5 Spheres of Digital Marketing: What's Best for You
By Kamal Jacob
At this point, no one needs to tell you that Digital Marketing is a broad domain. Even when you specify your purpose, there are a few areas to choose from. So, when you are setting out to learn Digital Marketing, you will have to pick something from the table — from SEO, PPC, SMM, Email or Content Marketing to be exact.
However, before you pick one of these spheres and become an expert, you’ve to understand what these spheres are capable of. The last time we checked, you can’t simply replace SEO with SMM or Email Marketing with PPC. So, in this article, we will be talking about the best, better and worst of all these marketing spheres.
As we said, we will be comparing five spheres — SEO, PPC, SMM, Email and Content Marketing.
SEO — Search Engine Optimization
SEO has been perhaps the most important sphere of Digital Marketing and it’s still holding the primary position.
What Is it?
SEO means optimizing your website, business profile or Google Business listing for maximum visibility. When your prospective customer searches for something — not necessarily the name of your brand —, your website/listing should appear. To make this possible, you have to follow on-page and off-page optimization tools.
You don’t necessarily have to pay money to do SEO. It basically deals with how you optimize your website design, content, and backlinks for maximum exposure. That having said, despite the primary effort, making conversions via SEO would not cost you anything. Once it’s done, traffic starts flowing.
However, there are some extra components such as Keyword Research tools and SEO Analysis platforms. You may have to pay a monthly subscription for these tools. Just so you know, though, there are people who do SEO without such premium tools. Some popular tools used in the link building aspect of SEO are MOZ, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, Buzzstream, Semrush, etc. Check out the complete list of SEO tools here.
It’s a relative question, due to the increasing competition. Even if you tone things down to a particular keyword, there are thousands of people competing for it. So, you will need a sufficient amount of experience to rank a particular keyword on a SERP.
We wouldn’t say SEO is tough, but it requires a lot of time and patience.
Who Is It For?
If you want to build consistent traffic to your website, on a regular basis, SEO is the best shot. Though it needs (a lot of) time and patience, you won’t have to pay later.
PPC — Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay Per Click, commonly referred to as PPC, is relatively new and it has been a great pick for many businesses so far.
What Is It?
PPC is often known as paid traffic via Google, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms. This is because you are paying these platforms to display your website on top when someone searches with a particular keyword. It means an advertisement will be displayed on top of all the organic search results. If you didn’t guess that yet, yes, you have to pay for each click.
Yes, PPC is really really expensive. However, if you know how to strategize your ad campaign, you can make everything worth your while. So, every time someone has clicked on your advertisement on a SERP, you will have to pay Google or the company. And yes, the company does not charge for impressions.
Once again, there are a few extra expenses. You will have to spend a lot of time doing keyword research and finding the right keyword to focus. Here, you’ll need some additional tools. While this is optional, PPC just gets expensive — not the other way around.
Understanding the market trends and choosing the right keyword to focus on is so important in PPC Marketing. If you focus on the wrong keyword, your ROI will go down pathetically. Also, you have to design your advertisement in such a way that a user would click on it.
It’s kinda tough, but it takes less time and requires less patience.
Who Is It For?
If you want to build traffic but can’t wait till an organic SEO campaign succeeds, it makes sense to go for PPC Marketing. If you’re into Affiliate Marketing, you’d find it pretty useful.
SMM — Social Media Marketing
Social Media is yet another great way to reach out to your audience. And, you don’t want to miss it in Digital Marketing.
What Is It?
SMM refers to the process of using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. to attract more customers/traffic into your business. It is also done for improving your brand reputation, by establishing a better relationship with customers.
You can do Social Media Marketing in two ways: without paying and by paying. For instance, if we take the case of Facebook, it allows you to run Facebook Ads, which will be promoting your page/posts among the potential customers. This would, of course, cost you an amount.
There is also a way to run SMM campaigns without paying. In this case, however, you have to face fierce competition. In addition to all these, there are a few extra expenses regarding content creation, poster designs, and strategy planning. Still, if compared to the ROI, the expenses are minimal.
Many people say SMM is easy, but that’s only when you have a knack for launching impressive ads. You get one shot and it should impress your potential customer. It’s also about brand building and you have to take care of the psychological and emotional side of the customer.
Customer understanding is imperative here.
Who Is It For?
If you want to focus on potential customers who are likely to convert, SMM is the best place to start. It offers more control and a personal approach.
Email Marketing is often dubbed as the most personal way to reach the customer. It is because you are reaching out to their personal inbox.
What Is It?
Email Marketing refers to the process of sending frequent newsletters to customers and subscribers who have opted in for communication. Because you are talking to people who are already interested, the conversion rates are very high. This type of marketing is done to improve brand value and better customer relations.
You cannot simply send hundreds or thousands of newsletters from your Gmail or Outlook account. So, you would have to subscribe to an email marketing software. It costs a bit, depending on the number of subscribers and the features you want. In addition to simply sending bulk emails, there are a few features too.
There may be a few ways to send bulk emails without paying anything. However, it is not really recommended. If you choose those ways, your emails would end up in a Spam folder, which isn’t really great. So, yes, you would have to pay something to keep an email marketing campaign running.
Email Marketing may seem like the easiest form of marketing. However, that is until you start looking at the conversion rates. You have to work harder in order to make your emails look convincing and convertible. You may also make use of tech such as A/B Testing and Multivariate testing.
Once again, you should know the customer you are addressing.
Who Is It For?
If you are looking for a medium to personally keep in touch with your customers, Email Marketing is the best shot.
Content Marketing is probably the newest sphere in the world of digital marketing. It has, however, attracted a lot of attention in a shorter span.
What Is It?
Content Marketing refers to the process of creating and publishing valuable content that can attract a refined group of customers. You design the strategy in an effective way that people who are interested in your service/product are likely to read the content and convert.
Depending on the size of the campaign that you are planning, Content Marketing can be really expensive. After all, if you want great content, you will have to pay for it, right? There are some additional costs too. In order to make sure that your posts rank, you will need proper SEO.
That having said, you can start a minimal content marketing campaign too. In both cases, however, it would be great if you can master Content Marketing through an online course or experience. In this case, every word counts (pun intended) and you will have to pay for it.
The success rate in Content Marketing really depends upon the competition for services or products that you are targeting. Even that said, you won’t have trouble in learning the basics of content marketing and writing a fine piece of write-up that can convert customers.
It’s kinda not expensive, but it could be.
Who Is It For?
Content Marketing is indeed long-term. You may have to wait for a long time to see the actual results, but the conversion rates would be off the charts, for sure.
The Bottom Line
We have tried to draw the distinction-line between the major five spheres of Digital Marketing here. We have also mentioned the various characteristics. For instance, in the case of Content Marketing and Email Marketing, you have to wait for results, while PPC and SMM are almost instant. Choosing one of them, however, depends on what you and your organization have in its mind.
So, that’s a wrap. In case you are looking forward to mastering any of these spheres, you would surely find our Digital Marketing courses helpful.