Marketing allows businesses to advertise their offerings to ideal customers, differentiate themselves among competitors, and influence increased sales.
With many diverse marketing tactics on offer, however, it can be challenging for entrepreneurs to decide which strategies to adopt to fulfil their specific goals; each approach can afford your brand the opportunity to reach consumers in different ways, drive diverse actions, and result in alternative outcomes.
Therefore, you need to understand what methods are available (including their respective strengths and weaknesses), as well as which ones are suitable for your own tailored objectives.
Different Types of Marketing
Wherever you are looking to target consumers, there is a platform that exists through which you can reach them; to help you identify those platforms, we've compiled a comprehensive list of the most popular approaches, and the primary objectives that each one seeks to achieve.
This broad form of marketing is the promotion of a business, its products and services via the internet. Delivered through online channels and accessible by digital devices, it can include communication, advertisement, lead nurturing, and customer relationship management (or indeed a combination of all of these).
There are several precise subcategories of digital marketing:
Email marketing involves sending business-related messaging electronically to a database of buyers and subscribers. Crucial to maintaining consistent communication with customers, these emails may include promotional, educational, and general brand awareness content.
Your company’s relationship with its consumers can be positively impacted by an effective email marketing strategy, provided that the content is relevant and interesting to recipients, and the sending frequency is appropriate.
Social Media Marketing
This marketing subcategory sees brands utilise social media channels to share original content and reach target audiences. A more informal form of communication compared to email messaging, social media marketing offers companies the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage with their followers, ultimately forming closer relationships with shoppers.
Popular social media channels for businesses to choose from include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok, although the platform that you use should depend on your target demographic.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Marketing
SEO marketing involves the enhancement of digital content to increase traffic to your company’s website (or other online channels). Numerous tactics can be adopted in order for these pages to receive higher rankings on search engine result pages, and thus improve your visibility to relevant searchers. For businesses with a restricted reach, local SEO is an increasingly important approach, too.
In addition to organic techniques, your brands can also use paid ads to support your SEO marketing.
Viral marketing involves engaging with shoppers to encourage them to share information about your brand with others online, predominantly through social media. The objective of viral marketing is to further brand awareness among new audiences and benefit from an added sense of authenticity due to the content being re-shared by buyers themselves.
This is considered the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth and can be affected by high-quality, emotional content that viewers deem worthy of sharing to their contacts.
Affiliate marketing allows individuals and businesses alike to promote the products and services of another enterprise and gain a commission for each successful sale that arises from their affiliation. This type of marketing typically utilises unique URL links, or digital promotional codes, to accurately record the online actions taken by consumers as a result of each affiliate.
Companies can use consumer data to support personalised marketing, delivering automated adverts, offers, and messages tailored to individual buyers’ interests based on their behaviour. Recorded behaviour can include actions taken on a brand’s website or app, products reviewed, or preferences recorded via prior digital feedback collection.
Something of a recent consumer trend, personalised marketing can be delivered through your company’s website, app, and via email.
Offline marketing describes a range of promotional tactics that are not delivered digitally, but instead reach consumers via tangible advertisement material, physical events, and offline communication channels. This form of marketing is particularly effective in reaching mass audiences and promoting valuable brand awareness, perception, and affinity.
Many subgenres belong to this marketing category:
Event marketing focuses on enhancing the communication and relationship between your brand and its customers by engaging with them through different kinds of physical meetings. These can include tradeshows and exhibitions, educational seminars, one-to-one meetings, appreciation events, product launches, and meetup events.
Event marketing can also provide an excellent opportunity for your business to gain feedback on your products and operations, not only from existing buyers, but also prospective consumers, industry experts, and more.
Direct Mail Marketing
The offline equivalent of email marketing, direct mailing involves brands sending physical promotional leaflets, samples, and newsletters to the home addresses of consumers. Often garnering higher response rates than email marketing, this tactic can prove effective in maintaining consistent communication with target audiences.
Broadcast marketing is the promotion of your company, its products and services via television and radio. Reaching potentially vast audiences, this technique amplifies brand awareness, marketing campaign delivery, and can drive actions from new and loyal consumers.
Accomplishing similar results to broadcast methods, billboard marketing allows your company to attract the attention of large audiences, via the placement of large-scale printed ads in outdoor areas of high traffic or footfall. Billboard ads can gain more visibility and be harder to ignore compared to TV and radio announcements, as they cannot be muted, skipped or turned off by viewers.
Print marketing uses adverts in magazines, newspapers, and other physical publications to reach consumers. This technique offers your brand the opportunity to reach out to specific buyer groups who form the readerships of particular publications and is a wonderful example of targeted offline marketing.
Embedded marketing involves the mention of your business (or a display of your products) in television shows and films. An often-expensive strategy, this can bring broad awareness to new audiences, and affect memorable, positive brand affiliation to viewers.
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of informative, engaging material that is complementary to your business’ offering, but does not directly promote specific products in the same way that a standard advert does. This can take the form of online blog posts, videos, podcasts, or photos, as well as offline articles and newsletters.
User-Generated Content Marketing
Content marketing is not necessarily limited to the use of material created directly by your company. You may also utilise user-generated content – that is, content captured, created and shared by consumers. This can often gain greater engagement compared to company-prepared material, as it is perceived to be more authentic and trustworthy by general audiences. This may include photos and videos, as well as written content such as reviews and testimonials.
Using customer-generated content provides another advantage, in that it makes consumers whose material is selected and promoted feel valued, heard, and more included by your brand.
Guerrilla marketing is the act of surprising consumers by placing unusual, out-of-the-box promotional material in unexpected outdoor and indoor locations. Usually low-cost, this approach is heralded for its effectiveness as it leaves a lasting impression on viewers – especially when it is done right. Though predominantly executed offline, this kind of marketing can be amplified by the adoption of additional online marketing strategies, too.
Influencer marketing involves companies partnering with celebrities, as well as individuals considered experts in various fields, and working together on promoted marketing campaigns. Campaign content is then shared online and offline by those chosen representatives through their own channels, to their particular audiences.
This strategy takes advantage of the authentic connection that influencers share with their fan bases, indirectly encouraging them to make purchasing decisions based on their association with your brand. This can be highly effective when the right influencer is hired and the campaign is well executed.
Influencer marketing is often coupled with affiliate marketing, as brand ambassadors can be paid for their partnership, in addition to receiving a commission for any sales resulting directly from their collaborated content.
This kind of marketing sees businesses tailor their promotional techniques to appeal specifically to consumer groups defined by the generation to which they belong. Companies analyse data around these groups’ preferences, influences, motivations, and disposable income, to determine how best to market to, and communicate with them. This approach ultimately aims to achieve greater ROI on advertising expenditure targeting these consumers.
Loyalty marketing describes the marketing approach that aims to influence buyer satisfaction and capture recurring business from existing consumers, by rewarding them for continued transactions and engagements with a company. This technique often centres around a comprehensive loyalty scheme which can be executed and monitored both online, through dedicated apps and web pages, as well as offline in-store.
With so many types of marketing to choose from, entrepreneurs must first understand who their customers are and then discern how to reach them. Many of these tactics are most effective when adopted together, and so your brand would do well to balance promotional spend between online and offline marketing strategies, as well as utilise traditional and innovative approaches.
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