As of January 2021, almost 4.66 billion population worldwide are active internet users. Most people rely on the internet to gather knowledge about a product or service, preferring an educated purchase. Such consumer behaviour has paved the way for a vital business optimisation strategy called Digital Marketing. It has helped businesses to reach out to their target audience in a measurable and cost-efficient manner, boosting customer-brand interaction.
But, do you know what digital marketing is or how many different types of digital marketing avenues are available? Read on to find out more about digital marketing types.
Digital Marketing: What is it?
Digital marketing is any form of marketing that can be done online and is thus, also called online marketing. It includes various marketing strategies businesses use to reach out to their customer base online, using channels like email, social media, search engines, etc. Some common assets of digital marketing are:
- Social media
- Video content
- Image content
- Blog posts
- Customer testimonials, reviews
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Digital Marketing Types: The 12 Most Popular Ones with Examples
Now that you have understood online marketing, we have mentioned different types of digital marketing.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The global SEO market growth is expected to reach USD 122.11 billion in 2028 (Source). As the market is increasing, so is the industry growth for professionals.
SEO is a critical digital marketing strategy where content is created specially, ensuring search engines (like Bing, Yahoo, Google, etc.) rank the content page highest. You can ensure higher ranks by putting specific phrases and keywords in the content to increase organic traffic on your page. Websites, infographics, and blogs highly benefit from SEO.
You can approach SEO in any of the following ways:
- On-page SEO: Focuses on content within a page. For example, if a company is selling chocolates and prefers using SEO as their digital marketing strategy, then their content would include repeated keywords like “buy chocolate,” “homemade chocolate,” “best chocolate online”, etc.
- Off-page SEO: Focuses on off-the-page activities, like backlinks, brand mentions, forums, commenting, guest author contributions, etc.
- Technical SEO: focuses on the website’s backend and the coding. Some common forms of technical SEO include structured data, image compression, etc.
SEO professionals utilise the tools in order to drive growth. Only basic knowledge of SEO is not sufficient until one understands the efficient functions of SEO as well. Some of the tools required for the SEO are as mentioned below-
- SEO Review Tools
- Keyword tool
- Bing WebMaster Tools
- Answer The Public
- Word Stream by Local IQ Free Keyword Research Tool
- Seed Keywords by Red Evolution
As we already know that SEO is considered one of the types of online marketing. That helps in business growth and helps in achieving the final aim that the businesses want to achieve.
The demand for SEO professionals is high, which contributes to numerous job roles available in the role. Some of these job roles are mentioned below –
- SEO Analyst
- SEO Account Manager
- Content Creation
- Digital Marketing
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Website Content Writer
Some of the technical and non-technical skills required for SEO professionals are as below –
- Digital Marketing and SEO knowledge
- Basics of HTML and CSS
- Leadership ability
- Research skills
- Critical thinking
- Communication skills
2. Content Marketing
A simple strategy where marketing teams create and promote different content aimed at lead generation and sales. These content pieces can range from blogs, infographics, and ebooks to videos or images with SEO-heavy and user-friendly content to attract potential customers.
Here are a few examples of content marketing:
- “Share A Coke” campaign by Coke
- Question time campaign by McDonald’s
- Design School by Canva
Content Marketing is king. Marketers use content to build their brands. They utilise articles, blogs, videos and more in order to give away their message. The marketers believe the brands engage more customers and increase brand awareness.
Some of the benefits of Content marketing are as follows –
- Audience Retention
- Higher SERP rankings
- Create brand loyalty
- Raise brand awareness
- Lead generation
The strategy to go about content marketing is
- Plan to make the content more unique
- Produce and optimise the content according to the requirement
- Promote the content knowing the publishing strategy
- Analyse the results to improve the content
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3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM strategy uses social media for a product, brand, or content promotion. This strategy is applied via platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., and is helpful in driving traffic and enhancing brand awareness. Brands can execute SMM through paid ads or organic content creation on social media platforms. This strategy is effective due to higher engagement.
Some examples are:
- #yearwrapped by Spotify on Instagram stories
- ‘The Best Men Can Be’ by Gillette on YouTube
- #WhatsYourName by Starbucks UK on Instagram
Social Media Marketing is one of the successful digital marketing types in the industry. Some of the benefits of Social Media Marketing are
- Improves brand awareness
- Audience engagement
- Understanding the competition
- Increase the website traffic
- Enhance the SERP presence
- Improve customer service
Why do brands take advantage of social media marketing?
- It helps the brand to voice their message
- Helps in reinforcing the brand online
- Helps in engaging with potential customers through various channels
- It help the brands in overcoming the competition
- The brands can drive more traffic using social media
4. Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC strategy uses paid advertising to divert traffic to a website. The process is relatively straightforward, where every time the advertisement is clicked, a fee is charged. Google is perhaps the most common PPC type, enabling paid option to use the top slots of its search engine.
Other examples of PPC marketing are:
- Twitter ads, where you can pay for profile badges and post series directed towards a specific audience pool.
- Facebook ads, where you can customise your product videos or images, and Facebook will subsequently publish them to the user’s news feed.
- LinkedIn sponsored messages that allow users to send direct messages to targeted LinkedIn users.
Why do brands use PPC marketing?
- It helps the brand to get in front of new customers
- It tends to target the people who are aware of the brand
- PPC allows the customers to nurture the existing customers
- A wide net of networks can be captured to find new customers
Benefits of using PPC marketing –
- Quick search visibility
- Wide market pool, from local to global
- Pay only when the user clicks
- Cost-effective, as it helps in limiting the spend
- Targeted Traffic
Process involved in PPC marketing –
- Accurate keyword research
- Campaign launch
- Landing page development
- Setting up of account
- Performance monitoring
- Creation of ad
- Feedback and analysis
- Installation tracking
5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is SEO’s paid version, which allows a brand to purchase an ad space that pops up on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Such results can be identified with a tiny ‘Ad’ sign before the URL. Another popular SEM service provider is Bing Ads.
Why do brands use SEM?
- The brands use SEM to measure performance
- To target their group
- Content Marketing
- To increase search
- To grow their business
- Offers a competitive advantage
- Brand recognition
- Quick revenues
Benefits of using SEM
- Instant reach
- Measurable results
- Affordable pricing options
- Flexible SEM campaigns
6. Email Marketing
Emails are a vital digital marketing asset companies can use to stay connected to their audience and promote their content, events, etc. Sending customised newsletters to the consumers or offering them special discounts based on their purchase history are also forms of email marketing.
Some examples of email marketing are:
- Uber and Buzzfeed use to-the-point newsletter marketing
- Litmus uses unique GIFs in its email marketing
- Flock uses curated emails and reminder emails for marketing
Benefits of using Email Marketing
- Cost effective
- The users can see instant results
- It helps in driving the website traffic
- The brands can include automisation
- It helps in relationship building
- It helps in costing less than the traditional methods
- Increase in brand awareness
- Allows the brand to reach more devices
- Helps the brand to avoid cold sales and marketing
Brands that use Email Marketing
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an execution-based advertising strategy where content producers receive a commission for promoting a service or product on your website. Their commissions are based on the number of conversions they generate for your products. It can be perceived as a newer variant of influencer marketing, where influencers drive traffic toward your website.
Some examples of affiliate marketing include:
- Everyday Carry, Gear Patrol, link Amazon products for promotion
- Glory Cycles is an affiliate website for eBay
Benefits of using affiliate marketing
- It can act as a new profitable channel
- Cost- effective
- Increases competitive advantage
- The brand can utilise the digital medium for their benefit
- Data driven performance
- Analytical benefits
- The brand can acquire new audiences through influencers
- The brand can create competitive advantage
Brands using Affiliate Marketing
8. Inbound Marketing
A buyer’s journey has three crucial steps, which are:
- The Awareness stage is when a consumer notices their needs.
- The Consideration stage is when the consumer finalises a course for need satisfaction.
- Finally, the Decision stage is when a consumer decides the product or service is suitable for their needs.
Inbound marketing strategy ensures consumers’ engagement in these three stages by curating interesting content. Attracting a consumer with relevant content, engaging through communication and customer service, followed by delighting a consumer through unique experiences are the three steps to inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is based on working with, not against, a consumer.
Some examples include:
- Viral videos
- Topical blogs
- Campaigns on social media
- The brands use blog, keywords, and social publishing to attract the customers
- Call-to-action, forms and landing pages help the brands to convert into customers
- CRM, Emails and Workflows helps the brand to close the deal
- Surveys, smart content and social monitoring serve as the delight element
9. Instant Messaging Marketing
Want to reach out to a consumer in the fastest way possible? Instant Messaging Marketing is the perfect option. You can traditionally send the message (cell phones) or use any direct message feature of social media applications (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). This simple strategy can be ideal for introducing the audience to new products, flash sales, order updates, etc.
Effective ways for instant messaging –
- Log into the instant messaging application
- Locate the recipient’s username in the contact list
- Select the username
- Send message
- The system aids in notifying the recipient of the username
- The recipient can respond accordingly
Brands that use instant messaging –
- Facebook Messenger
10. Virtual Reality Marketing
VR Marketing lets users gather an audience for a brand through the service’s immersive experience using technological hot fields to attract potential customers. For example, IKEA uses VR marketing to give its customers an idea of how furniture would look in their houses.
Benefits of using Virtual Reality Marketing
- It helps the brands in promoting themselves in promoting themselves
- It creates an augmented reality
- The brand can use multi- sensory application using the device
11. Email Marketing
Email Marketing can be used to generate sales, increase customer engagement, create brand awareness, and increasing customer loyalty.
Strategies for email marketing –
- Mobile friendly emails
- Customer segmentation
- Mobile friendly emails
- Personalised emails and subject lines
Benefits of using email marketing –
- See instant results
- High ROI
- Get feedback
- Helps in driving website traffic
- Helps in automating tasks
- Time effective
- Relationship building
12. Viral Marketing
It is a sales technique that includes word-of- mouth information about any product. The internet and reach of social media is helpful to increase the number of viral messages. The viral messages can be reached in the form of memes, likes, shares, forwards, etc.
Benefits of using viral marketing –
- It is helpful in boosting visibility
- The brand can reach the wider audience
- Increase sales
- It helps the brand to make the users excited about the product or service
- It can help in attracting more customers
- The audience can get excited
- Helps in increasing sales
Brands using viral marketing –
Popular Digital Marketing Blogs
Is Digital Marketing Your Career Choice?
If your goal is to become a digital marketing expert, you should learn digital marketing on upGrad, which offers an Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication.
This course runs for about 32 to 50 weeks, during which you learn about Marketing Analytics, SEO, SEM, and much more. Here are a few program highlights:
- Learn from industry experts like Protinex, Zivame
- Facebook and MICA certifications
- More than 15 case studies, live projects
- Mock interview sessions
- Avail 80+ tools from the video library