What is what? The most important online marketing disciplines at a glance

by Guidebook

In online marketing, a colourful mixture of English terms is often thrown around. This variety can cause a lot of confusion, especially for newcomers. Content marketing, inbound marketing, affiliate marketing...? So that you don't fall into complete lethargy, here is a brief overview of the most important online marketing disciplines.

Online marketing

Let's just start at the beginning. With a definition of marketing in general:

Marketing (in German: Absatzwirtschaft) is the targeted and target group-oriented orientation of corporate activities to the needs of the market, in particular the advertising and offering of goods and services. (gruenderszene.de)

This includes, among others, the following objectives:

  • Publicity of the trade mark
  • (attractive) sales offers / deal closure
  • Identifying and meeting the needs of the target group
  • Long-term customer loyalty

Online marketing is part of it. It includes - as the name suggests - all marketing measures that are carried out via the internet. For example, any form of online advertising, email marketing and much more. This contrasts with offline marketing (e.g. flyers, posters, radio advertising).

All the following explanations of terms are part of online marketing.

Content marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:

[...] a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

In contrast to classic advertising, content marketing does not focus on sales. But the continuous production of relevant content that offers added value to the user.

Why is this diversions worthwhile? With good content, you get attention, attract potential customers and make them come back again and again. This article offers you a lot of useful information on the topic of content marketing.

Inbound marketing

Ok, content marketing is clear now - the term is also kind of self-explanatory. But when content marketing Content Marketing then what is inbound marketing?

It is not so easy to draw the line. Because in fact both methods go in a similar direction. Inbound marketing also relies on useful content instead of clumsy advertisements.

But unlike content marketing, the focus here is still on sales - for example via a Landing page or a call-to-action.

In general, most experts agree that inbound marketing is more of an umbrella term that includes content marketing. If you want to know exactly: t3N has a detailed article on the two strongly interlinked marketing disciplines.

Affiliate marketing

Surely you know comparison sites like idealo.de, don't you? These portals do not sell products themselves, but compare prices of different online shops. When you as a user have found the right bargain, you click on your link and are redirected to Amazon, Ebay & Co. There you can finally make the purchase.

Such comparison sites make use of the affiliate marketing of online shops.If a purchase is made, they collect a commission from the online shop.

Affiliate marketing is based on the "one hand washes the other" principle. A website operator (= publisher or affiliate) advertises the products or services of other companies free of charge. In return, the company (= advertiser) offers the publisher a commission IF the advertising measure is successful.

This concept brings advantages for both sides. While the publisher can earn extra money by including so-called affiliate links, advertisers generate more reach and sales. At the same time, the companies do not take any risk, as the commission is only paid if a purchase is actually made.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing encompasses all marketing activities carried out via social media channels such as Facebook & Co. A discipline that - if implemented correctly - has a strong impact and is becoming increasingly important.

According to Social Media Atlas 90 % of all German internet users use social media. Youtube is in the lead, closely followed by Facebook in second place. Instagram is also on the rise, especially among young users between the ages of 15 and 30.

In social media, information spreads like wildfire and thus social media marketing enables the increase of traffic, reach and customer loyalty. However, it is important to note: social platforms serve as a supplement and multiplier to your existing web presence - not as a replacement!

Email Marketing

Email marketing refers to any email contact that serves to acquire new customers and retain customers. Dhe classic example is the good old newsletter. But this also includes individual info mails, for example about campaigns or events.

In contrast to content or inbound marketing, the customer does not search for the information here, he receives it by email. Accordingly, you should avoid annoying spam mails and place value on relevant useful content here as well. Advertising is allowed, but should be discreet and nicely presented in Content be packaged. Otherwise, email marketing can backfire very quickly. Because nobody wants to click through an inbox full of annoying advertising banners these days.

Also: Data protection must come first. Only use contact data that you are explicitly allowed to use. And stay away from bought email addresses! This should go without saying, but unfortunately there are still many black sheep on the online market - despite the DSGVO.

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