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The guide below will explore the different types of digital marketing that businesses use to find their audiences online and engage them with meaningful content.

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Digital marketing is such a huge part of all our lives now that it can be hard to realize where it starts and ends. The average person in the US sees between six and ten thousand ads per day, and advertisements are one of many forms of digital marketing. Content Marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are all digital marketing strategies used by many companies to sell more products. So what are the types of e marketing and how do we sort through all the noise to find out which type will let us achieve our goals? Keep reading to find out!

What Are the Types of Digital Marketing?

No matter how you divide and classify them, there are many different digital marketing types and channels. These are some of the most common and most popular:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
    • Include most searched for keywords
    • Structure website for best organic search results
  • Social media marketing
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Tik Tok
  • Content marketing
    • Website text
    • Blogs
    • Press Releases
    • Email marketing
    • Newsletters
    • Offers and discount alerts
  • Paid advertising
    • Google ads
    • Boosted posts

This list can be a little confusing because many of these types can work together and be part of the same overall digital marketing strategy. For example, writing compelling content increases SEO, and you can share your latest newsletter on your company's social media accounts. Since exactly how to classify and organize the different kinds of digital marketing can be such a challenge, let’s look at what some of the most common ways they are broken down: platforms and channels.

1 Types of Digital Marketing - What are the types of digital marketing-1

How Many Platforms Are There in Digital Marketing?

Another way to talk about digital marketing is with the types of digital marketing platforms companies use. A digital marketing platform is something that connects marketers with consumers online. These platforms allow potential customers to:

  • Form a relationship with the company, including 2-way communication
  • Be targeted and receive personalized marketing messages from the company
  • Be converted from high-quality leads into paying customer

What Is Digital Marketing Strategy?

Creating a digital marketing strategy is deciding what goals your company has, then planning how to do digital marketing to make them happen. Here is an example of the steps you could use to begin developing a strategy:

  1. Define your target audience - Who are you trying to reach?
  2. Establish where this target audience is online - What platforms are they already using?
  3. Identify best practices for digital marketing on that platform - How do you get them to see you there?
  4. Consistently use them - This is where to spend your digital marketing time and money.

This set of steps lets you narrow down which of the types of digital marketing to focus on. Since there are so many to choose from, businesses can usually get the best return on marketing investment by picking just a few that are most likely to connect to their target audience and focusing on doing these well, instead of trying to do every type of digital marketing at once and diluting their effect.

What Are Steps in a Digital Marketing Strategy

What Are the Various Models in Digital Marketing?

If you are looking for ways to use models to help you plan and execute your digital marketing, you are not short on choice. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways to collect and analyze data to influence digital marketing strategies. Here are just a few of the most popular:

  • The 7 P’s (product, promotion, price, place, people, processes, physical evidence)
  • Boston consulting group matrix
  • Brand positioning map
  • Customer lifetime value marketing models
  • Growth strategy matrix/Ansoff matrix
  • Loyalty ladder marketing models
  • PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal, and economic)
  • Porter’s Five Forces - (rivalry, supplier power, threat of substitutes, buyer power, and barriers to entry)
  • Product life cycle
  • Segmentation, targeting, and positioning
  • PR Smith’s SOSTAC® model (situation, objectives, strategy, tactics, actions, and control)

We can't tell you which method to use, or spend all day explaining the nuances of each one. Instead, keep in mind the main idea of all of these is to look closely at how your product or service interacts with customers, the industry, and the inner workings of your business. They seek to find a way to qualify, organize, and codify your observations that can be tracked over time and make it easier to make educated marketing decisions.

Which Type of Digital Marketing Is Best?

Unfortunately, there is no one type of digital marketing that is best for every company in every situation. In general, it is best to combine several different forms of digital marketing to create an overall strategy that allows you to connect best with your customers.

2 Types of Digital Marketing - Combine several different forms of digital marketing quote-1

For a brick-and-mortar retail company, this may be paid advertisements for local searches combined with regular postings to Facebook when new products arrive and collecting customer email addresses when people are in the store to email coupons and upcoming events. For a global Software as a Service (SaaS) company, this may be sponsoring online conferences, paid promotion by influencers in the field, and daily posts on a LinkedIn page.

What Is the Rule of 7 in Marketing for Digital Spaces?

One best practice for everyone, regardless of which type of digital marketing you use, is that most people need to see your messaging at least seven times before they are ready to buy your product. This is called “The Rule of Seven.”

It can be very challenging to get your brand in front of your target audience seven times using just one digital marketing platform or channel - simply because these spaces have so many competing voices. Most brands will have a much better chance of being seen seven times by a potential customer if they use many different approaches.

For example, if you are selling running shoes online, a customer may encounter you in these seven ways:

  1. They do a search for the best shoes for running, and your blog on the topic is top-ranked on their search engine.
  2. They engage with a chatbot that pops up when they are reading your blog that asks if they want to follow your brand on Facebook for more running tips.
  3. They see your Facebook post about a new shoe style.
  4. They watch a video on your Facebook with 5 quick running tips.
  5. They intentionally visit your website and sign up for your newsletter to gain access to a running training plan you published.
  6. They read your newsletter and see a running shoe they want.
  7. They visit the shopping page of your website and make their first purchase.

What Are Two Examples of Digital Marketing?

In the example above, about the seven ways a customer might interact with your brand before they are ready to make a purchase, we looked at digital marketing from the potential customer standpoint. Now let’s go through the same example from the marketer’s standpoint. We’ll then go through another example with a different kind of company, so you can see how the types of digital marketing can work for a wide range of businesses.

Example 1: Online Retail - Running Shoe World

Going back to the simple breakdown of the main digital marketing types from the beginning of this article, we’ll break down how our online running shoes store uses each one in their strategy for selling more shoes.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Blogs on commonly searched problems for their potential customers to drive organic website traffic
    • Well run and maintained website keeping up with best practices for SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
    • Active on a variety of social media platforms that their customers use most often
    • Create a range of types of posts ( like photos of newly stocked shoes, videos of running tips)
  • Content marketing - creating the copy for:
    • Blogs
    • Social media posts
    • Video scripts
    • Gated high-value content to drive newsletter signup (like a running training plan)
  • Email marketing
    • Writing high-quality email content that provides value to readers
    • Using other parts of the digital marketing strategy to drive email signups
  • Paid advertisements
    • Use advertising budget to increase traffic to best conversion sources
    • Increase customer awareness of the brand

Example 2: SaaS for Business to Consumers - Bird Watchers R Us

The next of our digital marketing examples will be with a hypothetical app for birdwatchers, that lets them track bird species, alerts them to migration events, and allows them to connect to other bird watchers. They are selling their digital services directly to consumers, instead of a physical product. Here’s how they might use the different types of digital marketing:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Regularly release content on important topics to bird watchers like:
      • When do Canada geese migrate?
      • What is the most elusive bird species in the midwest?
      • How do I meet other bird watchers?
    • Make sure the content is organized so search engines recognize Bird Watchers R Us as a topic authority - DemandJump can help create a pillar plan to do just that.
  • Social Media Marketing
    • Create accounts on multiple social media platforms their potential customers use most often
    • Encourage users to tag them in sharing photos the birds they spot
  • Content Marketing
    • Write blogs on topics most often searched by bird watchers
    • Generate high quality birding guides that can only be accessed through the app
  • Email Marketing
    • Use in-app messaging to connect to customers within your own platform
    • Use email to promote a discounts or rewards programs for app users
  • Paid Advertisements
    • Use data from your other strategies to find the most searched keywords that result in customer conversions
    • Spend ad dollars on those highest-ranking words and phrases to add fuel to other marketing types

DemandJump: Your Number One Marketing Strategy Platform

Keeping up on all the types of digital marketing is exhausting for anyone. That’s why DemandJump makes it as easy as possible! We show you the exact content to create and how to link it all together to best reach your target audience. Creating content for digital marketing runs throughout all the forms of digital marketing, and knowing which questions your customers are asking will let you rank higher for all of them. Try it for free today!