Internet marketing is one of the most affordable yet effective and efficient forms of business marketing. Whether you have a small or big business, online marketing can be your ladder to further success. In order for us to learn more about it, let us know its common classifications. We can classify Internet marketing in many different ways. We can group them into paid or free online marketing and we can also classify them into direct or indirect marketing. Some types of Internet marketing overlap with each other. For example, content marketing can be used as a strategy in both social media marketing and search engine optimization. To gain more ideas about it, here are the 10 common types of Internet marketing:
1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is a form of online marketing that targets the users of search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search engine marketers aim to increase the visibility and ranking of the websites or landing pages they promote in the search engine result pages (SERPs). SEM can be accomplished using either paid search marketing (paid placement or inclusion in the SERPs) or through free algorithmic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Paid search marketing includes PPC (pay-per-click) and PPI (pay-per-impression) marketing offered by search engines, like Google AdWords and Bing Ads. On the other hand, SEO involves improving the elements of a website like its title, content, keywords, images, structure, navigation, and inbound links in an attempt to increase its search engine algorithm score and rank higher in the SERPs.
2. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM involves different strategies and tactics to gain website traffic or attention from people in the social media websites or networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Blogger, and other social media communities online. SMM can overlap with content marketing, viral marketing, and word-of-mouth marketing as it uses people’s attention to spread information over the Internet. Social media marketing can also include paid promotion through paid advertising offered by Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that involves sending commercial information or customer relation messages to a group of people who are either prospective or existing customers using electronic mails or emails. Email marketing includes opt-in email advertising, where subscribers consent to receive messages from companies or websites they trust.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing in which a business collaborates with its affiliates to promote its product or service and increase sales. Affiliates are usually composed of online publishers (website owners, bloggers, and social media users) who promote the product of the merchant (the business or primary seller) and are rewarded for every visitor or customer brought to the business through their own marketing efforts.
Affiliate networks, such as Commission Junction, ClickBank, and Google Affiliate Network, serve as the intermediaries between the merchant and affiliates (publishers). They usually take care of the payment of rewards to publishers based on CPA (cost per action) or CPL (cost per lead). Affiliate marketing may overlap with other types of Internet marketing like SEM, SMM, and email marketing as they can be used as strategies and techniques to boost promotion of the merchant’s products.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is considered as an umbrella term for all marketing practices that use content to attract and engage target audience and influence them to make profitable consumer actions. Content marketing utilizes content, like articles, images, presentations, and videos to achieve a marketing goal. It is considered as a broad function since it can be used to successfully implement other types of Internet marketing. For example, search marketers strive to improve the quality of a website content to boost its SEO and ranking in the SERPs. Social media marketers also try to create interesting and viral content to attract more attention from people in the social media and encourage viral marketing.
6. Word-of-mouth marketing
This type of marketing is more related to the product or service rather than the promotion (advertising) mix of marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing is more involved in providing quality or value on the marketer’s product and extra services to satisfy and wow customers, and eventually turn them into volunteer marketers. Online word-of-mouth marketing can also be used along with the other types of online marketing, like email marketing and social media marketing. This type of marketing focuses on delivering the right product to customers instead of promising the right product to them. In other words, it does the walk first before the talk.
7. Mobile Internet marketing
This type of marketing uses mobile or wireless Internet media like cellphones to communicate marketing or advertising information to target audience with the objective of influencing current and potential customers to make profitable customer actions. With the rise of smart phones and other mobile gadgets that are already enabled for fast Internet connection and browsing, mobile marketing is booming. Websites can now be optimized for mobile browsing. This also means that SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and other types of Internet marketing could also tap in the mobile marketing industry. Businesses can also develop their own mobile apps to boost marketing success.
8. Public relations and online branding
This marketing practice involves management of the flow of information between a brand and the public. Public relations usually include activities such as speaking at conferences, partnering with nonprofit organizations or charitable institutions (social cause marketing), dealing with the press or social media (inviting bloggers to cover product launch), sponsoring events, and conducting contests to earn the interest of the public or society. Public relations can also be improved through online reputation management (ORM) – the process of monitoring the reputation of a business or brand on the Internet in order to emphasize positive image rather than a negative one.
9. Display advertising
Display advertising involves the placement of banner ads on third-party websites or blogs to earn impression or to drive traffic to a company’s own website in order to increase product awareness. It usually uses images and logos to attract more attention from audience at first impression. Unlike search engine optimization tactics, the immediate purpose of display advertising is to get brand awareness and traffic rather than getting a backlink.
10. Relationship marketing
Just like word-of-mouth marketing, this marketing practice is more concerned about customer satisfaction and retention rather than on aggressive advertising of a product to customers to increase sales. Relationship marketing is more focused on the long-term benefits a company will earn rather than on short-term benefits or instant profits. Relationship marketing tactics include ensuring the quality of a company’s product and providing extra services or post-sale customer support to satisfy customers, earn their trust, and make them loyal customers. This type of marketing can also be used as a strategy for social media marketing and word-of-mouth marketing.
There can be other types of Internet marketing that we can include here depending on how we understand the context. Remember that these marketing practices can also overlap with each other and can be used as a combined strategy to boost our online marketing success. Thus, we have to constantly explore and learn them so that we can know how we can use them best to achieve our business goals. So how about you – what type of online marketing have you already tried to boost your business? Which of the above do you think you need to learn more to make your business grow?