Compare digital marketing to traditional marketing
Whether you want to teach a quick lesson or a whole class on the subject, you can teach digital marketing with these five steps!
Step #1. Discuss Why Digital Marketing Is Important
The best way to kick off your class on digital marketing is to talk about why it’s important.
You can sum up why digital marketing is important in five points:
It’s designed to help people find answers, solutions, or products they want
It helps small businesses compete with big corporations
It reaches people exclusively through Internet-connected devices
It’s more affordable and efficient for businesses than traditional marketing
It’s primarily based on search engines and a marketer’s understanding of how a search engine works
There are hundreds of other points you could make since digital marketing expands almost every week. But these five will give your students the context they need to get going in this class.
It’s also smart to point out how digital marketing has several different names these days. This will help students connect the dots if they’ve heard one of these names before, and it’ll especially help if they decide they want to pursue a career in this field.
Other names for digital marketing include:
Search engine marketing (SEM)
In case one of your students has heard one of these terms more than another, this part of your introduction to digital marketing could really help jog some memories in your classroom.
Still, this doesn’t help much for students who have never heard of digital marketing before.
That’s why you have to jump into the principles of marketing next!
Step #2. Introduce the Principles of Marketing
While digital marketing is much different than traditional marketing, the principles remain the same.
You want to engage your customer demographic and encourage them to buy from you.
In that regard, concepts like the product life cycle, product classification, branding, packaging, and more all apply to digital marketing.
The same is true for customer interactions, especially relationships and segmentation.
With this information forming the foundation of your curriculum, you can contextualize digital marketing in a familiar framework.
After all, students may not realize that finding search results on Google or seeing an ad on Twitter are two major parts of digital marketing.
Before you tell them that (and probably blow their minds), it’s important they understand the principles with which digital marketers work.
Most notably, students should understand the principle of return on investment (ROI), which indicates that a marketing campaign has earned more money than was spent.
After you’ve done that, it’s time to talk about the major concepts in digital marketing.
Step #3. Cover Digital Marketing Strategies
The ideas that make digital marketing unique are the strategies behind it.
There are a surprising number of strategies that go into digital marketing. If you were to talk about each one, you’d have a class that could last a full year (or longer).
With that in mind, you can break digital marketing down into four major strategies. These are the ones that most marketers use, although there are dozens more that you could reference.
Content marketing is the process of answering potential customer questions on your website so they become more qualified to talk to your sales team.
The purpose of content marketing is to ensure every person who comes to a website learns what they need to know to go to the next step in a sales process.
The primary mechanism for content marketing is actually Google. When a new blog post or webpage is published, Google “crawls” that page with its search algorithm.
After that, the page is “indexed” and categorized so it can show up in search results for people who want that information.
To teach this, you can conduct a simple Google search — maybe even the one that led you to this blog!
You can also add, remove, or change words in your search to show students how search results can change.
Then, you can talk to students about how content marketing and SEO work together. Someone creates new “content” by making a new webpage, and they “optimize” it for search engines with HTML code.
With these two strategies alone, you’ve taught your students the biggest ideas of digital marketing. This also forms the basis for several other digital marketing strategies you can discuss with your class.
Email marketing is the strategy of sending targeted messages to the inboxes of prospects or customers who have indicated that they want to hear from a company.
Most of the time, this “indication” is explicit. Someone has to give a company their name and email address before clicking a button to tell a company to contact them.
Other companies take this idea as a given, like Amazon. If you do something (like buying a book), that company will send you emails they think will catch your interest.
Regardless of their age, your students are almost certainly involved in an email marketing campaign. Nearly every single company uses email marketing since it costs nothing to send an email and could potentially earn a new sale.
If a student is interested in marketing, it’s great to tell them how it all works!
Step #4. Stay Up to Date
Digital marketing literally changes every day — and sometimes more often than that!
That means it’s crucial for you to stay up-to-date with your lessons.
You can do this by keeping up with some of the digital marketing industry’s most reputable publications.