Having Doubt About What Is Digital Marketing? – Let’s Try To Simplify This Complex Online Marketing Term

Hi, I am Ankur Chopra. I am Certified Digital Marketing Expert and I have got my certificate a few days back only. No, No! I am not flaunting myself here. What I am going to tell you next will make you understand why did I mention that.

A few days back when I told the same thing to my younger brother, he was very keen to know about it because the tag Digital Marketing Expert itself sounds so intriguing. He has just graduated from his college this year. I was explaining to him about my experience in exam hall and then,

He suddenly asked me, “What is digital marketing bro?”

My mind was struck by various modules which I had learned in my course that includes SEO, SMM, SEM, etc (Just ignore these abbreviations if you are new to these. But still if you can’t wait and want to know then you can scroll down, I have explained it there already). I took around 20-30 seconds to think about the answer and replied, “Digital marketing is something we do to get more website traffic,” I stopped there. He looked bemused and unfortunately I too. But I continued, ” There are various modules like Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, etc that we combine to get more website traffic,”

“Sorry, I didn’t get it,” he said. I again thought for a few seconds and tried to make up a definition to explain him better about it but could not. I felt very embarrassed there because after completing the whole Digital Marketing Course and being certified professional I should have explained him in much better and simpler way. It didn’t happen because I was not serious in my course. I was serious obviously but their course structure was divided into various modules like SEO, SMM, EMM, etc that I never got integrated picture of this term.

I came back home and the first thing I did was google for this term. What I got as my top result was epic. Look at below picture – This was such an unexpected result from google. How will a person who is just new to Digital Marketing understand such a complex term?


I researched few more websites including my course videos again and some free digital marketing online courses. What I understood is – We should try to understand traditional marketing first.

So, What Is Traditional Marketing?

You must have seen nearby’s restaurants or parlor’s brochures in the newspapers or at your door step. If not that, then you would have seen lots of brand’s ads on TV.


What are they doing?

They are using traditional mediums( or strategies) to promote their brands or business. Yes, any marketing technique in which we use traditional methods and strategies to promote our business is called Traditional marketing. And, those traditional methods are basically Radios, Televisions, Newspapers, Print Ads, etc.

And, What Is Digital Marketing?

If you got the main point which I wanted to discuss here then you must have guessed its definition also. I won’t dictate here the typical dogmatic definition. You can find it online anywhere. If you are trying to promote your business ( It can be anything – Your website, product, or services ) by using digital strategies then the term which will define the kind of marketing you are using is Digital Marketing. And, digital strategies which you are using here include many kinds of digital techniques out of which most popular are Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Email Marketing (EM), I Affiliate Marketing, Inbound Marketing (IM), etc.

One thing which I would like to highlight here is Digital Marketing is not limited to these above marketing techniques. There are numerous strategies like these and the main job of a digital marketer is to integrate all these techniques and apply. There are several other things which I know and want to share but I will write them separately in my coming blogs. For now, If you are new to Digital Marketing then let’s try to learn some of the marketing techniques used above to give you a brief idea about it.

1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Let say you are having a blog on topic Digital Wildlife Photography. Now if I am looking for some High Quality wildlife pictures then obviously I will google it. If you want your blog (or website) to reach more and more people on google then you have to use SEO techniques to rank your website on top in google search page.

See below pic – All results which you can see are organic results that has come up in google’s first page becuse they have applied Search Engine Optimization marketing techniques on their blog page.


2) Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

If you have few bucks to spend and want to get ranked in google search results then you can go for Google Adwords in which you will give some money to google to rank your website top in search page results.

All the links for query Digital marketing courses in below pic are paid results (See ‘Ad’ option in front of link)  and are possible by using search engine marketing.


Click here if you want to read more about SEM 

3) Email Marketing (EM)

You have successfully written ebook with title Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies in 2017. You remember your friend’s email id and want to send the copy directly to him then what would you do? Obviously, email him your ebook. Your one target achieved. Isn’t it? Okay, what if you get 1000’s of email ids? You get 1000 targets. Yes, that’s what we do in email marketing – getting the database of your potential leads and then send them emails to promote your products.

I just checked my gmail inbox today and you can see (in picture below)how people are persuading me via emails to buy their product or services.


4) Social Media Marketing (SMM)

If you have understood above three terms then you have got what is in SMM; when you are using various social media channels to promote or post about your products and get engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc) in return. If you think it in another way then this is nothing but you are promoting your products with the help of Social Media.

In below image, I have shown both advertisement and post by two different companies. This is how we use social media as our marketing channel to promote the services.



5) Affiliate Marketing

Just imagine you have sold 10000 copies of your ebook with title Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends in 2017. And you know that your website is getting enough traffic and is very popular if it is about Digital Marketing. Now you can contact some digital marketing institutes to advertise on your blog about their course and if they got any successful customer through your website then you would be paid a good amount of commission.

There are numerous websites that allow you to affiliate their products like Amazon (in below picture). You can join their affiliate marketing program to advertise their products on your website.



There are many other terms related to digital marketing like Inbound Marketing, Web Analytics, Mobile Marketing, Display Advertising, Content Marketing, etc. If you want to learn you can google these terms to have a better understanding of how online marketing is executed. There are many free digital marketing courses online like Digital Deepak’s free online marketing course. You can learn from them if you are new in this field. This will definitely guide you in your marketing journey.

Please comment your reviews about the above article. I will try to improve and write better in coming blog posts.



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    • Denis
    • July 1, 2017

    Nice one. I will write more about SEO on my blog: blog.denisdoan.com

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 2, 2017


  1. Reply

    NIce article ankur!

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 2, 2017

      Thanks a lot.

  2. Reply

    Nicely explained. Thank you for sharing.

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 4, 2017

      Thanks A lot sir.

  3. Reply

    Nice work put these concepts together. Add analytics to it and walla!

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 5, 2017

      Thanks a lot, Vikash! I will definitely put them in another article with Advance Digital Marketing concepts. Thanks for your suggestion

    • Girish
    • July 5, 2017

    Nice article, good start.

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 5, 2017

      Thanks a lot Girish!

  4. Reply

    Very helpful! Thank you!

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 5, 2017

      Thanks Shannon!

  5. Reply

    This is a really great overview, I have my degree in Promotional communications. I’d love to hear what you though about your certificate program!

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 5, 2017

      Thanks. I would also love to connect

    • Anna
    • July 6, 2017

    Great info put together. I’m also taking the course and can’t wait to finish it.

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 6, 2017

      Thanks a lot Anna

    • July 7, 2017

    Thanks a lot for sharing this article!

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 7, 2017

      You are welcome Nikita!

  6. Reply

    Wow !!! Nice Explanation
    Thanks for sharing.

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 7, 2017

      Thanks, Gopesh

  7. Reply

    Nice post
    You explained really well
    I have been a little confused with that term too

    N’Graffi Blog

      • Ankur Chopra
      • July 9, 2017


  8. Reply

    Thanks for breaking down this complex web of marketing!

  9. Reply

    wow, that was amazing article, Keep doing work

  10. Reply

    So much information here. I was not aware of SMM and SEM so it’s great to learn more about them. I am trying to focus on SEO for the blog 🙂

  11. Reply

    This is really nicely explained, we really are stepping into an age where we must all learn about digital marketing if we are in selling.

  12. Reply

    As a blogger I work with companies to do a little digital marketing. In this day and age, the only ads that I see anymore are digital really!

  13. Reply

    This is all such wonderful information. I didn’t know much about digital marketing until today. I’m going to keep this in mind.

  14. Reply

    Digital marketing is great. It is very successful and and largely growing work force.

    • Ana
    • August 8, 2017

    I used to work in digital marketing at one point but the problem is with the agency I worked with they did not help us learn and grow and our suggestions to use more contemporary marketing strategies were overlooked so like you I did not get the full picture and had to do my own research!

  15. Reply

    This is a fabulous article! I love how you broke down each term and explained it. Some of the acronyms I had heard of before but didn’t know what they stood for until now. Thank you so much for building a complete picture of how online marketing works and how it’s different from traditional marketing.

    • Rikki
    • August 9, 2017

    You Explain Very Well Keep Posting

  16. Reply

    You have broken down the concept into simpler bits so well. It makes it easier to understand. I particularly love the points on search engine optimization. Cheers!!

  17. Reply

    Great advice, as a new blogger, I’m really trying to familiarize myself with SEO and other helpful info.

  18. Reply

    This is a great breakdown of this concept. Right now I am working on affiliate marketing but I am having really bad luck with it.

  19. Reply

    Digital marketing is definitely not relying on getting TV commercials to gain exposure for brands. I love digital marketing. It’s great to connect with people through the internet.

  20. Reply

    Great post for all beginners

  21. Reply

    Such an informative post! I’ve just branched out into affiliate marketing – such a minefield, so much to learn!

  22. Reply

    Usefull information. Thanks for that

    • Vox
    • August 15, 2017

    Great info!

    • Rebecca Swenor
    • August 15, 2017

    This was a great way to explain about digital marketing. Traditional marketing is indeed important to know first than the others follow. Well done. Thanks for sharing the information.

  23. Reply

    Your post topic is very unique and good for the readers so i am really impress so carry on for more unique post because people will follow more your site. Thanks

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