Introduction to Online Marketing Types

Introduction to Online Marketing Types


Marketing is constantly evolving in order to create new and innovative ways to reach target audiences. Online marketing is always developing new techniques and tools to keep up-to-date with rapidly changing technology and online behavior.

There are a lot of acronyms and buzzwords and it can be a little overwhelming

Boss: Samantha have you ensured the SEO strategy and keyword you have chosen to promote our Content Marketing through Social Media is correct and that you have optimized our Marketing Campaign in Google Tag Manager?



So we have put together an introduction to online marketing types to give you a helping hand. In order to be as informative and concise as possible, things will get a little more formal here:

Content Marketing

Content Marketing describes the creation and sharing of relevant online materials with end-users, who are typically consumers or prospective customers. Forms of content used in content marketing include, web pages, social media posts, articles, blogs, and videos.

Content should include an outright or subtle call to action to drive end users toward making a purchase or engaging with the product or service in other ways.

Denny’s Diner is a great example of successful content marketing. Instead of trying to sell directly to their audience, they have built a wonderfully weird and funny image through the content on their blog and Tumblr account.

By creating fun and engaging content, such as Denny’s, people will not hesitate to share and interact with your post and this can build an image as a fun brand.


Learn more about content marketing here:

Digital Marketing

A broad area encompassing all marketing that is accomplished using digital technologies. In practical terms, digital marketing is almost always associated with web-connected mediums, such as mobile phones, tablets, and display advertising. In addition to marketing products and services, digital marketing can also be used to integrate convenient customer support, strengthening the relationship with existing customers.

Digital marketing takes a lot of the other categories here under its umbrella. Taco Bell developed a brave digital marketing campaign incorporating its website, social media accounts and app called #ItsOnlyInTheApp

Taco Bell was late launching their mobile ordering app and for that reason had to make a splash. In October 2014, Taco Bell blacked out its website and social media accounts leaving people a message saying:


You can get a deeper insight into digital marketing here:

Email Marketing

Often overlooked, email marketing has been ranked among the most effective types of marketing in recent surveys of marketing professionals. Marketing emails that feature a call to action, product information, appointment or service reminders and sale offers can be sent directly to a current or prospective customer’s inbox. Thy key is to only send emails that are useful, engaging and desirable.

Buzzfeed is using email marketing effectively, by including intriguing subject lines and engaging content.


Learn more about email marketing here:

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is accomplished by making an attention-grabbing splash. Examples include everything from graffiti on city buildings to publicity stunts, such as flash mobs – aka the ‘spontaneous’ gathering of a large crowd in a public space. Online, however, guerilla marketing is different. Find out more about it here:

Inbound Marketing

This form of marketing is about attracting customers via content and interactions that are engaging, relevant and helpful. Inbound Marketing should catch the user in a natural flow, not interrupt their intended activities. For example, an ad that blocks out the content of a news story to inform the user about a product is not how inbound marketing shuld be done.

Inbound marketing can be done via one or a multi-channel campaign, using search engine marketing, blogs, and social media.

There are four steps for successful inbound marking interaction:

  1. Attract
  2. Convert
  3. Close
  4. Delight

Learn more about inbound marketing here: or you can find out how Hubspot used inbound marketing to double its traffic over on our YouTube page.

Online Brand Marketing

Brand marketing provides the primary points of differentiation between competitor’s brands. Therefore, making your product or service identifiable and creating a strong connection and communication with your audience through logos, colors, fonts, slogans, tones, etc. is important.

Learn more here:

Outbound Marketing

The opposite of inbound marketing, outbound marketing initiates an interaction with the customer. Traditional sources of outbound marketing include television advertisements, newspaper features, magazine advertisements, billboards, flyers, brochures, cold calls and, more recently, email blasts.

More information can be found here:

Search Engine Optimisation Marketing (SEO)

Search engine marketing, also known as search engine optimization or search marketing, is the process of gaining traffic online through search engines. This can be done through organic search (optimizing web pages and social media presence for searchability) or paid search (pay-per-click advertising). The advertisements you see on a Google search results page are examples of search engine marketing that has been paid for. Find out more about search engine marketing:  

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing is the process of obtaining web traffic or attention through social media outlets. SMM can be carried out on platforms by sharing short messages on Twitter, photos on Instagram, or more robust posts on Facebook, which can include status updates, photos, events and emotion reactions.

A great way to get people interested in your brand is to offer them something interesting and unique. Airbnb achieved this by running an Instagram competition called #treehousetuesday, which showcased all their listings where you can spend the night in a treehouse.

Airbnb Marketing

To learn more about SMM, check out:

Social Media Optimization

Closely related to SMM, social media optimisation is the process of increasing the awareness of a product, brand, or event through the use of social media. A strong and engaging social media presence can help build links that support a broader search engine optimization effort. People often use the search functions on social media platforms to find relevant social media content.

At Rebrandly, we often talk about social media optimization via our blog. We try to create engaging, informative and relevant content to share online. This is important, but with the benefits of social media come a lot of tedious tasks. Luckily, these can be automated via platforms such as Zapier, Hootsuite, Buffer, or SocialBee. Read more about our methods in the articles below:


Social Media Optimisation

You can dig even deeper here:

Viral Marketing

Much like a virus moving through a vulnerable population, the goal of viral marketing is to spread information about a product or service through a population of likely consumers. Viral marketing is accomplished by creating the conditions for marketing collateral to be passed among social networks and other web spaces, increasing exposure. Classic examples of viral marketing include giving away free products to increase exposure and posting shareable videos to YouTube.

Bookmakers, Paddy Power, regularly uses viral marketing successfully through an impressive mix of online and offline methods that mix mischief and humor. One of many examples was their Chav Tranquilizer video. This was taken directly from their Facebook page and transformed into a shocking, funny and rather insensitive video.


For more info on viral marketing, see:

Word of Mouth Marketing

These days word of mouth marketing is intertwined with social media. Word of mouth marketing is actively influenced by marketers who encourage people to spread a desirable message about a product or service to their friends, family, and social media followers.

A recent example of word-of-mouth marketing was when snack company, Frito-Lay, encouraged consumers to “Do Us A Flavor” and design a new flavor of potato chips. The request resulted in over 3.8 million submissions and a lot of social media activity to go along with it.

A great way to grab attention and get people talking is to surprise and delight them. An effective way of doing this is through video. Dove released a video with the caption ‘You’re more beautiful than you think. The brand asked seven women to draw a sketch of themselves and compare it to a sketch drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora. It showed that the women focused on their flaws and didn’t realize how beautiful they really are.


Check out this interesting article about why word of mouth marketing is so important:

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • Online marketing types
  • Marketing strategies
  • What are the types of digital marketing?
  • Digital marketing types

Originally Posted: March 22nd, 2017.
Post Updated: October 4th, 2021.



Content Marketing and PR Manager! An unexpected coin collector, untalented lover of sing songs and enjoys anything that could be considered a bandwagon! Linkedin: Rebrandly.Rocks/Sam Twitter: @sam_Rebrandly