Digital Marketing Basics

2 February 2022

Having a marketing strategy in place is essential for attracting potential customers and meeting commercial objectives. And this is true for any sector and any type of business.

Marketing tools employed in the online environment are referred to as digital marketing and, given the highly digitalised era we live in, they are your brand’s biggest ally. They are accessible, valuable and easy to use, and we have outlined the basics you need to know if you are just starting off on your digital marketing journey.

Table of contents

Email marketing

One of the most popular and longest-running digital marketing tools is email marketing. It maintains a solid presence in the marketing strategies of many brands and generally provides a high return on investment. We distinguish between two main types of email marketing:

Acquisition emails: focused on attracting new customers
Retention emails: aimed at retaining existing customer

There are plenty of subtypes (newsletters, promotional emails, surveys, etc.), which we will discuss separately in upcoming articles.

The most important thing to remember about email marketing is that it needs to really add value for customers and leads. We all have our inboxes flooded with emails that we don’t even open or don’t really care about. That’s why email marketing as an end in itself won’t do anything useful for your brand, but can actually hurt it. You need to put yourself into your customers’ skin and be realistic about the things that would actually interest them and make them interact with your emails. Tracking the performance of email campaigns is also essential in evaluating what works and what doesn’t.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) both refer to improving the positioning of websites in search engine results. In the past, SEM was coined as a blanket term, which included SEO and other tools such as Pay-per-Click (PPC). However, in recent years, SEM has been increasingly associated with paid strategies, while SEO with organic ones:

SEM: includes paid tools to index websites in search results
SEO: includes organic tools to index websites in search results

Some examples of SEM include Google Ads (those first results marked as Ad you sometimes see when you look up something on Google), Pay-Per-Clickaffiliate marketing.

SEO can include the optimization of a website via code, as well the optimization of text and multimedia content. It is all about developing actions that seek to promote a brand, without any direct advertising payment.

Content marketing

Content marketing aims to generate brand awarenes and engagement through the creation and distribution of content. Usually, the content doesn’t talk directly about a specific product or service. It rather provides an overview of a relevant topic, industry trend or other things that can add value to a potential client. This value will be important in the decision-making process of the user and ultimately may be what makes them choose one brand over another.

Content marketing is best friends with SEO. This is because any type of content should be optimised for search engines or else it may not reach its full potential.

Branded content & native advertising

Branded content is the content intended for publishing on external websites and platforms, but that is directly linked to a brand. ​​It typically highlights intangible brand assets (such as values and mission) rather than specific products or services, but its end goal is to establish a connection between the two, in this way influencing users on an emotional level. Branded content is usually paid.

Native advertising is a type of advertising or promotion that adapts to the medium where it is published.
Previously, native advertising consisted mainly in written content, but nowadays it is also multimedia-based.

Video marketing

Videos can be considered a part of content marketing. They have several advantages in comparison with other types of content:

Interactive: videos are more dynamic than other types of content, which makes them more reliable in maintaining a user’s attention

Visual: we all respond to visual stimulations and as with interactivity, the visual component contributes to better engagement

Easily transmits complex concepts: a video can explain complex ideas in a much more comprehensive way than an article or image can (for instance using storytelling)

Social media marketing

A self-explanatory term, social media marketing involves a set of actions performed on social networks and aimed at generating brand and product awareness. In addition to all types of content that can be created and shared within social media, we also have social ads or advertising on social networks.

The most common social media advertising platforms is Facebook – now encompassing all its brands under the name “Meta” that allows ads on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Audience Network and WhatsApp. Ads can also be implemented on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tiktok.

In general, advertising costs on social networks are lower than on other traditional advertising platforms.