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Digital Marketing in Plain English – Your Most Asked Questions

22nd November 2023

As our Content and Communications Executive, it falls to me to ensure we communicate our brand and services clearly. Recently, when texting friends about work, one of them asked ‘wtf is digital marketing anyway?’ and you know what? That’s not a bad question. For those not in the business of digital marketing, it can seem like a bit of a minefield. We use weird jargon and strange phrases, spend a lot of time playing with words and analysing data, and eat perhaps too many biscuits. 

It probably seems like we hit a bunch of buttons, work some voodoo magic and suddenly a website is more popular. Not quite an accurate representation of what we do, regardless, we understand that what we actually do can still be just as confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Let’s break down what digital marketing is in plain English by answering some of the questions you may not have wanted to ask out loud.

What is digital marketing?

Ah, the big question. At its core, digital marketing is just marketing, but via digital devices. It’s all about helping a brand connect with potential customers through promotion using the internet. Want your new sweet shop to appear at the top of the list when someone in your area googles ‘local sweet shop’? You need digital marketing for that. Looking to boost your Instagram following and turn those likes into sales or growth? Digital marketing can help. Want to bring previous users back to your website to convert this time? Again, you’re looking for digital marketing.

There’s a lot involved in digital marketing, but it all comes together to help your online presence shine.

What does a digital marketer do?

A digital marketer is a person who promotes a business using online channels. They work hard to get your site’s content out there – this could be getting it to the top of the Google search results page, in front of those scrolling through social media, landing in someone’s inbox… the list goes on.

But really, what exactly does a digital marketer do? What areas do they cover? There are eight main categories, all playing an important role.

  • Content marketing and digital PR
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay per click
  • Marketing analytics

Seems like a lot, right? Not necessarily. Your business’s online presence might not need all of the above – digital marketing can cover all eight of those areas or a fun mish-mash of what’s necessary. Let’s talk about some of these categories, focusing on the ones that the general public has the biggest question marks around.

What is SEO and how can it help?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Stripped down, SEO helps your website be seen by people using search engines like Google and Bing. SEO encompasses different methods to optimise your site’s pages, making them something that a search engine likes to see, something they trust and something they believe the user is looking for to answer their search. 

The more a search engine likes your pages, the more chance there is that they’ll appear at the top of the list presented to the searcher. We call this position a ‘rank’, so you might hear phrases such as ‘wowie, that page is ranking well on Google’.

To determine if they like your site’s pages or not, search engines send bots (sometimes called spiders) to search through your content and learn it all. This is called ‘crawling’. Once they’ve finished, these bots will add what they’ve found to the search engine’s database, called an ‘index’. 

When someone searches for something on a search engine, the search engine uses this database to present the searcher with suggestions – if your page doesn’t have the right content or the bots can’t crawl the page in the first place, your page won’t show up in the search results.

To summarise, SEO is there to help your page be discovered by potential audiences.

Here is some useful SEO terminology to know for when digital marketers start firing off buzzwords:

  • SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages
  • Rank – the position of your site on the search results page
  • Organic traffic – people who have visited your website by clicking on the non-sponsored rankings in the SERPs
  • Paid traffic – people who have visited your website by clicking on the sponsored rankings in the SERPs
  • Bots/spiders – the little bots that a search engine uses to ‘crawl’ your site
  • Crawling – what the bots/spiders do to consume all the content on your site’s pages
  • Index – the search engine’s database containing all the content their bots/spiders have found

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

A tricky-sounding question, but one with a straightforward answer. Branding is who you are and who your business is, while marketing is the promotion of the brand. Once you know your core values, your mission, your inspiration and your business personality (the branding), you can then use the right tools to get the brand out there (the marketing).

While digital marketers can’t really help you define your brand, they can definitely help you solidify it. Content marketing is a great way to give your brand some heart, using its voice and tone to create pieces of content that will resonate with your customers and your image. All of this while dipping its toes into SEO to get you discovered on search engines through the power of written content.

Is your brand cheeky and playful? Is it clear and informative? No matter the vibe, written content can bring it to life in a way that appeals to exactly the right people. You want those searching with a specific intent to come across your site and be immediately locked in, your written content giving them just what they were looking for. 

Website copy, long-form content like blog posts, and helpful Q&As can all help not only build your brand’s awareness and audience trust but also get you found by new customers. Content is king nowadays, and super important to get involved with when promoting your brand.

The digital marketing journey is like a piece of string…

We have only scraped the surface when it comes to answering questions surrounding digital marketing, but surprisingly, the most common and upon answering those, we’re sure there will be more to follow. 

If you do have further questions or you think digital marketing is something you’d like to consider, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’re always happy to help and get your journey started. The team at Nu Image are equipped to handle all of your digital marketing needs, so why not enquire today and see what we can do for you.

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