Paths indicating digital marketing channels

89 Digital Marketing Channels

See an improvement or error? Please add it as a comment on this google sheet. See also this list of 62 traditional marketing channels.

Channel Type Notes Companies
SEO Search Ranking high in searches by providing a good user experience and link-worthy content Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, Baidu
Content Marketing Search Creating articles, videos, tools, and infographics on your own site to attract customers and links Find writers on Upwork, Fiverr or similar
Guest Blogging Search Writing articles on other people’s sites with a link back to your site Find writers on Upwork, Fiverr or similar
Email Marketing – owned Email Newsletters and discount offers to your subscribers and customers ConvertKit, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.
Email Marketing – paid Email Sending emails to purchased lists (illegal?), or rented lists Data Axle USA, Zoominfo, UpLeads, MegaLeads
Google Ads Search Paid ads on search engines that are triggered when a user searches for a keyword pattern Google
Google Business Profile Local Similar to Yelp. Manage your reviews, create posts, list your company info. Appear in local “3 Pack” GBP (Google)
Google Maps Ads Local Get higher placement in the “Local 3-Pack” or the list of businesses adjacent to the map Google
Google Local Service Ads Local Home services (plumbers, locksmiths, etc.) get leads from search and a “Google Guaranteed” badge Google
Google Display Ads Display Demographic or interest-based ads, or retargeted ads that follow you around the web Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform
Google Shopping Ads Search Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in web search results Google
Google Smart Shopping Ads Display Ads for products displayed across a variety of Google properties, placed using machine learning Google
Gmail Ads Display Now called “Discovery Ads” — emails at the top of your inbox and start screens of mobile devices Gmail (Google)
Youtube Ads Search Overlay ads, discovery ads, sidebar ads, etc. Some are triggered by search, others by context Youtube (Google)
Youtube Channel Search Your videos. Monetizable with at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over 12 months Youtube (Google)
Youtube Shorts & Stories Social Media Competitor to TikTok, available in Youtube mobile app Youtube (Google)
Facebook Social Media Promoting your company using an FB Page, via Posts, Events, or Stories Facebook
Facebook Ads Display Targeting demographics, interests, website visitors, a customer list, or “lookalike” audiences Facebook
Facebook Messenger Ads Miscellaneous Chat at scale with people that have interacted with your Facebook ads Facebook
Facebook Groups Social Media As an admin, building a community around shared interests that involve your company. Facebook
Facebook Groups Ads Display Difficult to advertise in group itself, but available for Groups Feed or Paid Partnerships with group admin Facebook
Instagram Social Media Creating an Instagram page to develop a community Instagram (Facebook)
Instagram Ads Display Extending Facebook ads to this largely female demographic Instagram (Facebook)
LinkedIn Social Media Promoting your company using a LinkedIn Company Page, via Groups, or Events LinkedIn
LinkedIn Ads Display Sponsored content in feed and whom-to-follow suggestions. Target by job title or industry LinkedIn
LinkedIn InMail Email Send your messages directly to prospects’ email inbox, $0.30 – $1 per email LinkedIn
Bing/Yahoo/AOL Ads Search Paid ads on search engines that are triggered when a user searches for a keyword pattern Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing)
Bing Display Ads Display Demographic or interest-based ads, or retargeted ads that follow you around the web Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing)
DuckDuck Go Ads Search Paid ads on this privacy-centric search engine. DuckDuck Go
Baidu Ads Search Paid ads on Chinese search engine with 74% market share; typically requires Chinese “host” company Baidu
Yahoo/AOL Email Ads Email Email ads. Verizon recently sold Yahoo & AOL to Apollo Global Management, so setup may change Verizon, Yahoo, Apollo
Newsletter ads Email Ads in the content of someone else’s newsletter or full sponsorship of the entire email,,,
Apple Maps Local Similar to Google My Business but for Apple Maps, used by iPhone and iPad devices Apple
Bing Places Local Similar to GMB Microsoft
Yahoo Local Local Similar to GMB Yahoo
Local Directories – Other Local Listing in local directories manually or using BrightLocal, Moz Local, Synup (avoid Yext/Manta) ChamberOfCommerce, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.
Yelp Local Free business profile with reviews and company information Yelp
Nextdoor Local Free business listing; write posts, get reviews and recommendations, participate in community Nextdoor
Nextdoor Ads Local Neighborhood sponsorships by zip code (monthly cost), local deals (pay per ad) Nextdoor
TripAdvisor Local Similar to Yelp, but for tourism-related services TripAdvisor
Yelp Business Listing + Ads Local $150/month + CPC costs; many complaints about inflated metrics and misleading sales practices Yelp
Foursquare Local Check in to physical places, seen by other users of the platform Foursquare
TikTok Social Media Short viral videos often created on a cell phone TikTok
TikTok Ads Social Media Short video ads. Younger demographic, but expanding in other segments TikTok
Twitter Social Media Fast-moving social media site; build a following and use hashtags to draw searchers Twitter
Twitter Ads Display Promoted Tweets, Who To Follow inclusions, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Moments Twitter
Pinterest Social Media Visual discovery engine; primarily female demographic Pinterest
Pinterest Ads Display Ads appear as vertical 2″ x 4″ images going to another pinterest profile or directly to a website Pinterest
Reddit Social Media Discussion forums on lots of topics Reddit
Reddit Ads Display Choose popular subreddits to post your Sponsored Links or Display Ads; allow comments on ads Reddit
Quora Social Media Question and answer forum Quora
Quora ads Search Ads as answers to questions from likely customers, or questions for which your product is the solution Quora
Snapchat Ads Display Messaging platform with Stories and custom filters for advertisers Snapchat
Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Pairing people needing advertising with affiliates that drive traffic and sales for commissions Commission Junction, Share A Sale, Amazon Associates
Groupon-style services Affiliate Mass email offers to potential customers, but you often lose 50% of the sale to the service Groupon, Social Living
Marketplaces Miscellaneous Companies that take a percentage of your sale but they provide the marketing/audience CourseHorse, AppSumo, BrightTalk, Amazon, HaulDrop — see also Groupon
Interviews Miscellaneous Getting yourself or your staff interviewed about your industry Youtube, podcasts, blogs
Webinars Miscellaneous Typically creating a sales funnel where attendees are retargeted via email BrightTalk, EventBrite, Meetup, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn
Comment marketing Social Media Participating in online forum communities with a link back to your site various
Native Advertising Display Fake articles and clickbait placed in news sites: “Around the Web” and “You Might Like” chumboxes Taboola, Outbrain
Influencer Marketing Social Media Getting influencers to promote your products: Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, etc. Sparktoro, Grin, Upfluence
Public Relations (digital) Miscellaneous Getting mentions or links in online articles,
Industry Directories Miscellaneous Getting your listing in an authoritative industry directory Houzz, Findlaw, Behance, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, etc.
Industry Directory SEO Search Optimizing your listing in an industry directory so it ranks well for searches done on the site various Miscellaneous Similar to Yelp, but for business-to-business services
Data Brokers Miscellaneous Advertising to Facebook groups/interests or influencer audiences,
Demand Side Platforms Display Place your ads programmatically on various high-traffic websites AdRoll, Amazon DSP, Verizon Media DSP, etc.
Music Ads Display Video/audio ads between songs and displays on cover pages Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, SoundCloud
Podcast Ads or Sponsorships Display Audio ads or sponsors introduced in-segment by the host(s),,
NFC beacons Miscellaneous Tap your cell phone on a location-specific embedded sticker to get a message Typically handled by an agency
Smart TV ads/channels Miscellaneous LG, Samsung, Roku, Vizio, etc. Typically handled by an agency
Push notifications Miscellaneous Opt-in ads on mobile and desktop, sometimes on browsers other times on the OS,
Check-in incentive for Wifi Miscellaneous Facebook “check-in” required to use free Wifi in an office Facebook
Check-in requests Social Media Requesting users “check-in” so that their friends see that they’re at your business Yelp, Facebook, FourSquare
Browser Home Page Ads Miscellaneous Start page ads Brave, Pocket (Firefox), Google Discovery Ads
Bookmarking / Social Sharing Miscellaneous Social sharing and bookmarking sites Digg, StumbleUpon
Clubhouse app Social Media Audio-only social media platform Clubhouse
Slideshare Miscellaneous Document-sharing site where people can see your PowerPoints and infographics
Leads from Website Visitors Miscellaneous Identifying otherwise anonymous visitors to your website,, SmartPixl
Mobile Device In-App Ads Miscellaneous Place your ads in other people’s mobile apps Google, Facebook, AdRoll
Streaming TV Ads TV Video ads on Hulu, SlingTV, Crackle, and other OTT (over the top) devices Roku OneView, Adacado, Roundel
Geofencing Miscellaneous Ads retargeting or texting people whose cell phone entered a geofenced area around a store GroundTruth, Thinknear, DigitalFactory
Lead Generation Services Miscellaneous They do the outreach/advertising then provide you with the contact info to close the lead MarketLeader, Cience, Leadium; individuals on fiverr
Amazon Ads Search Product ads in search results on Amazon
Target Ads Search Apply to display sponsored product panels in search results on Roundel, Target
Walmart Ads Search Apply to display sponsored product panels in search results on Walmart
eBay ads Search Promoted listings for eBay products; only pay for advertising if product sells eBay
Taobao/Tmall ads Search Paid product ads on Chinese ecommerce giants. Taobao, Tmall (Alibaba),
Robocalls Miscellaneous Illegal without written user opt-in — except political messages, charity requests, or service reminders. DialMyCalls, Text-Em-All, etc.
SMS blasts Miscellaneous Opt-in based messages to people’s cell phones; typically for delivery tracking, but also coupon opt-ins Birdeye, Podium

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