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Tutorial: Digital Marketing Channels

Sarah Bacchus
Sarah Bacchus
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Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services.

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Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) works by optimizing a website's pages, conducting keyword research, and earning inbound links. You can generally see the results of SEO efforts once the webpage has been crawled and indexed by a search engine.

Organic search refers to someone conducting a search through a search engine and clicking on a non-paid result. Organic search is a search marketing channel that can be used as part of inbound marketing to increase website traffic.

SEO marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan to get more visitors to your website through search engines. Successful SEO includes on-page strategies, which use intent-based keywords; and off-page strategies, which earn inbound links from other websites.


Paid Search

A product listing ad includes product image, price, and merchant name and appears when a search is performed. You bid on ad placement through the medium provider. A click on the product listing takes the visitor to your website to complete the purchase. This model is pay-per-click.

Some examples are Google Shopping Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo (Verizon Media).


Social Media

Using social media to advertise a brand, products, or services. Social media marketing allows a brand to insert itself into ongoing conversations on channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Best practices for social media marketing include creating interesting content that links back to your website as well as publicly replying to questions and comments. Posts can be organic, meaning you don’t pay anything to “boost” them, or they can be promoted with media dollars.

Some of the hottest innovation in retail is happening on social media platforms. While advertising and sponsored posts have been around for years, social media platforms are rolling out new ways to shop directly on their sites, creating a new business opportunity for retailers and prominent brands.

Some examples are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and TikTok.


Local Inventory Ads

Local inventory ads showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers. When shoppers click your ad, they arrive on a channel-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more.

Some examples are Google Local, Facebook In-Store.


Comparison Shopping & Shopping Extensions

For eCommerce merchants, price comparison shopping engines are an opportunity to put your products in front of very interested buyers. These aren’t people glancing at a virtual storefront like a window shopper at the mall. Price comparison site users typically have already made the decision to buy and are simply looking for the lowest price. With their high intent to purchase, comparison shoppers often are an ideal audience for promoting your products.

On the consumer side, price comparison sites work much like a search engine—the difference being price comparison engines will show products side-by-side and how they stack up against one another in terms of pricing. Typical search engines generally serve up straightforward results without sorting by price or showing comparisons.

On the business side, each price comparison site is a little different. Essentially, you pay a certain fee, submit the required content (product photos, URL, price, description, etc.), and list your products. Your products will then show up for relevant searches along with comparable products, ranked by price.

Some examples include PriceGrabber, Shopzilla,, Honey, Wikibuy, and Popcart.


Affiliate Networks

A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.  A business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.

Some examples are Pepperjam, CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction), Rakuten LinkShare, ShareASale, Avantlink, Google Affiliate Network, and ClixGalore.



Retargeting, also known as remarketing, serves personalized online display advertisements to consumers who have previously visited your website. Code on your store site creates a list of people that visit your site by placing anonymous retargeting "cookies" in their browser. This list allows retargeting vendors to display retargeting ads to your potential customers as they visit other sites. 

Google Remarketing is the technology that enables your Google Ads to follow potential customers as they move across the internet. When a user visits, a small snippet of code on your website adds them to a remarketing list. Then when they visit another website that uses the Google Ad network, they are served your ad. Google allows you to customize who sees your remarketed ads. For example, you can prioritize new or returning customers.

Some examples are Google Remarketing, Adroll, Criteo, BazaarVoice, Barilliance.


Email Marketing

The use of email to promote a business’s products and services. Email marketing can make the customers on your email list aware of new products, discounts, and other services. It can also be a softer sell to educate your audience on the value of your brand or keep them engaged between purchases. It can also be anything in between. Email marketing tools can help you design, build, and optimize your email marketing to get the best ROI.

Unlike regular campaigns, automation is a targeted email or series of emails that you can set and forget. From a welcome email series to follow-up emails after purchase to rewarding your customers with a special incentive, automation helps you streamline your communications with customers so you have more time to focus on creating content and increasing return on investment (ROI). Plus, you can design, send, and track order notifications to update customers on purchases they made from your store.

Some examples are Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Adroll, Criteo, Bronto.



🎉🥳  All done! You've completed this course about the eCommerce landscape!

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