Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

What is digital marketing? [A complete guide]

A complete guide!


06/26/2018 | By Hotmart

What will we see in this post

You have probably heard that understanding about digital marketing is a must for everybody who is an online entrepreneur.

But do you really know what digital marketing is?

Although it is a very common term in the online market, many people who do business online do not fully understand this concept. And that’s why we will explain everything about it in this post.

You will understand the differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and learn about the advantages it has.

Then, we will analyze the characteristics of every communication channel you can make use of to do digital marketing: website, blog, social networks, email marketing, ads, and much more!

Moreover, we will approach some very important concepts, such as CRO, search marketing, and SEO. And lastly, we will show you how to make sure the strategies of production and promotion of your product are efficient.

Keep reading this complete guide on digital marketing and become a specialist in the topic right now!

What is digital marketing - infographic: traditional marketing and digital marketing, communication channels and search marketing

Infographic by

Digital marketing vs. Traditional marketing

To begin to understand the differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing, you need, before anything else, to understand what marketing is.

Marketing is a set of strategies to promote a brand or a product.

Those commercials you see on TV, free tastings you get at a supermarket, and even free perfume samples on magazines?

These are all examples of strategies of traditional marketing.

Digital marketing is very similar to the traditional one, since its objective is also to promote a brand or product. The difference is that it is done on the internet.

As it is done in the online environment, you use tools such as websites, blogs, social networks, videos, and mobile apps to promote your business.

Those ad banners you see on websites, emails with offers, or an ebook that you downloaded for free?

These are examples of strategies of digital marketing.

Advantages of digital marketing

The biggest difference in digital marketing is that on the internet you are able to analyze metrics in real-time. In the offline marketing, on the other hand, you can only estimate how many people watched a TV commercial or saw a billboard, for example.

In digital marketing, you can find out exactly how many people clicked on your ad, how many of those people downloaded an ebook, how many purchased your product, and so on.

With all this data, you can test different strategies and even correct mistakes when you need to.

For example:

Let’s suppose you sent an email message to all your lead base, but only a few people opened it. When you send this message to different people, you can change the title and see if the open rate has improved or not.

The great advantage of these tests is the possibility of increasing the conversion rates in your marketing actions. This practice is called CRO, Conversion Rate Optimization.

Another advantage is that, on the Internet, it is much easier to target your campaigns to a certain age range, gender, personal interests and many other different characteristics.

This increases the assertiveness in your strategies, since you can direct your campaigns to people who have the same profile of your buyer persona. More than that, on the Internet, you can reach people all over the world.

If you want to learn how to generate free traffic, you will need to use content marketing, which is one of the strategies of digital marketing.

Communication channels in digital marketing

Now you understand what the advantages of digital marketing are, it’s time to find out which communication channels you can use in your promotion strategies.

Web pages

Web pages are one of the most popular communication channels on the Internet. Some examples are:

Social Media

Another indispensable set of channels in online marketing are the social networking sites, such as:

Choosing which social media to use depends a lot on your kind of business.


Among the social media, we cited YouTube, and this leads us to another important tool in digital marketing: videos. More and more people watch videos online, all over the world.

You can use videos to offer relevant content to your audience, just like you do with blogs. And, if you want, you can also create ads on video.

Email marketing

Another very commonly used channel on digital marketing is email marketing, which consists of sending commercial messages via email.

You have probably got a lot of these email messages, right?

Email marketing messages are sent in the form of a campaign, which means that each message is sent to a list of people interested in what the company is offering.

They are very useful to build a relationship of trust between a business and its audience, and can have many different goals:

  • Offering a product;
  • Asking for donations or signatures for a cause;
  • Delivering free educational material;
  • Sending content that is useful and helps the company to build a stronger bond with the people who are getting the message.

Paid media

Also among the communication channels, we can find paid media, which are online ads you pay to be displayed. There are many different kinds of ads.

The first one is display network ads, which are these banners you see on different websites.

Another kind is native ads, which are shown as if they were a normal element of the page.

For example: an ad piece that is displayed on a news website just like it was a common piece of news, among so many others. Or a picture posted on Instagram that appears in the middle of your feed.

Native ads always come with a “Sponsored” message indicating that they are, in fact, ads. The advantage in this format is you can create ad campaigns without interfering with the normal browsing and user experience. Besides, with this kind of ad, you offer relevant content to your buyer persona, at the same time you promote your brand or product.

The third kind is video ads, that are very common on YouTube, for example.

And the fourth and last kind are sponsored links, also known as search network ads.

When you search for a keyword on Google, the first results are usually ads, right?

These are sponsored links. The company pays to appear on the first page whenever someone searches for that specific keyword, and you can do the same to promote your business page.

Sponsored links, in fact, lead us to a very important concept in digital marketing, which no good digital marketing strategy can live without. We’re talking about SEM, Search Engine Marketing, and that’s what we’ll talk about now.

What is search marketing?

Search marketing consists of improving the rankings of your pages on search engines like Google. After all, the better position you achieve in the search results, the bigger the probability of a user clicking on your page.

One of the ways of doing this is by sponsored links, which we mentioned above. But there is another way: SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is a set of different techniques to improve the rankings of your pages organically, that is, without directly paying to have an ad displayed.

You can use SEO for your YouTube videos, for your blog posts, your main website, or any other kind of content on the Internet.

As this is a very dense subject matter, let’s talk about a few of the factors to make your pages get the best rankings, which are:

  • The quality of the content on your pages;
  • The length of the content;
  • The title;
  • The URL;
  • The keyword being used;
  • The time spent by the visitor on your page;
  • The design;
  • The navigation usability.

There are many factors involved in making your content reach the top positions. That’s why our advice here is to study a lot about SEO and use it in favor of your business.

Are you ready to do digital marketing?

So, after all this, you probably realized that there’s a lot to digital marketing, right?

But believe us, there another essential point for you to keep in mind: marketing goes way beyond communication strategies.

Every action that aims at creating and delivering value to your audience and your market nice, at the same it generates profit, is marketing.

For example: creating your brand, developing your products, pricing and distribution, a webinar you make to promote your sales, and so on.

There are many different kinds of strategies for digital marketing, the important thing is to start testing them out and emphasize the ones that bring the best results to your business.

If you have any questions about digital marketing or any of the strategies we mentioned in this post, leave us a message in the comments section below!