Digital marketing includes everything from direct email campaigns to websites, and paid promotions to organic search engine optimization.
Before you hire digital marketers, you’ll want to have a solid idea about the work you’re getting for your budget—and what outcomes to expect. Below are some of the fundamentals behind digital marketing and what each means, so you can make informed decisions about which marketing services you require.
What Are the Main Types of Digital Marketing?
The easiest way to break digital marketing down into meaningful categories is to look at the specialties you’ll come across when you look into how to hire a digital marketer.
The major digital marketing niches are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a marketing tool used to update and optimize each web page or digital asset, so it ranks as highly as possible on the search engine results page. Organic SEO means that your marketer works on your existing site without any paid ad placements. This is done by focusing on:
- Creating high-quality content
- Growing user engagement metrics
- Optimizing your site for mobile use
- Developing reputable inbound links
Strategic SEO can be unpredictable and difficult to quantify because it relies on ever-changing search engine algorithms. It is more of a long game that builds brand reputation.
Content–such as web pages, blogs, and guest articles–is crucial to SEO and requires you to publish useful and interesting information tailored to your target demographics. It differs from conventional advertising because you’re not necessarily selling anything, but are working to establish your brand name.
This digital marketing sector is vital because 92% of marketers consider content assets important to business, and 84% of customers expect the companies they buy from to deliver great content.
Social Media Marketing
Almost every potential buyer has a smartphone and uses social media such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. Paid ads on social media can be an opportunity to engage with a targeted viewer audience and attract higher participation through likes, comments, and shares.
Direct purchase is also growing on social media–platforms offer brand options to add shop-now tags and similar links, so a customer can buy anything you post on your feed in a couple of taps.
PPC involves posting a promotion, usually on a search engine platform, and paying a small fee each time someone clicks the ad link. The challenge with PPC is that you can’t guarantee ad visibility because it’s similar to an auction, where companies bid for keywords. A platform will also prioritize your promotion based on the quality, keywords, value bid, and the landing page it links to.
In the age of the influencer, affiliate marketing has become big business. For companies, this usually means:
- Offering a promoter fee based on endorsements of your product
- Paying based on a commission structure each time a customer buys an item using the promoter’s discount code
- Paying a fixed amount per post or per mention
The higher the affiliate profile and the larger their audience, the more they will expect in terms of pay per posts or commissions. However, you’re also more likely to see tangible results if you pick a promoter with a similar following to your target customer audience.
Email marketing has been around for years, and the idea is pretty simple. The digital marketer creates a campaign, usually through a series of emails, and hopes to generate sales or clicks as a result. The drawback is that mail promotions can be a bit more complex because data protection and consumer marketing rules require that each recipient opt into your list.
Which Type of Digital Marketing Do I Need?
Now that we’ve run through a recap of each of the major branches of digital marketing, the next question is: Which of these marketing strategies are most relevant to your brand? A lot depends on the results you want to achieve and your position as a business within your trading sector.
If you hire an experienced, full-scope digital marketer through a reputable freelancer hiring platform like Guru, they may cover all of these tasks or outsource specific jobs–such as content creation–to experienced freelance collaborators of their own. Otherwise, it’s about working out where your business needs the most digital marketing support and choosing professional marketers who can steer you down the right path.