products and services to your audience, eventually converting them into customers.

Peter Drucker said the "aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous".

In this context, 'superfluous' means to render the act of selling unnecessary, whereby your product or service is so well-known that it practically sells itself.

In This Guide, We'll Discuss:

9 Keypoints You Need To Know About Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing is about A/B testing. Your goal is to optimize your marketing campaign and to identify winning ads.
The market will decide whether they like your campaign or not and it will be reflected on the data you see in your business page or ads manager dashboard.
Digital marketing aims to help you achieve your marketing goals, such as generating more leads, improving sales, converting new customers, and reducing overall marketing costs as compared to traditional marketing.
You can always quickly test your campaign with a little budget and then move on to the next one.
The digital marketing landscape and the algorithms will continue to improve and evolve for the better over time. Instead of panicking and feeling overwhelmed, why not be excited about it as you are about to bring your business to the next level!
There are 2 methods to generate traffic:
1. Organic method: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social media posting
2. Paid methods: Running Google ads, Banner ads or Social Media ads.
Most businesses use 2 to 3 types of online channels to promote their businesses online. These include using social media platforms like Facebook or TikTok, search engines like Google or Yahoo and marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy.
Digital marketing is not everything. Ideally, you should adopt an omni-channel presence that encompasses both online and offline channels (O2O) for a well-rounded marketing strategy.
Measuring your marketing efforts can help you make better marketing decisions and scale your campaign to reach wider range of audiences.

6 Important Digital Marketing Strategies

1. Content Marketing

Create and distribute valuable content to consistently connect with your target audience online, eventually driving profitable actions for your business. 

Content marketing is the best way to position yourself as an authority in your industry, build influence and connection with your audience.

2. Social Media Marketing

Are you being "Social" online?

Social media marketing is about connecting and engaging with your audience online. On top of providing profound insights through the content you share (Content Marketing), you increase your engagement with your audiences by actively commenting, creating polls, asking questions, or using different social media accounts to do the same. With the right strategies, this undoubtedly helps you grow your followers with.

3. Digital Advertising

Any effort that requires you to pay to get exposure, reach and conversions online, are considered as paid advertising.

By setting up and launch your Ads online (Paid method), you get to quickly reach out to a specific group of audience (Target audience). These channels include native ads, programmatic ads, banner ads and social media ads etc. 

4. Email Marketing

A great way to increase your average order value and frequency of purchase from your existing customer base is through Email Marketing. 

Email marketing can be used to build your own subscriber list and retain your customers by continuously sending high-quality emails.

Email marketing software doesn't have to be expensive, you can always start for free or as low as $9/month to build your email marketing funnels.

5. Website Optimization

Your website represents your brand and identity.

Having a website for yourself or your business builds trust and establishes yourself as a professional brand.

When building a website, always keep in mind to follow Google's best practices to allow Google to rank you better on Google Search. This effort is what we call as Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Some tips for you on website optimisation:
1. Improve your website loading time (Within 3 seconds)

2. Making it Mobile-friendly (Content fitting the width of the screen) 

3. Making it Mobile-responsive (Website layout structure is well organised on both laptop and mobile versions)

6. Search Marketing

Sometimes, people call it Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

This includes Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and Display Ads (also known as Banner Ads).

Search engines such as Google or Microsoft Bing offer various campaign types, allowing advertisers to reach millions of audiences through keywords, images, and videos.

Why Digital Marketing?

If you want to:

Expand business market share
Increase profits and revenue
Reduce overall cost

Then, digital marketing can help you achieve your goal.

Users are spending more and more time in online media, which means you could share your marketing message and find your target audience there.

Top 10 Benefits Of Digital Marketing

Here are the top 10 benefits of how implementing digital marketing strategies can help you grow your business.

1. Free To Get Started

Starting a YouTube channel or social media account is absolutely free.
Building networks and connections online are easily accessible - anywhere, anytime.
Listing your products on the marketplace is free.

You could literally start building meaningful connections, posting content and get exposures online for free, now. 

2. Measurable

If you run ads, you will be able to obtain all the data the platforms track (e.g., Facebook ads, Google ads), enabling you to analyse, review, measure, and optimise your campaigns more effectively and confidently based on real historical statistics. 

3. Predictable

You can use online tools such as Google Trends to run an interest analysis and ads library, check out competitors' activities, and gauge overall market competitiveness, trends, and demand.

4. Scalable

You can reach global customers with just a laptop from your home, anywhere worldwide (As long as they use the internet). You can run ads from anywhere to anywhere with little advertising budget.

5. Real-Time Feedback

You can run an ad for less than 5 dollars a day. When you're ready, you can always add to your budget anytime.

6. Low cost

You can run an ad for less than 5 dollars a day. 

When you’re ready, you can always add on budget at any point of time.

7. Same level playing field

If big brands have a channel, or a website, or a business page, you can too! 

No matter how big or how small your brand is, you can always compete with bigger brands.

8. Suitable for all stages of customers

Whether visitors just heard about you, are interested in your product, are checking you out, or are already your customers, they can always easily access your business.

9. Drive Consistent Traffic

Suppose your website and content are optimised on Search Engines such as Google.

In that case, you'll have the privilege to rank on the first results (or first page) on SERP (Search Engine Result Page), 24/7, 365 days every year, driving you constant traffic without fail.

10. Real-Time Feedback

Digital marketing accelerates and shortens sales cycles by allowing interested customers to assess your products and website information anytime. 

This enables them to make smoother and better buying decisions. Digital marketing helps make selling easier.

Step-By-Step Guide Creating Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy

Step 1: Market Research and demand analysis

Digital marketing accelerates and shortens sales cycles by allowing interested customers to assess your products and website information anytime. 

This enables them to make smoother and better buying decisions. Digital marketing helps make selling easier.

Here’re some tools that can help you identify whether your product or service is competitive or in demand in the market.

Let’s use air fryer as an example:

Tool 1: Google Trend
Google Trend Use Case Example

Here, you can see the interest in Air Fryer has gone up over the past few years and is constantly in a higher interest range.

That would be a good indicator that there's a demand for Air Fryers.

Facebook Ad Library Example

On your Facebook Profile home feed, go to the search bar and type "Facebook Ad Library".

1. Choose a specific country.

2. Select "All Ads" for the ad category.

3. Type your keyword or advertiser page name (a.k.a Facebook Page Name).

You can check all active ads launched by other brands based on keywords or simply key in the Facebook Business Page name to see any currently active ads.

When big brands run a variety of ads on Facebook (in the slimming industry, in this case), you know there's a demand, or else they won't be spending the budget to run high numbers of ads in the first place.

Remember, more ads on a specific channel, even though it means more competition, also means there's demand.

Google Ads Transparency Center Example

Anyone can access Google Ads Transparency Center.

This platform provides information about ads that are running on Google's platforms.

You can search for the advertiser name or the website link to view all the ads and advertiser details.

You can filter and check on:

1. Country

2. Timeline

3. Ads format (Image, text or video)

4.  Whether advertiser has identified their identity (To promote trust)

5. Number of running ads

Step 2: Prepare copies and creatives

A. Demographic

It means hard facts about your target audience, example:

Age and gender
Job title (Designation, employers or employees)
Location (Country, state, city, place)
Relationship status (Single, in a relationship, married, divorce)
Language that they speak
B. Psychographic
3 Types of Audience Research

It refers to the psychological characteristics and traits such as values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

This helps marketers understand deeper motivations and preferences, enabling more targeted and effective marketing strategies later on.

Current pain points
Desire goal and outcome
Lifestyle interest
Cultural beliefs
C. Behavioural

It refers to the psychological characteristics and traits such as values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

This helps marketers understand deeper motivations and preferences, enabling more targeted and effective marketing strategies later on.

Every purchase comes from a series of decisions made by customers.

This is a non-linear buying behavioural journey or buying touch points.

You want to study how your consumers make decisions and what's essential to allow you to look deeper into their wants and needs.

Write down and brainstorm how they make decisions, such as

Blogs or websites that they often visit
Information that they need to make the next step purchase decision
Social media account or KOL that they follow

Having these 3 filled out, you can create various marketing messages that target different groups of audience members who have the same needs.

You want to create at least 3 different marketing angles to test your campaign later on.

Step 3: Setup and Launch your campaign

You can choose to generate leads using different organic (Free) methods or to achieve your marketing goal using paid methods.

We will use paid ads as an example here:

There are 3 essential steps to launching effective online ads, which is

1. Setting campaign objective.

2. Choosing your target audience.

3. Upload your copywriting and creatives (Image and videos).

Step 4: Monitor, Review and Analyse your campaign

Monitor the ads 2 to 3 times a day.

Monitoring means tracking all the essential results from the ads manager; here are some examples of metrics you may want to monitor:

Total ads spent
Total results (leads, enquiries, messages etc)
Cost per result
ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
CPM (Cost per thousand impression)

Step 5: Optimize and Scale your campaign

If your ads are working, add on a budget to produce more results. If the ads are not working, pause and try different copywriting and creatives.

Then test for another 2-3 days.

Optimization is an ongoing process, and when you do it right, you will be confident in your ability to invest more in ad costs to scale your campaign effectively.

What About Leveraging AI For Marketing?

According to Social Trends 2024 by Hootsuite,

“61% of organisations say number 1 reason they use AI for social media is to reduce staff workload.”

AI Use Case Statistic 2024 by HootSuite

AI will continue to skyrocket in 2024, here's the screenshot of how marketers will incorporate AI into their social media activities.

Personally, I don’t think it is just for social media but all marketing-related strategies.

Here’s another results posted,

“62% of the consumers say they are less likely to engage with and trust the content if they know it was created by an AI application.”

AI Hootsuite Social Trends 2024 Survey Statistics

Keep it efficient while making it authentic

Hootsuite Social Trends Suggestion

The idea here is to learn to leverage AI for:

Brainstorm ideas
Creating drafts
Gives suggestions
Suggest images
Enhance output

And use human for:

Fact checking
Ensure output are following company’s brand identity
Gives direction
Edit and refine writing based on your context.

Final Thought

Digital marketing opens up so many opportunities to accelerate companies' growth.

It is affordable to get started, whether you are just starting up or already have an established business in the market.

The key is to understand your consumer behavioural journey, conduct market research before deciding which channel to start, and better allocate your resources effectively.

Start incorporating generative AI into your marketing activities so that you can focus and scale your strength with these free tools available in the market.

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