In the past decade, digital marketing has become a vital component in organizations’ overall marketing strategy. It allows companies to tailor messages to reach a specific audience, making it possible to market directly to people who are likely to be interested in their product.
Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of marketing tactics and technologies used to reach consumers online.
Here are the most popular types of digital marketing with brief overview of each:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of SEO is to get a business to rank higher in Google search results, ultimately increasing search engine traffic to the business’s website. To accomplish this, SEO marketers research words and phrases consumers are using to search for information online, and use those terms in their own content.
Pay-per-click refers to paid advertisements and promoted search engine results. This is a short-term form of digital marketing, meaning that once you are no longer paying, the ad no longer exists. Like SEO, PPC is a way to increase search traffic to a business online.
Pay-per-click can refer to the advertisements you see at the top and sides of a page of search results, the ads you see while browsing the web, ads before YouTube videos, and in ads in mobile apps.
One of the other things that differentiate pay-per-click from SEO is that you only pay for the results. In a typical PPC model like a Google AdWords campaign, you will pay only when someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website. You can spend just about any amount of money on pay-per-click advertising. Some companies may see results from investing just a few hundred dollars, but plenty of large companies spend tens of thousands a month on pay-per-click.
Social Media Marketing
This includes everything a business does via social media channels. Just about everyone is familiar with social media, but marketers must approach social with an integrated and strategic approach. Social media marketing goes far beyond simply creating posts for social channels and responding to comments.
To be effective, efforts must be coordinated and consistent rather than an afterthought. To help keep posts consistent, there are many online tools available to automate and schedule social media posts, although marketers only should use automation as a tool, not a “set it and forget it” solution. Users will figure it out quickly if there is no real person behind the posts.
Social media marketers should not be in a silo separate from other marketing functions. Social marketers need to work with the company’s wider marketing team to coordinate their message across all platforms, online and off, so that every part of the brand is telling the same story.
Content marketing uses storytelling and information sharing to increase brand awareness. Ultimately, the goal is to have the reader take an action towards becoming a customer, such as requesting more information, signing up for an email list, or making a purchase. “Content” can mean blog posts, resources like white papers and e-books, digital video, podcasts, and much more. In general, it should first and foremost provide value to the consumer, not just advertise the brand or try to make a sale. Content marketing is about building a sustainable, trusting relationship with your customers that can potentially lead to many sales over time, not just making a single transaction.
Content marketing works in symbiosis with other types of digital marketing: It is a way to incorporate SEO search terms into fresh website content, and the content created can be shared as social media posts and in email marketing publications. Looking at the analytics for your content marketing can tell you a lot about your customers: what are they looking for when they land on your site? What kinds of content make them stay on the site longer and keep looking around? What kinds make them lose interest and navigate away?
Email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason. It’s the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels.
It can be part of a content marketing strategy, providing value to consumers and over time convert an audience into customers. Email marketing pros not only know how to create compelling campaigns, but they also understand optimal audience outreach and are skilled at analyzing customer interactions and data, and making strategic decisions based on that data.