21 Essential Digital Marketing Components You Must Know

What are the components of digital marketing?

This is a very loaded question, as there are dozens upon dozens of different online advertising elements that you must know to be a successful internet marketer.

However, we decided to boil these components down 21.

21 digital marketing components that will give you a foundational understanding of what digital marketing is, how it works, and how all of its elements tie together.

Let’s get right to it.

1) Your Website

First and foremost, your website is the hub of your business online.

It is where you have the freedom to brand yourself the way you want and to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way.

This is where you want to eventually direct all your traffic to at the end of the day.

All of your online marketing efforts will lead back to your website, where you can gently push your audience down your funnel and turn them into a sale.

Your website is your brand identity.

As such, you should put careful consideration into how you create it, what it looks like, and the message it communicates to your visitors.

It is an essential part of both global marketing and local area marketing.

Components of digital marketing.

2) Online Lead Generation

The main purpose of having a website for your business is to convert its visitors into leads.

Having traffic visit your website is pointless if this traffic doesn’t convert.

You want to have as many visitors as possible email you, call you, contact you, or perform some sort of action that implies a greater interest in your product or service.

By doing so, you will have more opportunities to increase your sales.

This is the whole point of online marketing:

To generate leads that turn into sales, to increase the top line of your business.

3) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

This is where conversion rate optimization comes in.

When discussing website lead generation, your “conversion rate” is the percentage of website traffic that turns into a lead.

Example: if you have 100 users visit your website and 2 users call your business as a result, your conversion rate would be 2%.

The goal behind CRO is to increase your conversion rate as much as possible, turning this 2% into 3%, 4%, 5%, and so on.

You achieve this by adding discounts, promotions, offers, call-to-actions, and more.

You want to test many call-to-actions over time to see which convert best.

This will ensure you are receiving the highest number of leads possible.

4) Marketing Analytics

A fourth component of digital marketing is marketing analytics.

You must become familiar with the different metrics and measurement tools available on the market to understand how best to move forward with any digital marketing campaign.

Below are three common terms you should know when it comes to analyzing your website’s traffic:


A “user” is simply a visitor that lands on your website.

The more users that visit your website each day, the more chances you have to convert a lead and make a sale.

Session Duration

A “session” duration is the amount of time a user spends on your website in one sitting.

A high session duration means your visitors are very engaged with your website.

Bounce Rate

The “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors that leave your website with only visiting one page.

A high bounce rate demonstrates a lack of engagement, as the user is not enticed enough to visit more pages on your website.

The basics of digital marketing.

5) Content Marketing

There are many different tactics that fall under this category, including YouTube videos, blog articles, Instagram posts, and more.

Content marketing is an important component of digital marketing because it gives you the opportunity to provide valuable material to your audience.

The idea behind content marketing is to provide as much helpful information to your target market as possible so that they begin to trust your brand and see you as an authority figure in your space.

Content marketing helps your business stay top-of-mind at all times and serves as a reminder of your business when your audience happens to be in the market for your product or service.

6) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a method of search engine marketing.

It uses Google and other search engines to drive traffic to your website.

The key differentiator of SEO is that it drives free organic traffic to your business.

It does this by showing your website high in Google Search for key phrases that are relevant to your products and services.

Click here to discover if SEO is worth it for your business.

7) Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC is another form of search engine marketing.

It is one factor of search engine positioning.

PPC differs from SEO because PPC traffic is all paid.

Google Adwords, for example, will rank you at the very top of Google Search, but every click that is generated from your PPC campaign will cost you, regardless if that click turns into a lead or not.

The benefit of this, though, is that you will see immediate results, whereas SEO – although free – will take time before it kicks in.

8) Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing is simply the act of posting organically and generating traffic to your website from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

When done properly social media marketing can have a viral effect, showing your business to thousands of potential customers for free.

However, you must now be very strategic with this marketing channel, as social media platforms have begun reducing the effectiveness and reach of organic posts, forcing businesses to start paying for impressions.

9) Paid Facebook, Instagram, And Youtube Advertising

Since advertising revenue is how the majority of social media platforms make their money, they are pouring their earnings into their paid advertising options to make them as effective as possible for businesses.

This is because the more effective it is, the more businesses will use them.

This digital marketing component of paid Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube marketing allows you to laser target your audience and put your business directly in front of them.

The one major downfall of this method is that it is slowly making our previous point obsolete, as giant social media platforms are drastically reducing the reach of organic SMM.

Digital marketing elements.

10) Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is not a new idea.

This component of digital marketing is simply the act of selling a company’s product and receiving a commission from it.

The great thing about online affiliate marketing, though, is that it can streamline the sales process very efficiently.

All you need to do is have a link on your website that leads to an affiliate marketing product, and when a visitor buys said product through your link, you get a commission.

There are a lot of professional online affiliate marketers that make a fulltime income off of a single blog just through affiliate commissions.

11) Programmatic Advertising

With the billions of websites on the web and a whole host of different online marketing components, it is impossible to manually learn where the best place to be to place an ad for your business.

Programmatic advertising solves this problem.

By using technology and machine learning, programmatic advertising can test your ads across multiple different platforms and websites at a very high speed.

It can then determine which ads work best where in order to allocate your advertising budget as efficiently as possible.

12) Email Marketing

“The money is in the list”, as the saying goes.

Email marketing is where you collect the email address of a website visitor in order to follow up with them at a later time.

This follow-up could be a multitude of different things, such as providing value to the user, offering a discount on a specific product or service, or even sending them an email to wish them a happy holiday.

The purpose of email marketing is to nurture your leads.

As they become more familiar with you through email, the goal at the end of the day is to push them back to your website to initiate a sale.

13) Influencer Advertising

With thousands of people now making a living off of their large Instagram and social media followings, the emergence of influencers has arrived.

Influencer marketing is a new digital marketing element where you pay a set price to an “influencer” with a lot of followers to make a post about your business to their loyal fans.

Since these influencers have such a close connection with their fans, their followers trust their recommendations.

If you can find an influencer that has a lot of fans in which match your customer avatar, then reaching out to them and asking for a quote to make a post for your business may be a good idea.

14) Blogging

Blogging is another form of content marketing.

Quite a few people think that blogging is dead – but it is far from this.

Blogging allows you to create content that is helpful to your readers.

It also adds keywords and relevance to your website to boost your SEO efforts.

When done right, blogging can be an effective form of lead generation by sharing your ideas and building your brand through your efforts of being a thought leader.

15) Remarketing

On average, it is ten times cheaper to market to a consumer that has already had at least one point of contact with your business than it is to market to a consumer that has had none.

This is where the digital marketing component of remarketing comes in.

Consumers that find your business through SMM, SEO, PPC, etc., have already expressed interest in your brand.

Knowing that they have an interest in your products and services is what makes remarketing so effective.

Instead of wasting your advertising budget on people whom you think might be interested in what you have to offer, you are instead using maximizing your budget in an efficient way to people who have already expressed interest.

Digital remarketing can be an extremely effective online advertising element when done right.

You can learn more about it by watching this video:

16) Marketing Automation

Marketing automation streamlines your processes so you can focus on more important aspects of your business.

Examples of marketing automation are: automated followup email sequences, an embedded calendar to book a call with a sales rep, paid advertising campaigns that run while you sleep, etc.

The beauty of this digital marketing component is that what once took a huge sales team and massive capital can now take a small team of only two or three people.

Marketing automation has dramatically reduced the cost of doing business and has allowed online business owners to make much more money while doing much less work.

17) Videos

Video has grown like wildfire over the past decade of internet usage.

With the advent of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other video platforms, video consumption has increased exponentially online.

This means that video is receiving more and more views from consumers.

And from here, it will only continue to increase.

It should, therefore, be a priority to educate yourself about video marketing and create consumable video content for your audience as much as you possibly can.

18) A/B Testing (Split Testing)

When it comes to online advertising, split testing is everything.

You need to test your landing pages, ads, creative, content, messaging – leave no stone unturned!

The name of the game with digital marketing is to make everything you do as optimized as possible.

This way, you will be able to drive as much traffic and generate as many leads from this traffic as your budget permits.

If you neglect to test A/B test your marketing, you could very well be leaving money on the table.

19) Brand Uniformity

With your website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and all of the other digital platforms in which your business lives, you need to have brand uniformity.

Your Facebook page shouldn’t portray you as a family-friendly company if your products shown on Instagram are R-rated.

Consumers need to feel uniformity in your brand presence on every platform that they visit.

If they don’t, they will be confused and unable to resonate with your overall message (whatever that may be).

This component of digital marketing is especially important in the online arena as there are many different profiles, pages, and platforms you need to align.

20) Online Reputation Management

Nowdays, consumers do their research before they purchase a product or service.

You need to pay close attention to your online presence and ensure there is nothing negative about your business anywhere online and that if there is, you act accordingly.

Let’s say you receive a bad 1-star review on Yelp.

A best practice is to try to get this review removed and to respond to this review with reasoning or an apology for the negativity in the meantime.

Consumers have become experts in market research.

If there is something negative online about your or your business, you can be sure your potential customers will find it.

Internet marketing elements.

21) Tracking Tools

It is extremely important to understand your marketing metrics to make informed decisions about how to optimize your campaigns, presence, and advertising.

In order to track these types of marketing metrics, there are common tools that most businesses use to do so.

You must master this last digital marketing component in order to fully know how to move forward with your online marketing efforts.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google that collects information about users that visit your website.

It can track their location, their age, how they got to your website, how long they stayed there, and more.

This is a must when it comes to tracking website analytics.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another free tool provided by Google.

This includes a host of different search metrics for your business including search terms, clicks, and impressions.

It also allows you to manage any issues Google may have with rendering your website to users.


A pixel is another tracking script that allows you to track users and attribute specific actions to them.

If you have an e-commerce store, the Facebook Pixel is a great example.

It allows you to track who viewed your product, who added your product to their online shopping cart, and who purchased a specific product on your website.

Pixels are also very powerful for remarketing purposes.

The Core Components Of Digital Marketing: A Summary

There are many, many digital marketing components that you need to learn in order to be a successful online advertiser.

These are 21 of some of the most important digital marketing elements, but there are many more you must master in order to have optimal success in this field.

You can learn more about digital marketing and online advertising by visiting our Knowledge Centre.

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