Long before pop-up stores became hip and trendy, most people associated the term pop-up with annoying advertising. Especially in the first years of the internet, when the medium was still unknown ground for most users, the unsolicited pop-up windows bugged many users and – what was even more important – cost bandwidth in an already overstrained modem. Much has changed between these first steps in online marketing and the modern forms of advertising provided by the internet. In the meantime, online marketing has developed into a specialized field of its own – here we will take a look at the most common forms.

Online Marketing: Definition and Distinction

Since online marketing is a broad field in which the various manifestations are often subdivided into further subtypes, it makes sense to first define what can and cannot be counted as online marketing. In general, the term online marketing can be used to describe all marketing activities that take place via the internet and online communication. By this definition, a clearer picture can be created with a conceptual border to fields such as print or broadcast and the marketing measures which apply there. Probably the simplest form of online marketing is, of course, a company’s own website.

A website as a digital shopwindow and SEO as a market crier  

What you can’t find online doesn’t exist. Many people in the era of smartphones and constantly available information have internalized this saying. If we encounter an unknown product or a keyword which we are unable to identify, the first reaction is often to pick up the smartphone. Correspondingly, a fundamental pillar of online marketing is a website of one’s own on which visitors can inform themselves about a company and its products. For the website to be found easily by common search engines, there is a whole subarea of marketing, search engine marketing, whose goal is to place your own website as the first result on Google and Co. through intelligent SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEA (Search Engine Advertisement) measures.

While owning your own website has become a standard for most companies, SEO marketing measures are not yet represented in all strategic minds. However, the best website is of little or no use if it is not found. Both search engines and companies have an interest in ensuring that users get to the information which is relevant for them quickly and in a targeted manner. Through internal linking and intelligent use of keywords throughout all pages, websites can be listed higher by search engines and thus, become more relevant and easier to find for users.

Display Advertising – The advertisement column of the Internet

Another important aspect of online marketing is display advertising. This form of marketing can be compared best with regular advertisements in print media. In general, display advertising describes all forms of online marketing that are based on the visual representation of your own brand. These include the pop-ups mentioned at the beginning as well as banners and videos that frame the content of a website. The objectives of this marketing measure can be of different nature. On the one hand, display advertising can be used to draw specific attention to new products without wanting or planning any further interaction with the users. In other cases, however, this form can also be used specifically to lure consumers to the advertising company’s own website via display advertising in order to intensify the contact.

Through intelligent algorithms and artificial intelligence, as well as the widespread use of cookies, there is also the possibility for websites to target the advertisements that could be interesting for potential customers. Someone who has researched various antivirus programs in the past is highly likely to receive advertisements for these products during future website visits. In the wake of an increasing awareness of the value of one’s own data and the desire of consumers to be able to exercise more self-awareness here, a possible future in this form of online marketing is that of a data-driven approach, which relies on social science analyses instead of personal data.

Online marketing with social media messengers

With the emergence of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, new forms of online marketing have emerged, which increasingly rely on these new social media channels. Through their own presence, such as fan pages and social media accounts, companies can be directly addressed by their customers on social media and can get in touch with their target group more easily. A useful addition to their own channels are messenger services that have emerged in recent years, which allow a further form of online marketing, the Messenger Marketing.

These forms focus on addressing customers directly and thus, also on direct communication. Those who are afraid of direct contact with customers are more likely to fail with these two forms, since low-threshold offers such as commenting on company posts on Facebook, for example, also require a reaction from companies. A rather new form of online marketing is communication via messengers such as WhatsApp and the use of chatbots to bind customers to their own brand.

The examples mentioned here are of course only a small part of online marketing. Due to the immense competition in online communication and the associated constant development of new strategies for different online marketing objectives, there is now a wide range of marketing measures that can be implemented online. The emergence of artificial intelligence and new channels in this field, however, also offers many more development opportunities in the future and new forms of online marketing will also be able to establish themselves in the coming years.

About the Author

Sebastian Wuttke Account Executive HBI

Sebastian Wuttke
Account Executive at HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom

Sebastian Wuttke has been supporting customers from the B2C and B2B sector since 2018 and is specialized in text creation and the management of social media channels. He is also part of HBI’s marketing team.



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