When it comes to nailing down what digital marketing is, we all feel like we know what it means, but can’t quite explain it. Ultimately, it is not clear what type of digital marketing we are referring to.
In other words, rather than saying that “it’s related to internet marketing” or “it’s a general term for all online marketing activities,” let’s make it simple:
All marketing activities that use digital devices are considered digital marketing. This includes online marketing activities, but it also includes some traditional marketing activities too. This is a good thing, since it would be a mistake to view online marketing activities in isolation. Having the best of both worlds is the key to a successful marketing campaign.
These 10 types of digital marketing will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what “digital marketing” encompasses. Before deciding what types of marketing to include in your digital marketing strategy, make sure you are familiar with all of them. Don’t limit yourself to one type of digital marketing. Multi-channel marketing is the most successful digital marketing strategy.
1. Social Media Marketing
The purpose of social media marketing is to promote a product or service using social media platforms and websites. Therefore, all sharing of information and engagement with followers, fans, partners and competitors on social media platforms with the goal of promoting your products is digital marketing.
The goal of social media marketing is to increase awareness for a brand or product by using social media conversations. For social media marketing to be successful, you must fully understand the social network you intend to use. The features, communication practices, and content that each social network prefers differ from one another. Depending on your situation, product, and content, some social networks will be ideal – others won’t.
Social marketing is a part of almost every digital marketing strategy today in some way. You don’t need to use every available social network or take a lot of manual action as part of your social media strategy. You can increase the efficiency of your social media activity by focusing on one or two networks and automating your marketing.
2. Content Marketing
By using storytelling and valuable information, content marketing increases brand awareness and gets your target audience to take action. It aims to build relationships with potential customers and become a partner rather than an advertiser. A content strategy focused on providing value to the target audience is often used in inbound marketing strategies. The distribution of content is a key component of content marketing. Other types of digital marketing can often be seen as filling the content distribution part of content marketing.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization involves optimizing content or websites so that they appear in search engine results. Based on keywords and links that refer to a website, search engines determine which websites to display for a search term. Thus, SEO involves using the right keywords on a website or in the content you want to appear in organic search results, as well as getting links pointing to the site.
SEO entails more than shady link building when it comes to optimizing your website(s). There are some optimizations that Google accepts, and there are others that are regarded rather shady and may result in Google penalizing your website. Content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO are closely related. Obviously, social media and SEO are perfect channels for content distribution.
4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
While SEO describes the process of getting unpaid traffic from search engines – SEM refers to using paid advertising to get traffic from search engines. The most common form of search engine marketing is probably Google AdWords for the simple reason that Google is by far the most used search engine.
In SEM the marketer usually pays the search engine a predefined amount of money for showing a marketing message at various places within the search results for specified keywords or phrases. Paid search or SEM is a form of Pay-Per-Click advertising and is part of digital advertising.
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
In PPC advertising, the marketer pays for every click on a link to a website, similarly to SEM. Pay Per Click advertising is available on almost all social networks, apart from search engines. The targeted social media users then see these ads in their feeds. There is no clear separation between many of these activities. In digital (online) marketing, the lines between types are often blurred.
6. Affiliate Marketing
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels for converting leads. Building and nurturing a relationship with your email subscribers can be accomplished by sending regular updates. You will be able to convert a percentage of your audience into customers if you provide value with your email updates.
You should realize that email marketing is more than just buying an email list and bombarding them with promotional messages. It is always better to market via email to a list of subscribers you have personally earned and nurtured. If you have a good email list, you can use email marketing to drive sales and turn your list into a powerful digital marketing asset.
There are many articles on digital marketing that stop with the above 7 types of online digital marketing. Online marketing could then simply be called that, but there’s more.
8. Radio advertising
We are all familiar with this form of advertising. The breaks in your favourite music program where someone tells you what car or cleaner to buy. There are some of these spots that can be rather annoying, but there are also some that can be rather entertaining – at least the first time you hear them.
This form of advertising can be very effective and reach your audience repeatedly. Additionally, you are able to reach the same people more often due to the loyalty of people who listen to the same station.
9. Television advertising
The spot that interrupts your favourite television show isn’t dead yet. Despite the fact that we are increasingly avoiding watching television commercials, there is still some marketing success in TV advertising. Some marketing spots have made it to marketing fame, such as those made for the Rugby World Cup, etc.
The most popular Rugby World Cup spots even gain social media fame and get a lot of shares that advertisers don’t have to pay for – or rather are probably calculated into the price of Super Bowl advertising space. However, TV advertising has very limited targeting options, so keep that in mind.
10. Mobile Phone Advertising
Many of the above types of digital marketing can be done on a mobile device. It’s called mobile marketing. Your mobile phone probably has Facebook, Instagram, and Google installed. However, mobile advertising is another form of marketing on your mobile phone that has not yet been included in any of the categories mentioned. The use of WhatsApp as a marketing channel is on the rise. Due to technology such as Bluetooth still on the rise, mobile marketing and advertising options, especially for local marketing, have not yet been fully tapped.
Lastly, marketing channels, skills, and digital tools are still evolving. As marketing evolves, channels come up or die, and skills such as growth hacking are ever-evolving because of the constant invention of new marketing tactics. An effective online marketing strategy requires a lot of skills, knowledge – and even trial and error. The ten suggestions above may help you determine what digital marketing strategy is appropriate for your business.
You should keep in mind that they all interact with each other, so the lines are often blurred between them. The best marketing campaigns combine multiple digital channels. In your marketing strategy, you will likely use more than one type.
A final note. The digital marketing needs of large businesses and enterprises will differ from those of small businesses and bloggers. There may be similarities between some campaigns, but the setup, the processes, and the tools will be different.