Whether you’re creating social media stories, explainer videos, or traditional TV commercials, the types of marketing you choose for your business will affect who sees your products.
Marketing refers to the activities companies engage in to promote their brands and attract sales. It involves tasks including user research, content production, and advertising. Whatever the marketing strategy, the general goals are similar: to engage, inform, and attract customers to a company.
When planning a marketing strategy for your business, you’ll want to consider multiple types of marketing. By harnessing several sales channels, you’ll improve your ability to target specific audiences.
Here are 12 of the most popular types of marketing across digital formats and traditional spaces:
12 types of marketing
- Outdoor marketing
- Print marketing
- Event marketing
- Direct mail marketing
- Television and radio marketing
- Search engine marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Performance marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Acquisition marketing
5 types of traditional marketing strategies
While most companies are spending more on digital marketing than traditional types of advertising, old-school marketing strategies involving TV ads, industry events, and direct mail are still powerful sales levers.
1. Outdoor marketing
Outdoor marketing is any type of marketing that takes place outside of the consumer’s home. This form of marketing relies on high visibility within the public realm and may include billboards, flyers, shop signs, transit vehicles, bench ads, or even stickers—all designed to draw attention to a promotion or service.
2. Print marketing
This form of marketing is the distribution of advertising in magazines, newspapers, and brochures. This method can help gain attention for a business at either the local or national level.
Print ads in a local newspaper, for example, can help promote services throughout a community, while an advertisement in a nationally distributed magazine can garner brand awareness more broadly, across multiple markets.
Businesses may even choose to develop their own publications or sponsor the creation of content relevant to their interests.
3. Event marketing
Event marketing is a marketing strategy designed for conferences, professional seminars, trade shows, or other industry events. But increasingly, brands are finding marketing opportunities at other in-person events such as local markets and pop-up store venues.
With event marketing, businesses set up branded spaces to maximize their exposure, generate leads, and increase their potential client base.
This approach involves face-to-face interaction, effectively connecting customers with a brand or service to build a solid, long-term relationship. Event marketing also present opportunities to make direct sales.
4. Direct mail marketing
With direct mail marketing, businesses send advertising materials directly to the customer’s home. Mailings often contain a call to action (CTA) or an incentive like coupons and discounts to encourage potential customers to become actual customers.
Direct mail marketing recipients may have previously expressed interest in the business, or simply been part of a community mailing effort by a local business.
5. Television and radio marketing
TV and radio have evolved to meet the demands of the streaming era (think: podcast ads). As such, broadcast commercials remain an influential marketing method for targeting audiences with specific interests.
The costs for television ads can vary depending on network and time slot, but can be expensive—even for a few seconds of airtime (over $7 million for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl). To gain attention on such a mainstream marketing channel, TV advertisers must get creative and maximize their time to captivate their target audience. That may mean using punchy, emotional, funny, or otherwise memorable content to grab and hold the viewer’s attention.
TV ads can be an effective way to introduce a brand to audiences, before following up with touchpoints using other types of marketing.
7 types of digital marketing strategies
Digital marketing is a different beast than traditional marketing strategies, though the same goals apply: acquire and retain customers. Digital marketing appears in a variety of forms across the internet—from pop-ups on websites to YouTube ads.
1. Search engine marketing (SEM)
Businesses employ two main types of search engine marketing to increase traffic: paid and organic. Both are effective in their own right, providing a company with two avenues to reach an audience.
Paid search engine marketing (SEM) places sponsored advertisements at the top of a search engine results page (SERP). This premium real estate increases the likelihood that users will click on your content.
Organic search engine optimization (SEO) relies on an understanding of internet traffic patterns and targeted keywords to increase a company’s ability to reach users through Google. SEO uses informative content to help improve a website’s ranking, which in turn increases visibility and attracts more customers.
2. Email marketing
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that targets current or potential customers. Similar to direct mail marketing, email marketing delivers promotional materials straight to a person’s inbox. These materials take the form of sale solicitations, coupons, promo offers, and informative content.
3. Content marketing
Content marketing is a type of marketing that relies on produced content to incite a specific action in a targeted audience. You can use content marketing promote a brand, influence consumer behavior, or build customer loyalty.
Creating valuable content is an effective form of inbound marketing, which draws viewers to a brand rather than reaching out for their attention. Here are a few popular forms of content marketing:
Podcasts are audio-only content that can help bring awareness to a particular person or service. For instance, a business analyst with a weekly podcast series may give away advice on their platform to capture audience loyalty. In turn, this could lead to paid speaking engagements, teaching offers, or other lucrative activities for the podcast host.
Infographics combine visuals and data to educate an audience about a specific service or product. This data-rich content provides user-friendly information alongside graphics, which come in various forms including flow charts and step-by-step breakdowns. Together, they make it easy for viewers to absorb and retain information.
Unlike podcasts and infographics, video content incorporates audio with visuals to create a compelling CTA. Video marketing can attract users to certain social media platforms, websites, or product pages.
4. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a popular marketing strategy for any business with—or looking to build—an online presence. Social media marketing strategies include both organic and paid methods to recruit new customers and reach out to existing ones.
Organic social media marketing
Organic social media marketing involves free posts on social media sites that use photos, videos, captions, and hashtags to reach an audience. These posts may appear on sites like Twitter or Instagram, but are subject to the platform’s algorithm and come with no guarantees of reaching a targeted number of viewers.
Paid social media ads
Brands or companies can pay certain social media platforms to bypass the free algorithmic limitations and promote their advertising content. Paid social media posts have a higher chance of reaching a larger viewership by extending beyond the business’s own follower pool.
5. Performance marketing
Performance marketing relies on advertising through a third party to convert customer interest into a definable action, such as a clicking on a link. In today’s digital environment, primary performance marketing channels include Google Ads and native advertising programs on social media sites.
If you have an ad budget to spend, performance marketing is a low-risk, trackable strategy for brands, which only pays advertisers when they drive results for you.
6. Influencer marketing
An influencer marketing strategy involves companies paying an external content creator or influential person to promote products to their (often substantial) following. Influencers usually get paid per post or promotion, with the goal of driving engagement or increasing a company’s conversion rate.
Influencers may also participate in another type of marketing, affiliate marketing.
7. Acquisition marketing
Acquisition marketing is a strategy specifically designed to attract new customers, converting strangers to the brand into qualified leads. Focusing on the top of the sales funnel, acquisition marketers use tactics such as SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing to increase customer acquisition rates.
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing spans both traditional and digital marketing, and extends beyond the basic awareness-to-conversion funnel to establish a lasting relationship between the consumer and a brand.
Brand marketers research their customers to build buyer personas, around which they can create messaging that establishes a connection between the business and the customer. This relationship and trust built with the customer help make items or images associated with the brand more readily recognizable (think the Apple logo or Nike swoosh).
High visibility and recognition are two effective ways to remind customers about your products.
Use multiple types of marketing for your online business
All types of marketing can be complex and require research, analytics, and strategy to determine the best way to reach an audience. The right marketing strategy depends on a number of factors, such as company size, budget, and ultimate goals.
For instance, direct mail marketing may be more successful in older, tight-knit communities, whereas younger audiences may be more receptive to punchy social media campaigns and trendy video content.
With so many marketing avenues to choose from, every company has ample opportunity to embrace the strategies that might be the best fit based on short- and long-term goals, target demographic, and available financial resources.