Guide to Online Marketing: Types of Online Marketing and Examples



April 27, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

Having trouble boosting your online presence and brand awareness? Understanding and implementing online marketing is crucial to the success of nearly every business and organization. There are several ways to create an online marketing campaign, including researching your target audience, determining the best online locations to use marketing, and choosing the right strategies that will appeal to your customers. In this article, we discuss:

What Is Online Marketing?

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Online marketing is any web-based strategy, method, or tool used to increase the awareness of a company’s brand and its products or services. The primary goal of online marketing is to reach potential customers by targeting the places where they spend the most time online (e.g. searching, shopping, and using social media). There are various methods that you can use in online marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), email, social media, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertisements.

Online Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Online marketing is different from traditional marketing in a number of ways. The primary difference between these two types of marketing is that online marketing often strives to provide value to its viewers, while traditional marketing typically only seeks to increase sales. An example of online marketing could be a blog post created by a cleaning product company that educates viewers and potential customers on the importance of non-toxic cleaning ingredients. On the other hand, the traditional marketing version of this example would be simply inserting an ad in a newspaper asking readers to buy the cleaning product.

Online marketing also allows businesses to accurately track their results as well as provides detailed analysis so that you can improve your marketing strategies. Traditional marketing typically provides little or no feedback on your results and very rarely offers ways to track how well an ad or other traditional marketing strategy works.

Read more: Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Why Is Online Marketing Beneficial for Businesses?

Staying up to date on current internet trends and using online resources to market your company is one of the most successful ways to increase sales and awareness of your business. The following are a few of the many reasons why online marketing is important for business owners:

Lower Marketing Costs

Online marketing is often much more affordable than traditional marketing options, such as taking out ads in a magazine. Many forms of online marketing allow you to reach large audiences through strategic placement and an in-depth analysis of where you can find your company’s target audience online. Whereas a traditional ad may only reach 100 people per month, online marketing can help businesses reach hundreds and even thousands of customers on a daily or weekly basis.

More Marketing Options

Traditional marketing typically only offers a few options to companies on how they can advertise. But online marketing provides a variety of options and enables businesses to choose which method best suits their company’s brand and needs. For example, a company could choose to use Facebook to target a select audience through ads or it could use search engine optimization to become more prominent in search engines. Online marketing is highly customizable and you can implement it based on your business’s budget and goals.

Customer Convenience

Rather than having to go into a physical store to buy a product or talk to someone about your services, customers can use your website or other online resources to get the answers to questions they have and to purchase services or products directly. This makes it convenient for customers to turn to your business for products or services and increases conversion rates.

Increased Quality of Online Traffic

Most online marketing strategies implement a tactic known as targeting to reach a specific demographic of people. For example, if your company sells baby clothes, you likely want to reach people who buy baby clothes, such as parents. You may also choose to target shoppers who recently searched for baby clothes or related topics. Through targeted online marketing, you can reach more potential customers that are within your desired demographic and draw high-quality traffic to your website. This often results in increased conversion and heightened brand awareness.

Relevant: 4 Ways to Distribute Content For More Traffic

Broader Reach

Online marketing gives people the chance to find your company regardless of their geographic region. This is especially important for companies looking to sell products or services online rather than in person. For example, you could have a local clothing boutique that has a brick-and-mortar store where local customers can shop in person. But you might want to expand your reach by also selling products online to customers throughout the nation. By using online marketing, you can broaden your company’s reach to more people throughout the country much faster than by depending on traditional advertising methods.

Ability to Measure Your Marketing Strategy’s Success

While it takes more time and effort to measure marketing success with traditional advertising, there are various, easy-to-use tracking methods for internet marketing. These methods can often measure several factors that contribute to the success of online marketing, including traffic rates, growth, and lead conversions. These measurements enable you to determine if a particular marketing tactic is working, and also give you a clear idea of where you should adjust your campaign to increase results.

Who Uses Online Marketing?

Nearly every entrepreneur, small business, large company, and organization can use online marketing to further their reach and success. For example, an accounting firm may use internet marketing to advertise its services during the busy tax season. A banking corporation may use online marketing to increase brand awareness and promote a new credit card its banks offer. A local retail store may use internet marketing to sell clothes online as well as promote upcoming in-store sales and promotions. Almost all companies can benefit from incorporating internet marketing into their marketing strategy. The following are the two primary types of businesses that use marketing:

B2B Companies

A B2B company, or business-to-business organization, is a company that sells products or services to other businesses. For example, Salesforce is a B2B company that provides CRM and commerce software to other businesses. B2B companies typically use online marketing to generate quality leads that result in interested companies speaking with a salesperson. They might accomplish this by using internet marketing on their website as well as their other digital channels such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

B2C Companies

A B2C, or business-to-consumer company, is one that sells products or services directly to consumers. Digital marketing is especially useful for B2C companies because it can often help them make sales without having a customer speak with a salesperson or go to a physical store location. Think about it this way: if a customer sees an advertisement on Facebook for your product, they can click that advertisement and it’ll take them directly to your website. Then, the customer has the choice to purchase the product from your e-commerce store.

Types of Online Marketing

There are several types of online marketing that a business can utilize. The most commonly recognized and used types of online marketing include:

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a primary form of online marketing that companies often incorporate into nearly every other type of digital marketing. It involves using content on the internet to increase brand awareness, provide valuable information to potential and current customers, generate leads, and increase traffic. The primary objective of content marketing is typically to create and distribute relevant and valuable content that attracts a certain demographic and increases the likelihood of turning these viewers into customers. The following are a few types of content marketing most companies use:

  • Infographics
  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization includes several tactics that can increase your website’s visibility on search engines. For example, a company may use SEO strategies to help their website rank as the first result when someone searches “dry cleaning Las Vegas” in the Google search engine. As a result of ranking higher in particular searches, a company may experience increased organic traffic to their website as well as a higher rate of quality leads. There are several key strategies that companies use to boost their SEO, including:

  • Improving readability: Making your content more readable keeps people on the page, which can improve your bounce rate and conversion rate. Consider adding things like bullet-point lists and headings to increase readability.
  • Targeting keywords: Targeting specific keywords helps search engines understand who your content is for and what it’s about. That way when someone enters a similar search query, the search engine can display your content as relevant information.
  • Gaining quality backlinks: Backlinks occur when another website links to your content. These show Google and other search engines that your website and content are high quality, which can improve its search engine ranking.
  • Adding metadata: Metadata is information that directly tells search engines what your content is about, so they show it to the right people. This includes a meta description as well as titles and alt text for your content’s images.

3. Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertisements are ads on websites and search engines that direct people to a company’s website or online store. As you can probably determine from the name, these advertisements then charge your company every time someone clicks on them.

For example, you may create an ad for your website using Google Ads. Google then displays this ad on search results for a specific keyword of your choosing. In return, you pay Google Ads 50 cents each time someone clicks on the ad and visits your website. Other common PPC channels include Facebook ads, Instagram promotional campaigns, and Twitter ad campaigns.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a popular online marketing tool that companies use for a variety of reasons. Many companies rely on email marketing to inform potential and existing customers of sales, events, discounts, and new products. They may also use email marketing to help generate more website traffic by including links to the company’s website in the email. Examples of types of emails you may send as part of email marketing include:

  • Welcome emails for new customers
  • Subscription newsletters
  • Promotions
  • Loyalty program information
  • Follow-up emails after a visitor downloads something or provides their contact information
  • Series emails that nurture customer retention

This type of marketing feels more personal to your target audience because you send the information directly to their inbox. That can help you build stronger relationships with your customers and allow you to personalize different messages. For example, let’s say someone makes a purchase from your e-commerce store. You can send an email thanking them for their purchase and asking how they like the product.

5. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing includes using various social media channels to connect with your target audience and increase your company’s or brand’s overall online presence. You can also use this form of marketing to drive traffic to your website and increase sales. The most common social media platforms used for online marketing include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Social media marketing has become more important for companies in recent years. More people than ever rely on social media to learn about new products and nearly three billion users have a social media account. As a result, social media is a prime place to implement online marketing and promote your business. There are both paid and non-paid social media marketing options and how you approach marketing on social media will vary depending on your target demographic and the platforms you use.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when a company provides a marketer with a commission for advertising its products or services. For example, if you are a company that sells house plants, you may work with a house plant blogger. The blogger would promote your products on their blog and receive a commission for every purchase made through their link to your website. The sales are tracked through a unique link that you provide for the affiliate marketer you’re working with.

The most common way to pay an affiliate is through pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, or pay-per-sale. This type of online marketing provides benefits for both the affiliate and the company that the affiliate is promoting and can be profitable for both parties. That’s because the affiliate marketer generates income through their content and the company only has to pay for the marketing after they generate an income.

Related reading: Local Online Marketing: What It Is and How To Use It

How Do You Get Started with Online Marketing?

Depending on its goals and needs, every company’s online marketing strategy might be different. However, there are certain steps that most businesses can take to develop a winning online marketing campaign. These steps include:

1. Create a User-Friendly Website

Having an easy-to-navigate and attractive website is key to attracting potential customers and keeping them on your page. The design of your website can set you apart from competitors and attract your target demographic. A clean and user-friendly website can also keep people on your website for longer, which can improve your bounce rate. The better your bounce rate, the more likely your website will rank higher on search engines. Whether you create the website yourself or use a website hosting service, there are different things to keep in mind to attract and retain your target audience, including:

  • Writing copy that clearly outlines what your company does
  • Having simple website menus and navigation
  • Providing your visitors with easy-to-follow calls-to-action
  • Adding images and breaking up the text to improve quality and readability

2. Research and Incorporate Keywords

In addition to being user-friendly, it’s important to optimize your website for keywords specific to the products or services you offer. Keyword optimization involves researching the top keywords in your industry that people search for. That can include frequently asked questions related to the products or services you offer as well as trending industry topics. For example, let’s say your company produces microphones for singers and musicians. Some of the keywords in your industry might include:

  • “best microphones for singers”
  • “how to decide which mic to purchase”
  • “how to record your voice for a song”

You can incorporate these keywords into your website’s URL, image text, body text, navigation bar, and headers. You can also use these keywords to create content that’s optimized for search engines—including white papers, research articles, eBooks, and blogs.

Read more: How To Do Keyword Research: An Introduction to SEO

3. Start a Blog

Using the keywords from the previous step, you can create a blog that attracts potential customers to your website. Blogs are one of the many ways your company can perform excellent content marketing. That’s because they provide valuable information to your target audience, which can help you build trust and sell your products and services more easily. Using the same example as the previous step, if your microphone company wrote an article on “best microphones for singers” you could include some of your own products and describe their main benefits to consumers.

Blogs most often include trending industry topics to gather the most organic traffic to your site. However, you can use a similar strategy to develop more evergreen research articles that won’t lose relevancy over time. These can help you develop organic traffic over a longer period and create excellent points of conversion for your audience.

If you’re hoping to create effective, high-quality blogs and research articles, consider scheduling a call with CopyPress. We have the tools, resources, and team of creatives to create well-written content that attracts your target audience while increasing your brand awareness. Find out how we can help you boost your content marketing campaign.

4. Use Email Marketing Tactics

Email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective online marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. It allows you to stay in contact with potential and new customers as well as promote brand loyalty. Consider using different email marketing tactics, such as writing newsletters that deliver quality information to your customers. You could also try using the newsletter to talk about trending industry information.

Whatever the case, it’s helpful to focus on giving information you know your audience will want to read. It’s also good to make sure you don’t spam them with a lot of emails in a row. This can help you reduce your unsubscribe rate and ensure that your email marketing stays effective.

5. Develop Your Social Media

If you are unfamiliar with social media, conduct research related to the platforms your target audience uses the most, as well as how competitors in your industry use social media marketing. Easy ways to begin using social media in your online marketing include contests and campaigns that engage your target audience and expose them to your brand. For instance, you can create a giveaway contest that presents a randomly selected person with a prize if they follow your social media page or share it with a friend.

You can also easily combine your social media marketing with other strategies. For example, if you create a blog, you can share links to your content on social media to increase your outreach. You can also share your email marketing signup on different social media platforms or your main social page.

Examples of Online Marketing

The following are examples of how well-known companies use online marketing to increase their brand awareness and gain customers:


This well-known activewear brand initially began by only offering yoga attire. However, through the strategic use of social media marketing, the brand discovered the activewear preferences of its target audience. It has since evolved to offer a variety of casual wear and activewear and has become a household name in the industry. Lululemon used Facebook’s targeted ad online marketing program to show their advertisements to users who had previously engaged with competing brands.


Uber is one of the most well-known driving services, and this company’s online marketing strategies play a large role in the company’s global recognition. One example of how Uber uses online marketing to increase its brand awareness and drive sales is through email marketing and segmentation. The company collects geographical data from its current customers to target new customers through segmented email campaigns.

Most notably, Uber will send select demographics in certain areas emails promoting the company before or during a big event in the potential or current customers’ location. This keeps Uber at the forefront of a person’s mind as they try to navigate traffic and parking as a result of the event and increases sales for the company.


The famous shoe brand Nike has dramatically increased its sales and reach by turning the recent influencer trend into one of its primary online marketing strategies. One way Nike used the power of influencers was to broaden its brand awareness. They did this by researching and finding some of the most influential trendsetters in the social media world. The company then commissioned them to collaborate with Nike to design their own line of shoes. The strong fan base associated with these influencers ensures that Nike will receive ample exposure when the influencers promote their shoe line.

Additionally, allowing influencers to create their own customized line of Nikes helps buyers feel as if they are purchasing exclusive products rather than those that are mass-marketed for everyone. As you can see, online marketing is a key strategy that many companies use to promote their products and services. Especially with the continued growth of electronics and computers, online marketing is only going to continue to develop in the coming years. Using this guide, and other helpful marketing resources, you can start building an effective online marketing campaign for your business and brand.

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