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What is digital marketing?

What is digital marketing?

Internet marketing, online marketing, emarketing or digital marketing?? Does the difference in these terms and their appellations matter? No, of course not, it’s semantics. They are exactly the same thing. And, although their usage has varied over time, the essence remains the same. 

(Google trends)

At Digital Gong Technologies, we talk a lot about digital marketing and the importance it holds for small and medium sized enterprises. But we still get a lot of questions from people all around Cameroon about digital marketing. So, we decided to answer them in this article. 

Table of content

    1. What is digital marketing?
    2. How does a business define digital marketing?
    3. Difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing
    4. Why digital marketing?
    5. The different areas of digital marketing
What is digital marketing? 

There are billions of definitions of what digital marketing is. To enable you to grasp the scope of this marketing concept, here’s a rundown of three definitions of digital marketing from digital marketing experts:

  1. Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices. Digital marketing can be done both online and offline. And, both kinds matter for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. – Neil pateil

 2. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet.               Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to         connect with current and prospective customers. – Hubspot

3.  Digital marketing is like any other type of marketing—it’s a way to connect with and influence your potential customers. The real difference is, you connect with and influence those customers online. — Aden Andrus

Summarily, digital marketing is an umbrella term that describes the online tactics that exists to digitally connect a company with its audience. 

The different areas of online marketing here are:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  2. Search engine marketing (SEM)
  3. Content marketing
  4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  5. Native marketing
  6. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  7. Affiliate marketing
  8. Email marketing

We’ll talk more of these areas of digital marketing in a minute. First, let’s discuss the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing, the importance of digital marketing and how businesses define it.

How does a business define digital marketing?

Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business’s online branding assets — digital advertising, email marketing, social media,online brochures, and beyond — there’s a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of “digital marketing.”

The best digital marketers have a clear picture of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals. And depending on the goals of their marketing strategy, marketers can support a larger campaign through the free and paid channels at their disposal.

A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company’s social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business’s social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook for more information on the company. 

Difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing

The names traditional and digital shows,with no further need to point out, where the difference lies: one is traditional, the other is digital :). While traditional marketing exists in print ads, phone communication, or physical marketing, digital marketing occurs electronically or online. 

This means that there are a number of endless possibilities for brands including email, video, social media, or website-based marketing opportunities.

With how accessible the internet is today, the share of people spending more time using electronic devices for internet access is only going up from here. And what’s even more interesting is the constant increase in the number of digital and internet users.

According to Pew Research, “constant” internet usage among adults in the world increased by 5% in just the last three years, And although we say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed along with it — meaning traditional or offline marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Digital marketing —  any form of marketing that exists electronically and online.

Inbound marketing –– a business methodology that attracts customers by creating quality content and experiences tailored to them.

Outbound marketing — a methodology that fights for the client’s attention by interrupting them with content (they don’t want) e.g pop-ups, display ads


Why digital marketing?

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it, you can get creative and experiment with a variety of marketing tactics on a budget. With digital marketing, you can also use tools like analytics dashboards to monitor the success and ROI (Return on Investment) of your campaigns more than you could with a traditional promotional content — such as a billboard or print ad.

With traditional marketing, you can promote content to a vast audience. But the hitch is, it will be difficult for your marketing team to measure what accounted for their successes or failures. Did people buy the product because of the content they read, or image? And, did the target audience read the ad copy in their mail box, or did they just crumple the paper and threw it away in the bin? Hard to know.

On the contrary to traditional marketing, measuring successes and failures in digital marketing is way simpler. With analytics tools at hand, marketters would have a complete grasp of their buyer’s journey. If the ad was about getting people visit the website, knowing stats like the percentage of people who took action by clicking on the website link, where the got to know about the ad:  social media, organically, or referral. 

Using the right tools, results from your marketing campaign can be studied at a glance. Leaving no room for doubts and assumptions. 

The different areas of digital marketing

(Curated from hubspot.com) 

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search results, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics.

There are a number of ways to approach SEO in order to generate qualified traffic to your website. These include:

On page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the content that exists “on the page” when looking at a website. In other words, it is content you can ‘see’ and optimise. They include page titles, image alt text, URL structure, meta description and headings.

‘By researching keywords for their search volume and intent (or meaning), you can answer questions for readers and rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) those questions produce.

Off page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place “off the page” when looking to optimize your website. “What activity not on my own website could affect my ranking?” You might ask. The answer is inbound links, also known as backlinks. The number of publishers that link to you, and the relative “authority” of those publishers, affect how highly you rank for the keywords you care about.

By networking with other publishers, writing guest posts on these websites (and linking back to your website), and generating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up on all the right SERPs.

Technical SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the backend of your website, and how your pages are coded. Image compression, structured data, and CSS file optimization are all forms of technical SEO that can increase your website’s loading speed — an important ranking factor in the eyes of search engines like Google.

N.B:  Page load speed is important because slow-loading pages have high bounce rates: 47 percent of people expect a site to load within two seconds, and 40 percent will leave after three. As such, search engines penalize slow-loading pages with a lower ranking, so it’s important to ensure fast page load speed

2. Content Marketing

This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:

Blog posts: Writing and publishing articles on a company blog helps you demonstrate your industry expertise and generates organic search traffic for your business. This ultimately gives you more opportunities to convert website visitors into leads for your sales team. 

Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks, whitepapers, and similar long-form content helps further educate website visitors. It also allows you to exchange content for a reader’s contact information, generating leads for your company and moving people through the buyer’s journey.

Infographics: Sometimes, readers want you to show, not tell. Infographics are a form of visual content that helps website visitors visualize a concept you want to help them learn.

3. Social Media Marketing

social media you can use to grow your business

This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Instagram.
  • Snapchat.
  • Pinterest.

If you’re new to social platforms, you can use tools like HubSpot to connect channels like LinkedIn and Facebook in one place. This way, you can easily schedule content for multiple channels at once, and monitor analytics from the platform as well.

  1. Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:

Paid ads on Facebook: Here, users can pay to customize a video, image post, or slideshow, which Facebook will publish to the newsfeeds of people who match your business’s audience.

Twitter Ads campaigns: Here, users can pay to place a series of posts or profile badges to the news feeds of a specific audience, all dedicated to accomplish a specific goal for your business. This goal can be website traffic, more Twitter followers, tweet engagement, or even app downloads.

Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: Here, users can pay to send messages directly to specific LinkedIn users based on their industry and background.


  1. Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:

  1. Native Advertising

Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads. Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. Many people consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example. This is because the platforms provide highly sophisticated targeting methods to reach the target audience. 

The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive – it exposes the reader to advertising content without sticking out an “ad”. These ads appear in the news feed and stories. Social media native ads can take the form of visual formats such as images, videos, etc.

  1. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:

Email newsletters: Email automation doesn’t just allow you to automatically send emails to your subscribers. It can also help you shrink and expand your contact list as needed so your newsletters are only going to the people who want to see them in their inboxes.

Social media post scheduling: If you want to grow your organization’s presence on a social network, you need to post frequently. This makes manual posting a bit of an unruly process. Social media scheduling tools push your content to your social media channels for you, so you can spend more time focusing on content strategy.

Lead-nurturing workflows: Generating leads, and converting those leads into customers, can be a long process. You can automate that process by sending leads specific emails and content once they fit certain criteria, such as when they download and open an ebook.

Campaign tracking and reporting: Marketing campaigns can include a ton of different people, emails, content, webpages, phone calls, and more. Marketing automation can help you sort everything you work on by the campaign it’s serving, and then track the performance of that campaign based on the progress all of these components make over time.

  1. Email Marketing

Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Blog subscription newsletters.
    Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.
    Customer welcome emails.
    Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.
    Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.
  1. Online PR

Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:

Reporter outreach via social media: Talking to journalists on Twitter, for example, is a great way to develop a relationship with the press that produces earned media opportunities for your company.

Engaging online reviews of your company: When someone reviews your company online, whether that review is good or bad, your instinct might be not to touch it. On the contrary, engaging company reviews helps you humanize your brand and deliver powerful messaging that protects your reputation.

Engaging comments on your personal website or blog: Similar to the way you’d respond to reviews of your company, responding to the people who are reading your content is the best way to generate productive conversation around your industry.

  1. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing: 

  • Blogging vs. pop-up ads
    Video marketing vs. commercial advertising
    Email contact lists vs. email spam



That’s the scoop on digital marketing. A significant number of people spend the majority of their time online. Adverts on billboards die because people have changed their source of distraction. A decade ago, the focus was on TV, Billboards and all other visually attractive content that people enjoyed gazing at. But now, the attention is on digital screens,  a plain inference why companies now advertise in those areas.

To put it simply, that means you don’t have much time to figure out this digital marketing stuff before you can power down your old school printing press and close up shop.


We Can Help

Digital Gong is a digital marketing agency.

At Digital Gong, we offer complete digital marketing solutions tailored to your needs and your budget. Our services include: Digital Strategy Consulting, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Marketing and Search Engines, Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Digital Content Creation, Digital Marketing creation and branding strategy.

Feel free to talk to us

Since we operate as an extension of our clients business. Just contact us and let’s start business, your online visibility is our priority. We will permit you to generate thousands of leads and convert them to revenue.

So do not hesitate to start today by contacting us online or placing  a call on the contacts below. We will discuss how you can earn more leads and turnover with online marketing!




Tadbet Averra

Tadbet Averra  is the Public Relations Officer and Content Manager at digital Gong Technologies, a branding, strategic and creative digital marketing agency in Douala, Cameroon. She’s provided content marketing  and strategy advice  for the agency and its clients. She also holds a Bsc degree in Journalism and Mass communication. 

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About Digital Gong Technologies

Digital Gong Technologies is made up of a group of passionate technologists, marketing strategists, learners, and creatives, putting out efforts to increase customer satisfaction and retention by intersecting Marketing, Technology, and Design.

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