What Is Marketing? Types, Channels, and Strategies

What Is Marketing? Types, Channels, and Strategies


What Is Advertising and marketing? 

Advertising and marketing is the actions manufacturers interact in to:

  • Appeal to new patrons
  • Retain current clients
  • Encourage repeat purchases

Advertising and marketing could be so simple as an advert in a newspaper. 

Or, it may be as advanced as a multi-touch content material technique delivered throughout a number of on-line channels.

So long as the exercise entails speaking with clients and has the long-term purpose of rising income—it’s advertising.

What Is the Objective of Advertising and marketing? 

Trendy manufacturers use advertising to distinguish themselves from opponents and develop income.

To attain this, entrepreneurs should appeal to extra clients or hold current ones. Relying on their stage within the marketing funnel.

The top purpose right here is sort of all the time to promote services or products and generate income. That stated, advertising can pursue many objectives, typically concurrently. 

And breaking that bigger “develop income” goal into smaller, extra particular objectives helps focus your marketing strategy.

Your technique is your organization’s long-term plan for the way you’ll promote your self, attain your target audience, and convert folks into clients.

These objectives usually fall into one in all 5 broad classes:

Model Consciousness

Increasing brand awareness means extra folks learn about your organization, whether or not or not they purchase your services or products. 

Higher model consciousness means you present up extra typically in “consideration units.” These are the choices a purchaser considers when buying.

As a result of if somebody doesn’t learn about your model, they gained’t purchase from you. And that’s why growing model consciousness is the highest purpose of content material advertising: 

A visual showing Semrush's research data on responders' key marketing goals for 2023

Techniques for growing model consciousness embrace: 

  • Maximizing your presence on social media 
  • Operating contests
  • Creating priceless content material (e.g., free ebooks or programs)
  • Constructing positive PR

Lead Era

Lead generation is about attracting potential clients and buying their contact particulars (normally an electronic mail or cellphone quantity). That manner, they decide into your gross sales and advertising communication and grow to be “leads.”

Doing so permits you to section your viewers so you’ll be able to pinpoint these most probably to grow to be clients.

For instance, right here’s an instance of one in all our lead technology landing pages:

Sermush's lead generation landing page for a free demo

Customers fill of their particulars to learn how Semrush can finest assist them obtain their objectives. And we get a listing of leads who’re contemplating making a purchase order.

Different lead technology techniques embrace:

  • Providing free instruments or trials to your service to convey the worth you provide
  • Creating high-quality lead magnets (helpful content material that requires contact particulars to entry)
  • Attaching stay chat to your web site so leads can ask questions
  • Encouraging constructive critiques from blissful clients to provide prospects confidence


Buyer acquisition means attracting and changing new clients.

That’s typically synonymous with gross sales. However within the context of freemium apps and free software program instruments, acquisition would possibly concentrate on merely gaining new free customers.

For instance, 89% of respondents say video content material has convinced them to buy a services or products. And that’s why 96% of entrepreneurs take into account the medium an “vital half” of their advertising technique.

Right here’s how software program firm Unbounce uses video to encourage acquisition on its touchdown pages:

Unbounce's "customer story" video on a landing page

It additionally makes use of social proof within the type of a buyer’s testimonial and arduous information to show the instrument’s usefulness.

Different acquisition techniques embrace:

  • Making a referral program to incentivize present clients to ask new ones
  • Researching your target market so you already know what they need most
  • Providing a free trial to convey the worth of your provide
  • Optimizing your web site to supply a greater expertise for guests


Buyer activation is about turning free trial customers into paid clients. It’s typically a three way partnership between advertising and gross sales, particularly when promoting to massive enterprise firms. 

For instance, an activation occasion may embrace attending a commerce present in your area of interest. Right here, you’ll be able to converse to potential clients and encourage signups. 

Different activation techniques embrace:

  • Together with short-form video tutorials in your web site’s information base to interact customers
  • Sending trial expiration emails to encourage folks to improve earlier than it’s too late
  • Including social proof (e.g., testimonials) to your web site to construct belief and credibility
  • Incentivizing sign-ups with free merchandise (e.g., providing a t-shirt when customers activate)


Retention is all about holding current clients.

Within the context of subscription-based firms, it’s about stopping churn (i.e., clients who cancel their subscriptions).

For transactional companies like ecommerce manufacturers, retention focuses on creating repeat gross sales from earlier clients. Whereas SaaS (subscription as a service) firms should hold folks actively subscribing to their merchandise on a month-to-month or annual foundation. 

For instance, telecommunications firm Vodafone rewards long-term customers with perks like Spotify Premium, YouTube Premium, or Amazon Prime:

Vodafone rewards section including Spotify Premium, YouTube Premium, and Amazon Prime

Different advertising techniques for retention embrace:

  • Creating a powerful onboarding expertise with detailed tutorials so folks perceive all the things the product can do
  • Sending a daily buyer e-newsletter with updates and priceless content material
  • Providing distinctive companies that your competitors doesn’t to distinguish your self
  • Listening to clients’ suggestions often to make them really feel like their opinions matter

Digital Advertising and marketing vs. Conventional Advertising and marketing 

For some firms, advertising takes place principally—and even totally—on-line.

This strategy is named digital marketing. And it’s an umbrella time period for any kind of on-line advertising effort.

A visual showing digital marketing as an umbrella term for inbound and outbound marketing

Digital advertising contains a variety of distribution channels like:

  • Search
  • Digital promoting 
  • Social media platforms
  • E mail
  • Brief message service (SMS)

However what’s advertising when it’s offline?

Digital advertising’s counterpart, conventional advertising, makes use of solely offline advertising techniques:

Conventional advertising covers channels like:

  • Broadcast (e.g., TV and radio)
  • Print promoting (e.g., newspapers and magazines)
  • Out-of-home promoting (e.g., billboards and bus cease adverts)
  • Direct advertising (e.g., low cost coupons despatched by way of mail)
  • Occasion advertising (e.g., commerce exhibits)

A digital advertising technique is often extra measurable and advantages from higher visibility into how clients work together with advertising efforts.

Digital channels could be higher for delivering instructional messages than conventional ones for the reason that promoting strategies allow higher buyer interplay (e.g., watching video content material and studying electronic mail newsletters).

Against this, conventional advertising primarily depends on extra passive varieties of promoting (e.g., strolling by billboards and flicking previous print adverts).

Promoting vs. Advertising and marketing

Promoting is a time period typically used as a synonym for advertising. An commercial is a paid promotion of your model, product, or service. 

What makes it distinct from different types of advertising is that it’s disruptive.

Manufacturers serve adverts to customers in a context the place the advert interrupts what they’re already doing. 

In conventional advertising, adverts are in locations like magazines, TV, and radio. The patron isn’t studying the journal, watching the TV, or listening to the radio for the adverts. The advert is interrupting the client expertise.

Within the digital world, customers see adverts on web sites and social media. The adinterrupts the expertise of watching the Instagram Story or studying the weblog submit.

Then again, advertising is the model’s Instagram Story or weblog submit itself. Customers are consuming this content material deliberately. So, it isn’t interrupting something.

14 Kinds of Advertising and marketing

Advertising and marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all technique. As an alternative, consider it like a tree with many various branches that you should use at totally different occasions.

Listed here are 14 of the best varieties of advertising for companies making an attempt to construct an off and on-line presence:

1. Search Engine Optimization

The purpose of search engine optimization (web optimization) is to organically place your web site greater in search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) for associated key phrases folks search. Rising the chance a person clicks in your web site as a substitute of others.

Entrepreneurs use web optimization to fulfill search intent and get extra natural visitors.

web optimization entails:

For instance, each Dog Food Advisor and Discover Magazine wrote weblog posts concentrating on the key phrase “finest pet food.”

Google has decided that customers looking for these key phrases need a listing of pet food manufacturers. And these two listicles have related element that solutions the query most successfully.

Google's search results for "best dog food"

The largest advantage of web optimization as a advertising channel is that it’s natural. Which suggests you’re circuitously paying for visitors such as you could be with an advert. Nonetheless, parts of your web optimization technique should price you if you happen to use a paid instrument or rent a blogger or developer.

Rating on the primary web page for a search time period will increase visibility. Which can assist increase person engagement together with your model.

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool is the right resolution for serving to you discover new rating alternatives in just some clicks.

Right here’s how:

Kind in a key phrase or phrase that pertains to your model in a roundabout way. Then click on “Search.”

"socks" entered into the Keyword Magic Tool search bar

On the next web page, you’ll see a listing of all key phrase options that relate to your preliminary phrase:

A list of keywords related to "socks" in Keyword Magic Tool

Right here, you’ll be able to filter search volume, keyword difficulty (KD), and search intent.

The decrease the KD, the much less competitors for rating extremely on the SERPs.

"Volume," and "KD%" filters highlighted in Keyword Magic Tool

So, begin with a few of these key phrases (the low-hanging fruit) to rank greater extra simply.

2. Content material Advertising and marketing

Content marketing entails creating and distributing content material like articles, movies, guides, and podcasts throughout varied platforms. 

Listed here are some extra examples:

This content material works to draw and interact an viewers, drive model consciousness, set up authority and expertise—and in the end create gross sales.

A very good content material technique repurposes belongings and distributes them throughout a number of channels. 

For instance, we used the “web optimization which means” picture (within the part above) in our submit on web optimization and in a social media submit:

Semrush's LinkedIn post on "7 truths & tips about SEO" including an “SEO meaning” image

Content material advertising’s benefit is that it’s customer-driven. The client initiates the interplay together with your firm slightly than your model pushing an advert to them after they aren’t in search of you.

It’s additionally instructional. 

Good content material helps information patrons by their shopping for choices or assists them in fixing an issue. 

3. Social Media Advertising and marketing

Social media marketing encompasses all exercise on a model’s social media channel. With the purpose to construct model consciousness, foster viewers engagement, and drive enterprise progress.

This will embrace:

  • Advertisements
  • Natural posts
  • Engagement with buyer feedback
  • Collaboration with different social media personalities
  • Reposts or engagement with user-generated content (UGC)
  • Responses to customer support queries

Advertising and marketing on social networks provides the good thing about a doubtlessly enormous viewers. As your follower depend grows, you’ll be able to attain and interact with extra potential clients who’re already desirous about what you need to say.

Take this submit from Gymshark, which generated over 45,000 likes in in the future.

Gymshark's Instagram post with "likes" highlighted

Many individuals observe the model due to its sponsored athletes. So, it makes use of a picture of a bunch of them to seize consideration then encourages engagement with a query within the caption.

4. Search Engine Advertising and marketing

Versus web optimization, search engine marketing (SEM) is a type of paid promoting the place the channel is a search engine—like Google.

With SEM, also referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you select a webpage to advertise and a selected search time period for which you’d like to indicate up.

For instance, listed below are two paid adverts from tech schooling platforms Lighthouse Labs and Udemy for the time period “net improvement class:”

Lighthouse Labs and Udemy's search ads for the term “web development class"

Every time somebody clicks on the advert, each websites pay for that visitors (therefore the title pay-per-click).

The good thing about this channel is that you just’re paying to get the positions above natural search outcomes for a given search time period. 

So, it’s a sooner manner of topping the SERPs together with your content material.

5. Show Promoting 

Show promoting entails operating digital adverts on web sites the place your target market is more likely to go to.

It contains designing advert creatives like pictures and movies. And buying promoting area, usually bought as impressions (advert views).

Right here’s what a show advert for FedEx appears to be like like (this kind is known as a banner advert):

A display ad for FedEx on Forbes's website

The good thing about show promoting is you’ll be able to attain potential clients who aren’t deliberately participating together with your model. However are the identical people who find themselves most probably to be desirous about what you’re promoting (even when it’s not proper at that second). 

Within the above instance, a reader on the Forbes web site isn’t actively in search of FedEx. However the banner advert creates a branding alternative and retains FedEx high of thoughts.

6. Video Promoting

Video promoting makes use of short-form movies to seize purchaser consideration on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

As an illustration, this 15-second advert from Adobe goals to create curiosity in its Photoshop product:

A video ad from Adobe on YouTube

It makes use of brilliant colours to seize your consideration and demonstrates among the software program’s capabilities in 15 seconds.

These adverts can come earlier than the video (referred to as pre-roll adverts), in the course of the video (referred to as mid-roll adverts), or after (referred to as post-roll adverts).

Video promoting’s most vital profit is its medium. Video provides visuals and audio to the advertising combine. 

That permits you to talk extra info to clients in much less time.

7. Influencer Advertising and marketing

Influencer marketing is an strategy that entails contracting a person with a related viewers (the influencer) to advertise your model, product, or companies.

Most of this takes place on social media.

For instance, this Instagram submit from Ellen Brockbank promotes Purina’s merchandise however doesn’t come from Purina itself:

Ellen Brockbank's Instagram post promoting Purina's cat food

That is how influencer advertising doesn’t seem as instantly promotional as a conventional advert. As a result of it looks as if a vote of confidence from a 3rd social gathering.

The massive win right here is the flexibility to faucet into another person’s captive viewers. On this case, Purina advantages from getting in entrance of Brockbank’s 130K Instagram followers.

8. E mail Advertising and marketing

Email marketing encompasses a wide range of advertising actions, all of which happen by way of electronic mail.

Frequent makes use of for electronic mail advertising embrace:

  • Promotional electronic mail (e.g., saying a sale)
  • Transactional electronic mail (e.g., product delivery updates)
  • E mail newsletters (e.g., product updates)
  • Onboarding emails (e.g., welcome messages)

On this electronic mail advertising instance, Woodpecker introduced a brand new product function to current clients: 

Woodpecker's "The Product Team Update #13" email

Woodpecker’s Head of Product explains a standard person ache level (electronic mail sending limits) after which explains how the workforce has solved it (a brand new function that rotates a number of inboxes).

The massive motive for utilizing electronic mail as a channel is its high ROI. For each $1 spent on electronic mail advertising, you will get $36 in return. 

Plus, you should use it throughout the advertising funnel—from lead nurturing emails to retention-focused content material.

9. SMS Advertising and marketing 

SMS advertising is the usage of textual content messaging to interact with clients.

It may be promotional, like this instance from Adore Me:

Adore Me's SMS marketing messages

Picture Supply: salesmsg

Utilizing phrases like “final day” and saying a buy-one-get-one-free provide creates a way of urgency that convinces recipients to move to the positioning earlier than they miss out.

However SMS will also be an efficient channel for transactional messages, like supply updates for on-line purchases.

SMS is effective, nevertheless it’s additionally underutilized. 

Promotional messages from manufacturers flood electronic mail inboxes day by day. However SMS is primarily for private messaging.

Because of this, SMS can assist manufacturers lower by the noise and successfully attain their target market with concise, impactful messages.

10. Affiliate Advertising and marketing 

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based promoting technique. An individual or enterprise (the affiliate) earns a fee for producing gross sales of one other firm’s product or companies.

As an illustration, with the Semrush Affiliate Program, our affiliate companions earn $200 for each new subscription they generate. 

Semrush Affiliate Program homepage

Loyal clients promote your product, and also you present a financial reward as a part of a win-win cycle.

The good thing about online marketing is you’ve a advertising and gross sales engine working for free of charge to you till you make the sale.

That permits you to faucet into current audiences who aren’t conscious of your model with none upfront price.

11. Print Promoting 

Print promoting is any type of paid advert taken out in a print medium, like a newspaper or journal.

Print advertising could be efficient as a branding train, like this advert from Heinz:

Heinz's ketchup print ad

Picture Supply: bizadmark

The phrase “grows” and tomato stem on high of the bottle recommend Heinz grows its personal tomatoes to create the ketchup. Selling a more healthy, less-processed picture of the product.

You possibly can subtly entry the authority and credibility of the publication you’re promoting in to learn you.

For instance, a model like The North Face may align its model with the authority and respect readers have for Backpacker Journal.

12. Occasion Advertising and marketing 

Occasion advertising is likely one of the few in-person types of advertising.

For instance, an organization could select to placed on an occasion like a product launch. Or, host a sales space at an current commerce present like Oracle NetSuite.

Oracle NetSuite's booth at a trade show

Picture Supply: Eventige

Attending occasions creates human-to-human connections that really feel extra reliable. And lets potential clients ask your gross sales rep questions on your model and provide.

In both case, the aim is to interact instantly with potential clients and infrequently to showcase a brand new product, function, or service.

13. Direct Advertising and marketing

Direct advertising is a channel the place entrepreneurs work together with clients instantly and on a one-to-one foundation.

One of these advertising generally happens by way of bodily mail, like this playful freebie provide from Nestle’s KitKat:

Nestle’s KitKat playful freebie offer

Picture Supply: WMD

It performs on the “missed supply” notices many households get. And as a substitute, allowed recipients to trade the discover for a free KitKat Chunky at their native newsagents.

In as we speak’s online-centric world, advertising professionals use direct advertising as a singular strategy to join with goal clients and enhance model recognition.

14. Out-of-Residence Promoting 

Out-of-home promoting (OOH) covers adverts that clients see outdoors their houses. Billboards are the everyday instance.

For instance, McDonald’s positions billboards the place drivers strategy its eating places. 

McDonald’s billboard for Iced Mocha

Picture Supply: Marketing Birds

The advert primes the need to buy, making it extra doubtless drivers will pull over after they spot these golden arches.

OOH promoting may embrace posters and bus adverts. The largest advantage of this kind of advertising is that manufacturers management the place the interplay takes place.

The 4 Ps of Advertising and marketing

The 4 Ps framework explains how a advertising plan interacts with totally different elements of a enterprise. They’re: Product, Pricing, Place, and Promotion.

It’s a conventional advertising side that has stood the take a look at of time. 

It was invented within the mid-Twentieth century within the context of offline techniques however continues to be related to on-line advertising.


The central theme right here is whether or not there’s demand for the product (or service) an organization provides.

In fashionable phrases, we name this product-market match.

When contemplating this tenet of the 4 Ps, efficient advertising groups concentrate on market research to grasp:

  • What key demographics and behaviors establish your target market
  • What vital buyer wants your product satisfies
  • What sorts of messaging resonate with and interact your buyer base


For this precept of the 4 Ps, your advertising division should flip its consideration to opponents and experiment with totally different approaches to pricing.

For transactional companies, it’s about first figuring out the place available in the market you need to place your product (e.g., a luxurious possibility or a funds one). Then, optimize pricing to suit throughout the funds of customers in that class.

Value too excessive, and also you’ll be unattainable for some. Value too low, and it’s possible you’ll come throughout as an inferior possibility. 

Manufacturers should additionally decide which pricing fashions (e.g., per-user or usage-based billing) match finest for his or her merchandise and clients.


The “place” P refers to the place clients discover and purchase from you.

For brick-and-mortar companies, it’s about bodily location. Manufacturers like Starbucks and McDonald’s are nice examples.

Let’s take Starbucks.

The worldwide espresso big makes use of a data-driven process to choose locations in wealthier neighborhoods with excessive foot visitors. As a result of that manner the workforce is aware of there will likely be sufficient individuals who can afford their merchandise.

Within the context of contemporary advertising, manufacturers should take into consideration how and the place they present up on-line. Your organization’s web site is an apparent place to begin. 

However as an ecommerce model, you even have the choice to promote instantly by social media channels and on-line marketplaces (e.g., eBay, Amazon, Etsy). That basically means you’ll be able to have a number of on-line storefronts.


“Promotion” covers the 14 several types of advertising we coated above.

It’s about figuring out the place you’ll attain clients (channels), the way you’ll join with them (techniques), and what you’ll say (messaging).

Why Realizing Your Viewers Is Crucial in Advertising and marketing 

The muse of an ideal advertising plan is a powerful, well-researched understanding of your viewers.

For those who plan to make use of show adverts to seize buyer consideration, you’ll have to have demographic information readily available to arrange concentrating on precisely.

For those who’re going to spend money on a content material advertising marketing campaign, you’ll have to know what challenges clients face so you’ll be able to assist remedy them.

For those who suppose social media is the place you’ll be able to attain your viewers finest, you’ll have to know what sort of messaging resonates, engages, and captures consideration.

Briefly, you want to know who you’re speaking to and what they care about.

A instrument like Semrush’s One2Target can assist perceive your market’s viewers and the way they interact on-line. It’s a whole viewers analytics resolution. 

Merely enter your goal URL and click on “Analyze.”

"amazon.com" entered into the One2Target search bar

On the next dashboard, swap between 4 reviews that provide you with insights into your viewers: “Demographics,” “Socioeconomics,” “Behaviors,” and “Viewers Overlap.” 

“Demographics,” “Socioeconomics,” “Behaviors,” and “Audience Overlap" tabs highlighted in the One2Target dashboard

For instance, clicking “Behaviors” will unearth your viewers’s pursuits, most-used units, and social media platforms.

“Behaviors” audience overview in One2Target tool
"Social Media" section of the One2Target report

Use these insights to grasp easy methods to higher hook up with your viewers within the locations and units they frequent.

Make viewers analysis the bedrock of your advertising technique by:

  • Exploring quantitative information (like demographics) in your customer relationship management (CRM) and advertising platforms
  • Conducting qualitative buyer interviews to uncover insights into challenges and shopping for processes
  • Utilizing competitor analysis to seek out your area of interest and gas model positioning
  • Testing totally different messages to validate assumptions about what connects 
  • Working intently with buyer relationship managers to grasp the real-life impression of your services or products

Analysis Your Goal Viewers Utilizing Semrush At the moment

At the moment’s manufacturers can not succeed just by having probably the most handy location or distinguished in-store place.

Prospects now have a world of merchandise at their fingertips, and lots of industries are already saturated.

Differentiation is vital for standing out in crowded markets. Which begins with understanding why clients would possibly purchase out of your model above all others.

Earlier than you spend money on any of the advertising channels mentioned above, begin with a radical evaluation of your market and viewers.

Learn the way with our information, Marketing 101: What Is Audience Research?

Then, make it occur with Semrush’s One2Target resolution.


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