What are the types of online and digital marketing?

Ship heading towards a large iceberg with icons for the various types of marketing channels

The website that your customers see is just the “tip of the iceberg” of the efforts required to build a successful online presence.

There are many types of digital and online marketing that can be employed to improve your customer relationships and your bottom line.

Browse the rest of this page to discover more about digital marketing techniques and how they could be used to grow your business.

Social Media Marketing

The process of engaging with your audience to drive traffic or attention through social media sites.

While the cost on the surface is relatively inexpensive, the time commitment from a trusted individual (generally a senior person) is extremely high. Social media marketing generally centers around a conversation with your existing or potential customers and requires constant engagement.

While brands who engage with their customers via social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook, may have a higher likelihood of converting those fans to paying customers, dedicating a person who may not be naturally chatty and would otherwise be doing something else productive is a high price to pay.

Email Marketing

Involves directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email.

This list can contain existing customers, potential customers, leads, etc. While sending email is inexpensive, collecting and buying email addresses of targeted customers can be very expensive and may also be a hurdle between those visitors doing something more important on your site, like buying something.

Successful email marketing campaigns contain highly relevant information, which makes testing regiments and segmentation (demographics, pre vs. post vs. repeat sale/customer) extremely important. NEVER make it hard for a user to opt out of email communications. You don’t want people on your lists that don’t want to be there. If they didn’t buy from you before they felt harassed, they definitely won’t after.

Display Advertising

The use of web banners or banner ads placed on a third-party website to drive traffic to a company’s own website and increase product awareness.

Display advertising is used when search marketing isn’t effective. your customers don’t know that they want or need your product, or aren’t looking for a specific solution.

Mobile Marketing

Using wireless media to provide customers with point-in-time and location sensitive, information that promotes goods, services and ideas.

The use of mobile devices accessing the internet is projected to exceed desktops in 2014, but before spending tons of money on a mobile advertising campaign and a mobile version of your website, think about the benefits you are likely to receive. Ask yourself what your customers will want to access on their phones. If you’re a restaurant, they may want to make a reservation or view the menu, if you’re a lawyer they may just want to find your office. If you sell house plants, chances are people won’t do that while on their mobile device. Keep mobile content to a minimum, make what you have easy to navigate, and make sure you give customers an easy way to return to your site from their desktop computer.

Search Engine Marketing

A form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of either paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion, or through the use of free search engine optimization techniques.

Search marketing is most effective when the customer recognizes the need for your product and is looking for it or a competitors specifically.

Search Engine Optimization

The key to good search results: having content people want to find. 

SEO is simply the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. 

Proper SEO is an exercise in keyword research and quality coding; there is very little, if any, art to it. Focusing on the user experience: improvements to page load times, mobile optimization, clear writing, etc. all contribute to a higher organic ranking, and can also have a dramatic effect on your paid search quality score, which can lower your cost per click and increase your exposure.

Once the user experience and technical bars are met, having good content that people want to find, use, and share is the only future proof way of aligning your goals of people finding your site and Google’s goal of showing people only relevant results. 

Content Marketing

Involves creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers.

You have likely seen the explosion of Infographics and Data Visualization graphics lately. These graphics are produced to gain the attention of users.

Other examples are videos, white papers, case studies, all of which are designed specifically to draw you in closer to a brand’s product and potentially generate a sales lead.

Press Relations

Using frequent press releases with strategic content that is broadly distributed through a digital means, like PR Newswire, to increase exposure of your organization and to your blog or product.

News outlets are constantly on the hunt for good articles and new products, and broadly distributing your company’s wins will increase publicity for very little cost. Including your site’s URL in these press releases also increases the number of links to your site which can help increase referral traffic and can lend credibility to your site in the eyes of search engines.