Digital Marketing For Dummies 2021

Digital Marketing For Dummies Quick Start Guide

After being forced to shut down my brick and mortar business, I built my online business from scratch, but with too much time researching different ways to make money online. Having lived to tell the tale, my mission with this digital marketing for dummies blog post is to help ambitious individuals cut through the scams and make better-informed decisions. 

What follows is a quick guide to digital marketing for dummies, strategy, mistakes to avoid, and future predictions. 

What Is Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a catch-all term for every marketing strategy using the internet or electronic devices. Digital marketing involves promoting brands or products through the internet airwaves or electronics. Digital marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, each type carrying its own unique strengths, weaknesses, tactics, and technological mediums. All digital marketing, however, is devoted to reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.

Businesses are increasingly using digital mediums to reach prospective and current customers. This is a crucial shift because digital marketing doesn’t play by traditional marketing rules. Digital marketing avoids static monologues. Digital marketing, rather, is a dynamic conversation that flows and evolves. While customers cannot respond to print marketing in real-time, digital marketing opens the channel for relationships. Digital spaces are revolutionizing marketing. 

Digital marketing is often a form of inbound marketing that consumers encounter through media channels that they’re already engaged with. With so many consumers online, it’s logical that companies are skewing their marketing plans towards digital marketing.This is a popular option as a large segment of the population is either engaged with or, at least aware of, the internet. Digital marketing is a catalyst and a response to this shift towards our evolving societies.

Digital marketing is an increasingly far cry from traditional marketing. Though you will still see some semblances of traditional marketing techniques, this is fading. For example, traditional marketing emphasizes outbound marketing that pushes products out to consumers through newspaper ads, billboards, direct mail advertisements, commercials, and magazines. Today, more businesses emphasize tangible data, accessibility for diverse markets and customers. 

Enterprise businesses and startups alike are employing diverse digital marketing strategies that lead to enormous social and economic benefits. Successful digital marketing is generally innovating and diverse, using various methods, including search engine optimization, online advertising, content creation, social media marketing, management, etc. There are so many ways to accomplish digital marketing goals and many digital marketing types to choose from. 

Types Of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing For Dummies

The past decade has birthed a new digital marketing generation that highlights the vitality within the online marketplace. The digital marketplace is embedded deep within many companies’ overall marketing strategies. These techniques allow companies to adjust messages for specific audiences and reach people interested in what the company offers. Below are the most common types of digital marketing. 

Email Marketing

Despite the emergence of social media, mobile apps, and other communication forms, email is still the most powerful marketing tool. Whether used as a segment of a content marketing strategy or on its own, email provides value to its audience and bears the power to convert them to customers over time. Email marketing goes beyond creating powerful campaigns and hinges on effective consumer outreach, data analysis, and strategies based on that data. 

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing concentrates on reaching your target audience through mobile devices, such as a tablet or smartphone. Mobile marketing employs mobile applications, websites, email, text messages, and social media to spread your message. Mobile marketing can also adapt special content or offers according to time or location to ensure that the order’s specifics are optimized for you and your audience. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves employing individuals (not full-time employees) to earn a micro percentage sales commission based on conversion rates. These affiliate marketers choose products to sell and promote. Affiliate marketers then earn a profit from company products that they sell. Both the company and the market enjoy a share of the profits generated, which makes it an accessible way for more interested parties to work together with corporate entities. 

Instant Message Marketing

Instant message marketing empowers businesses to reach potential or current customers through SMS text messaging, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, or similar platforms. Like email marketing, instant message marketing can help the company develop a customer contact list. Instant messaging, as its name implies, is not only immensely popular but is a way for companies and individuals to connect any time and anywhere. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Higher search engine rankings mean enhanced visibility, leading to higher website traffic, increased engagement, and more sales. SEO marketers find out the words and phrases most relevant in their consumers’ online searches and employ those keywords to improve their chances of reaching potential customers. SEO comprises diverse elements, ranging from your web pages’ words and phrases to website link structure to overall link structure. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) refers to the advertisements seen on the sides of search results, on web pages, before web videos, and in apps. Pay-per-click marketing involves paid advertisements and search engine result promotion. This form of digital marketing is temporary because once paid, the ad disappears. As SEO, however, PPC can dive search engine traffic towards a business. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing refers to business marketing efforts through social media channels. Social media marketers approach marketing with a strategic and coordinated approach beyond posting content and commenting. Coordination and consistency are crucial to social media marketing success. These elements are often achieved through social media posting and tracking tools to analyze posts and advertisements’ results. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing optimizes storytelling to increase brand awareness and inspire readers to take action, whether it is requesting information, subscribing, or purchasing. Content refers to information delivered through various platforms like blogs, e-books, podcasts, digital video, white papers, etc. Consumer value, building awareness, and creating a long-term sustainable connection is more important than mere advertisements and sales pitches. 

Why Do You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing For Dummies

A digital marketing strategy carries numerous advantages. In short, this kind of strategy enables your company to expand its reach to targeted audiences in a much more quantifiable and measurable way than traditional marketing. A digital marketing strategy also helps to increase brand loyalty and boost online sales. How does a digital marketing strategy accomplish these results? Let’s dive deeper into the advantages of a digital marketing strategy. 


Connecting social media and effective management can create a relationship, customer loyalty, and a reputation for high engagement and relatability. Creating relationships both allows greater alignment between businesses and customers and humanizes the marketing space exponentially when compared to traditional marketing strategies. 

Viral Engagement

Digital marketing adds an extra layer of brand awareness and engagement to content through videos and images. This engagement is easily passed along in a viral circle of interaction with your content. 

Higher Conversion Rates

Digital spaces, such as a website, make purchases and call-to-action completions easy by reducing the hoops of calls, travel, etc. Digital marketing is comparatively fast and seamless. 

Worldwide Reach

Digital marketing enables you to find business, trade, and communicate with potential customers worldwide. This revolutionizes the way that information is communicated compared to traditional marketing strategies. 


A strategic, targeting digital campaign reaches the right customers at the right time with the right message at a significantly lower cost than traditional marketing campaigns.

Smart Results

Digital marketing yields measurable, trackable, trackable results through web analytic and online metrics. These metrics help you gauge your digital campaign’s success by tracking how visitors and customers use and respond to your website. Using these smart results, you can understand what to keep and adjust in your strategy and design. 


When customer database information is linked to the website; then visitors can see targeted offers. As the buyer relationship develops, you can hone that customer’s profile and create an effective marketing strategy to reach them. 

Digital Marketing For Dummies Mistakes To Avoid

Digital Marketing For Dummies

Now that we understand digital marketing’s ins and outs, it’s important to consider and prepare for worst-case scenarios. There are many ways digital marketing campaigns can go wrong. However, I’ve curated a few of the top mistakes below to ensure that you remain on the right path. 

Not Defining Audiences

You must define your buyer personas and segment your market according to these segmented customer profiles. You can define them by geography, issues, expectations, potential objections, etc. These profiles will help you better understand who you’re targeting so that you can ensure that they are receiving an optimized experience. 

Lack of Effective Communication

Communicate with your team and your customers. Ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding your market, your strategy, and your goals. Next, keep the conversation open with customers on social media, email, polls, surveys, etc. Communicate and learn about your audience directly to develop relationships that last!

Lack of Directness With Issues

Ignoring pain points or, worse, trying to upsell something more expensive will leave you hemorrhaging visitors and customers. Directly addressing issues in as seamless and simple a way as possible is the name of the game. 

Ineffective SEO Strategies

SEO must start with quality content that contains the correct keywords and links to additional content. Mobile-friendliness is a must these days, as are short, clear URLs. Backlinks from authoritative sources and an optimized image name also work wonders to improve your SEO strategy results. SEO is a powerful tool, but only when used effectively. Take some time to understand the ins and outs of SEO before employing ineffective SEO strategies. 

Not Hiring Experts

Digital marketing experts know how to explore the market, your client base and help you create a strategy that will work for you. Trust their expertise to help you understand your market better, define habits and goals, and adjust the campaign as needed. While it may appear that not hiring experts saves money, mistakes are costly. It’s better to invest in expert guidance early, so that you are not paying for costly mistakes and lost prospects later in the game. 

The Future Of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing For Dummies

If digital marketing’s current reputation as a superstar in commerce is any indication, the future of digital marketing is bright. We’ve already seen digital marketing take off, taking full advantage of all that the internet has to offer. Wondering what the future may hold? While there’s no crystal ball, here are a few educated predictions you can look forward to in digital marketing. 

Influencers Will Become More Influential

It’s no news to us nowadays that influencers hold incredible sway over the market. Companies have already leveraged this impact, with many of your favorite influencers now endorsing brands with company plugs worked into their content. Marketers and paid influencers alike benefit in paid service and product promotions. We can reasonably expect marketing leverage of influencers to increase in the future. 

Peer And Online Reviews Will Gain Importance 

As any researcher will tell you, the importance of peer review is an essential piece of your credibility puzzle when introducing your product or service to the market. People want to know that your offering has an expert stamp of approval. Solicited online reviews will also increase in importance as many of us use reviews when researching a company, product, or service. This feedback will continue to prove a winning part of your market strategy. 

Budget Trimming And Prioritization

Anyone marketing professional knows that budget is always key when deciding on how to market a product. With political uncertainty rife, an impending recession, and tighter consumer budgets, business purse strings are also likely to tighten. Businesses will become smarter about how they spend their budgets, influencing how marketing in and out of the digital space occurs. This will make it more essential to ensure that digital marketing is highly optimized. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of digital marketing, the types of digital marketing, and why a marketing strategy is important, you’re ready to get started. Make no mistake. The market landscape is ever-shifting and ever-evolving, which means that our work as students is never complete. However, you now have a solid foundation to get started, understand common digital marketing mistakes to avoid, and a few things you can expect in the future!

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