Online Marketing - Everything you should know about
Around 60% of the total world population are active internet users worldwide, so doesn't this make the internet a new platform to advertise? While it may seem that marketing on the internet will be easy and you will be more visible, this is not completely true. There is a deluge of useful and useless information on the internet that has alarmed the users to think before they trust the information. If you fail to prove yourself right, you will be misunderstood and not trusted.
According to Optimizely, 'Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company's brand, products, or services to its potential customers.'
So are Online Marketing and Digital Marketing the same? Not really. Digital Marketing is a superset of Online Marketing. For example, SMS marketing is digital marketing but not online marketing.
- Benefits of online marketing
- The eight tools of online marketing
- Online marketing made simple
Benefits of online marketing
It is not a hidden fact how important online marketing is. So, without wasting much of your time, let us dive right into it. But, first, here is a list of 6 benefits of online marketing:
If you have a physical store, imagine if you can cut down the rent of your store and instead shift your items to a warehouse and directly sell them through the internet. Yes, this is not possible for all businesses, but here is the catch: every business can be sky-rocketed online. If you are a cafe owner, run ads on Facebook and Instagram; if you are the Director of a School, you can educate people on your website and provide free learning resources.
Internet will run your business 24x7:
Unlike the employees at your store or office, the internet doesn't need the weekends off. In fact, for most businesses, the sales increase on weekends because the humans are free on the weekends. Once you have your website set up, people can easily place orders on the weekends, and you can dispatch them on the weekdays if that is convenient for you.
Make more money through social media:
You can leverage your business through Social Media. Though Social Media became popular at this scale recently, the returns are significant. A recent study by Harvard Business School showed that about five percent more sales were generated because the consumers were strongly influenced by the company or brand's social presence and network.
Once you know your target audience, you can easily segment them according to their age, location, and gender. When your audience can relate more to your advertisement, they tend to buy more from you. This not only increases your sales but also increases their trust in your brand. You can experiment here to see which campaigns work for which type of audience, and these data will help you plan your future campaigns better.
Establish trust with your audience:
Even if you have a good brand presence, retaining your customers can be easier through online marketing. There are so many ways of doing this: you can post stories on Instagram that require your audience to choose something, announce giveaways, or send a follow-up email to thank them. You can send them emails telling them about lightning deals and customer-only offers; this way, you build a community. Motivate your customers to leave a product review on your website in exchange for some freebie; this will build authority for your future customers.
Through online marketing, you can reach more people without spending a lot. If you can deliver products overseas, then boundaries should not be a barrier if you market online. This increases your target audience significantly without opening warehouses in various countries. Remember that different countries have different regulations, so before selling your products in different countries, learn about the laws and regulations of that particular country to make sure that you don't land up in a lawsuit.
The eight tools of online marketing
These are the seven essential types of marketing that are online. While some of these are organic and others are paid marketing. Here is a list of tools that will make your Online Marketing easy. Let us see each of them briefly:
Search Engine Optimization(SEO):
This is the essential tool you would want if you plan to exist online. It isn't easy to understand how SEO works because Google's current algorithm considers over 200 ranking factors. Though many marketing gurus vouch for paid advertising, you would want to make a presence organically if you want to be a long-term player. Here is a link to an authentic blog about 'how to rank higher on Google in 2021'. You should take into consideration both On-page and Off-page SEO. On-page optimization consists of keyword optimization, meta description, internal linking, title tags, quality content, URL structure, etc. In contrast, off-page SEO consists of local SEO, backlinks, domain authority, pay-per-click, etc.
Search Engine Marketing(SEM):
Yes, this is a paid option. Search Engine Marketing also lets you advertise on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. This way, you can speed up the process of achieving your marketing goals. This has a lot of competition and may cost you heavily because some keywords even cost over $40. You don't just pay for clicks, but each time it is displayed, meaning that you pay for that every time your ad is displayed.
Social Media Marketing:
This ranks high in the list of companies when they plan their marketing campaign. Around 4 billion people are active on social media, making it an ideal place for companies to market. You must be aware of the platform that your ideal audience would hang out on, and you are ready to pop up in their feed.
Some of the things to keep in mind before creating a strategy to tackle social media are: focus only on your target audience, try to over-deliver, help your audience so that they know that you are not just selling them your products, engage with your audience on not just your social media handles, but also your competitors.
This way, you can attract your competitor's audience to your page. Your goal should not be to get followers because not all the followers would be your target audience and would not make conversions.
You must have heard something or the other about this because it has gained popularity recently. You sell others products and services and gain a commission for each purchase. So how does it work, and is it as easy as it sounds? You have to have a good amount of audience if you are thinking of affiliate marketing.
The more audience you have, the greater are the chances of your earnings. If you are a business owner, you can attract influencers and people with a huge following to sell your products to their audience by giving these influencers some commission. People have built seven and eight-figure businesses from affiliate marketing like Jason Stone and David Sharpe.
People have started spending more and more time reading their emails, and you would not want to miss this opportunity if you don't want to leave any stone unturned. Create irresistible lead magnets to entice your website viewers to subscribe to your email newsletters. In email newsletters, you regularly send emails to your subscribers about the latest offers, product launches, early-bird grabs, etc.
For some lead magnets, you can use our worksheets, quizzes, ebooks, free trials, etc. Try to make them think that if you can give this much value to them for free, your product or service is a gold mine. You may use Email Service Providers like ConvertKit and MailChimp to build your list and send customized emails.
With the increased use of social media, the number of influencers is increasing every day too. Don't confuse this with affiliate marketing. You may contact influencers to market your products and create an audience for your brand. You should find the right influencer for your brand, and they should resonate with your vision.
Don't go after the million followers or influencers; you don't need them. Influencers with more than 10k followers would also do fine. This will save you a huge amount of money, as the top-tier influencers charge over a few million dollars for some posts. You may get instant attention to your business by finding some good influencers.
This is one of our favorite strategies because this brings us organic leads and traffic. There are many benefits of using this strategy like; it is free, unlimited changes can be incorporated, brings organic traffic, and many more.
Though this strategy has many benefits, it is not a piece of cake to use this strategy. We create authentic content on our website and add links to other authentic links that will help our audience to get more information. This not only brings your target audience closer to you but also creates trust among your audience.
No, this is not the same as content marketing. Content marketing covers the marketing done on social media, too, but blogging is done on websites alone. Blogs cost you a negligible price per month, but that is an investment rather than spending. Keep posting blogs regularly, and you will see the returns within a few months.
Remember that you don't have to have a million visitors on your page; just the right audience would bring the desired results for you. Some of the top blogs in the world are Huffington Post and Moz that make $14,000,000 per month and $1,000,000 per month, respectively.
Online marketing made simple
Now comes the main part of this blog. We know you scrolled down here to know how to launch your online marketing campaign. Follow these steps, and you will achieve your goal.
Step one: Create a plan
- This is a very intense step, and to make it easier, we are breaking it into a few more steps:
- Define your goal: the very first step is to know what you want to achieve. Define your target audience as well.
- Analyze your company: do a SWOT analysis(Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) to understand where you stand in the market and how you can improve your business.
- Understand your Target Market: answer the questions: who will buy your products, how will they benefit from it, through which medium will you reach them, etc.
- Define your objectives: segment your audience depending upon various factors, collect all the necessary and relevant data to stay up-to-date.
- Competitor Analysis: this is a very important exercise. Identify how your competitors market their products, their strengths, where they lag, and how you will give them healthy competition.
- Decide the media that you will use: will you use social media primarily or e-commerce distribution websites?
- Decide upon your advertising budget: this is another important thing to decide beforehand. Will you start by educating people about your brand, acquire new customers, or will you launch a product? Have a clear idea so that you will know if you are hitting the wrong stone.
Step two: Create a strategy
No, plan and strategy are not the same things. You will know-how in a while.
- Write down your goals and objectives: decide what Key Performance Indicators you will use to measure your success, and yes, writing your goals down will make it clearer. Is your goal to drive more traffic or more followers?
- Create a sales funnel: it is a step-by-step process that your audience will go through to make a purchase.
- Create a buyer persona: where does your ideal buyer stay, what is his/her background, what are their problems, how can they overcome them, why may they choose not to buy from you, how will they resonate with you?
- Metrics that you will analyze: note down the KPIs that you will measure before launching your campaign. They may be the number of visitors, the number of views, your traffic sources, etc.
- What are your traffic sources: note down the sources from where you get the traffic. These sources may be through your advertisements, websites, or social media platforms. Try to tap into new markets to expand your business and sales.
- Lead generation: this includes increasing engagement, increasing content interaction, and brand awareness. This can be done easily by giving lead magnets.
Step three: Post-Campaign metric analysis
Now that your campaign has ended, check the metrics. Compare the metrics with the pre-campaign metrics and measure your success. Check the Key Performance Indicators like conversion rates, click-through rates, sales revenue, ROI, total visits, referrals, etc.
Now that we have seen what online marketing is, its benefits, and how to approach it. We are sure you are convinced that Online Marketing is one of the best practices to follow to improve your marketing. Online marketing may seem daunting before you start, but after launching 2-3 successful campaigns, you will get the hang of it and start loving it.
Since it is a cost-efficient method, do give it a try and see whether or not it works for you. You can bookmark this blog for your future reference when you plan on running a campaign or refer as and when you face a problem while executing your Online Marketing Campaign.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.