Guide to Digital Marketing: Types, Strategies and Examples

Tuesday, December 05th
Content Manager

Mark Wilson

Digital marketing can seem intimidating, and for good reason! How many different digital marketing platforms are there? Likely more than you could name off the top of your head.

And are you prepared to promote your brand on each of them?

The good news is, executing a great digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to be scary. The right approach can cut through the clutter of software, apps, strategies and platforms to identify the core needs of your brand.

At Leadflask, we build authoritative brands, and we do that through a variety of digital strategies. By taking a holistic approach to building your brand’s digital presence, we’re able to find the most important channels and messages that will help your brand grow.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a term that refers to a large variety of marketing efforts across online channels. For many brands, it has become the predominant form of marketing that helps them drive leads and revenue.

The term also refers not just to the platforms and channels themselves, but the strategies involved in reaching an audience online. 

As such, it’s difficult to discuss digital marketing without breaking it down into smaller components. Let’s look at some major components now.

What Types of Digital Marketing Are There?

Let’s run through some common digital marketing channels and strategies. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it will start to give you a sense of the full breadth of online marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

There are a couple of broad types here. One would be affiliate links on your website or app to products or services, where you receive a small cut for every click or sale. Influencer marketing is also a form of affiliate marketing, where celebrities or social media influencers will promote a brand to their audience.

Content Marketing

This is an approach to generating traffic on your website via articles, videos, podcasts and other content that generates leads and sales. Content marketing strategies can also overlap with others listed below, like PPC advertising, social media advertising, and email marketing.

Social Media Marketing

This can refer to both paid and unpaid marketing and advertising across social media channels.

Email Marketing

Curating an email list is one of the best ways to reach interested customers in a cost-effective way. Email marketing strategies often coincide with website initiatives to drive subscriptions and content marketing to provide content for emails.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

Refers to any paid channels, where you are targeting specific demographics and/or keywords and paying per click of a particular ad. The types of ads can vary, including text ads, banner ads, and sponsored shopping listings.

Mobile or App-Based Advertising

Advertising that appears in-app and is targeted at users of a specific app. These can also be PPC but are specific to mobile devices.

Streaming Ads

Television and radio are often seen as traditional forms of marketing, but a lot of streaming services are now digitally available. Ad space on these can be a valuable way to target viewers who have given up traditional cable and radio. 

Non-Traditional or Hybrid Digital Advertising

Physical ads can still be used to generate content or interest in digital campaigns. Additionally, some physical ad spots such as billboards are beginning to utilize digital tools such as mobile device tracking to create digital analytics related to their effectiveness. 

The result is that digital marketers sometimes need to consider these hybrid digital/physical options as a part of their long-term strategy.

This is also sometimes referred to as Enhanced Offline Marketing, or EOM.

Various strategies and skills are an important part of the marketing types above, including:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - This can be a hugely important marketing skill in conjunction with a content marketing strategy, to optimize your website for leads and conversions. The strategies associated with SEO are myriad.
  2. Marketing Analytics - The ability to analyze data from each of these channels relates directly to their success, because you need to be able to track results to assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and budget. This also allows for improvements to digital marketing campaigns.
  3. Content and Campaign Planning - Being able to structure, plan and execute a detailed content calendar, particularly for short-form media channels like social media, can be a full-time job in and of itself. Additionally, if you use multiple platforms for digital marketing, campaign planning is necessary to keep the messaging and branding consistent throughout each of them.

What Does a Digital Marketing Strategy Look Like?

Let’s say this upfront: You don’t need every single one of the digital marketing strategies listed above.

Here’s another truism that should help you breathe a bit easier: It’s easier to get started with digital marketing than many marketers would lead you to believe.

Leadflask’s Approach to Digital Marketing

Here at Leadflask, our approach is to get to know your business and its customers. We create focused customer personas to help target digital marketing campaigns, and we monitor and track all results for opportunities to improve.

Chances are, you’re already doing some digital marketing, so we’ll take a look at these channels as well.

Very few businesses should be active in every field of digital marketing. Many will benefit the most from a smaller number of channels and strategies. 

With more time and resources put into these fewer channels, these marketing efforts are more likely to be successful, allowing you to scale your budget and efforts to get even better results.

Our marketing strategies are catered to your business, and include marketing recommendations for those avenues that we believe will have the greatest impact for your business. Each comes with detailed plans for executing those strategies.

Finally, we believe in assessing marketing efforts and continuously improving them. Very few marketing campaigns are as successful as they can be in the first iteration of them. With some, such as social media campaigns or PPC ads, the best results often come after months of data collection to assess what works best and what doesn’t. 

What works for you might not work for the next business over, so it’s this data collection and analysis process that will allow you to optimize your results.

Qualities of a Great Digital Marketing Plan

It’s hard to plot out an entire marketing plan without linking to larger templates and execution plans. But there are aspects of plans that will be common among all successful digital marketing efforts:

ONE: The Audience is Clearly Defined

You don’t have an endless budget, so it’s important to get the most from what you spend. This only happens when you’re aiming your efforts at those who are most likely to engage with and use your brand.

This means creating detailed user personas and identifying which marketing channels will most reliably reach the intended demographics.

TWO: The Messaging is Clear and Consistent

Brand awareness and trust happen when people clearly understand your brand’s purpose, values, products or services, and the value they provide to a potential consumer. The more clarity and consistency you have across digital channels, the stronger this message will be.

THREE: You Have Timelines for Execution and Review

How long should you run an ad for? Until you feel like stopping it? This is of course a poor way to structure decisions. Far better is to have a clear plan

FOUR: You’re Willing To Alter the Plan

It’s important to stick to a plan, but foolish to stick with it once it’s proven to be ineffective. If a three-month campaign has shown zero results after the first month, be willing to stop and pivot to something else. Conversely, be willing to double down on an effective campaign or marketing channel if you’re seeing excellent results, even if it wasn’t in the original budget or plan.

FIVE: Track Relevant Metrics Before, During and After a Campaign

You need a baseline. If your website draws in 10 leads per day on average, for example, what level of increase would equate to success for an email marketing campaign? You need to know what the existing metrics are (in this case, 10 leads per day), how many are coming in during the email campaign, and continue to monitor to see if leads level off again once the campaign finishes.

This is a simple example to make the point, but identifying key metrics across digital channels is a key ingredient of any digital marketing campaign. In the email campaign above, for example, you’d likely also want to establish benchmarks on open rates and click-through rates on your emails, then compare these benchmarks against open and click rates for the campaign’s emails. This can help you to determine success or failure relative to past results, from which you can make adjustments and retest.

Iterating and Improving Your Marketing Results

That last point on monitoring and testing email open and click rates relates to a much larger point. Namely, that a campaign or digital strategy isn’t complete without a process in place to analyze results and improve upon them.

For social media marketing, it will be engagement metrics such as Likes, Shares and Comments. For email marketing, it will be opened email rates, click-through rates, and ultimately conversion rates on whatever you’re trying to accomplish, such as the sale of a product or service.

You can’t improve if you can’t track it. Knowing what’s trackable, and how it relates to your bottom line, is vital for any digital marketing strategy. Optimizing for these trackable data points will be the method by which you continually improve and grow in your efforts.

To ignore this is to stagnate, or to allow the furiously competitive world of digital marketing to catch up with you and eventually pass you by.

The choice is yours, but fortunately there are clear steps to take to be successful.

If you are looking for guidance in crafting your own digital marketing strategy, Leadflask is here to help. Our thorough web and marketing process, combined with our expertise, allows us to partner with clients to achieve success.

Check out our article below on working with us, or contact us directly via the form below!

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