How much time should you spend on marketing your company or brand? How often should you post new updates? What kind of social media platforms should you use? These questions are common among entrepreneurs who want to promote their businesses.
Marketing is the act of communicating information about a product or service to customers. The goal of marketing is to increase sales and awareness of a particular brand. There are several types of marketing strategies, such as advertising, public relations, direct mail, e-mail marketing, and word-of-mouth marketing.
And there are many different types of marketing. Each type has its pros and cons, and each strategy requires a specific amount of time and effort.
The Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing refers to brand promotion that takes place offline. This includes advertising campaigns done via printed materials like brochures, posters, and advertisements. These are often referred to as “outbound” marketing because they involve sending messages to potential customers.
In contrast, digital marketing encompasses online activities such as email newsletters, social media posts, and webinars. Digital marketers use software to track how many people view each campaign, where visitors come from, what keywords they used to find you, and whether those visits turned into sales.
The term “marketing” consists of many different disciplines. Marketing is about creating awareness of products and services. Outbound marketing is advertising; it involves sending messages out into the world. Inbound marketing is about attracting people to you.
Digital marketing includes online ads like Facebook posts and banner ads.
Search engine marketing is about getting traffic to your site via paid advertisements. Content marketing is about producing quality content that attracts readers. Social media marketing is about connecting with customers on social networks.
Video marketing is about making videos to attract and inform your audience.
The following details a complete overview of the many different types of marketing, and how they might fit into your own marketing mix.
Outbound marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising because it allows you to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and location. You don’t need to spend money on expensive media campaigns like TV commercials or radio spots to reach potential customers. Instead, you can use less costly methods like phone calls, emails, text messages, social media posts, and even billboards and street posters.
The best part about outbound marketing is that you can start reaching people immediately without waiting for them to find you online. In fact, many companies are finding success with outbound marketing strategies by targeting prospects and leads before they become customers.
The main difference between inbound and outbound marketing is the source of leads and information. Inbound marketing starts with a lead, generated organically through a well-optimized website, social media presence, etc. On the other hand, outbound marketing begins with a pre-qualified contact that you acquire through advertising, sales, public relations, events, etc.
Inbound marketing generates traffic, leads, and opportunities, while outbound marketing generates attention and awareness.
Inbound marketing is a relatively new term coined by HubSpot founder, Brian Halligan, in 2012. He defined it as “the art and science of bringing people into contact with your brand.” While traditional advertising methods focus on interrupting consumers, inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers rather than disrupting them.
The vast majority of inbound marketing efforts fall under digital marketing. This is because consumers are empowered to do much of their research online as they progress along their buying cycle. Because of this, businesses must leverage technology to provide useful information about products and services that interest potential buyers.
A few examples include blog posts, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. These types of resources are called landing pages. Landing pages are often used to collect email addresses or lead forms. They’re typically optimized to answer questions that prospective clients might ask themselves before making a purchase decision.
Another example is social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram allow companies to interact directly with current and potential customers. By posting regularly, engaging with followers, and responding quickly to comments and questions, companies build trust with customers and show that they care.
Many marketers use both inbound and outbound strategies simultaneously. Outbound refers to any form of communication where a business sends promotional messages to prospects or customers. Examples include direct mailers, telemarketing, billboards, newspaper ads, radio spots, TV commercials, etc. Outbound marketing is often effective due to its ability to cost effectively target large numbers of people at once. However, it can become expensive, slow, and doesn’t always work.
On the flip side, inbound marketing uses internet technologies to attract visitors to a site. Some common inbound techniques include creating great content, building an active community, and providing excellent customer service.
Inbound marketing relies heavily on producing quality content that engages readers and keeps them coming back for more. Great content attracts traffic and encourages sharing, while poor content leaves visitors feeling indifferent or worse off.
Digital marketing is the opposite of “traditional marketing,” leveraging technology that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, to reach audiences in new and innovative ways. Traditional marketing methods include TV ads, billboards, print ads, radio spots, etc. These are still very much alive and well, but many businesses now use digital marketing tools like Facebook advertising, YouTube videos, banner ads, etc. to connect with potential customers.
Businesses leverage digital channels, including search engines, social media sites, email, and websites, to connect with current and potential customers. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others allow companies to interact directly with consumers by posting information about products and services. Companies can also provide special offers and discounts through social media platforms. Search engines like Google and Bing track what people are searching for and display relevant advertisements above organic search results. Email allows marketers to send messages to contacts within a specific contact list. Websites allow brands to build trust with visitors by providing useful information.
The term “digital marketing” includes both paid and unpaid methods. Paid methods include pay-per-click advertising, sponsored posts, display advertising, and social media marketing. Unpaid methods include building a strong brand presence, creating quality content, and getting involved in communities related to your industry.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, or SEM for short, is the process of optimizing your site for visibility on search engines. This includes everything from ensuring that your webpages are properly coded to making sure that your brand name appears high up in the search rankings. In fact, it’s often called the second most important form of internet marketing.
The two main forms of SEM are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click), although there are many others. Here’s what each entails:
Organic SEO – You don’t bid on keywords here; rather, you optimize your site to rank well organically. Your goal is to improve your position on the search engine results page without paying for every single click.
Pay-Per-Click – On the other hand, pay-per-click is where you pay a fee whenever someone clicks on your ad. If you want to see how much traffic you can generate through paid advertisements, this is the way to go.
Content marketing is a key instrument used in inbound and digital advertising. It involves creating, publishing and distributing content to your targeted audiences through free and gated distribution channels, like social media platforms, blogs and video sites.
With content marketing, the goal isn’t just to generate leads — it’s to help your prospects along their buying process. You want to provide information, education, and inspiration to your prospects to move them closer to making a decision to buy what you’re selling.
First, determine the questions potential customers might ask about your products or services. Once you know those questions, you’ll be able to create content that addresses those issues.
Next, plan out how much content you’ll produce each month. Create a schedule that works for you. And stick to it! If you don’t publish regularly, people will lose interest in your brand and stop trusting your content.
Lastly, use content marketing tools to distribute your content. These include CMSes (Content Management Systems), email marketing software, and blog hosting platforms.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is no longer just about posting photos and videos. Brands must now think about how they’re engaging with consumers across multiple channels.
With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, brands can market themselves to customers on a more personal level. But because social media isn’t always used as a promotional tool, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to overwhelm people with too many ads. Instead, you want to use social media to build relationships with potential customers and keep them engaged.
Brands can post content that promotes products and services, but they must do so in a way that encourages interaction. For example, posting a video of a product being demonstrated could lead to comments asking questions. Or perhaps a brand could host a contest where people can win free tickets to a concert. In both cases, brands are building connections and encouraging fans to interact with each other.
Now onto consistency. If you’re posting regularly on your profile, you’ll make your presence known to your followers. You might even start receiving “likes,” “shares,” and comments, which helps increase your visibility.
And once you’ve built up enough momentum, it’s important to continue to post consistently. This helps your followers understand who you are and what you’re about. They’ll know that every week you’ll post a certain type of content, which makes it easier for them to anticipate what to expect next.
The rise of smartphones and tablets has given marketers access to a whole new audience. For those companies looking to reach consumers on the go, mobile marketing offers a powerful way to connect with consumers and build relationships.
Mobile marketing includes everything from push alerts and text messaging to social media campaigns and interactive ads. In addition to being able to track how many times someone opens your message, it’s possible to learn about what types of products and brands consumers like.
A core part of any digital marketing strategy, mobile marketing has quickly grown in popularity over the past few years. In 2017 alone, it grew by 16% and now accounts for almost half of all ad spending.
Mobile marketing refers to any type of marketing or advertising activity that utilizes mobile devices as its primary promotional platform. As smartphones became increasingly popular, marketers realized they could reach consumers wherever they happened to be.
Push notifications, SMS messages, app alerts, banner ads, and even QR codes are all common ways to promote a product or brand. Mobile marketing takes advantage of people’s tendency to check their phones whenever they come across something interesting.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools out there. In fact, according to a Wyzowl study, 86 percent of companies use videos in their marketing strategies. And the good news is that video is not only effective, it’s also super easy to produce. You don’t need to be a professional filmmaker to make great videos. With a little creativity, you can capture stunning visuals that will engage your audience.
You can start creating awesome videos today. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Choose a topic that matters to your business — If you’re looking to sell products online, you might consider making instructional videos about how to assemble furniture or build electronics kits. Or maybe you want to highlight the latest innovations in technology. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that people are much more likely to watch a video that teaches them something useful rather than simply entertaining.
2. Plan ahead — Before you begin shooting footage, think about what types of videos your customers will find helpful. Do you want to show how to install a product? How to set up a home office? Or perhaps you want to explain why your product is better than competitors’ products. Once you’ve determined what type of videos you want to make, write down a few ideas and brainstorm ways to convey those messages visually. Then, plan your shoot accordingly.
3. Shoot in high definition — Videos shot in HD look fantastic on every screen size, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, and projectors. This is especially important if you want to upload your videos to platforms like Facebook where they’ll play best.
4. Edit & optimize — After you finish filming, go into your editing software and trim out excess footage. Try to cut out anything unrelated to your video’s main points. For example, if you’re trying to promote a new app, don’t include shots of your cat sleeping on the couch or eating breakfast. Instead, focus on showcasing your app’s features. Similarly, try to cut out unnecessary background noise such as fans, pets, kids, etc. Finally, add text captions to your video. They let your viewers know exactly what each scene is about.
5. Post regularly — Don’t wait until you’ve finished producing all your videos to post them to your blog or social media channels. Share a new video once or twice per week, and always include a link to the original source material. Your followers will appreciate being able to see more of your work.
Voice marketing is leveraging smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. These devices are now being used to help people find information, make purchases, book appointments and get directions. As consumers become increasingly comfortable interacting with these devices, marketers are starting to use them to interact with customers and prospects.
Beyond optimizing your website for voice searches by incorporating the right keywords into your copy, you can also get creative by developing a Google Home Action or Alexa Skill. For example, Uber created an Alexa Skill that allows users to request a ride simply by asking “Alexa, ask Uber for a ride…”
The skill uses natural language processing technology to understand what the user wants and respond accordingly.
Email marketing connects brands to leads and prospects via email. An effective email campaign can help increase brand awareness, generate interest in a product or service, encourage sales, or build loyalty among existing customers. Email campaigns can be used for a variety of purposes, including increasing customer retention, nurturing leads, generating interest in a product or event, promoting a sale, or sharing relevant information about a brand.
The most common type of email marketing involves sending messages to lists of recipients who have requested to receive emails from a particular sender. This approach is commonly referred to as permission-based mailing, or PBM. There are several different ways to send messages to lists of recipients. For example, marketers can use bulk email software and tools such as mail merge to automate the process. They can also manually enter recipient data into spreadsheets or databases. Another option is to use autoresponders, which automatically trigger responses based on specific actions or events.
In addition to connecting with prospective buyers, email marketing allows businesses to connect with current customers. Companies can use email to communicate important news, ask questions, offer special promotions, or simply keep customers up to date on what’s happening within the organization.
Email marketing can also be used to collect data about consumer behavior. Marketers can segment their audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, location, age, or even psychographics. Businesses can then target their messaging to those segments to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Google Analytics offers a free tool called Goals that helps companies measure the success of their email campaigns. If a visitor converts while browsing a website, Goal tracking lets companies know whether the conversion came directly from the email campaign.
Another way to track the impact of email campaigns is to look at open rates. Open rates measure how many recipients opened each email. A high open rate indicates that the subject line was compelling enough to pique readers’ interest.
There are also online resources that provide detailed analysis of the performance of individual email campaigns. These include Return Path, Litmus, and Mention.
Conversational marketing is the ability for brands to have one-on-one conversations with their audiences across multiple channels — meeting customers how, when and where they want. This includes live chats, text messages, emails, social media posts, etc. The goal is to provide value to the customer while building brand awareness.
While there are many different ways to use conversational marketing, here are some examples:
- A restaurant could offer a discount code for a free dessert via text message.
- An ecommerce site could send out a coupon via text message to customers who bought a certain product.
- A hotel could advertise discounts via text message to guests who book rooms.
- A clothing retailer could offer special deals to fans via text message.
The key to successful conversational marketing is creating a voice for each channel. For example, a restaurant might say something like, “Hey, we’re offering a $5-off coupon on our lunch specials today. Text ‘lunch’ to 54321 to redeem.” Or a hotel might say, “We’re having a sale on room rates today. Just enter promo code HOTEL12345 into checkout to receive a 15% discount.” These types of messages are much easier to read and understand because they come straight from the brand itself.
Affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards another party for generating sales. A business rewards another brand – called an affiliate or affiliate partners – with a commission for each sale generated by the affiliate’s promotion tactics.
This process is known as pay per action (PPA).
The most common example of PPA occurs when a publisher pays an advertiser for every lead or sale resulting from an ad campaign.
In some cases, businesses reward affiliates for sharing content about the brand, like blog posts, videos, etc.
If you already have marketing assets that perform well, such as a website, affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to further leverage those resources.
Choose a product or brand that aligns with what you’re selling – but doesn’t compete with you – and promote it to your followers.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your business online. In fact, it can help you generate more sales without having to spend money on advertising, because you’re promoting someone else’s product.
When you promote a product or service that you’ve never sold yourself, you’re an affiliate marketer. And, there are many different types of affiliates out there.
The best ones make money by referring customers to businesses like yours. They receive a small percentage of every sale generated by their referrals.
Product marketing is much more than taking product photos and launching campaigns. It’s about driving demand for a product—and its adoption—through positioning, messaging, and marketing research. Product marketers are responsible for everything from positioning products within the marketplace to creating demand for those products through positioning, messaging, marketing research, and lead generation. Product marketers work closely with sales and marketing teams to align marketing efforts around the product strategy.
The role of product marketing aligns closely with the needs of the sales team, especially around sales enablement. Product marketing sits at the intersection of product, sales, marketing and customer success teams. So product marketers work with all those teams for sales enablement, aligned marketing strategies and helping customers succeed.
Product marketers also often collaborate with cross-functional teams such as design, engineering, quality assurance, and operations. Product marketers don’t always report directly into marketing or sales; some report into product management or vice president of product, while others work across functions. In addition, many product marketers work closely with customers and prospects to understand their needs and challenges and determine how to best position products to meet those needs.
Product marketing sits at the intersection between product development, marketing, sales, and customer success teams, and works with all teams for sales and marketing enablement and aligned marketing strategy.
Account-based marketing (ABMs) are one of the hottest trends in digital marketing today. They’re about creating custom experiences for each individual client, rather than trying to reach everyone in general. In fact, ABM is often used interchangeably with “customer-centric marketing.” While there isn’t much debate about what it stands for, it’s still important to understand exactly what ABM is — and why marketers are embracing it.
The term ABM refers to a marketing approach where a brand creates a unique experience for every single person who interacts with their brand. An example might be a restaurant chain that hosts a birthday party for kids once a month. If you go to that restaurant, you’ll see a different menu, decor, and food than someone else who goes to another location. You won’t find the same thing anywhere else.
This type of marketing is designed to target specific individuals. Instead of reaching out to everyone in a certain age group, demographic, or gender, companies use data analytics to identify those people who fit into their ideal audience profile. Then, they tailor their messages and offers specifically to meet the needs of that audience.
In short, ABM is about making sure that every interaction with a brand is tailored just for that particular person. But it doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve identified your ideal customers, you want to make sure that they know about your brand. So you’ll send targeted emails, schedule special promotions, offer coupons, etc. And since you already know who they are, you don’t waste time sending irrelevant messages to random people.
To put it simply, ABM is the practice of designing customized interactions with your ideal customers.
Personalized marketing aims to create customized experiences for each customer. From email subject lines to personalized product recommendations, this type of marketing strategy helps businesses understand what types of messages resonate best with their specific audiences. In addition to helping you reach out to potential buyers, personalization also allows companies to send targeted offers and discounts to those who engage with their brand.
The software industry is no stranger to personalization. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google already use sophisticated algorithms to recommend products to people based on previous purchases. But there’s another way to go beyond just recommending products to individuals — brands can actually build profiles of individual shoppers and tailor marketing efforts toward them.
For example, Versium Reach uses data science to help marketers identify the ideal prospects within their databases. By identifying key demographic characteristics, buying behaviors, and interests, marketers can quickly zero in on the exact group of people they want to reach. Once identified, they can start building campaigns that are designed specifically for these individuals.
This approach is especially useful for B2B companies because these companies often lack detailed consumer information. For instance, many B2B companies don’t know how much money their leads spend on average, how old they are, or what industries they work in. These missing pieces of information make it difficult to craft relevant messaging and offer discounts to the right set of people. However, once they do gather this data, they can leverage it to deliver highly targeted promotions to their entire database of leads.
Stealth marketing occurs when brands promote products or services to consumers without telling them. This type of advertising could include things like showing a logo during a TV commercial, putting a brand name on a billboard, or having a product mentioned in a movie trailer.
In the early days of social media, brands used stealth marketing to market products to people who didn’t know they were being advertised to. But with the advent of ad transparency laws, it became harder to do this sort of thing. Nowadays, brands are required to disclose paid advertisements whenever possible. However, there are still plenty of ways to sneakily market products to customers.
For example, when someone watches a television show, they might notice a branded product integrated into a shot. Or maybe they see a celebrity wearing a certain brand of clothing while promoting a product. In both cases, the consumer doesn’t know they’ve been targeted because the brand hasn’t disclosed the advertisement. And this type of stealth marketing works best when it aligns with brand identity and values. If the brand wants to subtly communicate something about itself, it should find opportunities to integrate those messages into what it does.
Influencer marketing is designed to help brands connect with audiences that are already interested in their products. By tapping into an existing community of people who are passionate about a certain topic, you can spread awareness of your brand and gain access to potential customers.
The best way to start building relationships with influencers is to identify those who fit your target market and have a following. You can use tools like BuzzSumo, Topsy, and Social Rank to research popular topics and determine whether influencers are talking about them. Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to figure out how to contact them.
Once you’ve identified potential influencers, it’s important to think about why they’d be interested in working with your brand. For example, if you sell makeup, you could look up beauty bloggers and ask them to review your product. Or, if you sell pet food, you could ask a dog trainer to promote your brand.
If you’re just getting started with influencer marketing and don’t know where to begin, here are some tips to get you off on the right foot:
1. Look for influencers who are active on social media platforms that align with your target audience. If you’re selling makeup, you wouldn’t want to partner with someone who primarily posts cat videos.
2. Determine what makes your product unique. Do you offer a special formula or ingredient? Is it eco-friendly? Does it come in multiple colors? These are things that make your product stand out and allow you to differentiate yourself from competitors.
3. Find ways to personalize your outreach. Sending generic emails won’t do much good. Instead, try sending personalized messages along with a link to your product.
This allows you to show off your expertise while reminding influencers of your brand’s personality.
Brand marketing is the art of telling stories about your brand and developing a narrative around it. In short, it’s how you connect emotionally with your customers and help them build an association with your brand.
The goal here is to be thoughtful and creative, while being honest and transparent. Your job is to inspire people to think differently about your product and make them feel something.
To do that, you must first identify your buyer persona — a clear picture of your ideal customer. Then, you must examine your positioning within the marketplace. What sets you apart from your competition? How does your product solve problems?
Finally, you must develop a set of core values and use those to guide every decision you make. These are the things that matter most to you and what you want others to know about your brand.
Word of mouth marketing
According to a recent study by Hubspot, consumers are 71 percent more likely to buy a product recommended by someone else they trust on social media versus one they found themselves.
The reason behind this phenomenon isn’t hard to figure out: We tend to trust our friends’ opinions more than we trust those of brands. This is because we know them personally and feel comfortable sharing our thoughts about them. But what does this mean for marketers? How can you use word-of-mouth recommendations to your advantage?
Here are some ways to make sure your brand gets the most exposure possible via word-of-mouth:
1. Create Shareable Content. If you want people to talk about your brand, you need to give them something to talk about. And the best way to do that is to create content that’s easy to share online. For example, you could offer a giveaway where people can win a free item every week. Or maybe you could ask customers to submit photos of how they’re using your products. You could even try offering a monthly contest where fans can vote for their favorite photo. These types of promotions encourage social interaction and increase brand awareness.
2. Offer referral and loyalty programs. This is especially important if you sell physical products. For example, if you run a coffee shop, offer free drinks to anyone who refers a friend. Or, if you sell clothing, give away a pair of shoes every week to someone who tells his friends about you. Not only does this help you grow your customer base, but it also helps you earn a positive reputation.
3. Provide excellent customer service. People love sharing good experiences. Therefore, if you treat your customers well, they’ll feel more compelled to tell their friends about it. Think about it: when was the last time you wanted to shout from the rooftops that you had a wonderful experience with a company? Exactly.
4. Be transparent about your business practices. You might think that being open and honest is enough, but it actually goes much further. When you’re transparent, you demonstrate that you care about your customers’ needs and wants. You also let them know whether you follow ethical business practices. By showing that you’re willing to talk about yourself, you’re able to connect better with your audience.
Which Type of Marketing Do You Want to Take Advantage Of?
Marketing can be a very effective tool when used correctly. By making sure that you have the right marketing mix, it’s possible to target and convert a wide variety of consumers.
Ensuring that your marketing is on-point will leave very few errors in the end, so spending the time and effort to make sure that you deal with these things properly is time well spent.
In the end, creating a high-performing marketing plan is not an exercise in futility.
When do you plan on creating your own digital marketing plan?