Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. While this term covers a wide range of marketing activities, all of which are not universally agreed upon, we focus on the most common types.

Digital Marketing includes online marketing activities – but strictly speaking, that also includes some offline marketing activities, too. And that is good. Why? Because it would be a mistake to view online marketing activities totally detached from all other marketing activities.

To give you a thorough understanding of what the term “Digital marketing” includes, here are the 10 most important types of digital marketing. 

1. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.

Social media marketing is the targeted use of social media conversations to increase the awareness of your business. Each social network has unique features, communication best practices and content they like. Some social networks will work great for your situation, product and content – others won’t.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is the art of using storytelling and valuable information to increase brand awareness with the goal of getting your target audience to take a profitable action. Content marketing aims at building relationships with potential customers and becoming a partner rather than an advertiser.

Quote Content Marketing

Content Marketing strongly relies on content distribution. Content marketing can rarely be seen totally separated from other types of digital marketing that can fill the content distribution part. 

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimising content or websites so that they show up in search results in search engines like Google. Search engines decide which websites to show for a search term based on keywords mentioned on the website and links that refer to this website. That means SEO has a lot to do with using the right keywords or key phrases in the copy of a website or within the content you want to show in search and getting links to this website or content.

Quote SEO Neil Patel

There are multiple strategies for optimising your website(s) for search engines – some of them are accepted by Google and others are regarded rather shady and may result in Google penalizing your website. 

There is a strong connection between content, social media marketing, and SEO. 

4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

While SEO describes the process of getting unpaid traffic from search engines – SEM refers to the paid traffic from search engines. The most common form of search engine marketing is probably Google Adwords for the simple reason that Google is by far the most used search engine.

SEM

In SEM the search engine is paid a predefined amount of money for showing a marketing message at various places within the search results for specified keywords or phrases – in the form of Pay-Per-Click advertising.

5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Similar to SEM other forms of PPC advertising also describe marketing methods where the marketer pays for each click on a link to a website. Apart from search engines, almost all social networks offer the opportunity for Pay Per Click advertising. These ads then appear in the feed of the targeted social media users.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based type of digital marketing. In contrast to PPC advertising with affiliate marketing, the advertiser does not pay for traffic but rather for conversions. The rates are usually higher but the risk on the side of the advertiser are limited since he only pays for conversions.

7. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best converting marketing channels. By sending regular updates to your email subscribers you can build and nurture a relationship. By providing value with your email updates you can build trust – eventually, you will be able to turn a percentage of your audience into customers.

Quote Neil Patel Email

Email marketing is far more than buying an email list and bombarding them with promotional messages or a one-time advertising spot in someone else’s email newsletter.

The best results from email marketing will always be achieved with a list of subscribers you personally earned and nurtured. Then your email list can easily turn into your best digital marketing asset.

8. Radio advertising

You know what we are referring to, don’t you? Those breaks in your favorite music program where someone tells you what car to buy or what cleaner to use. Some of these spots can be rather annoying, a select few manage to be entertaining – at least when you hear them the first time.

9. Television advertising

It is not dead yet: The spot that breaks up your favorite television program. While we are more and more getting used to finding ways to omit having to actually watch TV commercials there is still some marketing success in TV advertising.

In fact, some spots like the ones created for Super Bowl make it to some notable marketing fame. Some of the best Super Bowl spots even make it to social media fame and get a ton of shares that the advertisers do not have to pay for – or rather which is probably calculated into the price of advertising space for Super Bowl anyway.

10. Mobile Phone Advertising

Of course, many of the above types of digital marketing can take place on your mobile phone. You are probably using Facebook, Instagram, and Google on your mobile phone after all. But there are some other types of marketing on your mobile phone that so far would not fit into any of the mentioned categories.