Digital Marketing is a broad discipline, bringing together all forms of marketing that operate through electronic devices – online, on mobile, on-screen. Over the years, digital marketing has developed enormously, and it continues to do so. Here, we look at the digital marketing communications “mix” – what are the elements of Types of Digital Marketing, and what are they used for?

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the earliest forms of digital marketing. It involves database marketing: segmenting your customer data and delivering personalised, targeted messages at the right time. As email marketing has developed, it has become increasingly personalised, with brands like Amazon and Tesco delivering emails that are bespoke to each user depending on buying patterns.

The skills involved vary from database analysis & CRM, through to crafting the right message, designing emails in HTML, and analysing the results to act upon them.

SEO (search engine optimisation)

Search Engine Optimisation is the art (or science) of increasing a website’s visibility in the search engines. This can be done by increasing the ranking of a particular keyword, or increasing the volume of keywords that a site ranks for. There are a variety of SEO techniques, from on-site technical analysis and improvement, to content creation, outreach, blogging & link-building.The skills involved are wide-ranging: technical capabilities, an analytical approach, and creativity.

PPC (pay per click)

Paid Search, PPC or pay-per-click is the management of paid adverts in the search results. These paid adverts are typically placed above, or to the right of the ‘organic’ search results, and can cost anything between a penny and £50 per click, depending on the competitiveness of the keyword you’re bidding on.

Some terms, such as ‘car insurance’, can reach astronomical levels, so PPC management is all about maximising your budget for the best return on investment.

Skills involved are equally wide-ranging: a keen eye for detail in data is required, as well as creativity for crafting adverts and responding to trends in the data.

Social media

Socialmedia management isn’t just about sending out tweets – it’s about managing a brand’s image through multiple social channels. That may be Twitter or Facebook, but it may also be Pinterest or Linkedin.

It’s also about combining proactive business development, helping fill the top level of the sales funnel, with customer support – helping support the bottom end of the funnel. Social media management has become increasingly mature and complex over the last few years, with greater reporting tools available, and a wider range of social networks.Skills involved blend brand awareness, customer service and creativity, as well as an awareness of how social media metrics reflect on other marketing metrics.

Online advertising

Online advertising differs from PPC in that you are advertising on other peoples’ websites. For instance, you may want to buy banner space on a specific website, and you would pay the website owner either based on the number of impressions, or the number of clicks the advert receives.

Skills involve design, creativity, negotiation, and data analysis, ensuring that the right advert is placed in the right place, at the right time.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can be quite similar to online advertising, except that the website hosting the advert will be recompensed only when a sale is made. The payment, therefore, will be higher – and will give the website owner the incentive to promote the advert more prominently.

Affiliate marketing isn’t restricted to banner advertising. Many affiliates make money through simple links, e-mail marketing, or even developing ecommerce shops with affiliate products.

On the one hand, brands have to negotiate with affiliates, and provide the best possible deal that will ensure the best possible promotion, while ensuring that costs are kept down to a level that ensures margins are high.Skills involve negotiation, planning & data analysis.

Text messaging

Mobile marketing is one of the biggest growth areas in digital marketing. The increased usage of smartphones around the world has resulted in a greater dependency on them for quick and timely information.Text messaging is a push strategy that some view as spam, but if used correctly, can be an effective customer messaging strategy.

Blogging, RSS & News Feeds

Blogging – and ensuring that blogs are visible – involves not just writing blogs, but creating a blogging strategy that brings together SEO, PR, social media and web design. A good blog will be one that attracts natural, organic traffic through effective keyword research, as well as social traffic. It will be well designed, and it will have a consistent voice that makes it instantly recognisable.

Viral marketing

Viral marketing combines many elements of the marketing mix. Some call it ‘content marketing’, as it always involves disseminating an element of content across multiple channels. This can include videos on Youtube, blogs, email marketing, as well as traditional elements, but the aim is to ensure that the content captures the imagination of your market, and that the content spreads naturally through online communities.