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January 1, 2023

The Eight Types of Digital Marketing

Many small business leaders spend time and money on marketing but aren’t getting the desired results. This is due to ineffective strategy and over-scheduled business owners wearing too many hats. Fortunately, understanding the eight types of digital marketing can help small businesses easily create a clear plan of action that is measurable, stops overspending, and adds hours back into their day.

But what is digital marketing?

Read this blog to learn more about digital marketing and how it can help you save time, control your overall growth, and increase quality engagement with potential clients.  

Read on to learn how digital marketing can help you grow your business.


Defining Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an all-encompassing term for marketing efforts that occur through digital channels. When small businesses utilize digital marketing, they can promote their brand and connect with customers using:

  • Search Engines
  • Social Media
  • Mobile Devices
  • Email
  • Online Advertising
  • and more

Digital marketing allows companies to establish brand identity and reach a specific and defined audience. Often compared to traditional marketing, the two serve different purposes. Traditional marketing—which includes poster ads, presentations, cold calls, broadcasting, direct mail, and billboards—allows brands to reach a broad consumer base and tends to speak at people.

In contrast, digital marketing is used to reach a targeted audience with specific interests, buying habits, and search histories related to a brand’s product or service. The incredible bonus to developing a digital marketing plan is it allows prospects to interact with a brand and its content on their own timeframe—not yours.


Eight Types of Digital Marketing

With the advent of the internet and the ways technology has grown and shifted, consumers have changed the way they interact with brands and their products. With 5.07 billion internet users worldwide—and a daily average of six hours and 37 minutes of online use per user—small businesses can now more easily connect with their audiences. 

This ability to reach consumers at any time and place is why digital marketing has become the most strategic, cost-effective, and measurable form of marketing—especially for small businesses. Where traditional marketing strategies rely on customers being in the right place at the right time to see their content, brands can now utilize the eight types of digital marketing to more easily connect with and reach their targeted audience, generate leads, grow brand awareness, and engage and retain customers.


1. Search Engine Optimization

Graphic of a hand holding a cell phone with social media scheduling tools.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a free way to help search engines find your content and determine if it will be shown when someone searches for a specific keyword.

This process of organically optimizing your website, blogs, and other content will help increase your visibility and allow people to more easily find what they’re looking for. 

Organic SEO consists of properly incorporating keywords into your content, blogs, download, videos, and page information. By understanding what keywords your customers are searching for, you will be able to increase the chances of Google showing your website when people are searching for the thing that you offer.

SEO is extremely important, but you should not expect overnight success. In terms of timing and the amount of competition, it can take 6-9 months to rank for your specific keywords.


2. Pay-Per-Click

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing utilizes paid ads that are placed at the top of a search engine query. The goal is to get the reader to click on the first link they see. For example, when people use a search engine like Google, it will generate sponsored advertisements based on a keyword and place them as top results. If prospective customers click on one of those ads, that company will be charged for that “click.”

PPC marketing is beneficial for generating a high ROI, increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and it is a highly accessible form of marketing. The most common pay-per-click ads are generated and tracked through Google Ads.


3. Email Marketing

Graphic with people searching for something on a search engine.


Email marketing is one of the most effective types of digital marketing. When the subject line and content are properly created, they provide value to the customer and encourage them to click through to the business’s website. It’s an excellent way for businesses to regularly connect with prospects, turn them into buyers, and connect with their current customers.

Email marketing can hugely benefit your audience by keeping them updated on current sales and events happening with your company. When potential customers opt-in to receive your newsletter, you have a direct line of communication with them. Properly structured email campaigns allow you to provide personalized, relevant content to inboxes that meet needs and encourage engagement.


4. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing aims to reach people through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. It utilizes different strategies to reach potential customers, such as:

Because marketing relies on capturing and holding an audience’s attention—and with over 6.37 billion smartphone users worldwide—mobile marketing allows small businesses to uniquely market their brand and products to their audience in a place where their attention is already focused.

Some of the most popular mobile marketing tools that offer free plans are AppsFlyer, Branch, and Insider. These types of software are a great place for small businesses to start discovering how mobile marketing can serve their brand without a steep financial investment.


5. Social Media Marketing  

Graphic of a hand holding a cell phone with social media scheduling tools.


Social Media Marketing uses social networks—Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter—to market products and services, give brands a competitive advantage, and connect with potential customers through organic content and paid advertisements.

Social Media Marketing involves sharing strategic posts that drive traffic to a company’s website. For example, a company may develop a social media plan that involves creating content that inspires, engages, educates, and entertains its audience while maintaining a strong brand identity and sharing relevant content that will add value to its customers’ lives.

Once that content is developed and posted on various social media sites, it can be tracked and measured using analytics. For social media marketing to be effective, small businesses must analyze the performance of posts and develop ongoing strategic changes to keep up with trends and maintain relevance.


6. Marketing Analytics

One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is that all of your marketing efforts are measurable and trackable. You can track and analyze a client’s entire journey through your website, emails, and shared content. This information helps discover disconnects between your brand and your audience, implement new social media strategies to improve engagement, and identify disconnects between your brand and your ideal audience. Marketing Analytics is a highly adaptable form of marketing that can be invaluable to you as a small business leader sharing your brand and growing your audience.


7. Content Marketing

Hand typing and creating content.


Content marketing involves creating and distributing strategic, relevant, and helpful media that speaks to your customer’s needs and helps them solve a problem. This is done through blog posts, white papers, e-books, digital videos, podcasts, free downloads, and more. These forms of content should build a trusting relationship with your audience over time and help them come to a buying decision on their own. 

Content marketing helps business owners educate their audience, build customer relationships, allow their services to speak for themselves, and boost their SEO ranking. The best way to get this content in front of your prospective audience is to utilize paid advertising opportunities within social media platforms.


8. Affiliate Marketing

Also known as influencer marketing, affiliate marketing utilizes popular industry experts and social media influencers to promote a company’s brand and products. Influencers will use their platforms to engage potential customers on behalf of a company. 

With the rise of TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube, affiliate marketing is a growing form of marketing, and it’s projected that companies will spend $8.2 billion on it in 2023. 

Small businesses can benefit from investing in affiliate marketing due to its targeted reach, low cost, and high return on investment.


More than ever before, digital marketing helps business leaders reach a larger, more concentrated audience for their brands and products. By understanding the eight types of digital marketing and developing an effective strategy, businesses can save time, eliminate overspending, and grow their businesses.  

If your small business is ready to take its next step into digital marketing, contact a local marketing professional today.


Discover the four most common marketing mistakes small businesses make and exactly how to solve them! Download our guide.


Our proven marketing protocol helps companies make more money, save time, and plan an effective strategy.

Treefrog Marketing is an agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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