Types of Digital Marketing

We are commonly asked what is a digital marketing and the types of digital marketing.

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into eight main types including:

  • Content Marketing,
  • Search Engine Optimization,
  • Search Engine Marketing,
  • Social Media Marketing,
  • Pay-per-Click Advertising,
  • Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing and
  • Instant Messaging Marketing.

Ideally, you should choose to use most of the eight types as digital marketing is a system. We certainly do not recommend using a piecemeal approach whereby using only one type of marketing.

But let’s unpack these main types of digital marketing.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing | Types of digital marketing

Content marketing is a type of digital marketing that focuses on creating and distributing content for a target audience. The content aims at being valuable, relevant, and (ideally) consistent. Its ultimate goal is to drive profitable customer action. The most important part is “valuable” and “relevant”. The target audience should want to seek your content out and consume it. So content marketing is part of every other digital marketing activity, be it social media marketing, SEO, or email marketing.

Examples of content marketing include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. If you want to learn about content marketing and improve your career by obtaining an international certification, click HERE.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization aka SEO is the process of getting quality traffic from free/organic search results on the search engines (like Google, Bing, or Yahoo). The reason we say “quality traffic” is that the traffic you drive to your website must be relevant to your industry. If you manage to attract a high volume of visitors searching for Apple computers while what you actually do is selling candy apples, the traffic will be of no use. By optimizing your content, like this blog post, for search engines, you can see an incremental increase in the stream of relevant traffic to your website.

Without search engine optimization, your target market simply won’t be able to find you on the Internet. This makes SEO one of the most important types of digital marketing. Some techniques for SEO optimization include: researching relevant keywords and including them into your website copy, optimizing your website titles, description, and improving the loading speed of your website pages.

Do you want to learn the benefits of how your website content, mobile optimization, and usability will improve your overall website performance? If the answer is yes, click HERE.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The term “search engine marketing” was initially used as an umbrella term for gaining both paid and free search traffic. Over time, the term “SEM”, or Search Engine Marketing became the term solely for paid activities. So, what does this type of digital marketing mean?

Search engine marketing refers to a form of digital marketing that aims at increasing the visibility of a website in search engines by using paid methods. In other words, it’s the ads you put out there on Google AdWords and Bing Ads. You can point out the paid search results in Google by the little sign “Ad” at the beginning of the URL and Google puts these pages first in the search results.

By combining SEO and SEM, you can drive great quality traffic to your website. With the help of search engine marketing, you can put yourself in front of an audience that is actively searching for services and brands like yours. Sounds hectic? Learn the basics HERE.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing is no doubt the most popular type of digital marketing and refers to the process of using social media platforms to attract traffic and attention. By using social media, you can increase exposure and build meaningful relationships with your customers. Everybody can benefit from SMM as a type of digital marketing. It is all about listening to what your customers have to say, engaging in the conversation, and sharing valuable content consistently.

Together, content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing constitute what is called “inbound marketing”. It is a marketing method that aims at attracting, engaging, and clinching leads. One of the goals of inbound marketing includes attracting users’ attention, driving relevant traffic to the website, and converting it into happy customers.

If you wish to fast-track your social media marketing skills, get job-ready competencies and a globally recognized certification, click HERE.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC Advertising | Types of digital marketing

Pay-per-click is a model of advertising where marketers pay a fee every time people click on their ad. Basically, it’s the process of buying visits to your site, as opposed to getting them organically via SEO or other types of digital marketing. PPC is one of the types of paid search. It’s similar to SEM (search engine marketing) but can also include display advertising (cost-per-click based), and affiliate advertising, which is our next type of digital marketing.

If you wish to fast-track your Paid Media advertising expertise and PPC fundamentals including the importance of keyword strategy, Google Ads campaign optimization, bidding strategy, and budget management, click HERE.


Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the popular ways people make money online. If your affiliate program is successful, you might earn quite a decent passive income. Affiliate marketing is a type of digital marketing where a business or person, partners up with other businesses in order to receive a commission for the traffic s/he generates for this business. Imagine this: you put a link to an external website on your own blog or website. Every time a user proceeds to this external website and makes a purchase, you receive a commission. This marketing strategy might work especially well for bloggers since they can write different types of articles on the given topic and naturally include affiliate links. Businesses can also partake of this by working with such bloggers for quality traffics.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most popular and important types of digital marketing.

Did you know that the Return on Investment (ROI) for email marketing is 44x for every $1 spent? So to put it shortly, email marketing it’s the use of email for promoting one’s products or services. And that is how you might be reading this article – as you followed the link from an email.

Email marketing also works as a way of building relationships with your customers. Ideally, emails you send out to your clients should not only speak to them but also encourage meaningful interaction with your brand. There are many things that contribute to the success of your email marketing strategy, from the content you create to the time you send your emails. One thing is certain, though; email marketing is far from being dead and should definitely be an integral part of your overall digital marketing approach and strategy.

One thing email marketing requires is a lead capture strategy. Lead capture grows your email list by collecting email addresses through techniques that usually involve lead magnets (content or offers that trigger the fear of missing out / FOMO). The goal of lead capture is to convert visitors into customers. Want to learn more, access this short course with international certification.

Instant Messaging Marketing

Instant messengers are the latest communication trend. According to Statista  they are 1.5 billion people globally using WhatsApp on a monthly basis, followed by Facebook Messenger and WeChat in China.

If you want to be where your audience is, join and use instant messaging marketing. This type of digital marketing exploded over the last couple of years. People are much more likely to trust the information sent via a messenger (as if it comes from a good friend) than email or SMS that are vulnerable to spam. There are different ways how you can proceed with instant messaging marketing, from using them for customer support to updating your users about new posts on your blog.

To conclude. There are other types of digital marketing but these eight will give you a solid starting point. You don’t necessarily have to start with all eight at the same time. Choose a few that match where your audiences are and that suits your business, then experiment, and measure the results to improve your efforts… then repeat!

Want to learn more about these and other important aspects of digital marketing? Select from our range of internationally certified short courses that are designed and validated by global digital industry experts.

We have courses to suit all needs and experience levels. All are delivered online, in bite-sized, innovative, and interactive learning formats. And when you join us you will become a member of DMI as a professional member and receive a free Continued Profesional Development (CPD) Membership. Interested? Click HERE.


Always get the latest News and Advice