You have definitely heard about marketing in different situations; it has always been about connecting with your target audience in the right place and at the right time. Nowadays, marketing means that you need to meet them where they are already spending most of their time: on the internet. If you want to make this on the web, then we are talking about online marketing.
Online marketing is the process of putting your business front and center along the journey your customer takes. Nowadays, there are innumerable ways to do this by using the available channels you have: your website, a list of customers that you use to send out e-mails, or a blog that has an active readership. Have you heard about earned media? Earned media is the world of organic press. Therefore, your social media accounts, mentions on other blogs, and articles written about you make up the channels within earned media. And all of these channels overlap, just as a user will overlap as they interact with each other. And together, these set the foundation of online marketing.
Media Types: Earned, Owned and Paid
Today’s customer lives across all these channels: watching a video on YouTube while messaging on Facebook Messenger for example, or maybe broadcasting live your family trip on Periscope; Online marketing is about finding ways to be present at the right moment to capture the customer. The internet is changing the way that people see and buy products or services. And with the mobile devices or the internet of things, then the possibilities become endless. This put the customer in charge of the buying process, having the resources to conduct research, compare options, share what they’ve found, and even ask for recommendations, all digitally.
“Online marketing is the process of putting your business front and center along the journey your customer takes, digitally.”
Components of Online Marketing
Online Marketing has many components; Unbounce created a great infographic that sums up all kinds of online marketing in one neat chart.
You might want to consider what component can be an asset for your business. These assets are the most valuable your company own and can give you a better Return on Investment. Here is what can be included on this list:
1. Your website
2. Blog posts
3. Search engine optimization (SEO) and Search engine marketing (SEM)
4. Social Media Marketing
5. Online Advertisement
6. Email Marketing
Online marketing is becoming increasingly important to small businesses of all types. In the past, internet marketing was something that local businesses could justifiably ignore. It didn’t make sense to waste time and money on online marketing when all your business was local. Now, with increasing local search and people’s new habit of searching on the internet first, it does matter. We can say that all businesses should include some online marketing in their marketing mix.
It is worth to mention that your online reputation is very important, even if you do not conduct business over the internet. Before a new customer decides to patronize your business chances are they will check online reviews, so building a reputation for quality and customer service is very important. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave online reviews than satisfied ones, so having a strong reputation and plenty of positive online reviews is vital to business success in today’s digital world.
What are the benefits of having an Online Presence?
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. Moreover, you can measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts. As an example, with digital marketing, you can see the exact number of people who have viewed your website’s homepage in real time by using analytic tools like Google Analytics. You can also see how many pages they visited, what device they were using, and where they came from amongst other digital analytics data.
Online Marketing Strategy and Budget
Your business cannot enter into the digital space for the sake of just having a presence on such channel. The key here is to build out a dedicated strategy that results in a strong ROI. Without investing time in a strategy, you’re not only going to miss great opportunities, but you may find your business left behind.
“Regarding your digital marketing strategy, the important thing is to create a great content for your website and then to promote it through social media or another organic advertisement.”
As with anything related to money, it really depends on what elements of digital marketing you’re looking to add to your strategy.
If you have a website you might want to start focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, Social Media, and Content Creation. All these don’t need any major investment other than time. The main thing here is to create a great content for your website and then to promote it through social media or another organic advertisement.
If we are talking about online advertisement there will be some expense. What it costs comes down to what kind of visibility you want to receive as a result of the advertising. When using Pay-per-click or PPC using Google AdWords you’ll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google’s search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to focus building ads organically as well.
Promoting your business online is a must nowadays, but before digging into that work, it is important to define your online marketing strategy. Once you do that, it will be easier to make the right approach in order for your company to be found by your potential customers; consider listing and identifying your digital assets and start to work on them so you capture your audience’s attention. The use of the organic press is the best way to achieve results in the long term so you might want to consider investing in ads as well.