Whether you’ve been a small business owner for a while now or if you’re just getting started, one of the most important things to know is how to market your business. The days of traditional marketing (newspaper ads, billboards, flyers, etc) aren’t over, but they won’t reach as many people as digital marketing (marketing done online) will. Here are three major categories of digital marketing that you should know.
#1: Social Media Marketing
Arguably one of the most well-known forms of digital marketing, social media marketing utilizes various social media platforms to market your products and/or services to consumers. Some of the top social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, which doubles as a social media platform and a job search site.
Affiliate marketing is becoming more and more popular, and utilizes social media, as well as other outlets. One of the most common forms of affiliate marketing is when you allow your current customers to earn a commission every time someone purchases one of your products through their affiliate link. The promotion of products usually occurs on one or more of the affiliate’s social media profiles, but they can also promote your products (along with their affiliate link to your website) on their blogs, personal websites, and in person to their family and friends.
Online PR is a digital marketing strategy in which you engage with your customers— both current and prospective. This includes responding to comments on your social media posts, responding to comments on your website and/or blog, and engaging in online reviews. Engaging with your target audience helps you to appear more relatable.
#2: Inbound Marketing
This is a digital marketing strategy that aims to bring consumers to you, rather than you advertising to them. Inbound marketing uses many different digital marketing tactics, but the main thing you need to be successful with is to have a strong online presence. This means that you should be active on social media and have a business website
PPC (Pay Per Click)
PPC drives traffic to your website by posting ads to social media or search engines and then paying the publisher every time your ad is clicked. The most common type is Google Ads, where your ad (link to your website) is displayed at the top of the search when someone searches for something related to your business. You can also do paid ads on Facebook and sponsored messages on LinkedIn.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a technique that also uses the top search engines to drive traffic to your website. Instead of paying for the top slots on Google, you’ll use keywords on your website and blog (if applicable) to get your website to rank in the top slots when someone conducts a search— and you’ll want your website to rank higher because studies show that not too many people visit the second and latter pages of results. This is especially true with Google since it gives tons of results for one search.
#3: Brand Marketing
The purpose of brand marketing is to increase brand awareness or to make more people aware of your company— more specifically, your company’s brand identity. A strong brand identity consists of both the seen (company name, logo, etc.) and the unseen (company’s personality, core values, etc.), with the goal of becoming more recognizable and trusted among consumers.
This is one of the most effective ways of increasing brand awareness among your consumers. As the name suggests, native advertising strategically places ads among other similar ads so it doesn’t seem out of place. One of the most common places you’ll see native advertising is on social media, such as Facebook ads or Instagram ads. You can also find native advertising on non-social media platforms, such as business and news websites.
Recruitment marketing is a type of brand marketing that’s aimed at attracting job-seekers. Instead of increasing brand awareness among your consumers, your company’s brand identity is marketed in a way that will make job-seekers feel like your company is a great fit for them. This method also works in your favor, bringing you the candidates who are the most qualified to perform whatever job role you’re trying to fill. Take a look at this guide from NAS to help you understand the best practices for recruitment marketing.
Other digital marketing strategies to be aware of include content marketing, email marketing, and mobile marketing. Really, all types of digital marketing intertwine with each other in some way, but it’s still a good idea to become knowledgeable in each of the different types to get a better understanding of how they all work together.