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Types of Digital Marketing

In the last 10-20 years, the combination of the internet and marketing has evolved the practice of marketing and advertising into something no one would’ve seen coming during the days of postcards, flyers, brochures, classifieds and print ads. Nowadays, with the proliferation of the internet, digital marketing has become the gold standard. 

Digital marketing simply refers to any marketing done via the internet. There are a ton of different methods and we’ll discuss the major practices next.

  1. Inbound Marketing

  2. Outbound Marketing

  3. Email Marketing

  4. Message Marketing (aka Customer Relationship Management)

  5. Content Marketing

  6. Social Media Marketing

  7. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing

  8. Search Engine Optimization

  9. Local SEO (Google Maps)

  10. Reputation Management

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1. Inbound Marketing 

Inbound Marketing is a broad digital marketing term that refers to the process of building a loyal following by attracting, rather than pursuing your audience. In the inbound marketing philosophy, company’s attempt to attract, delight and engage their potential customers, rather than find ways to get their message in front of people who are not interested.

This is typically done by creating engaging or helpful information that adds value to the lives of a company’s audience, guiding them along the path to conquering a specific problem or challenge that the company solves. This, if executed properly, then creates a following of advocates and brand proponents. 

Learn more about the Digital Marketing Buyer’s Journey here.

2. Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing is another broad digital marketing term. Outbound marketing is essentially the opposite of Inbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing refers to the practice of pursuing potential leads and prospects through outbound methods like paid advertisements and cold email marketing.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing, like digital marketing, has evolved over the years. Did you ever receive one of those Nigerian Prince email scams? Thanks to spam blockers and filters, we don’t have to worry about those kinds of things as much anymore, but it feels like cold emailing has become just as prominent as its ancestor, cold calling. There are other ways to use emails in your digital marketing toolkit. Whether it’s customer engagement and newsletters, automated updates like shipping confirmations, or notifying your subscribers of deals, using email to stay in contact with your customer base is an undeniably necessary part of operating a business in today’s business climate.

digital marketing

4. Message Marketing

This is one of those terms you may have not seen before, but you’ve definitely experienced it at one point or another. Message Marketing refers to the updates and communications businesses use to stay in contact with their current and past customers to nudge them into re-engaging with the business.

An example of this is when you get a text message or a notification from an app about a limited time offer.

This is also becoming a common practice for many businesses, because it gives them an opportunity to remind past consumers of their business and entice them to make another purchase. Since the people being messaged have already bought from the business before and volunteered their contact information – assuming they enjoyed the product or service from the business – this is an ideal demographic to contact.

5. Content Marketing

Content Marketing, depending on who you ask, can go hand-in-hand with SEO. Content Marketing is an overall strategy of providing customers – past, present and prospective – with valuable content and softly encouraging them to make a transaction with your business over time. Whether it’s blog posts, sharing relevant information on social media, or sharing helpful tips and tricks via email, content marketing is focused heavily on providing valuable information to a company’s target audience.

The reason it can work very well with SEO, is because if the content is valuable, as well as optimized for search engine results, it can allow your company to bring in more ‘organic traffic.’


6. Social Media Marketing

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and now introducing: TikTok. The world of Social Media Marketing is one of the constantly evolving pieces of digital marketing. Each has its own rules, medium, purpose, audience and tactics. Depending on your goal and target demographic, each has its place in the digital marketer’s toolkit.

7. PPC

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. In this Google-dominated internet landscape, paid advertisements are the quickest way to get customers and online traffic via the internet. But it’s also the most costly in the long term, and as a marketing leader in the green sector, you probably know a thing or two about what is and isn’t sustainable. And in my honest opinion, going purely with a PPC strategy for your digital marketing efforts just isn’t sustainable. But PPC can be a great bandaid while ramping up your efforts in another arena of marketing. 

8. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of revamping a website or adding new content in order to rank higher in search results rankings for certain relevant keywords. This allows people searching for information relevant to the products or services your company provides to naturally come across your company. 

keyword research

9. Local SEO

Local SEO is a little bit different than normal SEO, because typically, SEO refers to websites. SEO can also apply to videos like Youtube, but it’s important to differentiate, since the platform the results are displayed on makes a huge difference in the work required to rank well on that platform. 

That is why Local SEO deserves a distinction from normal SEO. Local SEO typically refers to the practice of helping local businesses improve their rankings on Google Maps. Because many people make decisions based on the results found in Google Maps, whether it’s mechanics, restaurants, dentists or more, Local SEO has become invaluable for small businesses with brick & mortar establishments.

10. Reputation Management

Reputation Management is one of the newer branches of Digital Marketing. Reputation Management, also known as Review Management, is the practice of systemizing and automating a company’s review process to encourage consistent reviews on Google, as well as other industry-relevant websites. Reputation Management also includes engaging with reviews left by customers and performing damage control for dissatisfied customers.

digital marketing

Ready to continue your Digital Marketing Journey?

In our upcoming posts, we’ll dive deeper into each of these different types of marketing, so you’ll get a better idea of which ones are the right fit for your business.

If you operate a local business with a brick & mortar location, check out our series on Google My Business.

Otherwise, check out our next post to take the next steps in your journey: Why Does My Business Need Digital Marketing?




Note: This article was written in collaboration with Elative Solutions. Click the following link to view the original piece: SEO Basics: The Terminology.