What is Digital Marketing: Types, Challenges, Benefits

Updated on: Mar 16, 2024

Digital Marketing! Sounds like a really complex term right? When you heard the term “Digital Marketing”, questions like, “What is Digital Marketing” might have immediately spurred into your mind.  Don’t worry, It’s not as complex as it sounds. 

I’ve seen people get uneasy when I talk about SEO or Ads but in reality, when you break it down, it’s not as complex as it sounds. 

In this blog, I will take you through the very basics of digital marketing, by the end of which if someone ever asks you, “What is digital marketing”, you will know exactly what to answer.

What is Digital Marketing?

First, let us begin with understanding the term, “Digital Marketing”.

The term digital marketing involves the use of various digital platforms by a seller to promote the sale of goods and services to its target audience. 

In layman’s terms, it is all about marketing on digital platforms such as youtube, social media sites, Quora and much more.

Let me simplify this for you by giving you a situation. Remember the time when your parents used to go down to the local kirana/mom-and-pop stores to buy their daily requirements? Now after a few years, the local store has developed an app that allows you to order groceries online on your phone.

Isn’t this amazing? This is what digitalization can do, and it has evolved over the years.     

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What is the Importance of Digital Marketing in 2023?

What is Digital Marketing? Why is it so important? Still, have a doubt regarding the functioning of digital marketing? Let’s understand this in the following section:

1. Focus on your target audience 

When you place your Ad on a billboard or on a TV, you can’t effectively measure if your target audience has received to message or not. Of course, your Ad will have a lot of exposure but it’s not necessary that every person who watches your Ad is your target audience. 

Digital marketing helps you to reach your target audience directly. With the help of demographics such as age, gender, and income you can easily filter out who is your target audience and what is the best medium to reach them.

Facebook Ads are the perfect example. You can filter your audience based on variables such as geographic location, age, gender, and much more. By using this feature you will be able to control who can see your advertisement which will also help you to use your advertisement budget wisely.

2. Useful for a small business/startup

Digital marketing is very useful for small businesses that do not have the budget to advertise their products on platforms such as TV and Newspapers can easily switch to cheaper alternatives that digital marketing has to offer. 

Creating and developing high-quality content and using the right mix of social media platforms might just work out perfectly for you and in fact, may reap out better results than traditional marketing. 

Check out the video below to find out how social media can be useful for your business.

3. Flexibility

Here the term “flexible” means digital marketing can easily adapt itself to change and is not rigid as traditional marketing methods.

For example, if you realize that there is an error in a billboard advertisement, it can’t be easily changed and may take a lot of time to correct the error.

On the other hand, digital marketing is very flexible. If you realize halfway that there is an error in the advertisement or the promotion of your product, you can easily make the changes with just a few clicks in a matter of seconds without actually affecting the quality of your Ad.

4. Increase audience engagement

Instead of physically asking customers to fill out the feedback form or using cold calls to engage with your customers there are many other digital platforms that will help you to reach out and interact with your audience more effectively.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are very useful apps to interact and engage with them. You can easily interact with them, clear their doubts if any, and cater to their requirements.

The comments on your Instagram and Twitter profile are available to everyone which means that you can answer all the questions that people have regarding your business, product, service etc.

Effectively handling customer queries will be appreciated by people and will help to increase the conversion rate.

Interested in learning more about how to leverage the power of digital marketing platforms to your benefit? Check out an exclusive masterclass on digital marketing with certification

What are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

I hope you now have a better understanding of the topic of Digital Marketing. Now instead of the question, “What is Digital Marketing?”, the question, “How will digital marketing benefit me?” prompts in your mind.

In the following points, I will explain to you the usage of digital marketing to your own benefit.

1. Wider Reach

Digital marketing helps you to reach locally as well as globally. It makes it easier for people around the world to watch your ad anytime and anywhere.

You can also alter the Ad based on the geographical location and cultural differences of people around the world. This will allow you to personalize your Ads for different market segments.

2. Cost-Effective

Digital Marketing helps you save the time of making an effort of distributing flyers around your neighbourhood or in your area which now can be sent digitally.

As flyers can be developed and sent digitally, it eliminates the cost of printing and transport to deliver the message to the audience. 

So what if you don’t have the budget to reach your target audience on a big screen, you can always reach them on a small screen.

Never forget that people spend most of their time on smartphones as compared to any other digital device and so you can reach them more effectively for free or with a very low budget.

3. Facilitates Measure

Digital Marketing helps you to measure if the audience has reacted to your Ad or not, whether have they been converted or not, how much time have they spent on a particular product and much more. 

This cannot be done in the case of traditional marketing. For instance, it will be impossible for you to measure which page of a magazine was viewed by your target audience, did they pay attention to your advertisement in the magazine or not. 

So basically digital marketing helps you to measure the ROI on your marketing efforts.

4. Easier to Get Conversions     

Ok, how can digital marketing increase the conversion rate? Let me explain to you with an example.

For instance, you are reading a newspaper. While reading the newspaper you come across an Ad that makes you interested in making a purchase. You decide to make a purchase after you complete reading the newspaper.

But after completing the read, you suddenly realize that an important task is pending and you immediately move on to completing the task. There is a very high chance that you have completely forgotten about the purchase you intended to make. 

So what’s the catch? The catch is that, if you had seen the same Ad on your phone or any other digital device, you would be able to immediately click on the “Buy Now”, button and instantly make a purchase.

In this way, digital marketing facilitates easier and very convenient conversions.


What are the Challenges in Digital Marketing?

Despite its benefits, there are some challenges that you will face as a digital marketer. Some of the following challenges are as follows:

1. Customer-Centric Market

Even after you have done all your research and filtered them out based on their demographics, it is still very difficult to adopt an approach that is customer-centric.

After all your research you now think that you are able to understand your future customer’s perception, situation, and expectation. One thing you are forgetting here is that you can never actually predict human behavior. 

A customers needs and wants are constantly evolving with the changes in trends and so you will have to keep yourself up to date with changing needs of your customers.

2. Developing Engaging Content

Content which is engaging now will definitely get obsolete in the future. Content in the form of audio and video has always been popular. Companies find it challenging to create new and engaging content constantly.

Still is very important to always work towards creating new and innovative ideas or a trend that can create buzz amongst your audience. This will help in increasing engagement with your audience. Remember that creating content that is compelling should be a constant practice.

3. Make your AD Mobile-friendly

With the invent of internet and smartphones, it has become very easy and convenient for people to search online. Its very common for people to visit a website on their phone and purchase products of their choice.

You as a digital marketer will find it challenging to ensure that that your adverts, website, and your apps are mobile friendly. 

Unable to keep your app or website mobile friendly will result in your potential customers customers getting frustrated and will eventually end up leaving your website.

4. Lack of Trust 

Lockdown has forced many people and companies to go digital. Yet there are many people who hesitate to share their personal information such as their name, contact details, address, etc. over the Internet to any company.

They fear that these personal details may be misused and they may get scammed. As a digital marketer, it will be a challenge for you to convince people and instill a sense of trust and security amongst people that their data is safe with you.

Apart from these challenges there are some common mistakes that you might make as a beginner in the field of digital marketing. Check out the following video to avoid these mistakes in your digital marketing campaigns.

11 Types of Digital Marketing trending in 2023


I hope that you now understand, “What is digital marketing?”. There is yet so much more to digital marketing than you know. Let me take you through the types of digital marketing marketing.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you search for something over the internet, say on Google. It loads a page which is called SERP(Search Engine Results Page).

You will notice that there are a number of different websites placed one by one below the other with one website placed on the top of the page and the other placed at the bottom. 

The website placed on the top of the page is ranked first and one placed at the bottom is ranked last. Now on what basis are these websites ranked? What is the role of SEO in this? SEO plays a very major role in contributing to the ranking of your website on the SERP.

You have to make sure that your page is SEO optimized in order to rank first on the SERP.

Algorithms of search engine platforms such as Google keeps on changing constantly.

So, you will need to keep monitoring the ranking of your website on the SERP for the keyword that you are optimizing and make sure that you get the necessary changes done in your website in order to maintain or improve your ranking.

2. Content Writing

Content plays a very important role in optimizing your page. By effectively using the right words in your content you can make your page SEO optimised. 

Content writers need to create such content that can help your website rank higher on the SERP.

Creating high-quality and engaging content can be very tricky sometimes. To develop such content, it is very important for you to correctly identify your target audience.

This will help you formulate content that they can closely relate to and hence you will be able to keep them on your page for a longer period of time.

3. Social Media Marketing

By creating amazing posts, videos, reels, etc. you can inform your audience that you are introducing a new product or service, any upcoming event, and much more. 

By creating amazing reels you can easily demonstrate and explain the uses of a product to your customers. Social media really helps in engaging your audience effectively.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedln, and even Youtube are some of the amazing examples of social media platforms that you can use to market your products however you will have to select which social media platform will be most effective to reach and engage with your audience.

If you are business deciding to enter social media platforms then check out the following video.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an online marketing strategy that enables individuals to earn income by promoting the products or services of another individual or business.

As an affiliate, you receive a commission for each purchase made on the items you promote. Certain affiliate marketers choose to focus on reviewing products from a single company, often on platforms like blogs or third-party websites.

5. Influencer Marketing

It involves working with Influencers to promote the sale of your products. Influencers are people who have a large following such as a celebrity.

With the help of these influencers, you can easily promote your products to a larger set of audience. You may benefit from an increase in sale because of the trust and faith that your target audience may have in the influencer.

However, you have to be very careful while choosing an influencer according to your target audience. This means that the influencer you choose must be followed by your target audience in order to reap positive results.

6. Email Marketing

Email Marketing is where you send a promotional message to your audience and encourage them to click on the call to action button. 

These messages are usually short, crisp, and clear. As a content writer you should make sure that though your content is short, it should be compelling enough to encourage your audience to click on the call to action button.

7. Mobile Marketing

It is a digital marketing strategy in which you try to engage with your audience on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. 

Majority of people spend their time on their smartphones or tablets as compared to any other digital devices.

You as a marketer should take advantage of it and reach out to your target audience using SMS messages, Social Media, and much more.

8. Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click

Whenever you search for something on Google. The website that you see at the top of the SERP is paid advertisement. These websites pay Google to rank 1st on the SERP for a specific keyword.

It is a paid form of advertising. Here the cost is calculated on the basis of the number of clicks that the link receives, and so it is also called, “Pay Per Click”.

9. Video Marketing

In today’s generation video marketing has gained popularity. Videos allow you to give your audience a visual experience of the product and hence make it easier to attract the audience as compared to written content.

If you can create a video in which you can take your customer through a journey of how they would benefit from the use of your product, then you will be able to persuade them to be your customer.

Demonstrating the uses of your product in the video will help you to clear the doubts the potential customers have about your product. Always remember that customers can retain a video longer than a mere text.

10. Audio Marketing

When you hear the term, “Audio”, the first thing that comes to your mind is Radio and Podcast.

Radio is a very popular form of Audio Marketing where RJs smartly advertises a company’s products or services in the middle of a series of songs.

They advertise the product in such a way, maybe in the form of a rhyme that will stay registered to the consumers brain for a longer period of time.

Podcast is another very popular form of Audio Marketing. People listen to them during free time or while doing any work or household chores.

In order to excel in Audio Marketing you will need to understand under what circumstances or what activities they must be performing while listening to your audio.

11. Bounty Marketing

The term, “Bounty Marketing” is a very new concept and very few people are aware of it. 

Let’s say you are an influencer and you perform a promotional activity on behalf of a project. But here instead of payment in the form of cash, you will receive the project’s token. To make it more simpler, you as an influencer will receive rewards in the form of equity in a company rather than cash.

Let me explain to you by using an example. Deciml is a micro-investing fintech platform that rounds up the user’s expense to the nearest ten and invests the difference so that they can invest as they spend.

This company has launched a new ad campaign with an influencer Ranveer Allahbadia, also known as ‘Beer Biceps’. For promoting the services of Deciml he received a stake in the company.

His profits will now depend on the success of the company. The value of his stake will increase if the company performs well and vice-versa.

Makes sense right? Here the reward will depend on the basis of how successful the company is in the future.

The motive behind giving a project’s token or a native coin or a stake in the company is that if the bounty hunter (influencers) believes in the success of the company, they will be able to promote it in an effective manner.

If an influencer is only concerned with cash payment and dicey about the company then they will never take the risk to perform promotional activities on behalf of the project.

Want to find your area of interest and specialize in it? Check out our page where we have curated exclusive 13 short-term courses specially for you so that you can specialize in the field of your interest.

How to build your Digital Marketing Strategy?

I hope that after carefully reading the types, you now have a better understanding of the concept “What is Digital Marketing”.

The following are the steps that you should follow in order to formulate an effective digital marketing strategy.

1. Define your Goals

As a digital marketer, the first and most important step is to define the goal. Defining the goals will set a base for you around which you can build your digital marketing strategy.

For instance, if your company is planning to introduce a new product or service into the market and its goal is to create awareness about the product, then it can resort to leveraging the power of social media in order to spread awareness.

2. Identify your target audience

As you are aware that one of the benefits of digital marketing is that you have access to target a specific audience. But in order to gain such benefit it is important for you to find out the audience that you wish to reach.

If we consider age a factor then people in their teenage years or early twenties may consume different types of content on different platforms say Instagram. On the other hand people in their forties may consume content on different platforms say Facebook.

So you will need to tailor your content based on the demographics of your target audience.

3. Allocate a budget for each medium

You as a digital marketer will be given some specific budget limits which are set by the company to spend on digital marketing campaigns.

It is your job to use the budget smartly and spend well in order to reap the benefits of the promotional activities you perform.

You should allocate a budget for each medium so that you can reach the maximum audience you have planned to reach through different digital channels.

Few channels may require you to allocate a higher budget as compared to other channels depending on the requirements of your campaign.

4. Maintain a balance between paid and free digital channels

As a digital marketer, you will have to ensure to reap the benefits from both the channels, viz, free and paid channels.

You should be able to find out the correct mix of both these channels in order to make sure that you are making the optimum use of your budget to achieve the goal of your digital marketing strategy.

5. Create engaging content

After you have your goals in place, identified your target audience, and finalized the channels to be used, it is now time to create content for these channels.

Remember you are trying to reach different audiences using different channels and so you will have to alter your content according to the medium you use. The content that you create can be uploaded on social media, email, blogs, and much more.

Always keep in mind that the main intent of your content is to engage, create brand awareness, as well as generate leads.

6. Digital Assets should be Optimised for Mobile Devices

Everything you create ranging from digital assets to social media posts and images needs to be mobile-friendly. As previously mentioned, most people consume content on their mobile devices.

You need to make sure that they don’t face any problems that hinder them from watching your content.

Making it easier for your customers to access your content will work out in your favor in the form of increasing awareness, lead generation, and much more.

7. Conduct Keyword Research

In order to ensure that your content reaches your target audience, you will have to personalize your content by targeting the right keyword.

This is where SEO comes into the picture. Think about what your customers may type on Google or any other search engine when searching for a product or service that you offer.

That is the keyword you want to target and use in your website or blog to make your content SEO optimized. This will help you to rank higher on SERP and will increase the chance of consumers visiting your page and maybe turning into a customer.

8. Measure Performance and make changes accordingly

After formulating and implementing your digital marketing strategy, you have to measure the performance of your campaigns. You should check if the campaign is achieving the results you intended to achieve by running the digital marketing campaign.

Measure the key performance indicators that have helped you achieve your goals. In case you haven’t achieved the desired results, then find out the areas which have stopped you from achieving your goals and alter your digital marketing strategy immediately.

In simple words measuring your performance will help you to determine if your strategy has worked or not, and make any changes if required.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q. Is digital marketing a good career to pursue?

Yes, digital marketing has immense potential and is a great career to pursue. The invention of the Internet and Smartphones has boosted Digital marketing. Also, do not forget that covid has accelerated the speed at which businesses have moved online. 

Q. Is digital marketing difficult?

Digital Marketing as a beginner might be challenging especially if you are trying to learn digital marketing by yourself.

But later with constant practice you will get better and familiarised with the concepts such as search engine optimization, data analytics, content writing, and much more. 

Q. What is the role of a digital marketer?

As a digital marketer, you will be expected to undertake promotional activities to promote a company’s products or services by making the optimum use of marketing tools such as Social Media, SEO, SEM, and much more.

Q. What is the future of digital marketing?

The digital marketing industry is evolving rapidly. The invention of 3D Billboards and Augmented Reality proves that digitalisation is here to stay and has a very positive future.

Q. Is digital marketing growing in demand?

Yes, digital marketing is very much in demand and this rate will increase exponentially in the future.

Many businesses are increasingly investing in digital marketing because they know the growing importance of digital marketing to reach their target audience and compel them to buy your products and services.

Q. Can I study digital marketing at home?

Yes absolutely, there are many Institutions that offer digital marketing courses where you can learn digital marketing from the comfort of your home.

Q. Where is digital marketing used?

Digital marketing uses various marketing tools such as Social Media, SEO, SEM, and much more to market a product or service to existing or potential customers.

Q. How can I start a career in digital marketing?

There are many elements of digital marketing. Start by reading articles and blogs about digital marketing and research as much as possible. While researching find the area of your interest and then maybe you can do a course in the subject of your interest.


We hope that after reading this blog, you now have a better understanding of the concept of digital marketing.

In this blog we have understood the importance of digital marketing and how leveraging them can be eighter challenging or beneficial for us.

We understood the types of digital marketing strategies so that you can choose the mix most suitable for your business or area of interest.

Most importantly we understood the process to develop a digital marketing strategy from scratch right to it’s implementation.

If you are interested in making a career in digital marketing then check out our exclusive digital marketing courses offered by IIDE.

Find out the course that fits your requirements and kickstart your career straight away.

Let us know your views about the concept of digital marketing in the comments section below.

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Karan Shah

Founder and CEO at IIDE

He is a passionate public speaker and teacher for over 10 years. He has trained over 60,000+ students and 25+ corporates in Digital Marketing via online and offline channels. He is a Harvard alumnus specialising in E-commerce......[Read full bio]



    what is digital marketing in today’s date

  2. Urmi Patel

    I think that reading this article is enough to explain what is digital marketing!

  3. Rajesh Sharma

    This article should be sufficient to define digital marketing, in my opinion.

  4. Shalu Kaushik

    This was really insightful and helped me get a gist of what is digital marketing and how can I do it efficiently. Thankyou!


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