Digital media channels

Online communications techniques using paid, owned and earned media to achieve goals of brand awareness, familiarity, favourability and to influence purchase intent by encouraging users of digital media to visit a website to engage with the brand or product, and ultimately to purchase online or offline through traditional media channels such as by phone or in-store.

The six main channels include search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, display advertising, public relations and partner marketing.

In this explainer, we see how the six main digital media channels can be broken down further by paid owned and earned media.

See also: Paid digital media, Owned digital media, Earned digital media.


Welcome to my personal site where I blog about the latest developments in digital business to help students, professionals or lecturers using my books in their studies or careers.

Visit my mainĀ Smart Insights Digital Marketing Strategy site to download planning templates, strategy guides and daily updates on the latest developments.

I also write about assistive technology to help others teaching the visually impaired as part of my volunteering work for charity AbilityNet.

My latest books

Full details on Amazon:

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

Free members can download our free templates and benchmark their digital capabilities.