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The 5 Pillars of Marketing

Digital marketing is too much to handle. You have read every article on “digital marketing today” and “how to increase conversion rates”. SEO, paid ads, email marketing, and all — you have done everything, but nothing gives tangible results.

If your company is about to step foot into the digital space for the first time, this article will show you how to create a digital marketing strategy. And if your business already has an existing digital presence, here you will grasp the areas that require your undivided attention: the 5 pillars of marketing in a digital era. 

And yes. We’re not talking about the 5 pillars of traditional advertising—product, price, place, promotion, and people—because, in today’s world, marketing pillars are built around the internet. 

There are 5 pillars of digital or online marketing. Each of these pillars needs to be looked at to determine what should be used and how it should be used. Depending on what your business and branding goals are for the company, you need to match the pillars with your priorities.

Without further ado, these are the 5 pillars of digital marketing strategy. 

What Are the 5 Pillars of Digital Marketing?

A fundamental digital marketing strategy can and should be structured around the main aspects of an online presence, starting with the 5 pillars of marketing — website, SEO, social media, content, and Ads.

The First Pillar of Digital Marketing: The Website

For a company, a website is the equivalent of a brick-and-mortar store for the internet. 

Not only are websites the place where prospective customers get in touch with your business, but they are the building blocks of an online presence. An online integrated marketing campaign revolves around the website. 

Consider this: in 2022, 73% of small businesses already have a site. As a typical customer journey begins with online research, one of the main marketing pillars is the website.

After over two years of home-bound shopping, customers have gotten used to searching the internet for brands that sell them what they need. Now, how would you feel about those brands with websites that lack basic information about the product or service? Even more, would you even consider buying from brands that don’t display their products and services online?

In the customer journey, the discovery phase takes place online, so:

  • Having a site is crucial for your business, regardless of what you sell
  • The site must showcase your products and services
  • You must communicate your brand message 

Tip: Potential buyers use a mobile device to research products and services. Therefore, it is best to optimize your site for mobile devices.

The Second Pillar of Digital Marketing: Search Engine Optimization

If sales and lead generation take place on your website, then a potential customer should have a way of finding you in the search results. SEO is the core of a digital marketing strategy. Why, you may ask. Well, a site that doesn’t reach users is a site that doesn’t accomplish its scope. 

Since 49% of marketers agree that SEO has the best ROI (Return on Investment) for their website AND sites ranking no. 1 in Google receive 32% of all clicks—you should strongly consider adding SEO to your to-do list. 

Search engine optimization is one of the marketing pillars that bear fruit in the long run. If done correctly, you will gain more traffic to your website, and the right audiences will reach your company’s website. This, in turn, will increase conversions and boost sales.

Tip: Approach SEO holistically by integrating on-page, off-page, and technical SEO practices. 

The Third Pillar of Digital Marketing: Social Media 

Social media marketing is a tactic that employs social platforms with free access, like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

The fun in venturing into social media marketing is that you can achieve multiple scopes through your social media campaigns. Many brands use social media to create a community, build relationships with their customer base, expand brand awareness, or generate top-of-mind awareness.

Social media is part of the 5 pillars of marketing because, as a marketing channel, it effectively applies the following principle:

A consumer starts to feel comfortable with your brand and is ready to complete a purchase after 7 interactions with your brand. Each new interaction makes customers grow familiar with your brand and gain trust. 

You must be the one who initiates the interactions with your target audience. Otherwise, they may never take a step toward befriending your business.

In that sense, it is sensible to integrate one of the most popular pillars of digital marketing and leverage social media platforms to generate free interactions with potential buyers. Through social media marketing, you will:

  • Increase brand awareness 
  • Become top-of-mind
  • Generate leads and sales via repeated interactions

Tip: Meet the right people on the right channels. Connect with them through engaging content on the platforms they already use.  

The Fourth Pillar of Digital Marketing: Advertising

Advertising is as old as the Earth (that being if the Earth appeared in the 15th century). It is older than search engine marketing and (even) search engines altogether! It all started with print ads inviting readers to try a new miracle product & it ended up being a cornerstone marketing tactic.

Advertising in the digital space is indispensable for giving a momentary boost to which you can latch on for medium-term effects on your website traffic, social media accounts, and brand awareness. 

You can advertise through pay-per-click ads—or the general paid search—on Facebook, Instagram, and other channels. You can even use display advertising to infiltrate the spaces where your core audience spends its time online. 

Your business can:

  • Expand its market coverage with thoroughly planned advertising campaigns 
  • Or gain exposure to a compact group of potential customers, increasing brand awareness 

Tip: Advertising is a difficult chore for most of us, marketers or not. The trick here is to turn up your analytical mind. To test, analyze data, retarget & test again. 

The Fifth Pillar of Digital Marketing: Content Marketing

“Content is king” is a chant for digital marketers, so it may be no surprise that content marketing has become the fifth pillar of a digital marketing strategy. 

Content marketing is now the most effective method to establish authority around your brand & nurture a trustworthy, long-lasting, and engaging presence in the audience’s mind. It uses informative content to lure and streamline the conversion of the target audience.

A SEMrush 2021 report indicates that 97% of the interviewed businesses already employ content marketing. At the same time, budgets for content creation increase in various percentages for many businesses. 20% of businesses increase budgets by more than 9%, while 46% have an increase between 1% and 9%.

Audiences have grown tired and reluctant of direct sales since many brands compete for their attention (and money). Thus, with these new budgets, many businesses aspire to gain brand awareness and authority in exchange for valuable content. 

Tip: Although the minimum you can do content marketing-wise is to produce content as blogs, you reap fruit because of publishing relevant content for your audience.  

Become the Pillar of Your Core Market

Through a consistent, well-thought-out marketing strategy, you determine the recognition of your brand and, ultimately, the growth of your business. And to put together a strong strategy, you need to focus on the pillars that represent the infrastructure of your digital marketing. 

I know! And everybody's trying to sell me this stuff!

Yes they are! So here’s the deal. I’m going to let you in on a little secret …

Depending on what your business needs, not everything works. Specifically different strategies work for different things. Remember when we talked about branding vs business?

Here’s a chart that shows you which areas to target for more effective marketing.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Watch these videos to learn more about marketing in a digital world.

Need help with finding your feet in the digital space? Get in touch with our team to schedule a no-cost Double Your Sales Strategy session and see where your business can grow.


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