Digital Marketing: Definition, methods, and trends for 2019

Alexandros Nasiopoulos on 02-10-2019. Modified on 19-09-2020
Digital Marketing: Definition, methods, and trends for 2019

Digital Marketing: Definition, methods, and trends for 2019

Maybe when you hear about digital marketing, your mind automatically goes to social media or Google Ads.

But the truth is that digital marketing has its roots many years before the creation of Google or Facebook. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you about cavemen.

On January 13, 1910, the first live radio broadcast took place in New York where the voices of Enrico Caruso and other celebrities of the Metropolitan Opera were heard.

In 1971 Ray Tomlinson sent the first email and in 1990 the first search engine, Archie, was created.

Of course, the term digital marketing gained great popularity around 2000 with the birth of the iPhone and the growth of internet users.

Definition of digital marketing

There is a disagreement over whether television or radio, which I mentioned above, can be considered digital marketing media.

A marketing specialist, Neil Patel, defines digital marketing as "Any form of marketing of products or services involving electronic devices".

According to Wikipedia, "Digital marketing is the promotion of products or services using digital technologies."

Electronic devices are not the same as digital technologies. Am I right? Or maybe not?

We can now watch TV or listen to online streaming radio from our mobile or PC. And it's not just that. Televisions today are digital, even their signal is digital.

It doesn't matter what the correct definition is. What matters most is keeping up with the times, especially when studying sciences such as marketing.

So, we will consider television and radio to be digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing methods

Times have changed.

You may still dream about car rides in the countryside, the radio playing Guns N 'Roses and the kids in the back seat singing loudly.

Nowadays, you are more likely to be stuck in a traffic light, watching the television which with you replaced the radio and the kids to chat on their cellphone with their friends.

Devices have evolved. Analog televisions can now only be found in museums or landfills. 2 to 3 years ago, I restarted my friend's kitchen so she could cook.

The ways humans interact with devices have also changed. Along with all these changes, of course, Marketing has changed.

The most imtortant digital marketing methods for 2019 are:

  • Search Εngine Οptimization (SEO)
  • Search Εngine Μarketing (SEM)
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content automation
  • Data-driven marketing
  • E-commerce marketing
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Social media optimization
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  • E-mail marketing
  • Display advertising
  • E–books
  • Games

As for Search Engine Optimization, you can find plenty of information in our already updated column.

The rest of the methods will be progressively analyzed in our next articles, in the Marketing column you are on.

Digital marketing can, of course, be applied to digital devices, whether they are online - online marketing or offline - offline marketing.

In this way, digital marketing is divided into two major categories, which are equally important for an integrated digital marketing campaign.

Offline Marketing

You may not have the necessary insight or you may even have forgotten how offline marketing is done. Certainly, however, offline marketing has been around for decades.

Have you ever been to a restaurant and been given a tablet to create your order? This is an example of what I call upgraded offline marketing.

Of course, there is the well-known and beloved to all of us, I believe, radio. Please, don't tell me you've forgotten the hundreds of ads you've heard on the radio while listening to your favorite radio show?

Finally, you certainly know television very well, as a digital marketing channel as well as the telephone.

Let's dive into more details, in each of these four types of offline marketing.

Upgraded offline marketing

The reason why Google and Facebook have the highest percentage of ads worldwide is only one and it's very simple: They have more eyes on them.

For the exact opposite reason, you no longer see roadside signs. Don't tell me you've forgotten the billboards that featured cars or cigarettes? Do you remember those of the Goody's or the MacDonalds, which when seen we begged our parents to go for a snack? If you are young of course, you may have never met them.

Why did the billboards disappear?

Because almost no one sees them.

Get in your car and take a ride. Don't grab the phone! Notice how many drivers are talking on their cellphone or sending messages and how many are on the road. And even if they have the ability to do both at the same time, could they also notice a roadside sign?

If drivers don't see the billboards themselves, who will see them?

But there are billboards that you should pay thousands of dollars to advertise. They are not made from paper like the plates we mentioned, but they are electronic.

We are referring, of course, to the billboards that are located in Times Square, New York. If you are considering running an ad on one of these, you should know that you will spend between one and four million dollars to advertise for one year.

Why is the cost so high?

Well, because around 330.000 people, pass through Times Square every day.

Of course, there are other ways of upgraded offline marketing. Specifically, if you are manufacturing or selling electronic devices, any demo of these products should definitely be on the list of advertising choices.

What do I mean?

Remember what you saw the last time you went to an Apple store? People looking on iPhones, iPads or MacBooks.

Pay attention to the marketing methods that are used by large companies. They have likely spent thousands or even millions on research, to find highly influential marketing methods.

Radio Marketing

The radio still keeps its power, in terms of audiences, as well as the amount spent annually on radio ads.

Unlike television, the radio made a good transition to the Internet. Radio broadcasts and commercials can be heard either online, from a mobile phone or a computer, either offline from traditional radio via electromagnetic waves.

The radio has also managed to maintain the quality of its broadcasts. People listen to it for having fun and relaxing. Maybe that's why the radio is still broadcasting, even if it's been almost 110 years since the first radio broadcast.

If you offer something in your business relative to a show topic, you could play an ad during the hours of that particular broadcast. You could also contact the radio station of your city or region and talk to this show and transfer your knowledge to a topic you are familiar with.

TV Marketing

Television is the colossus of marketing. Maybe that's the only reason it's still alive. Unlike radio, television has been the most attacked.

When youtube is out there where anyone can find and watch anything he wants, anytime he wants it, why watch TV? When you can easily find relevant videos, read entertaining opinions of other users, and even comment, you will certainly not stay in front of a television to watch what it's playing at the particular moment.

I haven't even turned on the TV, for at least 12 years.

The only time television has a great audience and it might worth spending some money on running an ad, is during football matches. If, of course, you can afford the cost.

You need to pay about $ 4.5 million to air a 60-second advertising spot during the Super Bowl World Championship. Why is it so expensive? Because these ads usually go viral.

Of course, the plethora of football matches, as well as other broadcasts with lots of fans, such as MotoGP or Formula 1, have now moved to pay-TV channels. On these channels, including the popular NetFlix, one can watch movies or series on-demand, depending on their preferences.

Ok. But many people watch television. Why isn't an ad worth it?

The huge disadvantage of television is that ads are not specific. Anyone can see any ad being shown.

You may be vegan, 25 years old and single and watch ads for pork chops, hearing aids and baby formula.

At the same time, you can choose other ways of digital marketing, such as influencer marketing, search engine marketing or email marketing, that will target exactly your audience.

It is very likely that television, as we know it today, will not exist in a few years. If you are thinking of using television as a marketing channel, it may be better to choose the format that will exist in the future rather than the one that belongs to the past.

Phone Marketing

How many times have you received an SMS from your favorite or not so political candidate during the election period asking for your vote?

How many times has the phone rang and in response you found out that they were calling from a telecommunications or energy company to sell their services?

Smartphones, of course, have changed the rules in this area as well. Now, you can not only see who's calling you and choose not to answer but even enter specific numbers in the list of unwanted numbers and avoid these once and for all.

On the other hand, messages or SMS are 90% sure to be read. You are also more likely not to disturb the recipient, for example instead of a phone call, as he can read the message when he wants.

If you have a restaurant or any business where you can send promotional coupons to your customers, it is a digital marketing tactic that works well.

Another great phone marketing tactic is to create an advertising spot that can be heard while your customers are on stand by. The best thing would be, of course, not to let them wait!

Smartphones are an excellent means of promoting products and services, whether offline or online. Especially if you consider that most searches on the internet are now done via mobile phones.

Online Marketing

As mentioned above, online marketing consists of marketing methods that can be applied to devices that are online, that is, connected to the internet.

These devices are usually mobile phones, tablets, computers, televisions, and game consoles.

In these devices, users can be reached through browsers (eg google chrome or safari) or through applications - apps.

The main platforms through which you can reach your potential customers are Google and Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin.

As in marketing also in online marketing, targets can be either individuals (consumers) or businesses. That is, marketing can be either B2C - Business to Customers or B2B - Business to Business, respectively.

Marketing methods do not change whether you are targeting individuals or businesses. But research has shown that depending on the target audience, the approach opportunities and the impact of a marketing campaign will vary greatly depending on the marketing channel that is used.

These and many more, we will discuss in our future articles.

For now, let's go for a brief overview of the main methods of online marketing, after following my partner's advice.

I don't want to drain your energy, so I'll try to be as brief as I can.


Search Engine Optimization

SEO - Search Engine Optimization is a combination of practices, as mentioned in our article What is SEO and why do I need SEO.

With these practices, you can increase both the quantity and quality of your website traffic through unpaid promotion, known as organic traffic.

SEO can be either On-Page or Off-Page, ie it consists of practices that can be implemented within your website and out of it, ie backlinks.

SEO can also be theoretical or technical.

Theoretical SEO are practices such as finding the right keywords, placing them correctly in your texts or in the URLs of your pages, etc., that is, practices you can also apply yourself.

Technical SEO are practices that exist in the code of your webpages such as structured data, AMPs or techniques that can improve your website speed. To apply such practices, you need to look for the right SEO company that will ensure you get actual results.

Many information on SEO, can be found in our Search Engine Optimization category.


Search Engine Marketing

SEM - Search Engine Marketing, is a form of online marketing that increases the visibility of a website on the search engine results pages - Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs, mainly through paid advertising.

SEM is a broader area, that includes SEO. SEM includes both paid traffic and organic traffic. SEM uses ways of advertising such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads, ie Pay-Per-Click - PPC advertising, and verifies that SEO has been done.

More information on SEM can be found in our article "How to develop a search engine marketing plan".


Content marketing

Content marketing, is a form of marketing in which web content is created, published and shared for a targeted audience.

Content can be text in a blog, videos, infographics, images, e-books, news, etc. The formats that content can take are usually digital.

The philosophy in content marketing is based on the idea that you have to give something, to get something in return. For example, with content, you can provide useful information to a user and you may thus gain his trust and convert him to a customer.


Influencer marketing

Influence marketing, or influencer marketing, is a form of social media marketing that involves product placements by individuals, organizations or businesses that have (possibly) a level of knowledge and/or social influence in the areas they are operating in.

Influencers are usually presented in the form of someone who has bought a product or specializes in a product and is trying to add value to the product, testifying to their personal experience with the product.

Influencers can be found on social media (facebook, instagram, youtube, etc) but they can also be journalists, analysts or professional consultants.


Content automation

Content automation, marketing automation or content marketing automation is the process of identifying repetitive content marketing actions and automating them through tools or applications.

The purpose of content automation is to facilitate processes to improve the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy.


Data-Driven marketing

Data-Driven Marketing is a process in which marketing experts obtain information by analyzing data, that is, numbers.

Marketing strategies developed with data-driven marketing are based on information derived from big data analysis, which is collected through interactions with users and is intended to predict future behaviors.

Data-driven marketing involves the understanding of existing data, finding new ways to obtain data, and organizing and analyzing data. The ultimate goal is to increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts.


E-commerce marketing

E-commerce marketing is the application of marketing methods for awareness and action on a business that sells its products or services online.

Simply put, in an eCommerce marketing strategy techniques such as social media marketing or email marketing can be used to guide traffic to an eCommerce.


Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing refers to the use of social media to promote products or services.

Examples of social media are facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, youtube, vimeo, pinterest, forums, etc.


Social media optimization

Social media optimization is the optimization of websites or web pages so that they can work optimally for social media.

Examples of social media optimization are the RSS Feed as well as the facebook like and facebook share buttons, that you see on most websites.


Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost-per-click (CPC), is an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to a website in which the advertiser pays a publisher when the ad is clicked.

The pay-per-click model can be applied to search engines (eg Google AdWords, Bing Ads), websites, and social media (eg facebook, twitter).

In search engines, advertisers usually bid on keywords that are relevant to their target. In contrast, websites usually charge a fixed price per click instead of using a bidding system.


Email marketing

Email marketing is the process of sending a commercial message, usually to a group of people, using email.

In the broadest sense, any email sent to a potential or existing customer can be considered as email marketing.

The goals of email marketing can be to enhance a professional's relationship with existing or past customers, increase customer loyalty, gain new customers, announce a new product or service or directly promote a product or service.


Display advertising

Display advertising is the act of advertising on websites, social media, or applications using banners or other ad formats, which may contain text, images, graphic designs, video, or audio.

Display advertising can help promote e.g. a brand or product, using elements that are gaining the user's interest.



E-books create an opportunity to give detailed insight on an area of expertise, enhance their reputation and most importantly to generate new leads.

An e-book can usually be in epub, mobi, PDF or HTML format.



Game marketing or In-game marketing is the promotion of e.g. a company or a product, through video games.

Rather than bombarding gamers with logos or slogans, marketers can work their messages into the gameplay in a way that feels vital to the experience. The ads become a feature rather than a distraction.



Because you may be confused after all this terminology, let's look briefly at the most important digital marketing methods we've seen above.

As already mentioned, the most important digital marketing methods for 2019 are:

Digital Marketing

  • Offline Marketing
    • Upgraded offline marketing
    • Radio marketing
    • TV marketing
    • Phone marketing
  • Online Marketing
    • Search Εngine Οptimization (SEO)
    • Search Εngine Μarketing (SEM)
    • Content marketing
    • Influencer marketing
    • Content automation
    • Data-driven marketing
    • E-commerce marketing
    • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
    • Social media optimization
    • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
    • E-mail marketing
    • Display advertising
    • E–books
    • Games

To end with a simple conclusion, we would say that the internet has created new digital marketing methods that can guarantee better results than traditional advertising methods.

On the other hand, there may be potential customers who are easier to be reached by traditional marketing methods.

However, it is not possible to select all the available marketing channels for promoting your products or services.

What your next moves should be?

What you need first to do, is look at the amount you are able or you are planning to spend on your promotion. With this in mind, you should choose the channels that are most influential for your audience, for your specific budget.

How to find these? This is exactly what we will try to help you achieve, in our next articles.

Need more information or help right away? See our Digital Marketing services.

Reviews (1)
By Ben on 08-10-2019

Thank u Very useful article. All marketing types in one place.

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