Digital marketing (sometimes called online marketing) refers to the act of promoting and selling products or services through online channels such as emails, websites, search engines, and social media. There are a variety of ways to undertake digital marketing and numerous channels that marketers can use to connect with current and potential customers. Here are some of the most common forms of digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEO is a powerful segment of digital marketing. The objective of an SEO agency is to optimize a brand’s online presence to enable it to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). This creates an increase in organic traffic and more leads. There are numerous processes in SEO that are grouped into three main categories: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
- On-page SEO involves making changes to the pages of a business website. Some on-page SEO actions include adding META tags, ensuring proper content structure, and checking for appropriate keyword use.
- Off-page SEO involves taking actions to boost the value of a business website in the eyes of search engines. Effective off-page SEO techniques focus on building a quality brand mentions and backlinks.
- Technical SEO concerns itself with the back-end aspects of business website such as load time and script cleanliness. Because search engines focus on user experience, sites with better technical qualities rank higher.
Where SEO aims to increase organic traffic, SEM is the process by which marketers promote a brand through paid advertising. Google Ads is one of the top SEM channels. When a business pays for ads, their listings appear at the top of SERPs and are more prominent than organic listings. Therefore, they enjoy an instant increase in visibility.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a way of increasing traffic to a website through paid ads. Since it is “pay-per-click”, businesses only need to pay for an ad if a user clicks on it. Google Ads is an example of a PPC advertising channel. Some other channels where brands can hold PPC advertising campaigns are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Marketers can set a maximum bid per click or a budget for the entire campaign.
Content marketing refers to the creation and promotion of content that is relevant and beneficial to a brand’s target audience. After it is published, this content is promoted through other digital marketing processes such as SEO or social media marketing to obtain additional reach.
Through content marketing, brands can increase visibility, prove their credibility, and generate traffic and leads. Businesses can create unique content for marketing in several formats. Here are some examples.
- Blog posts are the easiest and most widespread form of content marketing. Brands can write posts and publish them on their corporate blog. The posts demonstrate their industry expertise and also provide an opportunity to improve SEO.
- White papers or eBooks are long-form content produced for the expressed purpose of education and providing information. While the content may be free to download, readers generally have to exchange their contact information to obtain access.
- Webinars are online seminars where brands can impart valuable knowledge or skills to viewers. Webinars help to position brands as leaders in their field. Viewers will likewise have to register to attend webinars, leaving their contact information.
Social Media Marketing
With millions of users on social media daily, businesses should promote their products or services on social media to increase brand awareness and generate leads. Social media marketing is effective because most modern consumers prefer peer recommendations to brand advertising.
There are a variety of social media channels to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and more. Some digital marketing tools allow marketers to schedule content for all their social media marketing channels through a single dashboard.
Partner marketing is a frequent occurrence in social media marketing. Brands can partner with influencers or independent content creators to promote their products and connect with a niche audience. They can also take advantage of viral trends and create relevant content to get views.
Affiliate marketing is where brands offer a commission to third-party sites or content creators who promote their products or services. An example of a successful affiliate program is Amazon Associates where websites sell Amazon products and receive a small percentage of each sale. Businesses can use affiliate marketing models to get existing customers to recruit new prospects or recommend their products to other users.
Despite being one of the oldest online marketing methods, email marketing remains an effective approach. Email marketing campaigns are typically used to nurture customer relationships and persuade customers to follow up their interest with purchases. An example of email marketing can be offering exclusive discounts on new products to email subscribers. This provides an incentive for users to continue receiving marketing material.
There are many forms of digital marketing to help businesses reach a wide audience and hit their growth targets. While each digital marketing method is useful on its own, a combination of two or more methods is ideal to achieve the most impressive results.