Digital Marketing: The Ultimate Guide (2021)

This is the ultimate guide to Digital Marketing.

In this guide, you will learn

  • What is digital marketing
  • The importance of internet marketing
  • Actionable tips and strategies
  • How to optimize brand using digital marketing

So if you want to grow your business in the digital transformation, this guide will help you.

Let’s get started

digital marketing
Digital Marketing

What is digital marketing? / Digital Marketing Definition

Digital marketing uses electronic devices and digital technologies to promote and sell products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), among others. 

Digital marketing can be done both online and offline, which makes for a well-rounded digital marketing campaign.

Digital marketing is marketing. Through practical strategies, brands put their best foot forward and convey what they are all about. More than traditional marketing, it is how brands are getting leads and increasing conversions mainly these days, simply because people are online all the time.

In fact, from the world population of 7.75 billion, around 4.54 billion people use the internet. Hence, digital marketing strategies are sprouting and continually updated in support of big and small companies alike. 

Companies seek to reach people out on social media, news sites and blogs, and other platforms where people frequent online. Strengthening their brand’s online presence helps companies’ keep their competitive edge despite the pandemic and other global challenges recently. 

What Sets Digital Marketing Apart?

What sets digital marketing apart from traditional marketing is that the former uses offline channels, while digital marketing utilizes online media. 

In a traditional marketing campaign, expenses pile up because of billboard ads, collaterals, radio and TV ad placement, news stories, promotional events, and the like. 

Digital marketing is not only more comfortable and more efficient, it is also much less expensive. Use of social media, for instance, may start free before you place ads or boost posts for promotion. 

Most influencers started as regular content creators releasing content without any sponsorship and the like. Blog posts and email to promote a business is also easy to start for free. 

Brands can set up their digital marketing strategies right away, even without cost, gain their following or build their community before branching out to paid online ads. 

The Importance of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing still matters because of its multiple online marketing strategies and cost-effective marketing solutions. It also levels the playing field, especially for new start-ups and small businesses. Digital marketing allows them to compete with more prominent brands and even large and established companies. 

With SEO, for example, you can outrank your competition with long-tail keywords or searches that feature three or more words that are more specific than primary search keywords. It allows you to bypass big brands and reach your target market more successfully.

You also have access to accurate and often immediate campaign tracking, measurement,  and continuous campaign performance feedback. These are crucial to adjust or stop campaigns that are not working easily, so advertising costs are preserved to create the most impact. 

Benefits of digital marketing: 

1) Digital marketing provides multiple online marketing strategies.

You can use different digital strategies to market your product like content marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click), CRO (Content Rate Optimization), SMO (Social Media Optimization), social media ads, and the like. 

Since online strategies and platforms are more in number than traditional marketing channels and are less expensive, they yield more ROI (Return of Investment). 

You can select strategies that best suit your brand, business goals, and target market. It helps you optimize whatever technique you use to maximize the impact of your campaign. 

2) Digital marketing solutions are cost-effective.

As mentioned earlier, digital marketing is less expensive compared to traditional marketing.

If you advertise online, you get to set a definite budget to bid for ad space or boost posts and the like. It allows you to control your spending, which is hard to do in traditional marketing.

For instance, placing billboard ads these days is very costly, and so is placing TV or radio ads, which can easily incur unforeseen costs throughout the campaign. 

With digital marketing, you can control your spending based on the performance of an ad as well. You cannot adjust costs midway with traditional marketing, even if an ad performs poorly or does not deliver conversions. You probably had paid advertising companies already and other pre-production costs for your campaign. 

If you start a PPC campaign, for example, and see it performs poorly, you can pause the campaign, create a new one for a new keyword, and the like. 

3) Digital marketing allows for advanced personalization and targeting strategies.

Making digital marketing part of your business plan also lets you access various advanced targeting and customization options. Traditional marketing, which is broader, cannot compete with what digital marketing can do in targeting.

For example, you can use targeting options for various demographics based on age, gender, occupation, location, interests, hobbies, devices, and more with online marketing.

Targeting your marketing strategies amplifies the other benefits of other strategies you employ, like PPC and social media ads. 

Big brands like Amazon also specialize in personalization strategies to engage and nurture their consumers better. You can personalize content based on your visitors’ or consumers’ information, like name, email, and interests. 

You can collect vital information through opt-in or subscription forms. You can even base your personalization strategies on data from past purchases or your target market’s purchase behavior. 

4) Get accurate campaign tracking and measurement. 

Online marketing solves the tracking problem encountered in traditional marketing. In traditional marketing, it is not easy to track the effects of your advertising campaigns. 

When you cannot gather specific data about your marketing efforts and performance, it will be harder to check if there is any ROI and if it is worth continuing the marketing campaign. 

Small businesses and brands who think of investing in traditional marketing will have more significant tracking problems because they usually serve a specific niche or target market. 

Unlike more prominent brands who rake in a lot of sales typically, it is easier to approximate for them if ads are working or not. But then again, the measurements would be more or less an approximation than accurate data, which you get with digital marketing campaigns. 

There are different tools available, even for free, which brands can use to track their campaigns. Such tools are Google Analytics (for website traffic), Google Search Console (site presence), and Google Ads (PPC ads). You can also use Google Data Studio to compile all digital marketing data into user-friendly and usable reports. 

You can also tie up your digital marketing strategies with other tools, like the right WordPress plugins for email marketing that help you send email campaigns professionally, getting as many conversions as possible, and growing your subscription list.

These tools and others similar to it help brands market their product or services and analyze, troubleshoot, and enhance their digital marketing strategies’ performance.

5) Get constant performance feedback from campaigns.

Constant performance feedback is crucial in any campaign, whether offline or online, traditional or digital. But in digital marketing, continuous feedback is more accessible, even in real-time. 

For instance, you can monitor PPC campaigns in real-time and update the movement elements as needed, especially when you see a sudden drop in conversions. The immediate feedback allows you to react quickly in response to the performance of your campaign. 

Even in SEO, a long-term strategy, you can still get constant feedback for your keyword targeting strategies, website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, site speed, and the like. It helps you uncover problem areas and troubleshoot right away to improve SEO ranking. 

Digital Marketing Strategies You Can Use in this year

1) Non-Linear Journeys

In today’s digital economy, there are a lot of opportunities to engage your customers.
Understanding how consumers make their purchasing decisions and their touchpoints along their buying journey are crucial in any marketing campaign. 

But the traditional linear methods are minimal. In recent decades, the world has turned highly digital and global. The customer journey has also changed a lot.  A linear model does not reveal other considerations in a modern buyer’s journey because there is no way back in linear logic. 

You don’t see lost consumers in linear models, for starters, which contributes to neglecting former customers who can still be won back by various marketing efforts.

A linear model also has a defined endpoint. So, whatever stage in the linear consumer journey will not be accurate since the real trip never ends.

After purchase, the purchaser’s journey continues with some reviews or follow-up.  An after-sale is also a prelude to the next sale. There is always something to be done in a buyer’s journey, that digital marketers need to be continually finding ways how to keep consumers engaged even after they have purchased or subscribed to your product or service.    

A great alternative is to interpret user experience via a non-linear model. It shows that the buyer’s journey can be an infinite journey, as demonstrated by ZenithOptimedia:

Non-Linear Journeys in digital marketing

Image Source: ZenithOptimedia

This model aims to make your brand as relevant and compelling as possible to your subscribers and buyers so you can draw them back in for the next purchase in this product category.

2) Targeted Ads

targeted fb ads
Recently, people asked how Facebook know what they just searched for almost directly after they did. This is another proof of refining nonlinear models to get future leads and customers through targeted advertising.

Facebook isn’t a mind reader, but it seems to be by decoding your data. Suppose you’ve searched for coveted items on multiple occasions, watched a video, or followed a social media influencer using the product. In that case, Facebook’s algorithms will select your interests and target advertising for you.

And since Instagram is now on Facebook, we also see targeted Instagram ads and shoppable posts in the app. 

3) Social Commerce & Shoppable Posts

instagram shoppable ads

Social commerce is more common than ever, mainly due to the pandemic that changed the world this 2020. Social networking is now used beyond entertainment and conversation and to disseminate critical news information and eCommerce.

Shoppable social media posts become the norm. Brands are now prioritizing Social Media Optimization (SMO) to maximize all online opportunities to market their brands.

Instagram has around 1 billion users, and 90% of these users follow shopping brands. So, Instagram was ahead of this trend as it launched Instagram Checkout in 2019. 

The added feature allowed users to make purchases within the Instagram app. Brands also observed a noticeable decline in cart abandonment or competitor purchases.


There are so many more digital marketing strategies you can utilize for your campaigns. More and more strategies are opening up as tools and technologies that aid in digital marketing also increase. 

There’s affiliate marketing trending these days because more brands and businesses invest in SEO and digital marketing strategies to thrive in this new normal economy

Digital marketing puts you in the same channels where your target market is, so your best prospects can see you, learn more about you, and even ask questions to learn more about you and your products or services.

Now it’s your turn

What do you think about digital marketing in 2021?

Please, let me know in the comment.

Sammy Belose

Sammy Belose

I’m Sammy Belose, The SEO Scientist. I started Sammy Belose as a passion, and now It’s helping to learn SEO & digital marketing with Rocket Speed.

7 thoughts on “Digital Marketing: The Ultimate Guide 2021”

  1. We are very grateful to you for this information and we hope that you will continue to give us such information.

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