Types of Digital Marketing (with Pros & Cons of Each)

Types of Digital Marketing (with Pros & Cons of Each)

Are you on the lookout for an effective way to generate more traffic and attract leads to your business website? Are you overwhelmed by the countless types of digital marketing that you can employ to reach your goals?

Well, we are here to help you figure it all out!

In today’s day and age, digital marketing is just not a buzz-worthy word that you can casually throw around; it’s so much more than that! However, to understand and capitalize on the various benefits of digital marketing, you need to have a thorough understanding of the various types of digital marketing out there. You need to use the tools and campaigns at your disposal to set yourself apart from the competition, especially because every business out there is using digital marketing in one way or another.

In this article, we will discuss the various types of digital marketing campaigns, their pros and cons, and the best ways you can utilize them to your advantage. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have enough confidence and knowledge to employ the digital marketing strategies mentioned below as part of your holistic marketing campaign.

Wondering why do you need to know all this in the first place? Well, research conducted by Salesforce found that by 2021 a whopping 75% of the total marketing budget will go to digital marketing! That’s a huge percentage and it just goes to show how very effective and crucial digital marketing actually is.

To effectively deal with this shift and come up with solid digital marketing strategies, you need to be aware of what each type of digital marketing entails.

So, read on if you want to know about the different types of digital marketing.


Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of types of digital marketing campaigns (along with their pros and cons), let’s first explore what digital marketing actually is.

What Is Digital Marketing?

If you are not sure what exactly digital marketing is and what it entails, you are definitely not the only one. In fact, the search for the terms, “digital marketing” on Google returns more than a whopping 3 billion results!

Most people have a vague idea of what digital marketing is, but they simply cannot pinpoint its exact definition. So, what is digital marketing?

Simply put, it is any type of marketing for services or products that makes use of electronic devices and media. It’s as old as the first electronic devices such as radio and TV that were ever created! However, today, digital marketing is more dependent on online marketing via social media, e-mails, and website content. It depends on the interaction of your target audience with different online marketing channels.

Why Digital Marketing Matters

Today, people spend so much of their day on the internet in one way or another – via their phones, laptops, tablets, etc. In fact, worldwide, people spend an astounding 6 hours and 42 minutes on the internet every day – that is more than a quarter of the day.

This is why digital marketing holds so much importance and is so impactful. Nowadays, almost every marketer and brand has a website or some form of social media presence – a way in which they can connect with their audience online.

To be competitive and stand out in the face of stiff competition, you need a solid digital marketing strategy. Take a look at the following types of digital marketing and choose the ones that are best suited for your industry.

Types of Digital Marketing

As an online business, you want to encourage as many people as possible to visit your website, promote your business, buy your products and services, and become loyal customers. To make all of this happen, you need to make use of different marketing and promotional activities. With digital marketing, you can do so via different online campaigns.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the different channels and types of digital marketing along with the pros and cons of each type.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your online presence in organic search engine results. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) appear on the user’s screen when they search for a specific keyword or a set of keywords using search engines such as Bing or Google. Each user sees a tailored results page based on their entered keywords, their browsing history, and their location.

A search engine such as Google uses its algorithm to generate organic search results. These algorithms are ever-changing, based on the way that users search for, interact, and engage with online content. The higher your page ranks on the SERP, the more traffic is directed to your site. This is because more than 90% of people simply don’t search for content past the first page of Google search results.

This automatically increases the likelihood of people visiting your website and helps you generate more leads and convert them into customers. Good SEO helps you increase brand awareness, digital branding, and traffic.

So, how do you make sure that your website appears in the topmost searches of the SERPs of various users? By utilizing SEO to optimize your website!

Search engine optimization includes various factors such as link building and inserting specific keywords within your content. It also includes on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is the measures that you take on your own site to optimize it, while off-page SEO is about the relationships that you make and the measures that you take anywhere other than your site to optimize your SEO.

Here are some key elements of SEO:

  • Using HTML tags
  • Keyword insertion
  • User-friendly website layout
  • Mobile SEO
  • Link building
  • On and off-page SEO
  • Being aware of search engine activities such as indexing, crawling, etc.
  • SEO copywriting

Since SEO algorithms are ever-changing, it’s not solely about ranking high on SERPs. It’s more about creating the best possible website for your users as the more user-friendly and relevant your site is, the likelier you are to generate even more traffic. The best way to do that is via the following SEO practices:

  • Website content with relevant and specific short and long-tail keywords
  • Guest blogging
  • Direct Mail
  • Images and Videos
  • Meta details

SEO is a great digital marketing strategy that helps you improve your localized traffic, motivates you to create a relevant, responsive, and user-friendly site, and provides you with expert or authority status by helping you rank high in SERPs. With that said, SEO can be a bit frustrating as it doesn’t show results right away; you can optimize your content and site and not see any results for months. So, the key to great SEO is persistence, research, and following the demands of the updated algorithms.


  • Produces the highest ROI
  • Best conversion rate
  • Ultimate exposure
  • Improved traffic
  • Gives credibility & trust
  • Lasting ROI


  • Results are not immediate
  • Ever-changing algorithms
  • More competitive

PPC/Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing or SEM covers the space that is not occupied by the organic SEO; the focus of SEM is on generating paid traffic from Google to your website. With SEM, you buy advertisement space that shows up on a user’s SERP. Inarguably, the most widely used paid search medium is Google AdWords. Other search engines for ad placement are Bing and Yahoo.

The search engine charges you a fixed amount to display your keyword or phrase-generated ad in a number of spots on an SERP. One solid illustration of SEM is pay-per-click advertising or PPC. It is a digital marketing strategy in which search engines, such as Google, charge as organization every time their ad is clicked by a user on their SERP.

Simply put, SEM is the process of increasing your online visibility and website traffic through search engines via paid and unpaid means. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that unpaid or organic SEM is SEO while paid SEM is PPC.

PPC is so widely popular that even social media platforms such as Facebook have adopted it. These targeted ads pop up in the newsfeed of a business’s target audience. This also goes to show how the various types of digital marketing seamlessly bleed into one another to form a cohesive digital marketing strategy.

Pay-per-click advertising is one of the quickest forms of digital marketing today that is able to drive targeted traffic to your website. The best way to understand PPC is to look at it as buying traffic via paid search listings that will help you generate more web traffic via mobile and desktop web searches.

The entities that are involved in PPC include the product or service seller (you), the PPC marketer, your product or service’s landing page, and finally, the viewer or visitor that makes up your target audience.

PPC or Paid SEM is an ideal marketing tool for businesses that have a solid spending plan and can easily afford a paid advertising campaign to increase traffic and ensure increased online visibility in the swiftest turnaround. With that said, online ad placements and PPC advertising are much less expensive than the traditional forms of advertising.

With PPC advertising, whenever a user clicks on your ad, you pay the current Cost per Click or CPC, which your chosen search engine such as Google instantly cuts from your pre-set budget. When your budget runs out, Google automatically stops placing your ads on its SERPs. You can then restock these funds to continue with your PPC campaign.

Here’s how a PPC campaign works:

PPC ads are so effective and show immediate results because they help improve the quality of the traffic that you are driving to your site. When you place an ad on Google, it shows in the sponsored ad area of a user’s SERPs. The ad is generated based on your bidding on keywords that are widely used by search engine users to find services or products related to your industry. This means that the user who clicks on your ad is much more likely to buy from you as they are a part of your target audience and were already looking for a product or service that you have.


  • Measurable results
  • Instant feedback from targeted audience
  • Swift setup


  • Paid
  • Bidding wars

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Although social media is one of the latest forms of digital advertising it is hands down one of the most effective ones out there. It helps businesses gain traction online, which results in new customers and increased brand awareness and exposure. It allows you to connect with your consumer and target audience in an intimate and interactive way. This interaction helps you gain valuable feedback that you can use to enhance your services, products, and customer care. This is why it’s a crucial part of any business’s digital marketing strategy.

Businesses use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc., to effectively connect with and engage in a conversation with their target audience. They also use these networks to post relevant content such as blog posts and sharable tidbits related to their industries.

Wondering why social media marketing is one of the best digital marketing strategies out there? Here’s why:

The best way for B2B industries to capitalize on social media marketing is to pay attention to what their consumers and target audience are talking about and sharing on social media. Monitor the content that you put on your social media accounts to see what type of content gets the most likes and shares. It will help you get an idea of what your target audience is actually looking for.

In addition to free likes and shares that will increase your brand’s popularity, you can also look at niche networks, take part in forum discussions, and become an active member of blog groups. You need to capitalize on any corner of social media where there’s room for engagement with your target audience.

Creating and promoting high-quality content in a strategic and targeted manner is the very crux of a solid social media campaign. To successfully use social media as part of your digital marketing strategy you need to research your audience, pick the platform most suited for your industry, choose your KPIs or key performance indicators, come up with a solid plan and keep some room in it for improvement and modification, generate and post solid content, and keep track of the activity and buzz surrounding your posted content.

Did you know that more than 40% of digital users regularly use social media networks to research new products and brands? Well, they do!

So, how can you reach this vast pool of audience? Via paid social media ads.

You can run various types of ads on different social media platforms. On platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you can run story ads, photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads. On Twitter, you can tweet promoted tweets and trends, and even set up a promoted account. On Snapchat, you can run snap ads, on-demand or sponsored geo filters, and sponsored lenses. Lastly, on LinkedIn, you can run display ads, text ads, posts sponsored content, dynamic ads, and sponsored in-mail.


  • Mostly free of cost
  • Access to a huge global audience
  • Instant communication and interaction
  • Great way to develop brand loyalty


  • Time consuming
  • Risk of negative reviews

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a relatively newer form of digital marketing and is more or less an extension of social media marketing. It entails organizations or businesses utilizing the massive outreach and online presence of different influencers and social media personalities to promote their services, products, and offerings. These people are deemed as experts by your target audience, which is why when they vouch for your company, products, or offerings, your traffic and sales increase.

Social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram are the hub of influencer marketing. Businesses hire popular Instagrammers with massive followings to endorse their brand by posting photos with their products. Moreover, companies also engage in Instagram “takeovers” wherein the influencer they hire takes over the company’s official Instagram account for a given period of time, mostly for a day or two. This allows you to effectively gain more followers as the followers of the influencer tend to follow your brand’s page too to ensure that they don’t miss out on any posts.

You want to make sure to thoroughly research an influencer before getting into business with them. Verify their analytics and make sure that their followers are legitimate individuals and not fake accounts or bots.


  • Helps target highly relevant audience
  • Builds credibility
  • Global reach


  • Risk of working with the wrong influencer
  • No set rules to success; it’s a bit of a gamble

Other Miscellaneous Digital Marketing Campaigns

Content Marketing

Content marketing is inarguably one of the most effective digital marketing campaign types. It refers to the creation, management, and execution of varied, high-quality and engaging content – written, downloadable, media, etc.

The main goal of content marketing is to utilize content to generate traffic, leads, and sales. This content can find a home in any online space, such as Tweets, website blogs, and even YouTube videos! Moreover, it does not necessarily have to be promotional either. You can create content with the objective of educating and providing information to your customers. The idea is to generate content that will add value to the user’s experience and entice them into visiting your site.

Content marketing works so well because it fuses together incredible and relevant content with other various types of digital marketing such as SEO, PPC advertising, and social media marketing. So, how can you create effective content?

The first step is to keep your potential target audience in mind and tailor the content to suit their interests and concerns. Moreover, your target audience and your specific niche will also help you figure out which sort of content will be best suited to your industry. Once you have the subject and the layout of your content narrowed down, search for specific keywords that your audiences use to search for industry-related information online. Use these specific words in your content to boost your SEO. The next step is to share your content across different social media platforms for maximum coverage and feedback.

Content marketing works because:

When done right, content marketing can help you engage with your customers and build brand recognition and trust. However, when you write content, make sure to stay away from adding fluff. Only add relevant and informative words that are backed by facts and stats to stand out and become an authority in your industry.

So, how can you reach these people via content marketing?

Well, you can start by writing and posting blog posts to your site and sharing them on your social media. Here are some blogging stats to help you create perfect content:

Apart from blogs, you can also create eBooks, workbooks, landing pages, helpful e-mails, infographics, videos, podcasts, and even webinars.


  • Builds great authority
  • Has a broad scope
  • Potential to create lasting impact
  • Quality content attracts and resonates with leads


  • Takes a lot of time, research, and effort
  • Some types of content marketing, such as video, can be expensive
  • Needs paid advertising in a competitive market

E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing allows a business to update their email subscribers on a regular basis about their company and their new products and offers. This helps you build a relationship with your consumers unlike any that you would form with other types of digital marketing. With e-mail marketing, your customers are actually choosing to receive these e-mails. So, it’s crucial that they are highly relevant so that they add value to your customer’s experience. As a result of these e-mails, you slowly build brand trust and loyalty within your customer base.

The best way to utilize e-mail marketing is to cater to those customers who opted-in for your e-mails. They are the ones who are most likely to become active buyers and loyal, long-standing customers of your brand.

Did you know that via e-mails, you can enjoy a click-through rate that is 6 times more than that of tweets? And there’s more:

Businesses use newsletters, event invitations, announcements, and marketing offers in their e-mails to their established customers and target audiences to promote their brand. A successful e-mail marketing campaign can help you drive new signups for specific services and products, generate new leads for your sales team, convert those leads into loyal customers, target more potential attendees for events and trade shows via a result-driven method.

To ensure that your e-mail marketing campaign is successful, you need to find ways to encourage your website visitors to actively sign up for e-mails, use high-quality content and links to relevant landing pages in your e-mails, use the best e-mail automation tools to send out tailored e-mails, avoid being spammed or black-listed at all costs, do proper segmentation of your target audience, and always use follow-up e-mails as they are incredibly important to get a reply from your recipients.

E-mail marketing is an incredibly cost-effective type of digital marketing – it has a massive ROI, $44 for every dollar spent! It also ensures a high conversion rate, which makes it ideal for both small and large scale businesses. Moreover, it’s a uniquely versatile marketing tool as well. You can send content-driven e-mails to your target audience which will redirect them to your website where they can read high-quality industry-relevant and informative blog posts. However, the trick with e-mail marketing is to carefully articulate your e-mails and fill them with relevant content that your target audience appreciates so that they are encouraged to actively engage with your brand.


  • High ROI potential
  • Builds industry expertise
  • Pretty versatile


  • Takes time and effort to perfect
  • Constant barrage of e-mails can annoy potential clients

Viral Marketing

If you want to target new customers and want to generate maximum traffic, then you need to standout from your competition. The best way to do that is via content that is trendy, unique, and funny enough to generate a massive number of shares online. This is where viral marketing comes in.

You figure out the kind of content that is trending online and in your target audience circles and then utilize it to market your brand. It helps create an enormous spike in your website traffic over a short span of time. Even though it’s pretty hard to go viral, once you do, there’s no going back!

When it comes to viral marketing, all companies, especially belonging to the B2B industry, stand to gain the most across the board. They can effectively use different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach an enormous audience. The best way to go about it is to capitalize on the popularity of trending memes on social media, such as this incredibly timely retweet by Wendy’s:

The best bit about viral marketing is that the more outlandish and outrageous your campaign is, the likelier it is that people will talk about it, which is the entire point of viral marketing. The more people talk about your brand and share your content, the more it’s going to increase your brand awareness and allow your services and products to tend online.


  • Potential to generate massive leads overnight
  • Free of cost
  • Massive and quick brand recognition


  • Negative reviews
  • Trolls
  • It’s a gamble

Affiliate Marketing

Many bloggers and e-commerce businesses use affiliate marketing. It works because it effectively helps you offload some of your marketing workload by outsourcing it to external service providers. With affiliate marketing, you only have to pay for conversions. Think of it in terms of hiring a salesperson to sell your service or products. You only have to pay them when a customer has purchased your service or product from them.

You determine the rate and terms for affiliate marketing while working with an affiliate marketer. There are no upfront costs to this mode of digital marketing, you just have to pay for the conversions and the commission of the marketer. They will take care of all the marketing related activities for you such as placing online banners and creating landing pages.

When you opt for affiliate marketing, just make sure that you thoroughly discuss all of your terms and conditions before getting into business with a marketer. The affiliate marketer represents your brand so you effectively want them to carry your brand’s message. So, make sure to carefully choose the words that you want the affiliate to use for your products. Come to a consensus with them and choose a deal that works equally great for the affiliate as well.

Amazon Associates is hands down the most renowned affiliate marketing platform. It lets you promote the products on Amazon and earn a commission after every closed deal. Smaller businesses can also utilize affiliate programs. However, only make use of this type of digital marketing if you have the proper means to effectively monitor and educate your affiliate marketers.


  • Low upfront costs
  • Potential to reach and create new target markets
  • Establishing important connections with other marketers


  • It takes time to build a trustworthy relationship with an affiliate
  • Conversions are slow

Mobile Marketing

Today, mobile phones have changed the entire face of digital marketing. People use their smartphones all the time, especially in the morning before heading to work. In fact, did you know that the average US consumer spends about 220 minutes on their phones throughout the day?

This is why mobile marketing is one of the most effective types of digital marketing today. You need to ensure that mobile users are aware of your brand, services, and products. You can use mobile marketing to send prompt and relevant SMS to your consumers. These could include promotional offers, coupons, and even regular updates from your business. In fact, according to a 2018 report by Esendex, the global average open rate of text messages is a whopping 94%!

It’s not just messages that you can use to promote your content, you can also use apps and ads. Here’s how most people search for products and services from different industries on their smartphones:

Other than sending text messages to your subscribers, you can further engage with your target audience and consumers by creating free mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. These apps especially work for B2B companies and customers tend to prefer shopping via their smartphones. You can incorporate specific actions to make your apps user-friendly, which will increase your visibility and traffic. For instance, you can program your apps to send real-time notifications to users that will appear on their smartphones as soon as you add new products or services to your website.

Moreover, popular online messaging platforms such as Facebook’s Messenger also allow you to create marketing bots, which you can use to gain new leads and customers. Also, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat are also popular options to reach your target audience and promote your content.

There are various ways in which you can go about sending an instant message to your consumers. The important bit to remember is that your shared content is highly relevant, to-the-point, and has a CTA, which the customer can use to browse your website or landing page.


  • Mostly free of cost
  • Instant interaction with customers
  • Easy customized targeting


  • Accounting for the various mobile operating systems
  • Optimizing web pages for smartphone screens

Wrapping It Up

To sum it up, here are the various types of digital marketing that you can use in your marketing strategy:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Social media
  • Influencer
  • Content
  • E-mail
  • Viral
  • Affiliate
  • Mobile

Make sure to use the strategy that best suits your business industry and the needs of your consumers. Moreover, to come up with the best digital marketing strategy, you need to actively engage with and take feedback from your existing customers, which will also help you build brand trust and loyalty on a personal scale. Also, do take a look at the pros and cons of each type to effectively form your digital marketing campaign.

If you want professional digital marketing services – including SEO, PPC, social media, and mobile marketing – then do get in touch with SEO Resellers Canada. We have the best and most experienced professionals who will help you excel in all types of digital marketing campaigns and help your brand achieve new heights of success.


author – Jamie – Barton
Jamie Barton
CEO of NASN Licensing Inc. & Shopincities.com

Jamie has more than two decades of experience in accelerating brand visibility for online businesses. His company operates SEOResellersCanada.ca, a white label SEO and digital marketing agency. With his unique and actionable business processes, agencies and small businesses can successfully expand online operations without the traditional associated cost overhead.

For over 18 years we have been the solution to fit any size agency or business. Our team of creative SEO experts and marketers develop some of the best results driven campaigns in the industry.

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