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Study Notes

Digital Marketing

A-Level, IB, BTEC National
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 7 Aug 2019

Digital marketing now plays an important role in the marketing activities of nearly every business.

The area of digital marketing is worthy of a whole course on its own. However, A-Level Business students just need an overview of the main types of digital marketing. Here are six of the most important.


Email marketing is the most widely used type of digital marketing - and many would argue that it is also the most widely abused type of digital marketing. Simply, email marketing involves the broadcast of email messages to audiences of email addresses. Email marketing has become much more sophisticated


There are few businesses that do not advertise online now. The ability to define and target online campaigns at specific audiences or in specific locations makes online advertising particularly attractive. So too does the sophisticated and real-time performance data on that advertising, including being able to attribute advertising campaigns to online sales. Online advertising remains dominated by the large search engines (Google, Bing) as well as the major social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


With so much business now done online, it is vital that a business can be found by potential customers online. Done right, search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) can attract significant traffic to a website. The goal of SEO is to optimise content in a way that makes it appear among the first results on the results pages of search engines - particularly Google. There is a whole global industry dedicated to providing businesses with tools and advice on SEO - some of which is reliable but much isn't!


Content marketing is closely linked to search engine optimisation. It involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience . Examples of content marketing include blogs, specialist reports, streamed videos and webinars. The aim of content marketing is to reach and then engage with the target audience - often by persuading the audience to provide contact details (usually email or registration for an online newsletter).


Influencer marketing is a fast-growing part of digital marketing. Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves endorsements from "influencers". These are people and who may possess (or claim to possess) an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields. The factors that determines the impact of an "influencer" vary. A good starting point might be the number of "followers" or subscribers that the influencer has, or the extent to which their comments and recommendations are "liked" or shared via share social media.


Like influencer marketing, viral marketing also uses existing social media networks to promote a product. Its name refers to how consumers spread information about a product with other people in their social networks, much in the same way that a virus spreads from one person to another. Video content in particular has been proven to be some of the most "virulent" content shared in this way, which has helped some businesses gain significant audiences for their brands, products and services.

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