If words like “SEO” and “MarTech” sound like Greek to you, you’re not alone. Many marketers struggle to understand the intricacies of digital marketing - and it’s no wonder why. Experts in the field tend to operate as if their audiences are digitally fluent. They’ll spout niche terms without explanation, leaving marketers scratching their heads or feigning comprehension.

You should never be afraid to ask “how,” “what” or “why” when it comes to digital marketing. To help you learn the basics, we’ve put together a roadmap that’ll give you a bird’s eye view of this complex landscape.

At its highest level, digital marketing has three main components: Lead Generation, Lead Capturing and Lead Nurturing.

Phase 1: Lead Generation

The first step to digital marketing is devising and executing a lead generation strategy that draws the right people closer to your brand. This is all about choosing optimal messaging, targeting and tactics to speak to your audiences. From SEO to social ads, there are many ways to accomplish this.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the optimization of your website to rank higher on search engines (like Google). A good search ranking allows your brand to get more exposure and generate more organic traffic.

There are many factors that impact SEO, mostly to do with the way your website is written and coded. Elements such as messaging, page speed, backlinks, UX and responsiveness all affect your search ranking.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Screenshot of Google search for "boston pizza delivery"

SEM is the use of paid advertising to gain more visibility on search engines. If you’ve ever seen search engine results that say “ad” next to them, you’ve witnessed SEM.

Marketers bid on keywords that are most lucrative for their business, allowing their website and content to show up higher on search engine results. By nature, SEM results are not organic, but results happen much more quickly than they do with SEO.

Paid Social

Paid Social is the use of paid advertising to reach your target audiences on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram offer robust ad options, allowing you to reach hyper-specific audiences with branded content and offers.

Phase 2: Lead Capture

Once you attract the right audiences to your content, you have to make sure your digital presence is optimized to drive conversions. After all, the traffic you produced in the Lead Generation phase means nothing if those users don’t convert.

Website

A world-class website is your key to driving conversions. Impeccable messaging, flawless design, strategic UX, and strong code come together to make your website a marketing machine. Once users land on your website, they should know exactly who you are and what they need to do next. In this way, your website acts as a marketing funnel, ushering visitors straight to conversion.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are an extension of your website; they are stand-alone pages often leveraged in campaigns. Their value lies in their ability drive users to take very specific actions, such as claiming an offer or downloading an eBook. Landing pages help users to focus on the offer at hand, rather than getting lost in the pages of your website.

Lister landing page example

Forms

Forms are arguably the most important part of any website or landing page. They are exactly what they sound like – digital forms where users can fill out their personal information, such as name, phone number or email address. Users provide this data in exchange for offers or more info. This is how visitors convert into leads.

Phase 3: Lead Nurturing

So, you’ve targeted the right people and they’ve converted into leads. Now it’s your time to shine. The Lead Nurturing phase consists of providing your hard-earned leads with relevant, insightful content to drive them closer to your brand and persuade them to buy.

MarTech Stack

Your MarTech Stack is the collection of marketing technologies you use to efficiently attract, convert and nurture leads. Your CRM, marketing automation platform, web analytics platform and email marketing platform are some of the tools you’ll find in a MarTech Stack. These systems work together to help you to effectively nurture leads across all digital channels.

Email Drip Campaigns

Email drip campaigns are sets of emails that automatically go out when users take specific actions or hit certain milestones. These campaigns send relevant content to prospects at the right time to drive engagement and purchases.

Illustration of laptop with open email on screen, surrounded by envelopes

Personalization

Personalization is the application of user data to customize the digital experience for each individual. It can be as simple as including a lead’s name in an email or as complex as serving up a unique website experience based on a user’s interests. Your MarTech Stack will assist you in employing effective personalization by storing and leveraging user data.

While digital marketing is a complex process, we hope this roadmap will help you to ask the right questions and gain a deeper understanding of the digital landscape. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to drive your brand to digital success.