In today’s digital era, businesses of all sizes are turning to social media marketing to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. With millions of active users across various platforms, there is a multitude of types of social media marketing that can enable a brand to reach a vast and diverse audience.

Understanding the core options for types of social media marketing can help brands create diverse and engaging social campaigns. The landscape of social media marketing is constantly evolving as new platforms and features emerge. Savvy brands should stay updated on these trends and evaluate how any changes may impact their strategy. For instance, the rise of short-form video has led brands to experiment with new types of social media marketing on apps like TikTok.

Whether launching paid ads, partnering with influencers, or simply focusing on consistently creating compelling organic content, the ultimate goal is to meet business objectives and build meaningful relationships with your target audience. With the right social media marketing mix and choosing the most suitable types of social media marketing, any brand can thrive on these social platforms.

There are several main types of social media marketing, including organic content marketing, paid social media advertising, and influencer marketing collaborations. In this post, we will provide an overview of these major types of social media marketing, outlining how each can be utilised as part of an effective overall strategy. 

Content Marketing

One of the most important types of social media marketing is content marketing. Content marketing refers to creating and sharing valuable, relevant content to attract and retain a defined audience, and ultimately drive profitable action. 

Image of cartoon person creating content on laptop

On social media specifically, brands can leverage content marketing to organically engage users without paying for ads. There are many benefits of content marketing on social media. This type of social media marketing helps brands increase awareness, establish thought leadership, and connect authentically with target audiences.

There are several proven content marketing tactics for social media. These include visual content like infographics, videos, and photos as well as written content such as blog posts, guides, ebooks, and more. 

types of social media marketing: Cartoon image of man on laptop doing content marketing
Content marketing as a type of social media marketing

The content shared should aim to entertain, educate, or inspire the intended audience. For example, behind-the-scenes videos work well on Instagram and Facebook. Slideshare is a useful platform for presenting in-depth reports. Whatever the format, high-quality content is essential for effective content marketing on social media.

The specific social media platforms used will depend on where your target audience is most active. For example, LinkedIn is great for B2B lead generation while image-focused platforms like Instagram and Pinterest suit visual brands. Most brands use a combination of channels including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. 

Content marketing, when executed effectively, serves as a powerful tool for businesses to navigate the competitive social media landscape. By creating a content strategy that aligns with your brand’s goals and resonates with your target audience, you can establish a strong online presence, drive meaningful engagement, and achieve lasting success in the digital realm.

Social Media Advertising

Paid social media advertising is another form of the major types of most social media marketing today. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest all offering paid ad options, brands can get their content and products in front of targeted audiences who may not yet be following them organically. Paid social ads allow for precise targeting based on demographics, interests, behaviours and more.

There are several ad formats to consider across the different platforms. For example, Facebook and Instagram offer options like photo ads, carousel ads, Stories ads, and video LinkedIn allows Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail. YouTube offers bumper ads, TrueView ads, and more. Brands should test different formats, placements, audiences, and objectives to see what performs best for their goals and budget.

Image of laptop with Facebook Ads window open on the browser
Facebook Ads (Photo Credits: Will Francis)

The benefits of paid social media advertising include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads and sales, and retargeting. The analytical data provided allows brands to optimise ads and improve ROI over time. However, organic content and community engagement should be used to complement paid efforts.

With the ability to target niche audiences and track clear metrics, social media advertising can be a smart investment as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy. The key is finding the right balance between paid and organic social media marketing. Testing and optimising different types of social ads tailored for each platform will lead to the best results.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become an extremely popular type of social media marketing. It involves collaborating with influencers to promote your brand and products. Influencers are individuals who have built a large, loyal social media following in a particular niche. Their audience looks to them for opinions, reviews, and recommendations.

Micro-influencers with smaller, targeted audiences can be great partners for brands, often at a lower cost than celebrity influencers. When examining potential influencer partners, consider factors like audience demographics and interests, content quality, engagement rates, and overall brand alignment. Make sure to review FTC guidelines around properly disclosing sponsored content.

What is Influencer Marketing?

There are several ways to structure influencer marketing campaigns. The interactive and personal nature of influencer content, whether it’s unboxing videos, product reviews, or day-in-the-life snippets, resonates strongly with social media users. Set clear expectations with the influencer on campaign length, deliverables, measurement metrics, and usage rights for created content.

Influencer marketing provides brands with great benefits like expanded reach, improved brand awareness, content creation, and driving conversions. Influencers add credibility through their recommendations, and create buzz around products. For social media marketing success, focus on building long-term relationships with influencers who genuinely like your brand and offer clear value to their engaged followers. Tracking sales and engagement from influencer content is key.

When paired strategically with organic content marketing and paid social advertising, influencer marketing can be a highly effective social media marketing tactic. It helps attract and engage relevant new audiences. This personalised promotion from influencers is a type of social media marketing delivering proven results.

Key Takeaways on Top Types of Social Media Marketing

There are several core types of social media marketing that brands should leverage as part of their overall strategy. 

Organic content marketing provides an opportunity to establish thought leadership and engage your audience without paid promotion. Tactics like visual assets, blogs, and videos work well across platforms when tailored to your business’ goals. Paid social media advertising allows for precise targeting and enables more control over reach and engagement. With many options for formats and placements, paid ads can drive brand awareness and conversions. 

Meanwhile, influencer marketing lets you tap into the trusted voices and engaged follower bases of topic specialists in your niche. Setting clear contracts and tracking performance is key for successful partnerships.Implementing a strategic combination of organic content, paid ads, and influencer collaborations can help boost your brand on social media. Try different approaches and analyse the data to determine what resonates most with your audience and provides the best ROI. 

When implementing a social media marketing strategy, it’s important to regularly analyse and optimise your approach based on performance data. The various types of social media marketing offer helpful analytics to track reach, engagement, conversions, and more. Use these insights to refine your use of organic content, paid ads, and influencer partnerships for maximum impact. For example, you may find certain topics or formats resonate more on a particular platform. Adjusting your types of social media marketing accordingly can boost results.

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Master the top types of social media marketing

As you build out your social media marketing strategy, don’t silo your thinking into just one or two types of social media marketing. A multi-channel, integrated strategy spanning organic, paid and influencer approaches will yield the best results.

Each of these types of social media marketing offers distinct benefits. Organic content builds credibility, paid ads expand reach, and influencers provide a human touch. Analyse the data to see which content formats, ad types, and influencer partnerships work for your brand across the various platforms. Refine and rebalance your types of social media marketing as needed. Taking a holistic approach will maximise your social media marketing success.

With these core types of social media marketing, you can build meaningful relationships with current and potential customers. The social landscape provides endless opportunities to connect with your audience in authentic ways that support your business objectives.

If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other posts on social media marketing: The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses of All Sizes | 3 Exciting Social Media Trends Revolutionising Digital Marketing | How to Use Social Media Video: 6 Tips

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