Joe Peterson

Digital Marketing Categories

Posted on Feb 14, 2019

For More Info Visit

We realise there’s a lot of different types of digital marketing (and we mean a lot), but leading digital marketing expert Neil Patel backs the theory that all digital marketing falls into 11 categories. And these are…

1. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

3. PPC (Pay-per-click)

4. SMM (Social Media Marketing)

5. Content Marketing

6. Email Marketing

7. Influencer / Affiliate Marketing

8. Viral Marketing

9. Radio Advertising

10. Television Advertising

11. Mobile Advertising

And we’re going to go through each of these categories in detail, so you can fully understand what you need to be investing in. Whilst the biggest businesses in the world have their finger in every metaphorical pie, a smaller business can benefit from just using a few services. It’s all dependent on what kind of business you are, and what your goals are too. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need every service offered above – unless your goals line up with all of the services on offer.

We’ve got an infographic listing all 11 types, just below!

11 types of digital marketing

1. SEM

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is generally considered to cover both PPC and SEO work. Bringing in traffic to your website via search engines is no easy task, that’s why SEO and PPC work to look into bringing said traffic in through both paid and unpaid means. PPC paid advertising, and SEO, which works on bringing in organic traffic. This doesn’t mean that SEO work is free, but we’ll get into the details below.

2. SEO

We’ll start with SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation. SEO works to make your business optimised for search engines, like Google and Bing. It’s all about moving you up the search engine results page rankings to have better visibility for users searching for your website. Many people don’t bother scrolling to page 2 of search engines, so SEO is essential to work if you want to generate more business from online searches. By no means is SEO a quick fix, when our clients sign up for SEO, we always inform them that the process will take time to yield results

How it Works

Through keyword research and ranking analysis, we determine how you fair against your competitors for keyword rankings. We then work on optimising your website and the content on it for search engines, as well as building quality links both to and from your website, in order to allow your website to be crawled efficiently. Your content is crawled by search engine robots, or crawlers, to collate the data and index it in search engine archives. Then, when a relevant search term is used, Google will return your site as a result. The ranking determines how relevant your site is to a user’s search term. The goal is to be in the coveted top 3 spots.


SEO is an on-going strategy, and the longer you invest in it, the more results it yields. It’s not a quick fix.

3. PPC

PPC, or Pay-per-click, is a form of advertising on search engines, like Google and Bing. It’s a way of moving to the top of search engine results pages by paid means. It’s called PPC because your ad account is charged every time one of your adverts is clicked. The cost of each ad, or CPC (cost per click), depends on the quality score of your website and the selected keyword’s competition. PPC campaigns can be a short-term solution, and many use it to shift products or seasonal deals, as a way to boost revenue. There are around 4 spots for Ads on Google, so getting your website in the for a selected keyword can be challenging. SEO work is about your ranking being ‘earned’, but PPC your ranking on the first page is bought.

How it Works

By bidding on a selected keyword or search term, you can make your way into the 4 ad spaces on offer by Google. Through tools like Google AdWords, PPC pros work on finding keywords that your website will perform well, and dependent on the competition, CPC is determined. Through bidding on keywords, against competitors, your ad appears in relevant search results and will charge you if a user clicks on your ad.


Many of our clients use both short-term and long-running PPC campaigns. Dependent on what you’re using your PPC for, it can be either

Marketing bilboard

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the process of working on marketing through, you guessed it, social media. With social platforms like FacebookTwitter and Instagram (to name a few) ever growing, businesses online need to invest in social media marketing in order to grow their following and reach a whole new pool of potential customers. Dependent on your business type, there’s a social network out there for you. All businesses would do well to be on Facebook, but if you specialise in B2B, LinkedIn is the one for you. If you’re a ‘visual business’, then Instagram is the ideal. We could go on and on, but you get the point. You should be on social media if you aren’t, but how do you market on social media?

How it Works

Through like campaigns and targeted ads, the goal is to grow your following on social media in the hopes of gaining more business through these platforms. Sites like Facebook collect data about your likes and interests, as well as personal factors like age, location etc. All of this information is available to Facebook business users to create targeted ads to appear on a select demographic’s news feed. These ads can be used to promote products, services or entice users to ‘like’ your page, keeping them up to date with your posts.


SMM can be both a long-term or short-term investment. Whilst maintaining social media is key, using targeted ads via the service doesn’t have to continue forever – otherwise, it could cost a lot.

5. Content Marketing

This style of marketing is a little different than the previous ones we’ve mentioned. It’s not so much about directly marketing products and services to customers, but rather creating enriching and valuable content that enhances customer experience. Some of the biggest brands in the world will actively post blogs, images and videos relating to their business that are entertaining and informative too. It’s what establishes your business as a brand and essentially what makes your customers like you more. It’s like promoting your brand without the aim to an incentive to sell anything behind your posts – simply providing information that is both enriching and engaging.

How it Works

Through posting blogs, videos and images, you build up a loyal consumer base, that visit your site for content that serves a purpose. Whether that be informative content about your business or industry knowledge you share, your customers will appreciate the effort behind every blog or video you post. It’s about listening to your customer needs and producing what they want. If your content is share-worthy enough, it can help drive in traffic and potentially more business.


Content marketing should be a long-term investment, and like SEO needs to be worked on constantly in order to yield results.

content marketing - keyboard

6. Email Marketing

Another form of marketing is email marketing, and you’ve guessed it, it involves email. It’s a form of direct marketing which sends information, offers, blogs etc. directly to your mailing list’s inboxes. Through a sea of emails, your marketing email will appear, but the trick is getting it read. Yes, it may emerge alongside 100s emails, and if you can’t create an email that’s eye-catching, then it will be lost. Luckily there are email marketing tools and agencies (like us), that can assist you. Email marketing is a great way of reaching your customers, interacting with them after purchases or even sending them a newsletter. Be warned, sending unsolicited emails will land you a place in the spam box. So, make sure you’ve gathered your mailing list by your own means and not from a third-party company. They need to be your customers or have opted into receiving your mail.

How it Works

By using your existing mailing list, you can create a prospective list of recipients for your mail. Whether it be for remarketing or to update them on a new blog post, you need to send the right email to the right people. Once you’ve decided on the mail you’re going to send, using email marketing tools or a digital marketing agency *cough*, us, *cough* you can design an on-brand email to send out to your mailing list. This can bring in traffic to your site, or even help you sell some products with unique discount codes. With the analytic tools, you can monitor things like opening rate and even how many clicked through on a link.


Email marketing is usually considered short term but can be used as long-term. If you’re sending out unique discount codes for a brief time, it can be a short-term fix to boost sales. Or if you choose to send blogs or newsletters, to boost your website traffic, it can be used long term. Just don’t send email after email every day – people don’t like that.

7. Influencer / Affiliate Marketing

Both influencer and affiliate marketing utilise those in a position of ‘power’, usually social media influencers or industry experts etc. This is to assist you in marketing a product or service to their audience. It’s become more and more popular in recent years, through sites like Instagram and YouTube, where companies will enlist a well-known influencer, to promote their products or services on their social pages or affiliate websites. These collaborations can involve giving away unique discount codes, sponsored blog posts or prize draws etc. for the influencer’s audience, to build some buzz around your brand and business.

How it Works

This investment cycle entails finding someone with a large following. This can be on social or in an industry and then approaching them with a collaboration. Most will require payment or a cut of the sales that come from their audience purchasing their products or services. Then, they’ll create posts, blogs or videos, to ‘show off’ your collaboration and hopefully bring in more sales for your business. It’s about finding the right influencer for your business.


Influencer or Affiliate marketing can be a short-term campaign, to help bring in more sales or increase website traffic. Influencers won’t usually continuously promote for longer than a week or less. This is because of their following disengages (they get bored of seeing your product on their ‘idols’ feed).

8. Viral Marketing

You know those viral videos you see online? Well, some companies use those as a smart form of marketing. Whether it’s teaming up with a popular viral content creator or promoting it themselves, the idea of viral marketing is to create something shareworthy – by making it funny, on trend and topical.

How it Works

Viral videos or images will indirectly promote a product or service (be it the product being included or the service being used or simply featured), then the hopes are that this is shared around social media.


This is a great option for b2c businesses, and there’s a lot of influencers and content creators out there who can mix influencer marketing with viral marketing in order to maximise the reach of your viral content.

9. Radio Advertising

Whilst radio used to be solely based on radio waves, it’s now all digital. Which means, radio advertising now falls into the realm of digital marketing (welcome to the club radio!). Radio ads are a great way to get your business or brand heard, and it’s never been easier to do with digital advertising.

How it Works

You can now use targeted radio ads for different locations. So, whether you’re targeting a local or national consumer base, your radio advertising can be heard by the right people. There’s also the option to advertise through Spotify, for non-premium users. The ads they will hear can be targeted towards them based on their age, location, gender and more – because of the account information they provide to Spotify.


Look into targeted location ads if you’re a local business, and if you’re a national one, look into Spotify advertising to directly target a select demographic.

10. Television Advertising

Radio isn’t the only thing to move over to digital. There are loads of options for those that want to advertise on television without paying expensive ad slot costs on prime time TV.

How it Works

Similarly to the radio, television ads can now be targeted directly to locations or demographics through things like Virgin or Sky TV. But, it’s not just on your TV. If you use on demand or catch up TV, adverts can also appear midway through your stream (like on All 4). It allows you to have targeted ads for selected audiences.


Like radio, find your demographic and look into directed advertising through both on-demand streaming and Sky boxes (for example).

11. Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising is something that spans across all forms of digital marketing we’ve mentioned above. Whether it’s mobile social adsmobile search ads or even mobile TV and radio ads, every form of digital marketing we’ve mentioned can be transferred to mobile.

Revive Digital Logo Coaster

There you have it. That’s our list! Hopefully, now you understand a little more about the types of digital marketing. Which means, you’ll be able to find the right service for you. If you have any questions about digital marketing, you can speak to our team of experts.We’ll devise a winning marketing strategy to help with your goals!

Leave a Reply


You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.