Online Marketing

Online marketing includes all marketing measures that are implemented online. Online marketing is also called web marketing. It can be used to increase sales, traffic or reach. Important sub-disciplines in online marketing are social media marketing, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing and referral marketing. If online marketing measures are primarily controlled via success KPIs, this is also referred to as performance marketing.



It can be argued that with the spread of the commercial Internet, online marketing has also emerged. The forms of marketing have usually always adapted to the respective medium. At the same time, new forms of online marketing have emerged with new online channels such as social media. A rough classification of the development leaps in online marketing can be created using the terms Web1.0 and Web2.0. With Web 1.0, newsletter marketing or search engine marketing in particular have developed, while in the course of the spread of Web 2.0, social media marketing or blog marketing, for example, have developed. Today, the sub-forms of content marketing and referral marketing play the most important role. In the field of advertising booking automation, programmatic marketing has become an important factor with the help of big data and machine learning.

Benefits of online marketing

Compared to classic advertising on TV, radio or print, online marketing usually has the advantage that success can be scaled better. In addition, campaigns can be analyzed very precisely. Due to the ever-larger data sets generated with the help of web analysis tools, it is also possible to draw ever more precise conclusions about user behaviour.

Whether online marketing is always cheaper overall than print or TV advertising depends on the scope of the respective campaign. Online forms of advertising have the potential to also have a “viral” effect. This means that a lot of reach or sales can be achieved with little financial and material effort. Reach is another advantage of online advertising over traditional marketing. A website alone can potentially reach customers all over the world if it is optimized and designed accordingly. A commercial on TV or a print ad in a magazine or newspaper does not and does not achieve this reach.

Online Marketing Forms

various forms of online marketing do not always have to be carried out alone. The individual sub-areas often complement each other.

Social Media Marketing

As part of social media marketing, social networks such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter are used to increase awareness of the company or a product. Another goal of social media marketing is to increase the reach of information about a company. Social media marketing is therefore often used as part of content marketing. Social media channels can also be used specifically for customer relationship management as part of marketing measures. In addition to organic reach building, advertisers can also advertise individual postings on social networks to reach specific target groups even better.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing (also: search engine marketing or SEM) includes all marketing measures related to search engines to achieve the highest possible ranking there. A distinction is made between directly paid search engine advertising (SEA) and search engine optimization (SEO).

A separate area marked as advertising is available in the search results for search engine advertising. In addition to the organic search results , these advertisements are also subject to an internal ranking, with the main difference being that they are subject to a fee (paid search results). Search engine optimization includes a variety of ways to optimize the ranking of a website.

Email marketing

E-mail marketing includes any contact with existing business customers and potential new customers via e-mail. With regularly sent newsletters, the customer can be bound to the company. Individual mailings can also remind you of campaigns or company news. The other advantages of this form of online marketing include the low cost and fast transfer of information.

The long-term goals of e-mail marketing are expanding market shares, image maintenance, customer loyalty and increasing sales.

Due to the aversion to receiving annoying advertising emails, attempts are made to enrich newsletters with useful information and to discreetly add the actual advertising. This gives the newsletter a less intrusive effect and a general deletion of such e-mails by the reader is counteracted.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing describes a partner program in which cooperation between the dealer ( merchant ) and the website operator ( publisher ) comes about. The external website is used for our own advertising purposes by including banners or links to the online shop. Depending on the agreement between the business partners, the website operator receives a commission for referring interested parties. The commission is based either on the period of time the advertisement was placed, the acquisition of new customers or the order intake. Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective alternative to comparatively expensive banner marketing.

Banner Ads

Banners can be graphics in different formats and in different designs. These are displayed on websites, search engines or internet portals as advertising material. These are linked in such a way that the potential customer is directed to the desired website of the advertising company by clicking on the advertising space. The goals of display marketing are reach and market penetration. However, this form of advertising is attributed to the greatest wastage in the context of online marketing measures, which is why banner advertising is usually only one component of complete advertising campaigns. In order to increase the success of this form of advertising, banner advertising is mostly used in retargeting.

Content marketing

Content marketing established itself as a permanent fixture in the online marketing mix in the 2010s. The aim of this form of marketing is to make a brand or a product better known by distributing high-quality content in the form of images, text or videos. Content marketing is usually not aggressive and has a rather indirect effect. Content marketing is closely related to storytelling.

Referral marketing

With so-called referral marketing, the principle of recommendation marketing is transferred to the Internet. The aim of this sub-form of online marketing is to increase brand awareness or the reach of a product through recommendations. Social networks play an important role in this.

Influencer Marketing

With influencer marketing, a method already used in public relations has found its way into online marketing. Similar to referral marketing, it is about referrals. But in this case, it is influential people, well-known bloggers or celebrities, who recommend a brand or a product on the web, for example after a product test.

Performance marketing

This form of marketing is a part of online marketing that is particularly based on optimizing success. With the help of analyzes and often programs based on machine learning, the main aim is to continuously generate more sales. Performance marketing is often used in affiliate marketing.

Programmatic Marketing

Programmatic marketing consists of the automatic, data-based delivery of advertising content to a previously determined target group. An important prerequisite for the success of programmatic marketing is the existence of a valid database. This is the only way campaigns can be carried out in a way that is appropriate for the target group. The big advantage of programmatic is the mostly low wastage and the associated cost savings.


Online marketing is constantly evolving with the web. It is therefore to be expected that more and more sub-forms of online marketing will emerge. It is important that advertisers do not always consider just one method for their measures, but also combine different forms of marketing depending on their efficiency. Online marketing shows its strengths compared to classic forms of marketing, especially when it comes to evaluating advertising measures. Because the digital data streams can be analyzed very well and used for optimization. Big data in particular will play a major role in the future. Virtual reality is also predicted to have a major impact on the entire industry.


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