Investing in digital marketing for first time? Here is what you need to know:

Written by Team EMB

May 19, 2022

Digital Marketing
investing in digital marketing for first time

The world of digital marketing can be confusing if you are just getting started. Numerous companies offer digital marketing services today. To make matters worse, every company you look at seems more attractive than the last. How do you navigate the murky waters of digital marketing?

The first step is to understand what digital marketing is all about.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to any form of advertisement for goods and services using digital channels. Digital marketing channels include email marketing, social media, search engine result pages, and virtually all websites and mobile apps. The world has gravitated towards digital services. Therefore, any business looking to make headway searching for customers needs to use digital marketing approaches.

The digital space is very accessible and, unfortunately, comes with a lot of competition for attention. However, if done well, you can use digital marketing to reach a diverse audience to build relationships and gain additional customers.

The marketing process is no longer about pushing products to whoever will bite. Customers have too many alternatives at their disposal. Therefore, the intelligent thing to do is understand your customers’ needs before attempting to sell them anything. The people who succeed in marketing today know how to find what’s bothering their customers and create ways to solve them. As a beginner, don’t underestimate the importance of making a lasting impression on potential customers.

Digital marketers specialise in analysing what people are interested in to create meaningful interactions with them based on the data.

What is Paid Marketing?

It is a quick way to get your brand in front of many potential customers. Paid marketing involves paying for advertising to reach your target audience instead of waiting for them to find you by themselves.

Paid marketing typically leverages the power of social media and search engine results pages. To get into paid marketing, you start by choosing your preferred channel and defining your target customers. You can choose your customers based on their demographics, previous purchases, location, visited pages, search terms, etc. These types of marketing are often pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns–you only pay when people click on your adverts (more on that later).

Paid advertising has the highest return on investment for most businesses. Metrics from Google indicate that, on average, companies make $2 worth of revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Localised businesses get a higher return when they use local-intent queries. Approximately 76% of companies do not use behaviour data to target their customers. Therefore, those who incorporate behaviour data gain significant exposure to potential customers.

Understand how Paid Advertising Works

Time to get deeper into the mechanism behind paid advertising.

But first, some context. From here on out, think about paid advertising as buying attention rather than waiting for customers to find you organically.

With that in mind, imagine a digital auction. Different companies are bidding on a strategic advertising spot on a website (such as Google or Facebook.) As you might imagine, the winning bidder might pay a lot of money for the space. Alternatively, less coveted advertising spaces are much cheaper. Unlike traditional auctions, advertising space auctions are far from blind. You get a plethora of data to justify the high value of the advertising space.

Pay-Per-Click vs. Impressions

Digital marketing companies mostly charge per click or impression (visibility). In PPC, the company bills you when someone clicks on your ad. An impression means your advert has appeared on a web page (people have seen it). It does not matter whether they click the advert. To sum it up, you are either paying for engagement (PPC) or visibility.

How do you choose which option to select? 

The case for impression-based advertising

One of the drawbacks of paying by impression is that it does not guarantee that customers will take action on your advert. Ideally, you only want to pay per impression when the channel is a favourite for your target audience. On the downside, even though people see your adverts, it does not guarantee you increased leads.

What about Pay-Per-Click?

The best thing about PPC is that any money you spend goes to action. You only pay for people who are likely to become qualified leads. However, if the search term you select has low volume, you will only see a marginal increase in customer engagement.

Think about impression advertising as casting a wide fishing net. You get a lot of ‘fish.’ However, not all of them are edible. Alternatively, PPC ads are like fishing with lures. You will catch fewer fish, but they are likely to be desirable.

How Important is Targetting?

Your perfectly-made advertisement will not be impactful unless you get it to the target audience. Before making an advert, you have to know whom you want to see it and why.

There are so many characteristics you can use to select an audience. They include factors like:

· Demographics (age, gender, location, income, family size, etc.)

· Psychographic information (affinities, values, and motivations.)

· Purchase history

· Subscriptions

· Online behaviour, etc.

This list grows longer as analytics technology advances. Additionally, platforms give you a choice of different parameters. Therefore, you should dial in the marketing personas that suit your marketing objectives to boost your qualified leads.

Types of Paid Marketing

There is no shortage of paid advertising options for brand awareness and lead generation. The following are some of the most popular categories.

Search Engine Marketing

As the name suggests, it is when companies pay to have their adverts show up on search engine result pages (SERPs). These are advertisements displayed among the results people see when they search the Web using keywords and key phrases. The adverts appear at the top of the results pages on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Ads on SERPs are usually pay-per-click. The money you pay depends on the traffic generated by the search term(s) you target.

The higher adverts on SERPs belong to the companies that paid the most during bidding.

All large social media companies run proprietary advertising platforms. You can advertise on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter to reach your target audience. The pay-per-click ads of social media platforms are different from search engine ads.

Social Media Advertising

In social media ads, you target the audience based on interests rather than keywords. Facebook and Instagram have robust audience segmenting tools because of their copious user data.

You also pay for ads for social media based on impressions or clicks.

Display Advertising

Display advertising uses websites to get your message across. You design adverts of varying shapes and sizes so they can fit on different parts of a website. These adverts can be static or active.

Display advertising networks have widespread networks across the Internet and can get your advert in front of eyeballs across websites. The best display ad campaign has a clear-cut audience, compelling copy, stunning visuals, and well-define goals.

Display ads are great for capturing new customers and retargeting people who know about your brand. I would recommend Google AdSense, Adsterra, and Adroll.

Pro tip: Optimise your adverts using negative keywords. These are words that prevent your ad from appearing. For instance, you can disqualify the word ‘free’ if you don’t want it to appear on websites promoting free products.

Remarketing and Retargeting

Retargetting is often employed to augment new strategies for digital marketing campaigns.

Have you ever added an item to the shopping cart of your favourite website, removed it, and forgotten about it? After some time, does the product seem to follow you across different websites that you visit?

That is a classic example of a retargeting campaign. It uses your browser cookies to follow your actions across the Internet and show you ads for things you have been interested in before.

Retargeting is a hot potato regarding peoples’ privacy on the Internet. It is one of the reasons why many websites now tell you that they collect cookie data the moment you visit them and give you a chance to opt-out. Remarketing has one of the lowest costs among advertising options and yields a very high ROI.

What are the Most Popular Paid Marketing Examples?

The following are the paid advertising platforms that will give you the widest target audience.

Facebook Ads

It is the premier social media platform for sponsored adverts. Facebook ads are the Swiss knife of audience targeting platforms. They can show in newsfeeds, columns, and stories. Instagram ads are also very effective because it shares Facebook’s infrastructure. The only difference is that Instagram is more image-centric.


You can use several types of ads on YouTube, including TrueView InStream (long-format, skippable) ads, Google Preferred (non-skippable, mid-length) ads, and bumper ads (six seconds, non-skippable) ads.


You can choose various ad campaigns on Twitter based on your objective.

If you are at a loss when deciding which channels to use, you might want to hire a digital marketer to oversee your advertising campaigns. A digital marketer has more experience and knows how to create marketing campaigns that suit your needs.


The world of digital marketing is not one for the light-hearted. The landscape is constantly changing, with new channels coming up frequently. Furthermore, existing platforms update their procedures often. Ordinary people do not have the time or motivation to keep up with these changes.

Beginners are particularly ill-suited to do any digital marketing because of their inexperience. They would end up wasting money and getting no results in the process.

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