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13+ Most Effective Types of Digital Marketing

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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The Internet has brought about such a revolution to our life and the business industry in particular. With more than 3.5 billion active Internet users worldwide, more and more businesses decide to take a further step to digital marketing to reach more customers.

Owning a website or social media channels with an attempt to grow the business is now an indispensable area that managers and marketers should take into account. In this post, we will cover more than 10 most common types of digital marketing. Also, we will provide the ways they bring customers to your business.

Now, let’s look at 13+ types of digital marketing.


The first type of digital marketing we want to mention is SEO that stands for Search engine optimization. SEO is regarded as being the most effective and popular method, thanks to its simple basis. When starting a digital marketing strategy, business people tend to reach potential customers through global search engines like Google and Bing. SEO works to make your brand and your content optimized for those engines, making it easier to attract consumers online.

SEO will help your website have wider visibility for users that search for information about you via search engines by adding you to the result page rankings. When using SEO, you can easily reach your potential customers due to the keywords you use and highlight in your content.

The way SEO works seem simple, right? However, to get success in business through this type of digital marketing, you need to understand more clearly about its optimization and what it focuses on. When it comes to techniques used in an SEO strategy, there are various tools that marketers should combine and work effectively like keyword research, content creation, backlink building, technical website optimization, and more. The process of optimizing includes the following stages:

  • Businesses working with SEO will use keywords and different tools to help their website get more visibility.
  • The websites and content of those businesses are optimized for search engines.
  • Quality links will be built to and from their websites, making it easy for search engine robots to crawl well.
  • Search engine robots and crawlers will crawl their content to collect valuable information and arrange them in search engine archives.
  • Now, your website and content are optimized efficiently. Google or Bing will show your site as a result when users search for something related to your keywords.

As you can see, Google SEO works well in helping your website rank higher in search engine results pages. As a result, your online presence will be promoted, and the amount of valuable traffic for your websites will also be increased. Therefore, SEO is best used for those working on websites, blogs, or infographics to get high conversion potential.

SEO is one form of inbound marketing for those who do not know, which makes it more and more common among digital marketers. That is, focusing directly on those attracted to your products and looking for those to make a new purchase. In this way, you can target customers’ right group via search engines instead of sending the wrong messages to those who may not need your services.

SEO still holds some disadvantages. The fact is that SEO is an on-going strategy that asks for a long period of time and a big amount of money to spend on. Only when you invest in it long enough do you gain high results. Therefore, it turns to be time-consuming for the average business managers who expect to have good results in a short time. What’s more, algorithms that search engines often use to rank websites vary every day, which means that optimization becomes more complex to achieve.

To get over it, you can work with reliable digital strategy agencies or digital strategy agencies that offer SEO services via multiple different search engines.

SEO is now divided into the following approaches that you can test out to find the most suitable way for your company. They are:

  • On-page SEO: As the name says, this approach means the content appearing on the page will be optimized. This is what consumers will look at first when visiting your site. To fulfill this type of SEO, you can basically search for the keywords and get the answer to readers’ questions. In this way, you will rank higher on the search engine results pages.

  • Off-page SEO: On the other hand, this type of SEO focuses on the content existing off the page when your website is optimized. Those off-page activities won’t appear on your page but exist, which are inbound links (also known as backlinks). Besides getting a higher rank via keywords, you can also rely on the publishers that link to you as well as their relative authority. In order to do off-page SEO, you can network with other publishers, write guest posts on their sites and link back to your website, or create an external notice. You will not only earn more and more inbound links but also move your site up on all the correct search engine results pages.

  • Technical SEO: Unlike the two types above, this type of SEO doesn’t focus on the content but the backend of your website. They are how your website is codes, structured information, images compression, CSS file optimization, and more. This type of SEO works to boost the speed when your website is loaded, which takes an important role among multiple ranking factors in ranking higher in search engines. Google, the largest search engine globally, thinks highly of the loading speed of a website.

  • Local SEO: this one is just a specific subset that focuses on small businesses. This type of SEO is often used by local companies that expect to market their products and websites to their communities.


SEM, which stands for Search engine marketing has quite a similar name with SEO that we mentioned above. Sometimes, SEM is also mistaken with PPC that we will explain later. All working with search engines like Google or Bing, SEM, SEO, and PPC are three different terms.

When using SEM, you are likely to pay to promote the website traffic from search engines rather than ranking for your target keywords. However, SEM shouldn’t be used as a replacement for search engine optimization. Indeed, you need to combine both types of digital marketing to get the highest results that you expect. Indeed, you need to combine both digital marketing types to get the highest results that you expect.

By using SEM, you will have a chance to have your ads run on the search results page, and of course, you pay for it. When it comes to how it looks, those paid ads are quite similar to organic search results in Google apart from the “Ad” label. What’s more, the paid ads will be stick at that top of the page and before any organic results. Marketing budgets pay and your website will get better visibility and higher brand awareness. The two most commonly-used SEM services are Bing Ads and Google AdWords.

SEM seems to be more effective than SEO, although businesses need to pay more in this case. When knowing the target keywords and searchers’ location, digital marketers will find it easy to create targeted search ads according to those data.

Therefore, you can narrow down your ads to a specific demographic or area. Targeting the right group of customers means you are promoting your brand’s engagement, which is the key goal of any business. Moreover, you can also target competitor keywords, which enables you to gain website traffic from your rival businesses.

To get started with SEM, you need to take into account keywords that is the key foundation of any search engine marketing campaign. Let’s find out the keywords that are related to your products, services, or brand. The keywords will be those that are not only relevant to your business but also what searchers will be likely to use when making a search question via Google or Bing. If you find it difficult to identify your keywords, take a look at Google Keyword Planner.


Another type of digital marketing that also deals with search engines like Google and Bing is PPC, also known as pay-per-click advertising. This is one of the most common digital marketing types that push the content to the top of search engine results pages. In this type, you pay for every time your ads are clicked. Easily put, PPC is when you pay a publisher for the number of clicks you get on your ad, which allows you to gain more traffic to your website.

When using the PPC method, you don’t have to worry about the upfront cost. The more customers click on your ad, the more you have to pay. So when few or no users click on your ad, you pay nothing. This type’s cost depends on the number of clicks, so it is attractive to small-volume businesses that do not have large budgets.

The normal CPC (Cost per click) is about $1 to $2 but it varies according to the market you are in and the keywords you want to target. If you are in competitive industries or you choose competitive keywords, be ready to pay a higher cost. This cost is up to $50 if you work in the insurance industry. Therefore, an effective PPC strategy is when it targets a short-term purpose like transferring products or seasonal deals to increase the revenue.

Despite being suitable for any kind of business, the PPC method has one drawback. Because you will pay for the number of clicks you get, it is difficult to evaluate and predict how much you have to spend on a PPC strategy.

PPC ads are often used on Google via Google Ads. There are four places for Ads on Google and you are allowed to pay for top slots on the search engine results pages of Google. When having PPC campaigns on Google, you need to use Google Adwords to find out the most relevant keywords that your website will perform well. Then, the cost per click will be identified based on the keyword competition and the industry. Finally, your ads will appear in the related search results, and you will pay for it any time your ads are clicked.

Besides Google Ads, you can also use PPC ads on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as follow:

  • Twitter Ads campaigns: Before starting a Twitter Ads Campaign, you need to set your goals, which may be increasing website traffic, increasing follower numbers, boosting tweet engagement, or persuading people to download your app. Then, use the PPC method to add your posts or profile badges to the news feed of a specific user who is attracted to the industry you are marketing. You will pay for the success of your campaign that is also fulfilling the goal you set before.

  • PPC Ads on Facebook: It is quite similar to Google when you pay for placing your video, image post, or slideshow on the news feeds of Facebook users. Facebook will help you publish those posts to the audience related to your business and your products.

  • Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: In this channel, you will pay to send a specific message directly to LinkedIn users. The users that you send messages to are those who work in the relevant industry and have the background matching your business.

No matter what channel you choose to use PPC ads, remember to do your research and think ahead of the competition first. Only when you find the correct keywords will you be successful in the PPC method.

Content Marketing

Things are different when it comes to Content marketing because this type of digital marketing refers to indirect marketing products and services to customers by creating and delivering valuable content pushing their purchasing decisions.

Content marketing is when you focus on creating content that is useful and relevant. Those are what your customers expect to see and can persuade them to buy your products. With an effective tool like content marketing, you will not only share information about your brand or your services but also promote your value and messages.

Content marketing brings about many advantages like increasing customer’s trust, building brand awareness, boosting brand reputation, growing traffic, leading generation, etc. What’s more, once your content is made in high quality, it will be shared around the social network, and in turn, you can gain brand engagement among your customers and your peers within the industry. Learn more about the 5 w’s and the H in content marketing

Also, content marketing is often combined with other types of digital marketing to maximize its effects. Many businesses use content marketing as the core of their digital marketing strategy combined with SEO, social media marketing, PPC, and more.

There are many forms of content in terms of this type, such as blogs, videos, social media posts, e-books, brochures, infographics, case studies, or templates. Here are the details of its most popular content types on the web:

  • Blog posts: This type means creating and publishing posts on a blog site of the company to show your industry knowledge and expertise and gain more organic search traffic for the business. One main goal of blog post form is to convert website visitors into leads for your sales team.

  • Infographics: Instead of text and paragraphs, visual content is sometimes useful in attracting and educating customers. That’s why infographics are used by many businesses to show readers the knowledge or information you want to share via images, color palettes, shapes, and more.

  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Those are types of content with a long-form used to educate visitors to the websites. With a large amount of information provided, you can exchange content for visitors’ contact data, create more leads for your businesses, and move people via the buyer’s journey.

The basics of content marketing are quite simple. You don’t advertise your products or services directly in your posts but just provide enriching and engaging articles. By those pieces of content, you will entertain and inform your customers at the same time. Once they find your content beneficial, they will like your brand more, which leads to a loyal consumer base.

They will be likely to visit your site for more interesting posts and then purchase your services in the future. When you share informative content about your business or industry knowledge, your audiences will feel like they are listened to and appreciate the effort behind those posts. Remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy, and you need to spend much time and effort on it if you are looking forward to high results.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing, or SMM in short, is marketing your brand or your products based on social media platforms’ popularity. As you know, when the Internet developed, social media networks proved their strength by the increasing number of users.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest are the most popular social media platforms attracting millions to even billions of users around the world. Therefore, taking advantage of social media to market products is a great idea bringing about a valuable source of traffic.

In order to grow your follower numbers and reach via social media channels, you need to consider which platform or business type you are going to focus on. If you specialize in B2B, LinkedIn is suitable for you. If you look at visual content, then Instagram is a great option. Or if you just want to increase brand awareness, take a look at the giant Facebook.

When having a successful social media marketing strategy, you can easily increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. One main benefit of social media marketing is that it is accessible, affordable for any size of business.

If you invest the marketing budget on sponsored posts and paid ads, that’s good. But if you don’t, you still gain a large following and impression as you wish. The key to being successful in social media marketing is creating worth-sharing content so don’t forget to turn on the Share button to enable users to share your content with their friends and family.

SMM - Social Media Marketing
SMM - Social Media Marketing

Besides sharing, social media platforms also offer many ways for you to build two-way communication between your brand and your customers. Facebook allows users to comment, like, and react. Instagram offers a direct message feature. Twitter enables users to retweet. All those characteristics will help businesses generate more leads and build brand engagement.

The most famous social media sites is now Facebook. That’s why it is used more and more to launch targeted ads or online marketing campaigns. They rely on Facebook to gain information about their likes, interests, consumers’ persona, locations, etc. Those data will be used to target groups of users whose newsfeed Facebook will publish paid ads to. In this way, businesses can reach the right users who are about to buy the products you provide.

Social media marketing is rather a long-term investment because you will want to maintain the credibility and reputation of your business. However, if you spend money on targeted ads, it shouldn’t continue for the long term since the marketing budget can cost you a lot.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an “old but gold” type of digital marketing. It is all about sending information, discount code, links, etc. directly to your mailing list’s inboxes. There are a variety of email marketing forms that you can test out to promote your business.

Some of the most common ways are the brand newsletter, updates announcements, product launching emails, website revamping emails, the grand opening of new store emails, confirmation emails, thank-you letters, notifications, and more.

In this way, you can promote your products as well as the image of your brand, create relationships, build customer’s trust, easily receive and gather feedback from your audiences.

However, there are millions of businesses using email marketing tools to promote their products, then how to get your emails noticeable and read by the right audiences? The key tip lies in building an email database, writing eye-catching email content, targeting the audience, crafting subject lines, and choosing the right time to send emails.

Moreover, you need to keep in mind that unsolicited emails will land you a place in the spam box. Therefore, ensure your mailing list isn’t gathered from a middleman.

Email marketing is such a competitive environment so many businesses are now investing money on email marketing tools or agencies to help them in the mailing process. Those specialized companies will help you send the right email to the right people.

In particular, email marketing tools bring in traffic to your website and help you sell more services via unique discount codes. Moreover, they provide analytic tools enabling you to control the opening rate as well as the number of clicks on your link.

When it comes to short-term investment, email marketing can be used in spreading unique discount codes to boost sales. On the other hand, it can also be a long-term strategy if you choose to send blogs or newsletters to increase website traffic.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is one type of digital marketing that can bring you a big deal of outcome. In this type, you feature with an online wholesaler to receive a commission from every sale or lead with an attempt to promote your products or services on your websites.

  • Here are the two most common approaches to Affiliate marketing:

  • Creating a special discount code provided for audiences or followers

  • Having your website linked with their content website

An affiliate marketing strategy works when someone plugs in the discount code or clicks on the link, and you have to pay for that. This amount of budget will be sent directly to your online retailers. Nowadays, there are also multiple third-party companies helping you in your affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, eBay, Shopify, etc. However, you can save money by creating one program on your own.

If you work with another affiliate network, be ready to compete with multiple rival businesses within the industry. Moreover, you need to spend time and effort adapting to the rates of the network as well as its system. On the other hand, if you choose to handle it yourself, you can not only control it easily but also avoid wasting money.

But to make it well and gain success, you need to take care of many tasks ranging from reaching out to potential affiliates, training them to monitoring the leads they bring in.

Stages in Affiliate Marketing
Stages in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can result in various advantages, which makes it lucrative. By making an affiliate program, you have a chance to reach a new target audience in select communities. You just need to pay for actual conversions and your partners don’t have to pay for any upfront cost. This creates no confusion for both sides.

Affiliate marketing is often used as a short-term strategy due to partners’ following disengages. Followers tend to be annoyed and bored if you have your product displayed too much on your partner’s feed. Therefore, remember to keep it short to gain more sales and increase website traffic.

Influencer Marketing

Influencers or Key opinion leaders are terms indicating social media content creators or influential people who own a larger follower number. They might not be actors or singers but their influence is great enough to make a marketing strategy successful.

Featuring or partnering with an influencer is now an effective marketing tool that is considered the upgraded version of the traditional PR method. For example, the influencer you work with has 1 million followers. Then you can easily reach them via your partner. What’s more, followers tend to admire their influencer so they tend to pay attention to your products or services if the influencer recommends them.

There are many types of influencers so you should do a quick research before choosing the one to feature with. Here are the three most common categories of influencers that vary according to your target market, nice, and budget:

  • Micro-influencers: Their number of followers ranges from 1000 up to 100,000. Small businesses often choose them because they offer affordable marketing costs. Normally, they specialize or expertise in a specific major such as fashion, education, beauty, etc.

  • Macro-influencers: They are influencers having from 100,000 to a million followers. They are often at the top of the social media crop so they are ideal options if you are going to increase the reach and awareness of your brand.

  • Mega-influencers: Finally, they are the most famous influencers with millions of followers. They are celebrities or social media stars. When you work with them, you can expect a high result. However, consider the marketing budget since they often ask for exorbitant rates and even millions of dollars for only one post.

Therefore, the more you spend, the more you achieve. Nonetheless, remember to choose the right influencer who is related to your industry. Make sure the influencer you target can make their followers trust and buy your products. Featuring a sports star to market beauty products seems to be less effective than having a Youtube beauty blogger do that, right?

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing has many forms like mobile social ads, mobile search ads, mobile TV and radio ads, or IMM (Instant messaging marketing). The number of mobile users around the globe increases dramatically and marketers tend to spend more effort as well as money on mobile marketing. Among those, IMM is one of the most common forms of mobile marketing that is used to promote the products and the brand itself. If you use instant messaging marketing, it can bring you the following benefits:

  • Easily build up a profile or account

  • Allow customers to reply to your messages immediately

  • Easily target the right group of people by creating lists to segment your audience

To be successful in IMM, you need to take into account the two tips below:

  • Humanize your messages

  • Keep your messages short and clear

Besides audience segments, you can also take a look at geofencing that focuses on the physical locations of consumers. Geofencing is said to be more effective than audience segments in targeting mobile ads to relevant groups of audiences.

When deciding to invest in mobile marketing, remember that you are working on very small screen size and you need to think about how to adapt your typical strategy to the mobile device environment. To gain data, you can use key metrics to run your strategy more smoothly. Once you know what you are doing, the outcome must be rewarding.

Radio Marketing

Yes, radio is also a type of digital marketing. It used to be the main marketing tool in the old days. Radio is now all digital due to radio advertising. Thanks to the wide reach of radio, advertising on this type of marketing can easily reach consumers.

Radio marketing is highly recommended for small businesses because it does not ask for a high cost. What you need is just a script of content and a person who can read it well. However, different from high-cost channels, you cannot target the right group of customers or control the audiences that listen to your messages.

When going digital, radio also has different options to help you target the local and national consumer base via targeted radio ads for different nations. You will have to pay more, of course, but your ads will be heard by the right people based on their location, gender, interest, age, etc. Radio marketing strategies are suitable for local businesses that want to spread targeted location ads.

Also, one popular form of radio marketing is via Spotify advertising. It is extremely beneficial because you can target a select demographic. Spotify even provides Spotify Ad Studio to help you customize your advertisement in terms of voice-over, sound, music, time, and more.

Spotify Ad Studio
Spotify Ad Studio

Television Marketing

Besides Radio, TV is also a marketing type that moves over to digital. Television is still an entertaining and information providing tool for most of the world. Adults often spend hours watching TV every day. Therefore, television marketing is beneficial in building brand awareness and selling business products. Even when the viewers don’t buy your services immediately, you are likely to think about it when they need it since television shows information about it every day.

Being regarded as the foundation of any marketing tool, television advertising is suffering from many drawbacks. Though there are a variety of choices for those who want to advertise on TV without paying ad slot costs on prime time, the cost barrier is still the biggest disadvantage of this marketing type. Moreover, viewers who find TV advertisements annoyed are finding more ways to avoid ads with DVRs, streaming services, and illegal downloads.

To solve those issues, marketers are changing this type of marketing by mixing information of consumers and applying new methods of delivery for TV advertising. Television Advertising is now a vital part of any marketing strategy.

Therefore, when an advertising video is shown on TV, it can probably be seen on consumer’s digital devices. Also, television advertising can be targeted thanks to Virgin or Sky TV. In this way, marketers can now target the right group of audiences instead of delivering messages to all TV watchers.

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing means marketing via viral videos being published online. Viral videos are becoming increasingly popular among businesses working online. It is considered an effective type of marketing. When creating a viral marketing strategy, marketers tend to build a video, album, or image that is shareworthy, funny, trendy, and topical.

Customers are often attracted to video content and viral video is the most powerful online marketing tool when it comes to viral marketing. There are different approaches that businesses can choose which range from working with a famous viral content creator, connecting with a well-known social media influencer or KOL, or making the content on their own.

And no matter how and who they work with, viral marketing can promote their business, increase traffic to their websites, inform customers about their brands, boost brand engagement, and help them go viral as long as they do it right.

Viral marketing is challenging but rewarding
Viral marketing is challenging but rewarding

So, how does viral marketing work?

Products and services of a company are often included, used, or simply featured in viral videos or images. Once the viral content goes viral, those products and services will be promoted successfully. Although viral marketing is easy to understand due to its simple basics, the results of it are often beyond expectations.

When you build and publish a piece of content that is attractive enough, the listeners or readers who engage with it will feel relatable and tend to share it with their personal communities. When their friends and family find it worth sharing, they continue to engage with it and share it with more people. Now, your piece of content has been widespread around social media.

Viral marketing is an ideal type for B2C businesses. A viral video or post will help them increase their ROI, enhance their brand awareness, and share positive messages with your consumers.

As you can see, viral marketing is challenging but rewarding. Nowadays, online businesses start mixing influencer marketing with viral marketing in order to maximize the reach of their viral content. If you want to test out this type of digital marketing, research more about the brands being successful and those failing in viral content. Because you are about to spend much time and effort on viral marketing, be aware and prepare carefully first.

Online PR

Online Public Relations
Online Public Relations

Online PR has many similar features to traditional public relations activities but it is made in the online area and its goal is reaching online customers. Online PR helps businesses work with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites to protect and advertise their products.

Having an online PR strategy, businesses are managing a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between them and their public via online channels. Here are some channels that you can use to make your online PR campaign work well:

  • Engaging online reviews: Instead of spending time on increasing the good reviews of your brand, let’s engage them. No matter whether they are positive or not, those online reviews from “the real human” will help boost your brand credibility. Once your business image is humanized, you can easily share strong messages to enhance and improve your reputation.

  • Engaging comments: Here is another way to humanize your business, but through comments on your personal sites. When a consumer leaves a question or shares his thoughts, please be free to respond to them. In this way, more productive conversations will be created and your readers will feel like they are listened to.

  • Develop relationships with the press via social media: This is a simple and common way that is used by many businesses to gain earned media chances for their brands.

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Digital marketing is a huge landscape that incorporates different platforms and practices. What we mentioned above are just the most common and effective types of digital marketing. There are also multiple other types that give you endless opportunities to grow your business. Let’s take a look and try out some of those to find the best type for you.

Hopefully, this post gives you something useful that you can use to get success in business. If we miss something or that you don’t understand about any type of digital marketing, do not hesitate to leave us a comment in the section below. Share it with your friends and follow our site for more interesting articles.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.