What are the different types of digital marketing?

Digital Marketing isn't just a buzzword thrown around in networking circles anymore; it's an absolute must for any business to succeed. We already know what digital marketing is. And now the fact that the amount of time we spend on our electric devices is increasing daily, in fact, Americans spend over 11 hours a day on them! Being that close to spending all our time on these digital devices, digital marketing is more critical now than ever before. It is clear that now without digital marketing efforts, you stand to reach almost no one. So, with that in mind, what are the different types of digital marketing, and how can you utilise them for your business.

Types of Digital Marketing.

Below are six types of Digital Marketing. However, it is worth noting that there are more than the 6 I cover below.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation      (SEO)
  2. Pay Per Click Advertising            (PPC)
  3. Social Media Marketing            (SMM)
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Mobile
  6. Email Marketing

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 

SEO or Search Engine Marketing is a type of digital marketing

Search EngineOptimisation or SEO refers to the efforts you take to grow your visibility on the Organic (Non-Paid) Search Engine Results. Search Engine Results pages or SERPs are delivered to a searcher when they use a search engine such as Google or Bing for a specific set of keywords. Each searcher receives a personalised result page or pages based on their location, keywords and browsing history.

The non-paid organic results are displayed as a list and are ranked according to the search engines algorithm. As users' interactions with online content have changed, so have the algorithms. The Higher you rank on a SERP the more traffic your website gets. But how do you get your website to rank at the top?

Search Engine Optimisation includes many factors from links to your website from other places to keywords in your content. It is both On-Page and Off-Page. Please read my blog post on what is SEO for a more in-depth understanding.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC or Pay-Per-Click is a type of Digital Marketing

Pay-Per-ClickAdvertising or PPC refers to when an advertiser pays a fee every time their ad is clicked on. In a basic for its just buying traffic to your website, as opposed on trying to 'earn' those visits organically.

Search engine advertising is the most popular form of PPC. Using Google or Bing, for example, it allows the advertiser to bid on ad placement in the search engines sponsored links when someone searches for a particular keyword. The keyword would be directly related to their business offering, for example, If WE bid on 'Digital Marketing Agency' our ad might feature at the top of the results page, and we would pay every time the ad is clicked on, if done well the fee should be superficial, as the visit would be worth more than you pay for it, for example, say we pay £5 for a click but the visit generates us £5000 in sales then we've made a good profit!

A lot goes into a successful PPC campaign, from researching and choosing the right Keywords and then organising those keywords into well-organised campaigns and ad groups, to setting up PPC Landing Pages that are optimised for conversions. Search Engines reward advertisers for creating relevant, well-targeted PPC campaigns with a 'Quality score' which helps the advertiser pay less for each click, which leads to higher profits for your company, so it's essential to learn how to do PPC right if you wish to use the method.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM or Social Media Marketing is a type of digital marketing

Social MediaMarketing is the use of Social Media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, drive website traffic, and increase sales. This involves publishing content that's relevant and engaging to your target audience on your social media profiles, engaging with, and listening to your audience, running social media advertisements and analysing your results.

The major Social Media platforms (currently) are:

  • Facebook – with 2.85 Billion Monthly Active Users
  • YouTube – 2.29 billion MAU
  • WhatsApp – 2.0 billion MAU
  • Instagram – 1.38 billion MAU
  • Facebook Messenger- 1.3 billion MAU
  • Wechat – 1.2 billion  MAU  

Source: Statista

The main idea of marketing is to reach your customers where they are, and with those stats, you can see where they are, and why Social Media Marketing has become an essential part of Digital Marketing.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a type of digital marketing

 ContentMarketing has become a prevalent method of Digital Marketing, bringing in better customers who have more loyalty, saving costs and increasing sales. It is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content consistently to attract, delight and retain your target audience – and ultimately drive that audience down your sales funnel.

Content marketing has been used for some time now with one of the earliest examples being John Deere's customer magazine 'The Furrow' which was released in 1895 which now has a 1.5 million circulation in 40 different countries and 12 different languages!

Marketing is impossible without great content

It doesn't matter which marketing type you are using; content marketing supports it and therefore should be part of your process

  • Inbound marketing: content is vital to driving inbound traffic and leads.
  • SEO: search engines reward businesses that provide quality, consistent content.
  • PPC: for PPC to be fully optimised you need content behind it.
  • Social Media Marketing: Your content strategy should drive your social media strategy.
  • Inbound marketing: Good quality content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.

Forms of content used in content marketing include,


If you want to be competitive in the busy digital marketplace grabbing your audience's attention, video is a sure-fire way of doing just that. One-third of all online activity is spent watching video!


E Books can be used as a form of content, in Content Marketing

eBooks are a great long-form, form of content that businesses can offer as a lead magnet. They should bring value to the leads, and therefore should provide useful information on the audience's needs and challenges, not just a 5 to a 10-page advert. As with most forms of marketing, it's not about selling to your audience, but building a relationship with target customers, to build trust so they will come to when they are ready to make a purchase.

Typically, gated eBooks are great for getting leads as visitors must provide some type of information about themselves (i.e. email address, mobile number, etc) in order to download the eBook.


Checklists can be used as a form of content, in Content Marketing

Checklists are designed to show the things to do in a step-by-step process to achieve the desired outcome. Providing significant value to the target audience this type of worksheet are great content assets for small businesses as they are easy to create and promote. After they have been created, they can be shared on your social media or even incorporated into a blog post.

White Papers

White Papers can be used as a form of content, in Content Marketing

White Papers are similar to eBooks. A White paper is another way of providing long-form content as a lead magnet, the main difference between eBooks and White Papers is that white papers tend to be more information-dense, detail-focused, and data-driven. This makes White Papers one of the best types of lead magnets for B2B marketing and other small businesses who want to build on their thought leadership to gain respect within their industry.

Social Media Posts

Social media posts can be used as a form of content, in Content Marketing

Its no secret now that small businesses must leverage the power of social media to reach their target audience. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram enable businesses to reach new audiences while nurturing existing relationships with customers. The content you produce, and share plays an essential role in how your company engages with its new leads and existing customers. 

There are many ways to use social media in your content strategy, and how you do so will depend on what your goals are, for example, if the goal is conversion you could use social media posts to introduce new leads to products.

Case Studies

Case Studies are another valuable form of content. They are basically customer stories that illustrate how your business or brand has helped a specific customer or client become successful.

Businesses can use case studies to highlight special applications or uses for their services and products.

Gifs and Memes

It seems like everywhere you look nowadays there's a meme or a gif that's been shared by someone, and these have become extremely popular among consumers. Being so shareable GIFs and memes have solidified their importance in culture.

Memes are typically images that have gone viral online or screenshots from movies with a funny caption on, there has been a recent trend of motivational quotes being posted on an inspirational image.

Like Memes GIFs are a fun way to communicate. Animated images that resonate with the general public, GIFs can be shared on a variety of different platforms, including social media and email.


Infographics can be used as a form of content, in Content Marketing

Infographics provide businesses with an opportunity to educate their audiences and provide useful information that can add value for leads and customers. It is a visual content marketing format that helps viewers better visualise data such as statistics, so that they can have a better idea of how something works or why something is valuable.


Blogging is the most popular type of content marketing for small businesses. With 24 blog posts being uploaded to WordPress every second! And there's a good reason for it; blogs are a great way to improve SEO and therefore drive more organic traffic to your site from the search engines. The valuable content you provide helps to build relationships with your leads and your current customers, the more relevant content you provide, the more likely someone is to consider your brand before making a purchase. Blogging should be done with a strategy in place after keyword research has shown you what people are searching for, you can consider what other topics or questions might be relevant and create blog content around these topics. Neil Patels ubersuggest is an excellent tool for generating blog post ideas.

Mobile Marketing

  Mobile Marketing is the art of delivering your marketing for your business, in order to attract customers who are using their mobile devices. The amount that people use their mobile devices is going up year on year and therefore the importance of reaching people with your marketing there has increased too. Done correctly, Mobile Marketing is providing customers or potential customers using their smartphones, for example, with location-and-time sensitive information so that they get what they need exactly when they need it. Even if they're on the go! Mobile Marketing consists of many forms and is continually changing, but it mainly consists of delivering ads to people's smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, the way you do this varies widely and it's best that you have a mobile marketing strategy. The kind that works best for your business depends on your budget and what your target audience is. Types of mobile marketing include:

Mobile Marketing is a typ of Digital Marketing


SMS marketing is not considered fashionable and is out of date nowadays. It involves getting your prospects mobile number and texting them offers.

In-game mobile marketing:

In-game Mobile Marketing is the Video ads, banner pop-ups, or even the full-page image ads that appear within mobile games. Typically, these appear during the loading screens or with the case of the video ads, you have to watch them to get a reward i.e. extra life, etc.

App-based Marketing:

Google's Ad mob allows advertisers to create mobile ads that appear in third-party apps, meaning that to use this type of Mobile Marketing, you no longer need to create an app.

Mobile search ads:

Mobile search ads are basic Google search ads built for mobiles, often they feature extra add-on features such as view map or click to call.

Mobile image ads:

Mobile image ads are again basic Google image-based ads that are designed to appear on mobile.

Location-based marketing:

Location-based mobile ads appear within a set radius, based upon a user's location in relation to that area. For example, a café business might only want to serve their ads to people local to the café to target people more likely to visit, so they could target people that are within a mile radius of the cafe

QR codes:

QR codes ca be used in digital marketing

QR codes are associated with a specific website, which once scanned the user is taken to. QR codes tend to have an element of mystery attached to them as users don't necessarily know where they are being taken; they are often aligned with mobile gamification.

An example of QR code used in Digital Marketing

As said before Mobile Marketing is constantly changing, while old methods get left behind, new ones appear daily, with Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, this may lead the way for ads being served in that app too.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a type of Digital Marketing

Email marketing essentially is the modern form of the traditional mail marketing, since the birth of the internet it has become an essential tool for businesses. It is a form of direct marketing that involves using electronic mail to communicate commercial messages to an audience. Messages can have the purpose of enhancing a relationship between a business's current or previous customers to encourage loyalty and repeat business, or to acquire new customers. Email Marketing has several advantages over traditional mail marketing; you can track an exact return on investment which has proven to be high when actioned correctly, transactional emails enable businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events like basket abandonment or purchases, over half of all internet users check or send emails daily, email allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalised, relevant, dynamic messages. With the recent advancements with GDPR, the idea of 'opt-in' emailing, whereby the consumer consents to receiving the emails, therefore eliminating the concept of receiving unsolicited emails, the disadvantages of email marketing surrounding the rejection/spam rate of the emails by the consumers' email mail client has been somewhat eliminated. Done either by yourself or through an email marketing agency, email marketing is cheap, the emails can be targeted specifically to the ideal customer so its no wonder that email marketing's ROI often blows other direct marketing types out of the water. With the analytics available today its much easier to track responses to your emails so that you can work out which parts of your campaign are working, and which are not. With this information, you can change and optimise your campaigns instantly.

The marketing industry is one of constant change and growth, new channels are coming up, old ones are dying. New skills and tactics are being continuously invented, developing a successful online marketing strategy involves a lot of knowledge, skills and even trial and error. If you want to decide on a digital marketing strategy, you'll do well to keep these six in mind, they all interact with each other, and a proper strategy will combine multiple channels, for more on writing a digital marketing strategy click here.   

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