Digital marketing or Online Marketing is a universe that brings together many practices using digital channels to achieve specific and, if possible, measurable objectives. But what precisely is Digital Marketing and what does it encompass?

What is digital marketing

The Definition of digital marketing

The growth of digital channels in our daily life has various impacts on the rise of digital media (web, mobile) in today's lifestyle has many repercussions on the techniques and processes that companies must use to reach their targets.

Digital marketing thus designates the set of strategies to be implemented on digital media, in order to optimize:

  • Acquisition and retention of new customers
  • Promotion of products and services
  • Development of brand awareness and branding

Digital marketing also commonly called online marketing refers to the set of marketing techniques used on digital media and channels. The term is likely to disappear as marketing tends to become "essentially digital".

Digital marketing mainly covers marketing applications linked to the "traditional" Internet, but also those related to mobile phones, tablets, GPS and other applications and connected objects. Mobile marketing (mobile sites + mobile applications) is becoming increasingly important.

The main fields and techniques of digital marketing are:

  • email marketing
  • display advertising
  • search engine marketing (natural referencing + commercial links)
  • web analytics (web analytics)
  • Affiliation
  • Conversion and allocation issues
  • content marketing
  • social and viral marketing
  • mobile marketing

Digital marketing can reach its target through digital media in a personalized way, with precise targeting of the actions to be carried out online. The convergence of tools allows any company to quickly distribute messages adapted to a captive population.

What is important is the ability of brands to build their digital marketing strategies rationally and coherently. The term digital marketing has therefore been created to group together in one expression the set of strategies to be implemented on digital media that are communication vectors:

  • SEM: Search engine marketing, or the strategy of promotion on search tools via natural search engine optimization, based on search engines and directories, by improving the positioning of a site and thus its visibility in their results pages or Commercial links and therefore a paid referencing.
  • SMO: Social media optimization, or the use of social networks, blogs, video chains and information portals, to spread its messages to targeted populations and animate communities, important role of community management in strategies companies.

This support is the one that today draws growth from the web and mobility upwards, by its viral and instant concept and allows companies to:

  • Strengthens traditional communications media for new product launches
  • Federate fans and exchange with consumers of the brand - Identify trends in fashion
  • Listen to criticisms and remarks about the company and its products / services in order to correct its marketing mix
  • Mobile marketing: Study and implementation of strategies on mobile media through adapted applications or media such as mobile sites.
  • Buzz Marketing: Also called viral marketing, which consists of taking actions to improve the company's knowledge to the prospects / customers in order to improve or reposition its image or that of its products with a target audience.

This support positions the target at the heart of the relationship, becoming the main vectors of brand communication. The General Committee on Terminology and Neology advocates the use of "electronic word of mouth" to define this medium.

In this article defining digital marketing, we will present it in its different forms. We can mention, among others, emailing or email marketing, natural referencing or SEO, commercial links, etc.

Read The Top Benefits of Online Advertising

Emailing or email marketing

Emailing is a form of digital marketing that encompasses all uses of email in the field of online advertising. Email Marketing is an excellent tool to address issues of customer loyalty, customer activation, etc.

This practice includes relational, transactional (newsletters), prospecting, and sponsoring practices. There are 131 billion emails sent in 2016 for a turnover of 105 million euros on the 22 routers members of the SNCD.

Emailing or email marketing still retains an essential place in the field of digital marketing.

Read The7 reasons why you should build an email list

SEO or Search Engine Optimization

Definition digital marketing

Search engine optimization is one of the sections of search engine marketing. This concept of digital marketing includes all the techniques used to optimize a site or pages.

In other words, this use aims to position itself at the top of the natural results on search engines, especially Google, following targeted queries from users on the web.

SEO includes on-page and off-page optimization (commonly known as Link Building). The financial stakes related to this practice can be considerable since they depend mainly on the visibility of a structure on the Internet.

Remember, there are two possibilities to find a company on the Internet:

Either you know it and you directly enter its URL or its name on Google, either you enter a query on a search engine and find the company among the results.

So the goal of any business is to appear on the first page of Google. The goal is to anticipate Internet users' requests by working on frequent searches for keywords related to their expertise.

The content published by the company will thus answer the questions asked by Internet users about its activity...and more.

Learn What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization

In the field of digital marketing, sponsored links represent the second branch of search engine marketing. Sponsored links are advertising links in text format, which appears on the pages of search engine results. We are talking here about Google Ads that allow for its promotion on the Internet.

These links appear mainly in the header of search results pages, with the small acronym ad.

These links are also used in the form of text and image ads on Facebook or editorial sites. The advertiser pays depending on the volume of clicks (CPC). For your information, in 2010, Google made 97% of its turnover thanks to sponsored search results.

In the USA, mobile search accounts for 16 to 22% of advertising expenditure.

What is digital marketing

Online advertising or display advertising

Display advertising refers to all forms of digital marketing using graphic elements or videos as a medium.

There are several forms of display advertising:

  • The Standard Display Network
  • The Youtube Display Network
  • The Desktop Display Network
  • The Mobile Display Network

Among these different Diaply Networks, Youtube Display Network widely dominates this market for years.

The 17th edition of the e-pub observation notes that the online advertising market has grown by 7% in France, representing a turnover of 3.5 billion euros. The display occupies first place with +14.5%, a net turnover estimated at 1204 million euros.


The purpose of affiliation is to promote products and services using what is offered by affiliated partners. In general, the merchant site provides its partners with banner ads or text links.

Commissions reward affiliates on sales, visits, or if business contacts to be processed comes from their affiliate links.

Amazon has more than 500,000 affiliate sites in its affiliate program.

Content marketing

Content marketing refers to all practices aimed at providing prospects or customers with a certain amount of relevant content. Workaround content marketing is relatively sophisticated because it is about meeting specific needs by attracting the customer to oneself.

The company will then create a specific marketing content according to a product or a service by dealing with the issues around it.

The goal is for the consumer to quickly find the product/service he needs, thanks to the content broadcast, wherever the content arrives at the right time, according to scenarios established upstream via marketing automation solutions.

The exposure and distribution of content have become more popular with the continuous growth of the Internet.

In this digital marketing branch, content marketing strategies are generally developed within the framework of B2B or B2C marketing. Eventually, marketers will then promote the content with marketing automation solutions.

Content marketing has several goals:

  • Generate more leads and organic visits
  • Provide customer support
  • Boost sales thanks to product descriptions and videos
  • To enhance a brand

More Ressources: Is Thin Content Hurting Your Website's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy?

Social Marketing

Guide Digital Marketing

In digital marketing, the notion of social marketing has two definitions depending on the context in which it is used. In the first context, it refers to marketing actions aimed at promoting social causes.

This type of action is generally carried out by NGOs, associations, or brands that seek to promote responsible behavior among their consumers.

But social marketing is now taking on a new connotation, as these marketing practices are much more common on social networks.

Mobile marketing within digital marketing

Mobile marketing is a growing form of digital marketing. It refers to all marketing techniques based on mobile devices, including smartphones and multifunctional tablets.

In a broader sense, mobile marketing could be defined as all marketing actions aimed at people on the move.

According to Google, the number of queries made on mobile devices worldwide will exceed those made on computers in 2015.

A Forrester report reveals that in 2019, mobile payments in the US will reach 142 billion dollars.

Marketing via social networks

Read theFive way Social Media can help grow your Business

Digital marketing via social networks is the set of online sites that allow you to build a network of friends or professionals.

We talk about communities as soon as they are hosted within social networks, and are generally managed by an internal community manager or a freelance community manager.

These community platforms provide their members with interactive communication tools and interfaces.

The most used social networks in our company are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap, Linkedin, and Youtube. Their broad audience makes them essential marketing and advertising medium for many digital marketing players.

SMS marketing

SMS marketing refers to a bulk SMS campaign for commercial purposes. It is one of the three pillars of digital promotion.

Similar to Email Marketing, SMS (Short Message Service) is a tool commonly used by companies wishing to reach a specific audience quickly. E-commerce also often use SMS as a reminder solution for abandoned shopping carts.

In 2009, more than 1 million SMS marketing messages were sent during Christmas and New Year's Day. SMS is ahead of Emailing.