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Digital Marketing

The 7 Types of Digital Marketing: A Beginner’s Primer for 2023

If you’ve been looking for a beginner-level breakdown around the different types of digital marketing, this post is for you.

Digital marketing is a popular way to reach consumers, and each type has its own strengths. I’ll cover the seven digital marketing types and give you a high-level overview of each. 

Let’s get started!

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for marketing products or services using digital channels. 

It differs from traditional marketing because digital marketing uses technologies, such as social media platforms and search engines, to connect businesses and brands with its customers.

The 7 Most Common Types of Digital Marketing (With Examples)

1. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves working with people who have an audience you’d like to reach. 

You pay a fee to these influencers to feature your product or service on their blog, social channels, videos or podcasts. You may request a combination of those platforms. 

Influencer marketing has become popular in the past few years because consumers trust influencers more than they trust the marketing materials coming from a business or brand. 

There are two common misconceptions about influencer marketing. 

First, you might think it’s better to work with celebrities than influencers because celebrities have larger followings. But the opposite is true. 

Influencers often have more engaged audiences than celebrities because influencers have more authentic interactions with their followers. These interactions build a relationship where followers have more trust in the influencer’s recommendation than that of a celebrity.

The second misconception is similar in theme:

Don’t discount the influence of nano-and-micro-influencers.

They, too, often have a very engaged community of followers. Higher engagement typically leads to more sales.

Examples of Influencer Marketing

One example of influencer marketing is Nick Offerman promoting Lagavulin whiskey on YouTube.

Another example would be Ryanne Janca, aka The Recruiter Mom. Here she promotes a Land’s End jacket to her Instagram followers.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a website’s search engine rankings for improved visibility in search results. SEO covers both on-page, off-page and technical optimization. 

On-page optimization improves the website’s content and design to increase its relevance to search terms and improve its rankings in search results. 

Off-page optimization increases the number of high-quality websites that link to your website. These links are known as backlinks. The more backlinks you have from quality websites in your niche, the more Google trusts that your site delivers good content to searchers. 

Technical SEO tackles a website’s code and other technical aspects, like site speed and metadata, to improve the user experience. 

SEO has been an important digital marketing strategy since the 1990s. SEO is often used alongside other methods, like content marketing and paid search marketing.

Examples of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is an example of a Live Your Message blog post that ranks on page one of Google search results for the term “personal branding examples.”

Content like this brings organic search traffic to LYM regularly. 

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing is video, audio, or written content that attracts consumer attention. Blogs, infographics and case studies are common content marketing assets. 

Video marketing is in high demand and shows no signs of slowing down. Videos are highly engaging and help your audience feel emotionally connected to your brand. 

Video marketing usually consists of videos uploaded to a hosting platform like YouTube. But it also includes live streams on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. 

Audio marketing is the practice of using recorded or streaming audio to promote a product or service. Audio is very popular because people can consume it while working out, cleaning the house or running errands. Common types of audio marketing include podcasts and audiobooks.

Examples of Content Marketing

These videos from Scott Friesen of Simpletivity are a great example of content marketing via video. Friesen creates free content that helps knowledge workers get organized. This content promotes Scott and his services.

The Gary Vee Audio Experience is an example of using audio content marketing to grow your brand and promote yourself as a thought leader.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is leveraging social media platforms to increase brand awareness, promote a product or service, generate leads, or increase customer loyalty and engagement. 

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are excellent promotional tools because they provide businesses with a direct line to customers. Companies can interact with their customers and target markets through its social media profiles, posts, direct messages, live videos and advertisements.

Mobile marketing is closely connected to social media marketing and has quickly emerged as a solid digital marketing strategy

Businesses use a variety of mobile marketing strategies, such as push notifications, location-based marketing and mobile ads, to connect with their target audience.

Examples of Social Media Marketing

Interactive posts like this one from Target are a great way to get engagement from your followers. Interacting with your target audience helps build the know, like, and trust factor.

This HubSpot post on LinkedIn is an example of using social media marketing to build authority. By providing valuable information to your followers, you position yourself as an expert on your topic.

5. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising involves promoting a product or service through online ads. The goal is to generate clicks to your website or landing pages.

Pay-per-click advertising is one popular form of paid advertising. PPC ads are displayed at the top of search results, social media feeds, on website sidebars or even inside places like job boards and phone apps. 

Display advertising involves promoting a product or service through online ads that typically appear as banners or sidebar ads. 

Search engine marketing is promoting a website on search engines like Google. These are the ads you see at the top of a page when you search for a keyword.

Ads are great because you can target specific audiences based on keywords, demographics, interests and behaviors. 

The downside to ads is that people develop ad blindness, which means they’re immune to most online advertising. Plus, once you stop advertising, the leads generated by your previous ad campaigns typically stop coming in.

 Examples of Paid Advertising

The ads you see on YouTube are an example of paid advertising. 

You also find ads at the top and bottom of the page of Google search results. All ads are clearly marked.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you pay a commission, usually a percentage of the product’s price, to someone who promotes your products or services to their audience. It’s an effective way to get your products and services in front of more people.

The main benefit of an affiliate marketing is cost. It’s often less expensive to pay affiliates to promote your products than to market them in other ways. 

The downside to affiliate marketing is that it takes time to build up your affiliate marketing program. Affiliates need to trust that your products are worth putting in front of their audience. 

Examples of Affiliate Marketing

This example is from Pat Flynn’s guide to email marketing. As an affiliate of ConvertKit, he recommends using ConvertKit as your email service provider. For every person who signs up with ConvertKit using Pat’s affiliate link, he will earn a commission.

This is an example of the affiliate commissions John Lee Dumas earns from the recommendations he makes to his podcast listeners.

7. Email Marketing

Email marketing involves sending emails to people who’ve subscribed to your email list. 

Businesses use a variety of email marketing tactics, including welcome emails, re-engagement emails, promotional emails, follow-up emails and event emails. 

You can set your emails up to send at specified times to specified audiences. For example, you can set up a welcome email campaign to go out to new subscribers when they join your email list.

Email marketing remains one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to grow your audience, increase conversions, and build lasting relationships with your customers. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you earn $36 back.

And email marketing providers and services have made it incredibly easy for businesses to create email campaigns and track their results. These tools make it easy for companies to stay in touch with their audience, provide value and drive more sales.

Examples of Email Marketing

This is an example of a store using email to alert subscribers to a sale.

Here, HubSpot uses email to provide value to their subscribers with helpful content delivered right to their inboxes.

Which of These Types of Digital Marketing Speaks to You Most?

With seven types of digital marketing, you have many options you can pursue. Which of these grabs your attention and gets you the most excited about marketing your business?

Let me know in a comment below!

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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