An introduction to Digital Marketing. Part 1: how to use social media and web platforms

Welcome to our section dedicated to digital marketing! Our mission is to make life easier for aspiring start-uppers.

Digital Marketing on the web

Digital marketing is currently a hot topic for every entrepreneur and it is impossible to launch a startup without having a basic knowledge of it. As a matter of fact, digital marketing is now a mandatory ingredient for every successful business, regardless of its shape or size. No wonder why companies spend a considerable part of the budget on it!

We also know that when it comes to explaining digital marketing other blogs and platforms might offer some good contents. Yet, sometimes they are too difficult or complicated and – especially if you are a new “guy” in the marketing world – it is quite easy to get lost in the sea of information out there.

Indeed, although the term digital marketing might sound easy, if you dig just a bit more into the topic, you will quickly learn that it is more complex than it may seem at first sight. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with a lot of unknown terms, and hundreds of acronyms – such as CPC, Funnel, Lead, Cookies, Spam, FMCG, SMART – and many complex concepts.

So, if you want to discover what the hell digital marketing is, follow us through this series!

Startupme.nl is here to help you! We are going to make the information as clear as possible, explaining the definitions and topics, one by one. In this, we will make sure to make digital marketing easy and understandable for everybody. If you are running a small eCommerce company, a coffee shop, or any other simple enterprise, rest assured that we're keeping it simple!

Marketing through the years

Marketing is a term that is familiar to most of us. Especially if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you realize soon enough that marketing your product or service effectively is one of the most important things to do to attract your new customers.

The orthodox, more academic approach to marketing consists of advertising to a number of people through a specific channel, be it TV commercials, billboards, flyers, or sponsored announcements in a local newspaper or radio station. For the past years, however, the advent of web 2.0 with social media, web platforms, YouTube, Google, etc. has changed the rules of the game and reshaped marketing accordingly. As a result, all we hear today is the term “Digital Marketing.”

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

Many argue, however, that there is no fundamental difference between marketing and digital marketing; marketing is marketing, and the goal is the same: advertise to make people interested in what you offer. Yet, Digital Marketing entails innovative features that certainly deserve to be explored. Therefore we started this article series to systematically breakdown Digital Marketing and explain everything you should know as an aspiring startupper.

Before we go into definitions, try to answer this question yourself “what is digital marketing?” what are the first things that come to your mind?

I am pretty sure that many of you came up with things related to social media or advertising on Google. That is right indeed; Digital Marketing above all entails the use of new media and web platforms to achieve marketing goals. Digital Marketing can be done through the use of various digital channels that you can segment in owned media, paid media, and earned media. Let’s have a closer look.

Owned media

These are the media that you create and have control over, such as your Instagram profile, where you can determine which content you post. Via owned media, you can market the content that you create in order to grow your audience and client base, and compete in the market accordingly. Owned media, furthermore, consists of course of other social media profiles, but could also be your own website, blog, or (mobile) app.

Paid media

These channels revolve around paying for online traffic in order to redirect people to your owned media. Paid media, for example, could be a Facebook marketing campaign geared towards getting more likes for your page or for posts that you shared. Other paid media channels involve displayed ads, paid (online) influencers, paid-for search traffic, and social media advertising in general.

Earned media

Earned media are the digital channels that arise when people – e.g. bloggers, influencers – share your content, and speak about you, your brand, or your product(s) and/or service(s). In general, earned media is considered everything from reviews, mentions, reports, and everything that makes your brand visible without requiring your intervention.

In the pursuit of understanding digital marketing better, there are two core concepts that help you wrap your mind around the process of advertising in the digital world. These two are push and pull strategies, more commonly known as Inbound and Outbound strategies. If you want to know more about this, follow this link to the second part.