The 2 main groups of digital marketing are online and offline. While offline marketing involves things like radio, television and phone advertising, online marketing has 7 major categories:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Content marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
Search Engine Optimization
According to Search Engine Land, SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the “process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines.”
By understanding how search engines rank websites, one can optimize a website to maximize its chances of ranking well for relevant searches. However, search engine algorithms continue to change, making it essential for online businesses to stay up-to-date with best practices to claim high rankings for relevant keywords.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. Google AdWords is by many measures the most popular paid search platform used by search marketers, followed by Bing Ads. Beyond that, there are a number of “2nd tier PPC platforms” as well as PPC advertising options on the major social networks.
Typically, SEM and PPC advertising is carried out through search engines, who charge advertisers a predetermined amount every time their ad is clicked. While the search engines profit handsomely from this model, site owners benefit from being able to precisely target their potential customers.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Basically, content marketing is the ongoing process that focuses on communicating with your customers without always selling. Instead, businesses should use content marketing strategies to educate the consumer while delivering consistent, valuable information to buyers who, in turn, reward us with their business and loyalty.
Regardless of what type of marketing you do, content marketing should be part of your strategy, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing, including social media marketing, SEO, PR, PPC, inbound marketing and content strategy.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
As an end user, many people already know a lot about social media, but their knowledge about social media marketing is typically more limited.
Social media marketing is a great way for businesses to fulfill their objectives in terms of building brand equity, improving customer service, reaching new customers and collecting customer feedback. If companies can create social media content that provides value to others, they can connect with customers in a profitable way.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others (usually through your blog), and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
Email marketing has long been a pillar for any business attempting to generate sales via the internet. It provides direct contact with clients and allows you to drive prospective customers to your website.
In a few simple steps, you can provide updates, exciting news, reminders, etc. to your customers in a matter of minutes. At the same time, you can use these newsletters as printable, direct mail pieces or even flyers. When using the right tools, sending out customizable emails that look professional and represent your business the way you want it can be so simple.
People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences. Digital marketing is the method in which you can provide it.