If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already involved in some way with online marketing. Maybe you’re even an expert. If so, great!
But maybe not. Maybe the thought of crafting content for digital marketing terrifies you. Or maybe you’re just curious about the differences among various types of online marketing.
Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal to feel intimidated by a subject you’re already familiar with. That’s what makes this series of posts so special. I’ll gently escort you through the different types of online marketing and what they mean. By the end, you’ll know which one(s) will work best for you.
PPC (Pay Per Click):
PPC stands for Pay Per Click, which combines SEO and PPC in one. Essentially, you pay when someone clicks on a sponsored link (generally, a promoted tweet, facebook post, or Google Ad).
With PPC, you’re not paying for organic results (those results generated by SEO). You’re paying for results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
So, when someone clicks on a sponsored link and is taken to a page containing many organic results, you pay the search engine for that click. With PPC, you’re deciding whether or not to pay based on the number of organic results displayed on a particular page.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing):
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is a catch-all label for a variety of methods used to promote products online. It stands for Search Engine Marketing and is typically used in conjunction with SEO.
SEM includes paid ads, which you’ll know better as PPC (as discussed above), along with organic results. For those unfamiliar, SEM also encompasses the use of social media to gain exposure for a product. Typically, this involves using social platforms like Twitter and Facebook to disseminate content about your product, gain new followers, and grow your audience.
SEM is, essentially, a combination of paid ads and social media. With SEM, you’re deciding whether or not to pay based on the number of organic results displayed on a particular page. If you want to gain more visibility and grow your audience on social media, you can do that for free.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization):
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your site or web content to appear at the top of a search engine results page (SERP).
SEO involves a variety of methods, such as improving the content of your website, creating backlinks to relevant, high-quality websites, and using keywords (the words and phrases people use when searching online) in your content.
To appear on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP), you must have the right keywords in your content alongside other valuable signals, (like high-quality links from other websites).
Over the years, Google has become quite good at detecting SEO tactics implemented with a lack of ethics. As a result, Google has begun to crack down on SEO fraudsters, punishing them with lower search engine rankings and the loss of their sponsored listings. But, as a savvy marketer, you know exactly what you’re doing and how to get around these penalties. For example, you’re not going to implement random keyword stuffing or use unnatural links.
In 2018, Google introduced a revolutionary new algorithm, named Rank Brain. It’s designed to protect users from bad or misleading content, reduce the appearance of unnatural results, and promote quality over volume. Essentially, Google introduced this new algorithm to combat fraudulent activity online. However, it has also had a significant impact on legitimate businesses that engage in SEO. You can read Google’s blog post about the algorithm here.
This is the new kid on the block. And it’s a doozy. Essentially, a content marketer is someone who creates content (typically, in the form of long-form articles, ebooks, or videos) for various platforms, typically, websites, but also YouTube and Facebook.
Content Marketers can be involved in any aspect of content creation, whether through copywriting, data analysis, graphic design, or video editing.
Since its inception, content marketing has exploded in popularity, now covering everything from e-commerce to marketing, branding, and communications. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a short excerpt from a 2018 article on the Global Marketers e-newsletter about content marketing.
“The demand for content marketers and content strategists is expected to grow 17% year from 2018 to 2025, according to Future Market Insights. In fact, LinkedIn predicts that 82% of businesses will rely heavily on content marketing to grow in the next five years.
“If you’re thinking about entering this field, here are some solid tips to get you started:
Know your audience. Who is your audience? What are they looking for? What do they value? Designing content for your target audience will help you craft the right messages to engage them. For example, if you’re writing for a business audience, make sure that your content is relevant to their needs. And, remember: if you want to grow your email list, you can do that with free content.
As a marketer, content strategist, or SEO company, you’ll need to be able to craft compelling stories about your product or service. These articles can be anything from an informative piece about your industry to a how-to guide for navigating the process of selling a product. As you’ll see below, there’s a lot more variety when it comes to content than you’d think.
Do you have a list of email subscribers? If so, you’re in luck because you can use these people to market your product, in some way, through email.
Even if you don’t have a million subscribers, you can still use email marketing to grow your business. The key is to understand the difference between transactional and nurturing emails.
A transactional email, also known as a one-time email, is an email that is automatically sent to someone because they have purchased a product or service from your company. These are pretty self-explanatory and usually contain some sort of promotional offer, like a discount on your next purchase.
A nurturing email, on the other hand, is an email sent to someone repeatedly or regularly, depending on the context of the relationship.
The distinction between transactional and nurturing emails becomes somewhat blurred, however, when it comes to the content of these emails. Transactional emails are often shorter than their nurturing counterparts because there’s less content to include. The goal of a transactional email is to encourage the recipient to take action, such as buying a product or subscribing to a service. As a result, the content of the email is often tightly focused on the action the recipient needs to take in order to make the most of the offer. This could be anything from an informative blog post about the product to a guide that teaches them how to use it. It depends on the type of product you’re promoting.
Social Media Marketing:
If you’ve been on social media for even a few years, you know its popularity and the various platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) that make it so appealing to consumers.
Even if you don’t have a presence on any social media channels, you can use them to gain popularity and credibility with your audience. Think about the type of content that performs well on each platform and create content that will engage your audience, drive them to action, and help them make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter.
The thing about social media marketing is that there are so many platforms to choose from, so the way you structure your content depends on which one you’re using. If you’re new to the game, check out these YouTube videos that break down the differences between various social media platforms:
If you’ve never created content for video, this may seem like a daunting task, especially since YouTube is the second-largest search engine (after Google). But, it’s worth it. In fact, you can use this platform to grow your business through video marketing.
The biggest difference between YouTube and other social media platforms is that you don’t have to create content for just one topic. On YouTube, you can create channels, which are essentially dedicated spaces for content creators to upload videos about a variety of topics, often related to their passions, hobbies, or interests.