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What Is Digital Marketing?

Jan, 2022

What digital marketing does for a company depends on the goal of each type of marketing content, which includes increasing brand awareness and industry authority, boosting web traffic, and increasing overall leads and revenue.

Marketing your company online is a big deal these days. After all, internet usage has more than doubled over the past decade, and this shift has massively affected how people purchase products and interact with businesses

What is Digital Marketing?

Like any other type of marketing, digital marketing is a way to connect with and influence your potential customers. The difference is that you do so online through a combination of digital marketing channels that include video content, social media posts, content marketing, web and social media advertisements, and search engine marketing.

Companies reach goals through the above means instead of using traditional marketing strategies like billboards, television ads, and promotional mail sent to consumer residences.

Common Digital Marketing Assets

Almost anything can be a digital marketing asset, meaning any marketing tool that you use online. That being said, you may not realize how many you have at your disposal. Here are a few examples:

  • Your website
  • Branded assets (logos, icons, acronyms)
  • Video content (video ads, product demos)
  • Images (infographics, product and company photos)
  • Written content (blog posts, eBooks, product descriptions, Help Sections, “learning center-type” content or online courses)
  • Online products or tools (SaaS, calculators, interactive content)
  • Reviews
  • Social media pages

As you can probably imagine, this list only scratches the surface. Most digital marketing assets will fall into one of these categories. However, clever marketers are constantly coming up with new ways to reach customers online, and the list keeps growing.

Common Digital Marketing Strategies

Though the list of digital marketing strategies is also constantly evolving, these are some of the most common and effective strategies that businesses are using:


Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a broad term that covers any online marketing where the advertising business pays for each time a user clicks on an ad. For example, Google AdWords is a form of PPC advertising called “paid search advertising.” Facebook Ads are another form of PPC advertising called “paid social media advertising.”


Paid search advertising is one of the best ways to target potential customers actively searching for a product or service like yours. Google, Bing, and Yahoo allow you to run ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

According to Google, 91% of users are searching from their mobile devices. All of your PPC and paid search advertising campaigns should be optimized for mobile so your business isn’t missing out on all of those clicks and potential customers. If you’re missing the mark on this, you need to revamp your digital marketing strategy ASAP.


Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat allow users to pay for digital media marketing ads on their sites. Paid social media advertising is great for building awareness with audiences who might not know that your business, product, or service exists.


Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is the technique used by digital media marketing professionals to get pages and blog posts to rank organically on SERPs. It takes more skill and know-how to get on the front page of Google with SEO than with paid search advertising, and it can be time-consuming.


Like SEO, social media marketing is the free, organic way to use platforms like Facebook or Twitter to market your business through digital means. Unfortunately, organically marketing your business on social media takes more time and effort than paid advertising. Still, it can be very effective when you’re operating on a tighter budget. Social media marketing is one of the best digital marketing strategies you can use, even if you don’t pay for it.


Conversion rate optimization (CRO) improves the online user experience to maximize the number of users who perform a desired action known as converting. This can be as simple as getting them to click on a link and sign up for your newsletter. Businesses often use CRO to get leads, chats, calls, and sales from their existing website traffic and increase those conversions.


Content marketing is another broad digital marketing term. Content marketing covers any digital marketing effort that uses content assets (blog posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, etc.) to build brand awareness or drive clicks, leads, or sales. Most importantly, when you combine these elements the right way, you develop a clear online marketing strategy for your business.


Have you ever noticed that at the bottom of an article you’re reading, there is often a list of suggested articles? That’s native advertising. Most of it falls under content marketing because it uses content to attract clicks (“You’ll never believe what happens next!”). Often, it can be difficult to spot because it is usually mixed in with non-paid content recommendations. Of course, that’s kind of the point.


Email marketing is the oldest form of online marketing, and it’s still going strong. Most digital marketers use it for advertising special deals, highlighting content, or promoting an event. It offers opportunities to reach users who may not be on many of the more popular platforms, like social media.


You use affiliate marketing to pay someone else a person or a business to promote your products and services on their website.

There are many ways to market your business online, which is why many companies outsource their online marketing efforts or pay for an in-house team and automation software to cover their marketing needs. This is one area where spending a little money can definitely improve your return on investment (ROI).

Does Digital Marketing Work?

Digital marketing is an excellent option for any business looking to take advantage of the marketing resources available and succeed in an increasingly digital world. At Disruptive, we’ve used it to help all kinds of businesses grow — including home service companies like mom-and-pop shops and larger entities like internationally-recognized universities. That’s the beauty of advertising online. If you know the demographics you want to target, using digital means can reach anyone, anywhere.

However, certain types of businesses will benefit more from specific types of digital advertising. As a quick overview, let’s take a look at which strategies tend to work best for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and business-to-business (B2B) companies:


Generally speaking, B2C companies have much lower price points than their B2B counterparts. After all, it can be a little hard to sell a $150,000 drill bit (believe me, they exist) to a harried mom. But an inexpensive pair of kid’s pants? That’s a reasonably straightforward sell.

The good news is that, because B2C companies aren’t trying to sell incredibly expensive products or services, they don’t need big sales teams or complicated marketing funnels. All they have to do is get their products or services in front of the right audience with the right messaging, and the rest should take care of itself.

As a result, the primary goal of most B2C companies is to guide the customer journey into and through their marketing funnel. For example, if you can get that mom onto your kids’ clothing website and offer her an exciting deal, there’s a good chance that she’ll make a purchase today. You don’t need to build a ton of brand awareness or trust before you close a sale.

With that in mind, B2C companies often see great results from higher-funnel digital channels like social media marketing and paid social advertising. These channels do a great job of getting your business in front of potential customers who might not otherwise know that you exist.

Supplementing with other digital marketing strategies like paid search or SEO is always a good idea. If you have to pick one of the digital channels to start with, paid social advertising or social media marketing are great options for B2C.


In contrast, paid search is a great option for B2B digital media marketing campaigns. Most have very specific, niche audiences that can be hard to target using social media. However, if you sell $150,000 drill bits and someone searches for a “diamond-tipped oil drilling bit manufacturer,” you want to be the first result they see. Yes, you might pay more for your click than you would with paid social advertising, but with a $150,000 price tag, it’s money well spent.

In addition, most B2B companies have a much longer and more involved sales cycle than B2C companies. If you’re selling a $150,000 drill bit, most people probably don’t go to your website, give you a call, and say, “I want one.” As a result, longer-term strategies like content marketing or email marketing are often necessary to close a deal.

Of course, the right blend of digital marketing tactics will vary from industry to industry and business-to-business, but simply comparing B2C to B2B should help give you a sense of how different strategies can be better for certain businesses. Not every strategy is suitable for every business, but with a bit of trial and error, you should be able to identify the most profitable approach for your company.

Also read: 3 Strategies for Creating an Integrated Video Campaign

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