We spend more and more time in front of screens and as a result, digital marketing has become an essential tool for anyone who wants to reach customers effectively. Digital marketing targets a wide range of users on all kinds of digital devices (like computers or smartphones). To properly promote an online business and attract an audience, you will need to use different types of digital marketing.
Nowadays, having a website is not enough to attract potential customers. Today, you have to be visible on as many digital marketing platforms as possible, whether search engines, social networks, or mobile phones. The success of an online business and its ability to stand out from the competition depends on a complex digital strategy, in-depth market research, quality business analysis, and constant feedback.
The 10 Main Types of Digital Marketing
Ideally, one should use a mix of different types of digital marketing activities to reach their audience through various channels. In this article, we introduce you to the most common types of digital marketing in our time so that your business can thrive as much as possible. Here are the different types of digital marketing:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Online Advertising
- Landing Page Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Viral Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is probably the first thing you think of when you think of digital marketing. Online businesses are at the mercy of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. If your SEO is done well, your website can attract significant organic traffic. The goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to optimize content so that it appears at the top of a search engine results list (SERP).
There are several methods to rank well on a search engine results page, including building inbound and outbound links or optimizing content to match specific keywords. Probably the hardest part of SEO is keeping up to date with changes in search engine algorithms and updating your strategy and methods accordingly. SEO is a key element for the success of a website, and, nowadays, all companies optimize their content to adapt it to search engines. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to stay competitive without an SEO strategy.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not the only way to increase inbound traffic from search engines. Search engine marketing (SEM) promotes a product in search engines so that it appears among paid search results. Typically, search engines show paid results above organic results on SERPs (search engine results pages). Their presentation is similar to that of organic results, with a few small differences in appearance. For example, Google displays a small “ad” tag next to the URL. The screenshot below shows the paid search results for the “web hosting” search:
The most used paid search services are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. They allow the purchase of advertising space based on certain keywords, location, and demographic data of Internet users, among others. Search engine marketing is a fairly effective method, as they only show your ad to the audience you want to reach. In most cases, the cost of SEM results depends on the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model. So you’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
There is no doubt that social networks dominate the digital world of the 21st century. This is why they are also one of the most important types of digital marketing. So you need to pay special attention to them, especially if you want to promote a B2C business. Social networks are not only a marketing channel; they also allow their users to stay in touch with their friends and family, keep up to date with news, or follow topics that interest them. Social networks abound, and among these, we find Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and many more. You should choose the one that best suits your goals and promote your business there.
Sharing great content on social media is a great way to connect with an audience and showcase your brand as a leader in a specific field. It is also very important to place share buttons under each blog post and under each content you publish so that your visitors can share it on their favorite network. In addition, each social platform offers a variety of organic and paid advertising solutions. Paid ads on Twitter or Facebook, hashtag campaigns, or influence marketing are some of the most popular marketing methods on social networks.
Content marketing is yet another type of digital marketing that helps promote a business online. This is indirect marketing since it consists of publishing content that the public would find simply by browsing the internet. Content marketing primarily seeks to get people to interact with content, whether by reading it, sharing it, or commenting on it. You can use this type of marketing in conjunction with other types, like SEO or SEM. For example, you can build your content by focusing on certain keywords to get the best result.
High-quality content also demonstrates to the public that the company is experienced in its field. Gaining customer trust is one of the most important long-term goals of digital marketing. You can post content (which users can then share) to a blog in the form of articles, white papers, reports, webinars, or guest blogs in popular publications in the same industry.
This type of commitment is different from the others. Indeed, it allows you to contact customers directly in their mailbox. Although it’s one of the oldest types of digital marketing, it’s still going strong as it’s a good way to increase brand loyalty and increase sales from existing customers. According to the latest email statistics report published by the Radicati market research group, the number of emails sent each day by companies is constantly growing, at an average speed of 4.4 %.
There are numerous ways to reach customers through email marketing. You can create newsletter campaigns, send them confirmation emails, thank you emails, or even notify them of updates to the products you offer. If you are promoting a local business, you can send them invitations to attend events; this is a powerful way to reach a local audience. There are also effective tools for running professional email campaigns, such as marketing automation platforms, like MailChimp, or Newsletter plugins for popular content management platforms, like WordPress.
Digital marketers have always used online advertising. Displaying banners or advertisements on other websites in the same industry is the most common form of online advertising. Thanks to online platforms like Google AdSense, it is possible to show ads on other websites automatically. Ad networks generally offer the ability to configure the settings of the sites on which your ads will appear to match specific keywords, geographic locations, demographics, or other information.
Quite often, the big online magazines use their own advertising service. That’s why it may be a good idea to contact them to buy advertising space on their website. Some niche magazines, such as A List Apart’s magazine, also offer referral programs that allow a brand, logo, or other visual elements to be featured on their platform for a set period of time (usually one week).
Landing Page Marketing
Targeted landing pages can be used in combination with other types of digital marketing to significantly improve your conversion rates. A landing page is any web page that visitors first see when they arrive on a website. In this sense, home pages are often landing pages. Many brands, however, create specific landing pages in addition to these pages as part of their marketing campaigns.
Digital marketers often link landing pages to advertisements that are displayed as banners on other internet sites or appear in search engine results. This way, when a user clicks on an ad, they are taken directly to the landing page that was created for a specific marketing campaign. There are several tricks to creating a convergent landing page, such as eye-catching titles, a clean, mobile-friendly design, or highly visible call-to-action buttons. In the following illustration, you can see the landing page of the Slack messaging app that shows all the elements that an effective landing page should have:
People use their cell phones all the time. That’s why marketing on this device is among the most important types of digital marketing today, especially if the audience you’re looking to reach is young. You then have many options to reach your target audience via their smartphone. According to a recent report by Esendex, a business communication provider, text messages had an average open rate of 94% in 2018 globally. These data prove that a smartphone is an incredible tool for promoting an online business.
Not only can you text your subscribers, but your audience will become even more engaged if you offer them a free mobile app that works on Android and iOS. This application can also perform specific actions that will increase your visibility. It can, for example, send notifications to users’ mobile phones when new content is published on your website. Popular messaging platforms, like Messenger and Telegram, also allow you to create marketing bots with which you can win new customers through more human-centric strategies.
Affiliate marketing makes it possible to reduce the weight of your marketing tasks by delegating them to external service providers. All you have to do then is pay for conversions once your customers complete a transaction and purchase a product. Affiliate marketers take care of all related marketing activities, from banner placement to landing pages. The best thing about affiliate marketing is that there are no upfront fees, and you determine the terms and rates you pay.
Quite possibly, the most well-known online affiliate program is Amazon Associates. It allows anyone to promote Amazon’s products and earn a commission on completed transactions. Small businesses can also use affiliate programs. This type of digital marketing is especially popular in the tech industry. However, you should only start an affiliate program if you have the means to properly supervise and train your affiliates.
Viral marketing involves all the types of digital marketing that we have presented to you in this article. Viral marketing consists of creating an article, a video, a meme, or any other micro-content that spreads on the internet as a virus would. A successful viral marketing campaign is all about promoting the exact same content across multiple channels like Twitter, Youtube, blogs, or newsletters in a short period of time.
To get the best business results, you need to figure out what types of digital marketing you should use. Some of them are must-haves, like search engine optimization and social media marketing, while the use of others mostly depends on your industry. When deciding what types of digital marketing you need, you should consider not only software but also hardware. If your target uses a certain type of device, you must be present on that type of device as well. Also, ask for as much feedback as you can from your customers because there’s no better way to build trust with them and engage them on a personal level.