Instead of broadcasting a one-size-fits-all message, digital marketing is about delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.
You can get your products and services in front of the people most likely to buy from you.
In this guide, you'll learn about the 12 different types of digital marketing you can use to grow your business.
Let's dive in.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing includes a range of tactics and technologies used to reach potential customers on digital channels. It helps companies get found online and provide the experiences that modern customers want.
In 2022, marketers are dedicating more of their budgets to digital marketing and reducing investment in offline channels:
Print ads, TV, and other traditional marketing tactics can still be useful. But digital marketing is the best way to reach potential customers.
12 Types of Digital Marketing
There are lots of different ways to promote your business online. Most of these tactics fall into 12 main types of digital marketing.
The right digital marketing strategies for you will depend on your target audience and your unique business circumstances. You'll find that a combination of channels and tactics provides the best results.
Let's take a closer look at the options you should consider for your digital marketing strategy.
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engines are the first place people go when searching for a solution or product online. Around 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
When someone types a query into Google, the search engine shows a list of 10 results that match the search query intent.
Ranking on the first page of results for keywords related to your products and services can drive a steady flow of potential customers to your website.
If you don't make the top 10 results, your business won't be seen by the 91% of searchers that don't go beyond the first page.
Search engine optimisation is the process of making improvements to your website so that Google ranks your website higher for your target keywords. A higher ranking can increase the amount of organic website traffic you receive.
There are over 200 ranking factors that influence Google's algorithm. But these can be broken down into two main categories: on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the elements on your website that you can optimise to improve your ranking, including:
- Meta tags
- Image alt text
- URL optimisation
- Page speed
The most important on-page SEO factor is publishing useful and relevant content. High-quality content is the reason why people come to your website.
Off-page SEO is the process of making your website appear more authoritative and trustworthy to search engines. Google wants to provide users with the best information possible. It favours sites that appear more authoritative.
You can increase your website's authority by improving your Domain Rating.
Domain Rating is a metric determined by the number of backlinks pointing to your website and the referring domains' authority.
If you work with a digital marketing agency, they'll build backlinks to your website. This is to improve your link profile and increase your Domain Rating.
Google is constantly changing its algorithm. To claim a top spot on the search engine results page (SERP), you need to closely monitor your SEO performance and make adjustments to improve your ranking.
2. Search Engine Marketing
SEO isn't the only way to get to the top of the SERP.
You can also use Google Ads and Bing Ads. These platforms allow you to pay for ad placements directly above the organic results.
These ad spots can be highly valuable as they take up the prime real estate of the SERP.
This type of digital marketing is known as paid search. It works on a pay-per-click (PPC) auction system.
Advertisers bid against each other to display their ads for target keywords. This auction takes place in real-time.
Google determines which ad is displayed in each spot based on the advertisers' maximum bids and Quality Score.
Quality Score is determined by the relevance of the ad and landing page to the search query.
You can find out more about Quality Score on the Google Ads Help Centre.
When a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser pays a fee to Google.
Like SEO, paid search requires keyword research to discover the terms your customers are using to find your products and services.
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps advertisers find keywords. It shows the average search volume range and bid estimates for keywords:
You'll need to create a campaign and segment your target keywords into ad groups. Then, you can create ads that will be displayed on the SERP.
Search engine marketing can get your business in front of potential customers when they are most likely to buy.
But you'll have to keep a close eye on your performance and optimise your campaigns to maximise ROI. Wasted clicks cost money.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing is essential for SEO, social media strategy, and many other types of digital marketing. Over 80% of marketers report actively using content marketing in 2021.
Content can boost customer trust, increase brand awareness, and even establish your company as a thought leader in your industry.
Blogs, ebooks, videos, and social media posts are all types of content. You can publish content on your website, social media networks, and other digital marketing channels.
According to Semrush’s The State of Content Marketing 2020 report, organic search and social media are the top two most popular content distribution channels:
Creating a content marketing strategy starts with understanding what your audience is looking for.
Helpful, entertaining, and value-packed content can get customers to come to you and move through your sales funnel.
Airbnb is an excellent example of a brand that uses content marketing to attract and convert customers.
The Airbnb blog is full of articles to help hosts make the most of their space and offer a great experience to guests. Each blog post targets specific keywords to increase search traffic.
The Community Stories series also helps to entice new hosts. It shows how becoming a host can change peoples' lives through inspiring stories.
This type of content helps prospects picture the experience of being a host and its benefits. Airbnb's Community Stories act as case studies to encourage new hosts to join the platform.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the process of leveraging social media websites and platforms to promote your products and services.
Billions of people around the world use social media every day. So whatever it is you sell, your audience is on social media.
Just take a look at the number of active users on the most popular social media platforms:
Most popular social networks worldwide ranked by number of active users:
Social media is one of the most powerful types of digital marketing. It opens a two-way conversation with your audience.
Users can react to your posts, leave comments, and engage with your brand. They can even contact your business directly through social media messaging apps.
This makes social media marketing a great way to increase brand awareness and generate leads.
It can also have a direct impact on sales. A recent report revealed that 97% of Gen Z shoppers use social media as the main source for purchasing inspiration.
Like the example below, you can create organic social media content to increase your reach and attract new customers:
Social media advertising is also an effective way to promote your business. We'll cover social media ads in more detail later in the guide.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for a long time. But it's still one of the most effective types of digital marketing.
You can open up a direct line of communication with prospects and existing customers.
It's a cost-effective channel that marketers rate as the best for ROI:
Before you can use email to generate leads and sales, you need a list of subscribers. These are people that opt-in to receive your marketing emails.
You can collect email addresses when a customer makes a purchase or through sign-up forms on your website.
One of the most effective ways to grow an email list is to create a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a free ebook, course, or resource that visitors get in exchange for subscribing to your email list.
You can create a standalone landing page to promote your lead magnet offer and convert visitors into subscribers.
Once a visitor has opted-in, you can contact them directly via email.
The value of email marketing comes from segmentation. You can use your email marketing software or digital marketing platform to segment your list of subscribers.
This allows you to create personalised messaging tailored to each audience segment.
For example, abandoned cart email campaigns can be a powerful way to capture lost ecommerce sales.
Most shoppers will leave your store before they finish the checkout process. You can send a follow-up email to these subscribers and encourage them to return and complete the purchase.
Cart abandonment emails generally have a much higher conversion rate than traditional marketing emails.
According to Moosend, 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened, 21% of opened emails get clicks, and 50% of users that click make a purchase.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the newest types of digital marketing. It's seen a huge growth in popularity and marketing spend over the last few years.
Influencer marketing involves paying an influencer to promote your brand or products to their audience.
An influencer can be a celebrity with millions of followers or a content creator with a small following in a specific niche or online community.
Partnering with an influencer can help you access an audience of people likely to be interested in your product or service.
And because of the influencer's existing relationship with their followers, people are more likely to listen to the message or product recommendation.
Influencer marketing isn't just for major brands with huge marketing budgets. Many micro-influencers with engaged followers can partner with your brand for a lower fee or in exchange for free products.
You can use Inzpire’s free Instagram pricing calculator to get an estimate of how much it will cost to work with an influencer.
Enter the influencer's Instagram handle and the number of posts and stories you want to sponsor. You’ll then be able to see the estimated cost and metrics like expected reach and engagement.
There are digital marketing platforms to help brands connect with influencers. You can also use your marketing team to reach out to thought leaders and micro-influencers.
Focusing on influencers with a genuine audience and authority in your niche can be a great way to increase reach and boost brand awareness.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be a cost-effective way to generate sales. It's a form of partnership marketing where you pay a fee to third-party digital marketers for each sale or lead that they generate for your business.
Cost per action (CPA) is the most popular affiliate marketing model in Australia:
With a CPA model, the affiliate partner will use a unique affiliate link pointing to the merchant's website. Then, when a shopper clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the merchant can track where the visitor came from.
The merchant credits the affiliate partner with the sale and pays a commission.
Affiliate marketing can be a cost-efficient way to outsource some of your marketing activities. You can set how much you are willing to pay for a conversion.
You only have to pay a fee when the affiliate partner generates a sale.
Major retailers like Amazon have their own affiliate programs. But smaller businesses can leverage affiliate marketing by using an established affiliate network.
This can help you find affiliate partners quickly. You can also use the network's tracking system. But you will need to pay an access fee.
8. Video Marketing
Video is one of the most engaging types of digital marketing. It's a versatile format that you can use across your website, social media, and other channels.
It's also increasingly popular. As of 2021, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool:
There are lots of ways you can use video throughout your marketing funnel.
You can increase brand awareness by creating video ads for social media or educational videos on a specific audience problem or pain point. Video interviews can be a great way to showcase your expertise and establish your business as an authority in your industry.
You can also target prospects at the bottom of your sales funnel with video case studies and testimonials.
This is a great way to demonstrate how your company helps its customers and delivers tangible benefits. When prospects can see and hear your satisfied customers, it's easier for them to take the next step.
Once you've created video content, you can repurpose it across your social media channels and website. For example, Facebook and Instagram are great for B2C video content.
Posting video content on LinkedIn can help you reach business decision-makers. Video content on LinkedIn generates 5x more engagement than image or text-based content.
9. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is an umbrella term for the types of digital marketing that target mobile users.
Over half of all internet traffic now takes place on mobile devices. As a result, businesses need to adapt their digital marketing strategies to prioritise mobile experiences.
By 2026, CMOs predict that mobile activities will account for over 35% of their marketing spend:
Mobile marketing starts with a responsive website that makes it easy for mobile users to access your web pages. But it also includes tactics like location-based marketing, mobile ads and push notifications.
One of the easiest ways to get started with mobile marketing is to target searchers within a specific location using Google Ads local ad extension.
You can bid on location keywords and use the ad extension to display your store on the map and in the local search results.
This is a great way to target mobile users actively looking to visit a store or contact a business.
Push notifications are another type of mobile marketing that can generate impressive results. These marketing messages cause the mobile device to send a real-time notification.
Push notifications are sent through an installed app or web push code from your website. You can send promotions, location-based messages, and other updates.
Because the message triggers a device notification, engagement is typically much higher than other digital marketing tactics.
It's important to note that mobile users will need to provide push notification permission via an opt-in process. This can appear as a pop-up request on your website or as part of the installation process for mobile applications.
10. Paid Media
Paid media refers to the types of digital marketing that involve paid placements. It includes display ads, sponsored content, and paid ads on social media.
You can pay to promote your products, services, and content to an existing audience on a third-party website or platform.
Social media advertising is one of the most popular types of paid media. You can use platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to boost your organic posts or target audiences with custom ads.
Facebook Ads remarketing is an effective way to use paid media to generate sales. After installing the Facebook Pixel, you can target users that have already visited your website.
The Pixel will add an anonymous cookie into the visitor's browser when they visit a specific web page. Facebook uses the information from the cookie to target the user with super-relevant ads on the social media platform.
Remarketing can help you retrieve lost sales by targeting users that have abandoned their shopping carts.
Users that see remarketing ads are 70% more likely to convert than those who don't.
You can also use remarketing to target users that have engaged with your content, previous purchasers, product page visitors, and more.
11. Audio Marketing
The internet is a visual place. But that doesn't mean you should neglect audio marketing. The growth of audio streaming sites and podcasts provides a great digital marketing opportunity.
Prospects and existing customers can listen to a podcast anywhere and anytime. It's an easily accessible medium that people can consume while doing other things.
In Australia, 27% of people listen to a podcast at least once per month:
Podcasts can be an effective way to reach new audiences and grow a following.
You can appear as a guest on relevant podcasts or create your own. It's typically much cheaper to produce audio content compared to video production.
Sharing insights and expertise on your podcast can increase transparency and authenticity. You can develop stronger relationships with leads and build your brand.
To keep your podcast fresh and interesting, invite guests, colleagues, and customers to share their insights and opinions.
12. VR and AR Marketing
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are cutting edge marketing technology.
But despite consumers wanting more VR and AR experiences, most companies have yet to utilise the technology for marketing.
Over 70% of shoppers say they would buy more often if they could use AR. But, as of 2019, only 1% of retailers used the technology.
Brands can create immersive and interactive shopping experiences using AR and VR. You can let shoppers get a close-up view of your products and be more confident in their buying decisions.
IKEA is one of the early adopters of AR technology. The furniture brand uses AR to enhance the customer experience. Shoppers can use the IKEA Place app to scroll through the product catalogue and digitally place furniture in their homes.
IKEA isn't the only brand to use this technology.
L'Oréal helps customers try on makeup digitally, and Adidas enables users to try on apparel. Burberry is one of many brands that have used AR to generate buzz around a product launch.
In May 2021, the brand launched a series of AR pop-up experiences worldwide to launch its new signature Olympia bag.
Which Types of Digital Marketing Are Right for Your Business?
As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to grow your business online.
The right types of digital marketing for you will depend on who your ideal customers are and where they spend their time online. You also need to consider your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses.
That's how you create a cohesive and cost-effective digital marketing strategy that sets you apart and generates sales.
Are you looking to revamp your digital strategy?
We can help you develop a website that turns visitors into customers and a digital marketing strategy focused on growth and ROI.
Contact our digital marketing agency team today for a free consultation.
Types of Digital Marketing FAQs
How Is Digital Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing?
The main difference between digital and traditional marketing is how the marketing message is delivered. With traditional marketing, offline channels like TV ads, print, and radio are used to communicate a marketing message. With digital marketing, the messaging is delivered via online and digital channels such as search engines, social media, and email.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important?
Digital marketing is important because the vast majority of consumers and business buyers spend their time on digital channels. It's how people communicate, learn about products, and make purchases. Without a strong digital presence, a business will lose out on sales.
It's also much easier for businesses to track the performance of digital marketing campaigns. As a result, digital marketers can get real-time feedback and adjust the strategy accordingly to improve outcomes and generate higher ROI.
Does Digital Marketing Work for All Businesses?
Digital marketing can work for companies of any size and in any industry. Your potential customers are online no matter what products or services you sell. That's why digital marketing can work for any business. It's about identifying your ideal customers and creating content and campaigns that attract them to your website or brick and mortar store.
However, every digital marketing strategy should be unique. What works for one company may not work for another.
What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a defined plan that ensures all online marketing efforts work together to help the business achieve its goals. It should consider the strengths and weaknesses of the company, its competitors, and target audience to determine which channels and tactics will provide the best results.
Having a clear overall strategy helps you stay focused on realistic objectives and ensures that you make the most of your available resources.
What Is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
A digital marketing campaign is an effort by a company to achieve a specific objective online. This could be to generate leads, drive traffic, or boost sales revenue. Campaigns are the building blocks of the marketing strategy and contribute towards achieving overarching business goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase the number of opt-ins to your email list, you could run a digital advertising campaign on social media promoting your lead magnet. This could drive more traffic to your landing page and increase the number of opt-ins.