Many businesses don’t fully understand online marketing. In fact, it’s all too common to meet businesses who think occasionally posting on Facebook is enough to reach new customers.

Unlike traditional marketing, the costs of marketing online are considerably lower.

This makes online marketing incredibly accessible, especially for smaller businesses.

It is also highly adaptable to the needs of the consumers, so naturally, in our technologically advanced times, the Internet has become a valuable marketing tool.

Today, we will cover everything you need to know about marketing your business online.

What is online marketing featured image

What Is Online Marketing?

Online marketing targets customers with relevant interests to ensure that it reaches a relevant audience. Its effectiveness comes from the fact that it is cheap compared to the number of views it generates.

Online marketing definition may be seen as utilising the Internet to reach a global audience through one-way communications, web ads and search engine optimisation, or interactive communication through social media.

Here are some of the benefits of Online Marketing in comparison to other traditional marketing mediums:

  1. Your product reaches a global audience,
  2. Your products reach people with relevant interests,
  3. Relatively cheap when compared to other physical mediums,
  4. Increases Brand Loyalty through interacting with customers,
  5. Constant exposure to a brand boosts brand recall,
  6. Reliable location for business updates.

Different Types of Online Marketing Channels and Their Benefits and Drawbacks

There are many different types of online marketing channels, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common channels:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can help you to attract more visitors to your website and increase your sales and leads.

Benefits: SEO is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. It can also help you to build long-term trust and credibility with potential customers.

Drawbacks: SEO can be a complex and time-consuming process. It can also be difficult to track the results of SEO campaigns.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: PPC advertising is a type of online advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. PPC ads can be displayed on search engine results pages, other websites, and social media platforms.

Benefits: PPC advertising is a quick and easy way to reach a targeted audience. It can also be very effective at generating leads and sales.

Drawbacks: PPC advertising can be expensive, especially if you are targeting competitive keywords. It can also be difficult to manage PPC campaigns effectively.

  • Social media marketing: Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to connect with potential customers and promote your products or services.

Benefits: Social media marketing is a great way to build relationships with potential customers and generate brand awareness. It can also be a very cost-effective way to promote your business.

Drawbacks: Social media marketing can be time-consuming. It can also be difficult to track the results of social media marketing campaigns.

  • Content marketing: Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain customers. This content can be in the form of blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, or other media types.

Benefits: Content marketing is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract high-quality leads. It can also help you to build relationships with potential customers and improve your website’s SEO.

Drawbacks: Content marketing can be time-consuming. It can also be difficult to produce high-quality content that will resonate with your target audience.

How to Develop and Implement an Online Marketing Strategy

To develop and implement an online marketing strategy, you should follow these steps:

  1. Define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your online marketing campaigns? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your messaging and choose the right channels.
  2. Set your goals. What do you want to achieve with your online marketing campaigns? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can choose the right metrics to track your progress.
  3. Choose the right channels. Not all online marketing channels are created equal. Choose the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience and achieve your goals.
  4. Create a budget. How much money are you willing to spend on online marketing? Once you have a budget, you can allocate your resources accordingly.
  5. Track your results. It is important to track the results of your online marketing campaigns to see what is working and what is not. This will help you to improve your campaigns over time.

How to Measure the Results of Online Marketing Campaigns

There are many different ways to measure the results of online marketing campaigns. The metrics you track will depend on your goals. For example, if you aim to increase brand awareness, you might track website traffic, social media engagement, and brand mentions. If you aim to generate leads, you might track form submissions, email signups, and demo requests. If your goal is to drive sales, you might track ecommerce sales, product views, and shopping cart abandonment.

Essential Online Marketing Channels

Of course, when you want to get to grips with online marketing, you’ll need to understand the various channels available to you. Here are three of the most common online marketing channels which every small business should be familiar with.

Online marketing channels
Online marketing comprises a wide variety of channels. Image credit: MikenCube

1. Display Advertising

The simplest type of online advertising involves banner advertisements on 3rd party websites, usually through Microsoft Advertising or Google Ads. To avoid intrusions on the user’s experience, the banners are on the sides of the page.

The key to success here is achieving high ROI for your ad campaigns. This means minimising the cost for each impression your ad makes and maximising the number of purchases each ad leads to.

2. Search Engine Marketing

This requires a proper understanding of how search engines rank pages to maximize the traffic to your website. This is one of the most essential mediums for the natural growth of your online entity.

All views, in this case, are interested in what you have to offer. This method involves adjusting your content to please search engine algorithms to ensure you rank high on a results page.

3. Social Media Marketing

Arguably the most important Online Marketing Tool due to its incredible flexibility. It is for interacting to gain favour (brand acceptance) or to remain competitive.

It is no doubt that online recommendations are the natural evolution of word-of-mouth marketing, which is essentially the ultimate marketing goal of any business. It provides the most exposure; however, it requires the most amount of effort.

There are several social media websites, each serving its function. A Facebook page is essential to show the number of people who liked your product.

Twitter may be used for more instant interactions with the customer base and a chance at viral tweets with these tools at hand. There are several more uses of social media for marketing. We share some of our most popular articles on online marketing:

Digital Strategy Workshop | Digital Strategy 

5 Essential Online Marketing Tips

When setting out an online marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the best practices for different channels, as well as some tips which can be implemented across a range of different platforms.

With that in mind, here are five of our top online marketing tips.

1. Create an Effective Website

The internet is a big place. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages every day through web searches, email blasts, social media, and videos, and that doesn’t even include their personal searches.

A website is your online storefront. It is the first impression your customers see. The great thing about a well-done website is the owner has control of the content. Unlike social media, which allows an open forum to post mostly anything, a website is in your control.

You can link social media posts and other outside content to your site only when you want. Work with website designers to create a powerful, mobile-friendly, visually appealing, easy-to-use and fast website.

An effective website is essentially a selling machine. You can measure its success by how effective it is at turning users into paying customers.

2. Start Blogging

One of the best ways to add valuable content to your website and social media platforms is through a blog. A blog is an online log or journal containing valuable content readers find interesting and helpful.

Blogs can either be written by marketing staff members, freelancers or guest writers. Mixing up the writing style keeps a blog fresh and current. It is important to write articles and infographics and copy readers that are helpful and valuable to them.

Online marketing blogging ROI Stats
Blogging is demonstrably tied to increased revenue. Image credit: HubSpot

Write blog articles focusing on your industry’s topics and naturally include keywords. Keywords are words search engines use to find what a user is looking for. And keep the information coming. Consistency is key in the world of blogging.

Readers will enjoy your material, return frequently to learn more and eventually convert from a reader into a customer.

Blogs are the perfect way to target users who know they have a particular problem but don’t yet know that there are products or services which can help them. This makes blogging one of the most effective ways to find new customers.

3. Use the Right Social Platforms

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are another important part of online marketing strategy. Whether a company has an e-commerce site or not, social media drives your online presence.

Sites like Facebook make it so easy to use and navigate their features that marketers often go to social first before their website.

This is a bad habit to get into since your website’s content can be controlled, and information posted on social media should link back to the website. Social media is a vehicle to drive traffic and sales to your website.

Once on your website, you can direct them to what they seek. Here is a list of the top three social media platforms:

  • Facebook: This is the top social media site with more than 1.59 active users, growing daily. More than one billion log on each day, and is a place where 87 per cent of users ages 18 – 29 are on Facebook, and it has the most evenly distributed demographics of any other platform.
  • Twitter: This social media platform is famous for the 140 or fewer characters or less site use of the hashtag # for searching and has become even more famous since the 2016 presidential election. Among adults 18 and older, 19 per cent use tweets to share their thoughts.
  • LinkedIn is by far the most professional social site and is where more than three million businesses access a global network of more than 200 million users. Professionals find products, services and career opportunities. It is where brands are built, professionals are nurtured, and bottom lines are improved.

Being at the heartbeat of your industry’s trends is key in content and online marketing. Content marketers should use some exciting trends as part of their strategy.

They are:

  • Ephemeral or short-lived content,
  • How-to videos and podcasts,
  • Real-Time videos,
  • Behind-the-scenes looks,
  • Contests and giveaways,
  • Recipes,
  • Interviews,
  • “Takeovers,” or when a different user chooses what content to share,
  • Live events,
  • Daily or weekly video series,
  • Holidays,
  • Announcements or product reveals.

5. Track Your Results

Online marketing is a dynamic and powerful tool that is continually changing to meet the needs of consumers. Tracking results is imperative to know what strategies worked and what didn’t.

Tracking results helps you determine the return on investment, too. Social Media sites provide temporary statistical data that can be captured and used.

Email marketing management companies like MailChimp and Constant Contact provide click, open and bounce statistics for individual emails, among other reports. There are also marketing services, Google Analytics and online packages to track campaign results.

Simply asking consumers through questionnaires, polls, and surveys are other ways to track a campaign’s effectiveness.

6. Make It Mobile

Everyone has their mobile devices in their hands. We are an on-the-go culture, so businesses must be prepared to do business on the go too.

Every time a web marketing or online advertising decision is made, it must be made with cell phones and mobile devices in mind.

Websites must be compatible, mobile friendly, fast and easy to use; email content must be easy to open and read with an effective call to action; e-commerce sites must be linked to PayPal or another easy-to-use payment site maps to find brick-and-mortar storefronts must be correct.

Making your business platforms mobile-friendly will improve your ranking on search engines and in the long run, improve your bottom line. In fact, in the age of mobile-first indexing, how your site works on mobile is even more important than the desktop version.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Marketing

Here are some frequently asked questions about online marketing:

Q: How much does online marketing cost? 

A: The cost of online marketing can vary depending on the size and complexity of your campaigns, as well as the channels you choose. However, there are many cost-effective ways to market your business online.

Q: How long does it take to see results from online marketing? 

A: The amount of time it takes to see results from online marketing will depend on your goals and the channels you choose. For example, PPC advertising can produce quick results, while SEO can take several months to produce significant results.

Q: How do I know which online marketing channels are right for my business? 

A: The best online marketing channels for your business will depend on your target audience and your

Q: What are the main types of online marketing?

A: The main channels for online marketing are search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. Multichannel strategies are the most effective.

Q: How can I market my business online with a limited budget?

A: Focus on organic tactics like SEO, social media, and content creation. Leverage free tools, use ads efficiently, and track costs closely. Prioritize high-ROI activities.

Q: How long does it take to see results from online marketing?

A: Results vary, but it usually takes 2-3 months for organic strategies like SEO. Paid ads can drive immediate traffic. Set realistic timelines and track analytics to optimize efforts.

Q: How do I measure the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns?

A: Key metrics to track include website traffic, rankings, social reach, email open rates, click-through rates, and most importantly – conversions and sales. Use analytics tools.

Q: Should I hire an online marketing agency or do it myself?

A: It depends on your budget, skills and time available. Many tools now make DIY marketing accessible. However, agencies provide expertise and save time.

Q: What skills are required for online marketing success?

A: Key skills include copywriting, analytics, AdWords, HTML, email marketing, graphic design, video creation and more. Or partner with people who have complementary skills.

Q: How can I keep up with changes in online marketing?

A: Stay on top of updates through blogs, online courses, conferences, and Google’s free training materials. Testing and data analysis also provide insights.

If you’d like help with your online marketing efforts, contact our digital marketing agency. We would be delighted to help with your digital marketing, social media marketing or digital training.

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