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Written By Danny
Last updated 10/05/2021

What is online marketing

What is online marketing - or digital marketing - anyway? Quite simply, it is: using one or more channels via the Internet to promote your product or service. 

The goal?

More online visibility, more visitors to your website, more customers and what it's all about in the end: more profit

In this blog, I tell you more about: 

Why online marketing?

There are many benefits of online marketing, but these are the main ones:

  1. Your customers are online
  2. Personalize campaigns for your target audience
  3. Increase your authority and visibility
  4. Low entry threshold
  5. Your competition puts it in
  6. Measure your results easily
  7. Fast results, more customers and cost effective
  8. Types of online marketing channels

There are many different forms of online marketing. Often there is also overlap in designations and activities. 

For example:

Some call it social marketing, others SMM and still others call it community building. SEM, for example, stands for search engine marketing and again consists of SEO and SEA. 

There are more examples like this, but below I'll take you through the basics and main channels of online marketing

Type of online marketing channels

Search engine advertising (SEA)

SEA wat is dat?

SEA is advertising in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Actually, you cannot separate search engine advertising and Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). Google has such a dominant position that SEA is regularly used - even by specialists - to mean Google Ads.

Highlighted in green are examples of search engine advertising in Google.

Wat is zoekmachine adverteren in Google

Benefits of SEA

  • You create visibility almost immediately
  • You can target your audience
  • You have your budget easily under control
  • Results are easily measurable

Disadvantages of SEA

  • Many industries have a high CPC (cost per click)
  • A certain audience never clicks on ads (banner blindness)
  • Without knowledge you will spend a lot of 'test budget' without results
  • Once the money tap goes off you lose all visibility

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Zoekmachine optimalisatie illustratie

My personal favorite, SEO (search engine optimization) or search engine optimisation. It includes all the work - often done by an SEO specialist - that ensures that you higher ranking in the organic - or unpaid - search results.

In green, you see the "organic" search results here.

Zoekmachine resultaat in Google

Benefits of SEO

  • A sustainable investment - you don't lose rankings overnight and the (SEO) health of your website remains
  • You can target your audience
  • Good rankings create authority and trust
  • You don't pay any advertising costs
  • Organic search terms have a higher click-through rate (view the research)

Disadvantages of SEO

  • It is time intensive
  • Results take time
  • You don't have all the control, nobody know exactly how the Google algorithm works
  • Algorithm updates can impact your rankings

Content marketing 

Content marketing wat is dat?

According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:

"Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and ultimately to drive profitable customer actions." 

So it's using valuable content strategically, to reach your potential customer. Often content marketing is seen as just blogging. 

That's not right!

Content marketing is indeed becoming often used in the form of blogging. It can be of great importance for SEO - of course, I write this blog for a reason. 

But when it comes to content marketing, also consider:

  • Videos and webinars
  • Lead magnets
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Courses
  • LinkedIn (by writing extensive articles)
  • & other social media posts

The benefits of content marketing

  • You can use content marketing multi channel
  • Potential snowball effect (similar to SEO)
  • You will demonstrate expertise in your field
  • Low entry threshold

The disadvantages of content marketing

  • It is time intensive
  • You must have deep knowledge of the subject
  • In addition to knowledge, it requires a great deal of creativity
  • Results are difficult(er) to measure

Social media marketing (SMM).

Wat is smm

Social media marketing (or SMM) is the use of social media platforms to connect with your target audience. It includes publishing good content, engaging with followers and running social media ads.

Benefits of social media

  • You can target ads super specifically
  • Easy interaction with your customers and target group
  • Can be supportive of search engine optimization
  • You build authority with a large channel

Disadvantages of social media

  • Lots of competition
  • Risk of negative publicity
  • It doesn't fit every company
  • Certain target groups are not (or little) on social media

Email marketing

Wat is emailmarketing

Email marketing simply involves using email to promote your products and services. You can use your email lists in different forms of email marketing, such as: 

  • Newsletters
  • Welcome Campaign 
  • Product updates and brand story
  • Content promotion
  • Lead nurturing
  • Request a review

Benefits of email

  • Relatively low cost
  • It is easily scalable
  • Perhaps the best measurable online marketing channel
  • It helps you build customer relationships

Disadvantages of email

  • It may come across as spam
  • You must have an email list to get started
  • You need (often) many contacts to use email marketing effectively
  • If you do it wrong you may be in violation of the AVG law

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing voor bedrijven

With affiliate marketing, you actually let someone else promote your product or service, in exchange for a piece of your profit. 

How does that work?

It starts with a personal link for the affiliate (the promoter). Then the affiliate starts promoting the link. Does anyone use this link for a purchase? Then the affiliate gets a committee (usually a fixed percentage) over the purchase price. 

Many bloggers deploy affiliate links to make money. But it is also popular among YouTubers and other social media influencers. 

You don't dwell on it:

But the main source of income for comparison sites such as, and, come from affiliate marketing.  

This is happening more than you might think, especially in e commerce! Some examples of major companies deploying this are:

  • Coolblue
  • Essent
  • Sailor
  • Corendon
  • Volkswagen
  • Amazon

Affiliate marketing, in addition to ecommerce, is very popular with software, hosting and energy companies. 

How can you use affiliate marketing?

There are several affiliate marketing networks where you can put your product or service. The most popular in the Netherlands is Daisycon.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

  • No result means no cost
  • Affiliates do all the heavy lifting
  • You appeal to a target group that you normally do not reach (or that you find difficult to reach)

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing

  • You transfer a large portion of your profits to the affiliate
  • You have no (or little) control over strategy and approach
  • Bad 'behavior' from affiliates can spill over to you as a business
  • Affiliates can start competing with your online marketing efforts

Which channels are right for your business?

Choosing and combining the right channels can be tricky, but maybe these questions will help you:

  • Where is your target market located?
  • What is the purpose of the campaign?
  • What are my competitors putting in place?
  • How much competition is there on the channel within my industry?
  • Which channels are right for me and my business?
  • How much time do you have to devote to online marketing?
  • How much budget can you free up?

And perhaps the most important!

Is my website up to scratch?

You can attract as many visitors to your website as you like, but without a good website no good results. 

I always compare it to a nice billboard along the highway. It can be as attractive as you like, but if your store is one big mess, you won't sell anything either.

So do always start with your website (or you can use a commission a website) and build from there with digital marketing. 

In addition, put your answers to the questions next to the advantages and disadvantages of the channels. Then you will probably have a better idea of what suits your organization.

Do digital marketing yourself or outsource?

That depends on many factors, both have their advantages and disadvantages. When you do it yourself you have everything under control, you can start easily and you have no extra external costs.

So why would you outsource it?

The approachability of online marketing can actually be a danger. I regularly see entrepreneurs and businesses that are going off on their own plan. Then it can be that you more harm than good does. 


  • You turn the tap completely on for ads, without proper setup and optimizations. Ad platforms are very happy about that, but you don't sell anything with. Better to eat out. 
  • You start prattling on SEO and request a mountain of backlinks. A few weeks later you have a penalty from Google and you lose all your rankings.
  • You start content marketing, but don't target blogs for keywords. lots of time and effort later: 0 results and your new SEO specialist tells you to remove 90%. 

So do I advise against starting online marketing myself?

Definitely not!

On the contrary, I even recommend Test first before partnering with another party. This will make future cooperation easier and you will know better what to expect from an agency, freelancer or new employee. 

Do try to avoid going completely overboard right away. Start slowly and choose one channel to focus on. 

Do you want to yet scale up faster or outsource? Then do some research to find an agency or freelancer you feel comfortable with.

Another option is of course that you contact me! With MediaBrix, I'm happy to help you with your questions. Maybe I can even help you with a grow online or a new website. 

Plan here a complimentary cup of coffee with me!

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