In this article, we’ll go through the various types of digital marketing. We’ll also go over some examples of each one. All of this should help you establish which ones are right for your next product or website.
The 7 types of digital marketing are:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Search Engine Marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Traditional advertising
Before looking at the different types of digital marketing in more detail, let’s take a closer look at what digital marketing actually is.
What Is Digital Marketing Strategy?
Your digital marketing strategy is the set of steps you have in place to promote your content. This content may be written content, like blog posts, or products or services you offer. The digital marketing strategy you use depends on what you’re marketing. An effective digital marketing strategy will boost your engagement, conversions and sales.
A well thought out digital marketing strategy can make or break a business. But which digital marketing strategy should you use?
The 7 Types of Digital Marketing
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on ranking your website and your content higher in search results. Since around 90% of internet users search on Google, having your website rank as the top spot on Google is what all SEO experts aim for.
The better your website looks to Google, the higher it will rank on the search engine. So, good SEO practices can help you target the right audience and drive more organic traffic to your website.
To do this effectively, you need to employ some SEO best practices. The “best” content doesn’t always get the top spot in the search results. Sometimes it’s just the content that Google thinks is best. As such, you have to implement certain SEO tactics. We’ll go through some of these tactics in the next section.
This involves a lot of different variables, which are too detailed to cover in depth here. You can learn the basics of SEO in this article.
2. Search Engine Marketing
SEM, or search engine marketing, is a paid digital marketing strategy used to increase your website’s traffic. You do this by targeting specific keywords and getting featured on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). In a way, SEM is like paid advertising (see below), but on SERPs, rather than on specific websites or platforms (more on that shortly).
You pay for links to your content to appear on SERPs for your chosen keyword. However, your ad first goes through an auction process. Every time someone searches for your chosen keyword, your ad enters an auction against lots of other people and businesses that also chose that keyword for their own SEM digital marketing strategy.
Which ad wins the auction and displays at the top of the search results depends on a variety of factors. This article gives a good explanation of how the auction process works. So, using SEM doesn’t mean you should throw away your SEO strategy. Instead, having a good mix of the two is the ideal approach. For small businesses and freelancers, focusing on SEO at first is not only cheaper, but it’s also just better practice.
Pay-per-click marketing, or PPC, is another one of the paid types of digital marketing. It’s a strategy that involves creating an ad, and paying the advertiser every time someone clicks on that ad. Unlike with SEM ads, PPC ads are not just displayed in the search results. You can display PPC ads in various places online.
PPC marketing allows for advertising on a wider range of platforms. SEM is usually referred to as the umbrella term of paid advertising on search engines. PPC marketing falls into that category when the ads are displayed in search results.
If you’re experimenting with a certain style of paid ads, PPC marketing can help you test the waters. This is because you only pay the advertiser when someone clicks on the advert. This is in contrast to paying them when someone sees your ad, even if they don’t click on it and just scroll past it.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategy that involves creating valuable content. Your aim may be to educate and engage with your audience. Or it could be to lead them towards a call to action (CTA). Content marketing is one of the most useful strategies, and it’s the one that benefits your audience the most. Most digital marketing strategies revolve around getting the customer to your page. Content marketing is all about giving the reader what they want.
Content marketing may not even sound like a type of digital marketing strategy, as it’s just about informing/helping/entertaining the audience. However, content marketing works by passively influencing or guiding the reader towards a certain action. So, it’s more of an indirect way of boosting your blog’s readership or driving sales.
On its own, content marketing isn’t all that effective. After all, someone has to get to your website to make use of that content. So, you need to combine your content marketing with other strategies like SEO to make it work effectively.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves promoting your brand, services, or products on social media. You can pay for this or do it for free, and there are countless styles of promotion you can experiment with.
As its name implies, social media marketing is limited to marketing on social media. Unlike most of the other types of digital marketing that involve search engines, social media marketing just focuses on promoting on specific platforms. You can pay people to promote your content or products to their followers, or you can build a presence for yourself to boost your audience for free.
While this may sound limited, more than half of the people in the world use social media. So, this strategy can reach a very wide audience if you use it correctly. If your target audience is more likely to use social media than browse through Google, then social media marketing is the way to go.
This makes social media marketing a particularly useful strategy for selling products. However, it’s not the best to start with if your goal is to promote your blog. It is a powerful supplementary tool though, so don’t totally neglect it!
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing, like social media marketing, doesn’t rely on search engines. Instead, you promote your content, products or services through email. Emails are more professional and personal. So, it’s like having a private chat with one person, rather than posting something generic to your thousands of followers.
Many email marketers send emails to their subscriber base as a means of promoting new products. However, email marketing is only effective if you have a list of emails to send things to.
Out of the blue emails to people not expecting them won’t get you anywhere. While cold emailing is one strategy you might use if you’re trying to become a freelancer, it’s not the best approach for marketing a blog, or for pitching your next product. Email marketing works hand-in-hand with other types of marketing. But it’s only really effective when you already have people interested in your brand.
7. Traditional Advertising
The last type of digital marketing is traditional advertising. This involves paying others for ad space, and it could be online or on the TV or radio. Using platforms like Google Ads is one route for traditional advertising. This involves paying for ad space on people’s websites.
While big companies still use TV and radio advertising, it’s probably not the way to go for your first blog or ecommerce venture. Instead, think about trying something like Google Ads. Or, you could reach out to people in your community to see if they have their own ad programs you can join.
Examples of the Different Types of Digital Marketing
Now that you know the main types of digital marketing, it’s time to look at specific examples of each one.
Examples of SEO
SEO is all about ranking your website higher in search results to bring in more organic traffic. One useful SEO technique involves keyword research. This is the practice of finding out what people are searching for within your niche and targeting your articles, pages or product descriptions towards those words or phrases.
Imagine you’re promoting dog products. A keyword you may want to rank for is “dog food”, so you should include this word in your piece multiple times. However, don’t force it. That’s called keyword stuffing, and Google recognises this and will actually penalise you for it in the search results.
Other SEO techniques include using optimised post titles, having a responsive website, and writing longer content. You can choose certain aspects of SEO to use, but getting knowledge of the basics down is a good idea. This is especially true if you’re a blogger, as SEO is the key to getting more people to read your content.
Examples of SEM and PPC
One example of SEM involves using Google Ads. With this platform, you can start an ad campaign and specify your target audience. Google will help you do the rest, and you pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad.
Of course, this can become expensive. Some people will just click and immediately leave your website, without getting you anything in return. This is why you should always set a sensible budget for any PPC ad campaign.
For PPC ads, you can also advertise your business on other platforms, like social media or community forums. Your advertisements can come in the form of banner ads, display ads, or just regular SERP ads. Ultimately, your digital marketing strategy and target audience will determine what type of ads you choose.
Examples of Content Marketing
Content marketing involves driving a potential customer towards a certain goal by creating valuable content. However, this content doesn’t just come in the form of written words. Video marketing, where you use videos to get your message out there, can be just as or even more effective! Think about what message you’re trying to convey, and which type of content is the best way to do that. For example, product review blog posts are very informative. But a video showing off the product you’re reviewing might be easier for your followers to digest.
You should use content marketing regardless of what other types of digital marketing strategies you’re using. After all, the goal is always to provide value to your readers and customers.
Examples of Social Media Marketing
While you can opt for PPC ads on social media, a more popular form of marketing involves working with influencers. Many users follow and idolise others on social media, so this is a great opportunity to work with influencers.
For many companies targeting younger generations especially, social media marketing is a must. But even if you don’t use influencers to promote your brand, having your own presence on social media is key.
Examples of Email Marketing
As we mentioned earlier, email marketing is only useful if you already have a subscriber base. Plus, it’s often just perceived as spam.
Make sure to tell your subscribers beforehand what you will be sending them. This makes sure only interested people get your email. After all, the number of emails you send doesn’t matter. What matters is how many subscribers you convert into customers!
Examples of Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising can be any form of advertisement both online and offline. This includes banner ads on websites, social media ads, and adverts on TV.
However, while traditional ads have worked in the past, they may not be as effective in the future. Many people are tired of overly salesy ads which only aggressively promote a product, without providing anything useful, relatable or enjoyable.
Which Types of Digital Marketing Will Work Best for You?
There is no single type of digital marketing that works for every person or business. You need to experiment with several of them, ideally combining a few to make your digital marketing strategy. If you want to find out more about digital marketing and starting your own online business, check out our other articles over on the Sophical Blog.