The 4 Essential Pillars of Digital Marketing

Essential Pillars of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a behemoth of a field, involving all manner of tools and techniques for increasing visibility, engaging audiences, converting customers and more. The size and scope of digital marketing can be daunting to even the most experienced executives, who might prefer to outsource digital marketing management to a younger, more energetic digital marketing expert.

Yet, it is much more difficult for leaders to develop a cohesive business strategy if they don’t understand such an essential element as digital marketing. Though digital marketing might be a broad field, it isn’t incomprehensible. To prove it, we share the four pillars of digital marketing, which uphold all the minutiae of reaching an online audience.

1. Communication

Communication is the essential conduit for exchanging messages.

Of course, marketing would be impossible without communication, but more importantly, business leaders need to think critically about the type of communication they use to address their audiences. In digital environments, there are three ways to deliver messages:

  1. One-to-many, in which information goes from marketer to audience. Traditional advertising is a good example of this.
  2. One-to-one, in which information goes from one person to another. Businesses can use targeted marketing techniques to engage this communication style and encourage word-of-mouth marketing, in which friends and family members spread marketing messages about brands and products.
  3. Many-to-many, refers to when information goes in multiple directions at the same time. Social media is an example of this type of communication,  in which members of the audience share  marketing messages dispersed by brands.

Business leaders should determine which communication style is most appropriate for their brand and values. Once a type of communication is chosen, digital marketers can then work to develop a strategy using tools based on the desired communication style.

2. Content

Content works to give context to brand messages.

In the digital world, marketing messages have increased in number and volume in recent years to the point that most consumers are adept at tuning them out. Instead of focusing on the plethora of marketing materials they see online, consumers direct their attention to the assets that entertain, inform or otherwise engage them — in other words, they concentrate on the content. Therefore, businesses that can produce content attract audiences while offering brand messages and successfully connecting consumers to the products and services they are interested in.

Content has been a critical pillar of marketing for decades. Business leaders can work with digital marketers to understand what types of content are appropriate for their digital marketing strategy and goals — or business leaders can pursue a digital marketing certificate from a world-class university to better understand how to integrate digital marketing strategies, tools and best practices.

3. Community


Community is how businesses can cultivate audience engagement.

For the most part, when digital marketers discuss building a community around a brand, they mean leveraging social media to connect with consumer audiences. Social media allows businesses to engage in a two-way conversation with their fans and customers. Through brand communities, a brand can monitor products or brand content. What’s more, they can work with their consumers on the development of new products and services.

There are other ways to build community without utilizing social media, like setting up a company forum, hosting online conferences or even organizing offline events. However, social media is largely where a business’s audience is and where a business can create a community.

4. Commerce

Commerce is the ultimate goal for all digital marketing strategies.

Though businesses might have other stated goals for their digital marketing efforts, like increasing their brand visibility online, the final and crucial goal for marketing is to convert consumers into customers and increase profits. Some businesses find it useful to integrate the commerce pillar of digital marketing by collecting consumer data to use as leads; other businesses have digital storefronts, perhaps on social media, to channel leads directly toward products and services.

Some digital marketers argue that there are many more pillars than these four — that aspects of digital marketing like video and audio marketing are their distinct pillars. However, business leaders who build their business strategy using communication, content, community and commerce have all the necessary tools for success.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top