Digital marketing is undoubtedly the most powerful form of marketing. It has completely transformed the way that businesses interact with their customers and promote their business. As digital marketing continues to evolve, the list of digital marketing methods continues to grow. With so many forms of digital marketing, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. In this article, we review the top ten types of digital marketing so that you can more effectively evaluate what type is most appropriate for your business needs.
Types of Digital Marketing
Despite what many people think, digital marketing goes far beyond social media and content marketing. While these are two types of digital marketing often get the most press and engagement, other forms of digital marketing can be just as effective when implemented correctly. That said, the most common types of digital marketing include the following:
1. Search Engine Optimization
There is little doubt that search engine optimization is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the online visibility of a website or web page in a web search engine’s unpaid search results. Because SEO efforts are not paid for, as in the case of pay per click advertising, SEO is sometimes referred to as “organic marketing.” With a highly optimized website, you can increase traffic to your website and boost your overall visibility online without paying for ads.
2. Social Media Marketing
If you regularly use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, you probably understand the benefits of using social media as a digital marketing tool. Social media not only gets your company increased exposure on the web, it can also help you directly interact with your customers. By creating an online community where your customers can feel heard and communicate feedback, you can engage with your customers while also increasing brand visibility and exposure.
3. Content Marketing
While content marketing is not a new technique by any means, it remains one of the most effective digital marketing techniques for increasing your rankings in the search engines. By distributing high-quality content, you can improve your organic search rankings, grow a following, and generate more leads and sales. Content published on your site can also be shared among people, helping to extend your reach even further and bring more potential customers to your site. In addition, incorporating SEO and using industry-specific keyword research may allow your site to appear at the top page of organic search results, which will greatly increase your visibility and secure even more marketing success.
4. Link Building
Link building can be a highly effective strategy in your digital marketing campaign. Having links on your website and in your content, as well as “backlinks” from other sites pointing back to yours, can have numerous benefits. Backlinks from other websites can help search engines locate and crawl your website faster, resulting in speedy indexing and shorter turnaround time. Link building can also help you improve your organic search ranking, which will help you naturally rank higher in the search engines for your targeted keywords. Perhaps the biggest advantage of link building is having quality backlinks that can gain invaluable referral traffic. Instead of finding your website directly in the search engines, backlinks allow web users to find your website from another similar site, giving you direct access to qualified leads.
5. Data-Driven Marketing
Data-Driven Marketing, sometimes referred to as “data reporting and analysis,” is yet another popular form of digital marketing. This method of digital marketing refers to the gathering of “insights” from the analysis of big data. The insights are collected through consumer interactions and social media sites to form predictions about your target audience. Although there are many reasons why companies use data-driven marketing, most marketers primarily use the information to build customer personas and define customer segments. With segments properly defined, marketers can create content that speaks to subscribers on a more personal level.
6. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click (PPC) advertising platforms allow a businesses ad(s) to show up on the front page of a search query when certain criteria, i.e. keywords, are met. Search engines such as Google then charge the business for specific actions taken on the ad, usually “clicks” on the ad that link back to their site. While PPC advertising is still very popular and can be highly effective, businesses must pay a fee for every ad-click, based on the bid-price for the keyword they are targeting. Thus, if the price dramatically goes up and you can no long afford to pay for the ad, you will lose all of your previous exposure and inevitably see a decrease in conversions.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Through affiliate marketing, you have the opportunity to increase your revenue by having other businesses or “affiliates” directly market your products to their respective audiences in exchange for a small percentage of the profit. For example, if you have a product and want to sell more of it, you can offer promoters a financial incentive to market your product through an affiliate program. They will promote your products and earn a commission based on the number of visitors or customers brought to your site through their marketing efforts. This can be a highly effective form of digital marketing, especially for smaller businesses, as it allows you to rapidly scale your traffic with no upfront costs. Likewise, affiliate marketing is entirely performance-based; therefore, your business will not lose much money if your campaign is unsuccessful.
8. Viral Marketing
Similar to how a virus spreads from one person to another, viral marketing is a method of marketing that takes advantage of the network effects of social media and word-of-mouth. Marketers attempt to create “viral content” that has a high probability of being spread from person to person in a short amount of time. As more people share your content, the content becomes more valuable and more people will link to it, resulting in a positive feedback loop. While viral marketing can provide incredible results, creating viral content is not easy. Moreover, because of the fleeting nature of virality, traffic will initially spike due to your content going viral and then inevitably fall back to down after the trend is over. Viral marketing is one of the most high-risk marketing approaches, but can yield the highest reward out of any approach in the shortest amount of time.
9. Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing is a newcomer to the digital marketing scene, it has already been proven quite effective. Influencer marketing involves driving sales by striking a deal with someone who already has an “influence” over your target market. For example, you may pay a celebrity to endorse your product over Instagram, or pay an online influencer to promote your brand on their channel. Keep in mind, however, that regulations imposed by the Federal Trade Commission require advertisers to fully disclose their connection to the influencer and specify how they relate to your brand.
10. Digital Public Relations
When talking about digital marketing strategies, digital public relations (DPR) is often overlooked. However, digital public relations can serve as an effective digital marketing method by enabling businesses to gain the right exposure. DPR allows you to get in the spotlight of your target audience where you can often share your message and attract qualified leads. In addition, it can warrant significant media exposure and backlinks for your business. This indirectly creates more visibility online and offline, and if used strategically, can greatly supplement your digital marketing efforts.
Contact a Digital Marketing Company to Learn More
While there is no denying that the proper use of digital marketing methods can greatly increase your online visibility, conversions, and revenue, many business owners do not know where to start. That is the exact scenario where a digital marketing agency can help. A professional digital marketing agency can determine the absolute best type(s) of marketing methods for your business goals and objectives, as well as create a custom roadmap for successfully marketing your unique business. Contact a digital marketing agency today in order to get started on your custom digital marketing campaign and greatly increase your qualified business leads.