In an effort to try and clear up the confusion around digital marketing and to define the various types of roles that exist in this area, I’m going to tackle the question of “What is digital marketing?” one blog post at a time.
In general terms there are 10 elements within digital marketing. Yes - 10 elements.
A very general rule of thumb is that the following areas make up the very broad term that is 'Digital Marketing:
And the great thing about Digital Marketing is that you do not have to use absolutely everything on that list. Some businesses don't have a website such as makeup artists, trades people and freelancers. A lot of businesses don't use Google Adwords / paid search advertising or they don't have an email marketing tool. However, a purist would say that a little bit of each element would drive your business forward. And I agree.
How the elements interact
There are many images, graphs, charts and infographics out there that try and tackle the huge topic of 'what is digital marketing'. The following two images are good visual representations of all of the elements and how they interact but are by no means 100% perfect either.
Firstly, the image below shows 11 elements (I didn't add Blogging to my list of 10, as I feel that it comes under Content Marketing).
As you can see a lot of the elements all come back to the website.
The 'tube map' below is an excellent visual breakdown of how all of the elements are used on a day to day basis.
If you have ever heard of the phrase "call to action" - see it on the Website line. Or how about SMS marketing - see it on the Mobile line. The same for Technical SEO. Or Local SEO.
All of the elements interact, cross over and weave amongst each other and nothing happens in solitary confinement.
*Tip* The one thing that I see a lot is a lack of consistency of branding across all channels.
Calling yourself an expert in wedding cakes on Twitter? And then calling yourself a cupcake maker on Facebook? No! It's needs to be consistent across everything.
To keep yourself in line, create a document with all of the 'profile' descriptions across all of your social media and see do they match what you have on your website. If not, update your profile and copy and paste into the profile section of all of your social media profiles.
Hire a digital marketing specialist or social media specialist?
Firstly decide between hiring a social media specialist or a digital marketing specialist.
Because this happens a lot. Managers think that they need a 'Digital Marketing Specialist', and then draw up a job spec that details only social media tasks. To any Digital Marketing Specialist candidate out there, this interview could be a waste of time as they have a much broader knowledge of all of the elements of digital marketing (see the Tube map above) and they'll probably come across as not a right match for the role due them not having enough specialised social media experience.
To put this into practice: If you asked a social media specialist to improve SEO on a website they probably wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Likewise, if you asked an SEO specialist to work on a social media campaign, they wouldn’t have a clue either as they spend their time on websites doing content and backend work.
So if you find yourself considering hiring a "Digital Marketing Person", hopefully you will now be better equipped on how to shape the role and the job spec for the right person. If you want social media only, advertise for social media only. But if your website, email marketing, paid search and social media need a dedicated person in charge, advertise for a digital marketing specialist.
Coming soon. Part 2.
Does your business need a digital marketing boost? I work with a wide range of businesses from recruitment agencies and in-house talent acquisition teams to SMEs in all industries where I audit current digital marketing activities and implement changes that get businesses discovered online. Want to know more? Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a smart fox and make the right changes.