Digital Marketing

what is digital marketing

By Dan Barraclough | Published: 24 September 2018

Here we dive into the world of digital marketing, explaining how it can help your business succeed online…

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the process of marketing services or products via online or ‘digital’ means. As opposed to traditional marketing, which normally uses newspapers, flyers, and television adverts, digital marketing involves reaching out to your internet audience.

This is done by using a variety of methods across different mediums and platforms, including social media, video production, search engines, and emails. With more businesses now going online than ever before, it’s important to get the edge on your competitors, and start reaching out to your internet audience more efficiently.

There are plenty of other benefits to using digital marketing, too. With this type of marketing, you can reach people all over the world at any time – unlike traditional marketing, where you’re restricted to newspaper subscribers, or the audience watching television in your country.

What’s more, you can directly interact with your audience via social media, which is made particularly easy on conversational platforms like Twitter. This is really important for growing brand trust.

Think digital marketing sounds like too much to do? Well, you can either carry out these tasks yourself, or you can outsource your digital marketing solutions to a third party agency, like Yell. The latter may incur some initial costs, but you’ll be paying experts to get the best out of your brand – this means you’re likely to see profits rise, while saving time in your office.

Digital marketing solutions

Below, we’ll provide an overview of the most popular forms of digital marketing.  Covering the basics, you should get an idea how digital marketing could help your business, and whether you want to work with a digital marketing agency.


Pay-per-click involves paying some kind of publishing software – most commonly a search engine like Google – each time an internet user clicks on your link or advert. Essentially, you’re paying Google to have your link appear higher up on the SERPs (search engine results pages) by offering more money for that particular keyword or phrase.

PPC is so effective because you’re targeting your adverts at people who are already searching for your services. This means they’re more likely to click your link and convert, so it’s definitely worth the money.

As we’ve said, you can outsource your digital marketing services to another agency. These companies can build a fully managed PPC campaign for your brand, and bring more eyes, clicks, and pounds to your site.

Social ads

Advertising on social media is quick, affordable, and effective. And with over 3.4 billion social media users out there as of 2019, you can see why this type of digital marketing is becoming more popular.

Did You Know?

Facebook is used by almost 70% of the UK population.

So, how does it work? Much like PPC, you pay a social media platform to have your advert appear on its feed. In this case, the more you pay, the wider the audience your advert will be promoted to. Simply select your most valuable social media platform, then dedicate some of your budget on promoting your advert to a huge number of people.

Facebook has the largest audience of any social media channel, and so it’s probably the best place to start your social ad campaigns. With such a huge and diverse audience, there’s a lot of potential to grow a successful campaign here.

However, channels like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are also useful platforms to plug your brand. Although, it’s important that you pick the channels that your audience uses frequently, so do some research before you settle on a platform. To gain an understanding of what people are saying about your brand online, we'd recommend using Social Media Monitoring tools which can help you create and share the right content.

Display ads

Display advertising, also known as banner advertising, involves promoting your brand message on another website to encourage internet users to click your link and visit your own website. The success of these ads is measured via CTR (click-through rate), which can be calculated by dividing the number of different clicks by the number of advert impressions.

When it comes to click-through rate, the numbers are usually quite low – under 1% – but by working with a digital marketing agency, your company stands a good chance of reaching the above-average mark of 1% or 1.5% CTR for your display ads.

Did You Know?

The average CTR for a display ad is 0.35%.

But why use display ads? Well, by using this type of advertising, you can promote your brand across the most popular and busiest websites in the country, in terms of visitor traffic. Your adverts will be on display to a wide audience of internet users, and the more traffic on the website you’re advertising on, the more likely it is that people will click on your ads.

However, you should be aware that internet users are unlikely to click on banner ads. In fact, 11% of internet users have blocked these adverts on their browser because they find them boring, or because they appear to be spam. This means it’s more important than ever to make your display adverts eye-catching and trustworthy.

In order for people to click your display ad, we suggest that you design it with a clear CTA (call to action), and with a persuasive value proposition – i.e. a reason why internet users should click on your advert. Follow these tips, and you should see your click-through rate go through the roof.


Search engine optimisation is the process of improving the ranking of your website on search engines such as Google using ‘organic’ – meaning non-paid – means. The most popular method of SEO is integrating keywords into your copy.

Keywords are the most popular words or phrases that internet users are searching for – the more effectively and naturally you use them in your adverts, the more likely your websites will improve on the SERPs.

SEO is popular because it’s largely free to do. However, you'll need to purchase tracking software – such as Google Analytics – in order to keep on top of your performance online. 

How can digital marketing services help your business?

As we’ve mentioned, a digital marketing service can boost the performance of your adverts in many ways. Comprising a team of experts, these companies know exactly where and how your business could improve its advertising campaigns.

A digital marketing agency can offer a tailored campaign for your brand. In other words, you can produce content that your specific audience will love, which can really help your conversion rates – whether it’s through PPC, social media, display ads, or using SEO techniques.

As well as providing tailored campaigns, digital marketing agencies can track a campaign’s performance and give your business detailed insights. This allows you to assess the success of your relationship with a digital marketing service.

On a more basic level, these services will save your business lots of time. Your employees can spend less time thinking about the colour of your display adverts, and more time focussing on other areas within your business. It should also bring you some peace of mind, knowing your digital marketing services are in safe, experienced hands.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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