Digital marketing has become a crucial component of a company’s overall marketing strategy within the last decade. It enables businesses to tailor their messages for specific audiences, thus marketing directly to consumers who are likely interested in their product or service. Today, we’re going to discuss what digital marketing is and take a closer look at the eight different types.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing covers various marketing techniques and technologies used to connect brands with consumers online. Also known as online marketing, this strategy enables organizations to effectively build brand identity. Thus, it’s credited with revolutionizing the marketing industry.

And though digital marketing may seem like a whole new world, the truth is that it’s actually based on many principles used by traditional marketers. However, it requires technical know-how and foundational marketing knowledge.

Engaging in both traditional and digital marketing is recommended for most companies because it helps them connect with audiences everywhere.

8 Types of Digital Marketing Explained

Digital marketing covers many specializations, but in general, these are the 8 most common types of digital marketing:

#1 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is all about helping a business achieve higher Google search result rankings, thus increasing traffic to the organization’s website. SEO marketers accomplish this by researching phrases and words that consumers use to search for relevant information online and then using those terms to create content.

Search engine optimization can encompass many elements, from your website structure and the words on your web pages to the way other sites link to your site on the internet. However, it’s also vital to mention that SEO can be challenging because you have to consider each search engine and its algorithm.

That being said, if you’re interested in learning SEO, these are the general concepts you should know:

  • Content Indexing: Search engines need to clearly “read” your site content; this is done by tasks like adding text transcripts for audio and video content and adding alt text to images.
  • Link Structure: Good link structure allows search engines to effectively “crawl” your site to find the content. There are many things SEO specialists can do with this, such as properly format URLs, sitemaps, and links to make them accessible to site crawlers.
  • Keywords and Targeting: Properly placing necessary keywords in headers and content is a key building block of SEO. It’s no longer okay to “stuff” your content with as many keywords or keyword phrases as possible. The best practice is to create high-quality content that uses keywords a few times in the text and headers. Doing this will ensure the pages rank higher in search engine results.

#2 Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

This term refers to promoted search engine results and paid advertisements. While SEO is a long-term digital marketing strategy, PPC is short-term in that once you stop paying, the ad comes down. Regardless, it’s a highly effective way to increase search engine traffic to a company’s website.

Pay-per-click advertising includes the advertisements you see at the sides and top of search engine results, the ads you see while browsing, ads in mobile apps, and those you see before YouTube videos.

When it comes to cost, PPC models such as Google AdWords only require you to pay when someone lands on your website by clicking your ad. A great thing about PPC is that you can create a campaign to meet nearly any budget. Some companies see results after investing just a couple of hundred dollars, but large corporations spend tens of thousands monthly on pay-per-click advertising.

The total cost of your campaign will depend on if you’re promoting a search result or running an ad. However, it’s also dependent on the level of competition of the keywords in question. Typically, the more competition there is for a keyword, the higher the cost and the lower competition means each click will cost less.

#3 Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing refers to a company’s strategy to connect with its audience via social media platforms. Nearly everyone is familiar with these channels, but marketers should approach the concept with a strategic and integrated approach. Though it may sound easy, this type of digital marketing goes far beyond simply creating posts and responding to comments.

Social media efforts need to be consistent and coordinated rather than just an afterthought. Many tools are available online to help schedule and automate social media posts to achieve consistency. Yet, it’s crucial that marketers use this as a tool and not a way to “set it and forget it.” The last thing you want is for users to determine there isn’t a real person creating the posts.

However, these marketers should not be placed in a league of their own, as it’s crucial that they work with the entire marketing team to ensure their work matches that of the broader company strategy. Every part of the brand needs to tell the same story, so coordinating messages across all platforms is essential.

Another critical part of social media marketing is knowing how to interpret analytics. The marketer will need to be savvy enough to analyze post performance and create strategies based on the data. Yet, there are other options to spread your message that go far beyond Twitter and Instagram. Other viable options include eBay, Google My Business, Facebook Marketplace, and Messenger.

#4 Content Marketing

Content marketing shares storytelling and information to build brand awareness. The “content” consists of white papers, blog posts, e-books, podcasts, digital videos, etc. The ultimate goal here is to have the reader complete an action to become a customer. For example, they could sign up for your email list, request more information, or make a purchase.

Generally, content should first always provide the customer with value. So, you’re not just trying to make a sale or advertise your brand. Content marketing aims to build a sustainable and trusting relationship with your clients that may lead to sales in the future; it’s not about just making one quick transaction.

Much like the other types of digital marketing, content marketing should be done in unison with SEO, PPC, social media marketing, etc. And like SEO, content marketing is a long-term strategy that allows you to build a library of helpful information that’s relevant to your audience.

#5 Email Marketing

Email marketing has been around for years and is still just as effective as it’s always been. It works with your content strategy, providing valuable content to consumers to eventually convert the audience into customers. Professional email marketers know how to create effective campaigns and understand optimal audience outreach. Thus, they are highly skilled at analyzing data and customer interactions that they use to make strategic decisions.

Email marketing software is helpful because it allows you to track various analytical measures. Still, what today’s marketers are always looking to improve is the open rate and click-through rate. These figures are crucial because they tell email marketers how many people opened the email and how many physically clicked the link. Top email marketers know that these are the elements needed to increase these rates:

  • Personalized Emails: Setting your email’s subject lines to incorporate the person’s name is a proven way to increase both the open and click-through rate.
  • Sense of Urgency: Creating an email that shows recipients they are running out of time to grab a great deal is the perfect way to get people to your website.
  • Allow Recipients to Set Preferences: When users are able to control how often they receive your communications, they are more likely to stay subscribed to your list and click your future emails. 

#6 Mobile Marketing

This form of digital marketing is focused on reaching your target audience through their tablet or smartphone. Mobile marketing reaches consumers via social media, text messages, email, websites, and mobile applications. Marketers can tailor unique content or offers to a geographic time or location, such as when a customer enters an event or walks into a store.

When you consider that 46 percent of people reportedly spend five to six hours daily on their phones, mobile marketing is a crucial part of a successful digital marketing strategy. It’s vital to take your message where the customers are, and it’s obvious – you’ll find them on their phones and other handheld devices!

#7 Marketing Analytics

A significant advantage of digital marketing is that it’s highly measurable and trackable. Though marketers had very few trackable marketing methods in the past, today, analytics allow marketers to track users in a detailed manner. For example, they can see how much time was spent on each web page, how often their links were opened, how often emails were read, and more. However, the large amounts of information available about a digital campaign’s performance can feel like you’re running in mud. Hence, marketers must be able to analyze the data and determine what it means.

Possessing these skills allows marketers to learn what’s successful and adapt their future messages, but it also means they can prove their value to the company. Understanding and using such data to make well-informed decisions is one of the most important aspects of a digital marketer’s job. It’s also a skill that sets them apart from traditional marketers.

#8 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is sometimes referred to as influencer marketing and has become very popular as an effective way to bridge the gap between organizations and consumers.

So, what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing uses the popularity of social media influencers and industry experts to create advertising campaigns. Working with such third-party influencers requires that your company pay the person in return for them promoting your services or products. Through these collaborations, influencers generally engage with their audiences through videos, blogs, and posts to bring in business for your company and generate new leads.

Within the past several years, affiliate marketing has grown exponentially, with new channels like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube becoming mainstream types of entertainment and news. This is one of the most popular forms of digital marketing at this time, with the industry expected to reach $12 billion in 2022.

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, digital marketing should be a significant part of nearly every business’s marketing strategy. Never before has there been an easier way to stay in constant contact with consumers, and few things offer the level of personalization as digital data. Hence, the more digital marketing is embraced, the more a company can realize its growth potential.


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