Business is all about making money. To make money, companies need to get their messages out there and reach the right audiences.
Marketing is a complex process that includes creating interest in a product or service, and this is where it gets interesting. It is a strategy that involves a lot of research and planning – first to find your target demographic and then to find ways to pique their interest.
Once upon a time, marketing was limited to advertisements in newspapers, magazines, television, and billboards. However, many businesses would also contact potential customers and clients to directly bring their products or services to targets.
The rise of the internet has opened up a new and exciting platform for marketing experts. Add social media, and you have millions of potential customers within easy reach. Of course, there are many different types of marketing that businesses utilise to reach their demographic. Still, we have identified 7 top marketing types that you should take a closer look at to maximise your sales.
1. Digital Marketing
We live in a digital world, so it makes sense that digital marketing[i] utilises all things digital to communicate. We are constantly connected to the internet via smartphones, computers, tablets, and Smart TVs. This connection has made it very easy for businesses to tap into a limitless source through social media platforms, email, and instant messaging services. We even get advertisements through paid subscription services like Netflix, Spotify, etc. Even the games we play online are opportunities to sneak in a short video advertisement.
It’s not enough to send a message across via digital technology; you still need to do the groundwork to ensure the marketing strategy you implement will be appealing to your target audience.
There are many types of digital marketing you can employ, such as;
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
A good digital marketing strategy should combine these marketing methods to achieve maximum exposure for your business. There are many benefits of employing digital marketing to promote your business. When you go digital, you can target your primary audience, engage potential clients every time they are connected to the internet, increase loyalty through frequent communication and increase your brand visibility.
2. Offline Marketing
Our obsession with digital technology has made it easier for businesses to reach more people, but this should not discourage you from using some of the more traditional offline marketing strategies. Offline marketing is every bit as valuable as online marketing. Think of all the billboards you pass as you are commuting to work. You may not pay close attention to them, but they do catch your attention, even if it is subliminally[i].
The primary forms of offline marketing are:
- Billboards – roadside and on buildings
- Printed Materials – catalogues, pamphlets, etc
- Direct Mail & Cold Calls
- Trade Shows & Exhibitions
- Networking & Meetings
- Promotional Events
One of the main benefits of offline marketing is that your target audience can often put a face to a brand. This makes the experience a lot more personal which breeds an atmosphere of trust. Trade shows, exhibitions, and promotional launches allow your potential customers to see your products and services for themselves. Another benefit of this type of exposure is that the atmosphere is very relaxed with people socialising and mingling. This can convert to direct sales, which is exactly what a business wants.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media has taken the world by storm, and you would be hard-pressed to find a person with an internet connection that does not have one or more social media accounts. It would be incredibly foolish for any business not to take advantage of this phenomenon. Social media platforms have made it easier for a business to advertise with the possibility of reaching millions of potential customers. While we are scrolling through our social media feeds, we often come across advertisements for dozens of different products and services. These advertisements will randomly pop up in your feed depending on your internet and search engine activity. Thanks to the algorithms that correlate this information, social media marketing can be very highly targeted to each person.
Social media marketing can help your business in several ways. These include;
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Creating conversions
- Creating a positive association with your brand identity
- Improve communication while targeting your demographic audience
4. Green Marketing
The trend to living green started in the late 1980s[ii], and it is still going strong, with many people doing their part to minimize their impact on the environment. You have probably heard buzzwords like environmentally or eco-friendly, sustainability and ethical production methods.
Green marketing is a strategy that targets explicitly environmentally conscious consumers who are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint by voting with their feet and avoiding businesses that do not appear to care about their environmental impact. These consumers are likely to choose products grown or manufactured using sustainable raw materials, minimising carbon and fuel emissions during transport and production, and not harming the natural environment around their business premises.
In short, to succeed in this sphere of marketing, you need to be able to advertise that your products implement eco-friendly practices from the very start of the manufacturing process right through to getting it to the consumer.
While it can be challenging to advertise that you are an environmentally friendly business, there are some definite advantages. Younger generations tend to lean towards green marketing more than other generations, and they tend to be more tech-savvy, making it easy to reach them with a green marketing strategy.
5. Affiliate Marketing
You have probably heard the term “affiliate marketing” spoken in different circles but did you know that you have most likely made contact with an affiliate marketer without realising it? Many high-volume companies offer a commission for any sales generated through the platform of an individual or business. The individual or business is the affiliate, and they are, in essence, a sales agent for the larger company.
The most common types of affiliate marketing consist of a content creation site that provides links to the larger company’s site. The content can include product reviews, blogs, and vlogs connected to a product or service from the company. When people visit your website, they might click on a link in your content that will direct them to the company, and if the visitor purchases from this link, the company will reward the affiliate with a commission. The more sales you can generate from our platform, the more commission you can make.
Here are some of the benefits of affiliate marketing:
- You have complete control of the content you create which, in turn promotes your brand.
- You can target a specific audience and promote products and services from a variety of companies which means you can generate commission from many different sources.
- You can create an entire brand identity for yourself which can reach millions of followers. With so many people shopping online you can tap into a lucrative source of income depending on how much traffic you can generate to your platform.
- This type of marketing is low risk and flexible.
- It’s cost effective for the affiliate and the company.
6. Network Marketing
You may think network marketing is a relatively new concept, but it has been around for quite a long time. This type of marketing is also known as MLM – multi-level marketing and pyramid marketing. It is a business model that involves person-to-person sales. Think Avon, Juice Plus, and The Body Shop at Home.
In a typical network marketing setting, you sign up to become an independent business operator and distributor for the company. You can do this to get the products at a discounted rate for yourself, or you can generate more sales by gathering loyal customers who will regularly order from you. People in MLMs generate more income by signing others up through their membership to become ‘representatives’. Once done, they will receive a percentage of the commission from the sales of everyone they have signed up for the scheme.
Although there are perceived benefits of being part of an MLM, such as flexible hours, ‘uncapped’ income, and remote working, many MLMs function in an unethical manner. For example, workers at the top of the ranks could drum up thousands of pounds a year, whilst the 100 people below them can barely cover the costs of the products they are selling and are blamed for not working hard enough. MLM works great for those at the top of the food chain, but they are not so good for those at the bottom of the pile.
7. Influencer Marketing
The rise of social media influencers has created a fascinating marketing niche. Many people have a favourite influencer and religiously follow their vlogs and other content. Influencer Marketing takes advantage of this trend, promoting goods and services on their chosen social media platform. The advertising companies then pay a commission to the influencer either by followers clicking on a link within the content or being given a special code exclusive to each influencer. This code is used when followers buy a product or service, which is an easy way to keep tabs on how many sales are generated from the influencer’s content.
Influencer marketing is an easy way to reach a wider audience, mainly because more and more influencers are popping up across a wide variety of social media platforms. This gives a company an undeniable advantage of increasing their brand awareness, with the influencer doing most of the work to create the content.
If you are new to the world of marketing and want to know the best way to promote your business and brand, you will need to decide which types of marketing are the best for you. However, it’s also essential to understand the concept of marketing, so why not consider an online marketing course to give you the information you need to get started?