There is no denying that the world of online marketing is constantly evolving, changing, and growing. It can be difficult to keep up with all of the new tools, platforms, and strategies that are introduced to the market daily. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop for all of the information you need to know about online marketing and are considering taking the plunge into this exciting new world, this article is for you.
Whether you are building your personal brand, running a small business, or working for a company, understanding the basics of online marketing will put you in the right place to make the most of all of its features and benefits. This article will cover the most essential points you need to know about this rapidly evolving field, including:
What is Online Marketing?
To start things off on the right foot, let’s first establish what online marketing actually is. Simply put, online marketing is the process of getting people to do something (or buy something) after they’ve seen or heard about your product or service.
In the past, people would have to physically come to your store to purchase your goods. However, with the explosion of online marketplaces like Shopify, Google Shopping, and Facebook, marketing your product or service online means bringing potential customers to your doorstep. In other words, you’re reaching out to people who are searching for your product or service online and enticing them to come to your site rather than a rival store. To do this, you need to use various methods and tools to track the activities of potential customers on the web. These methods include:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
One of the earliest and most popular forms of online marketing is search engine marketing (SEM). This is a type of marketing where you’ll pay a company to get your product or service ranked high in search results for relevant keywords.
SEM is a form of marketing that is heavily focused on product searches rather than general web browsing. This is because when people do a search on their smartphone a keypad pops up which makes typing in keywords very convenient. For this reason, SEM is often referred to as “keyworded marketing”. Some of the most popular tools for SEM are Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Amazon’s SEM program.
Social Media Marketing
Once individuals enter the store and make a purchase, they’ll often receive discounts or be offered special deals through emails or social media. For this reason, many retailers have shifted their approach to marketing and began paying closer attention to their social media channels.
This type of marketing is all about getting people to “like” or “share” your product or service on social media to attract potential customers. To do this, you’ll need to make your social media accounts stand out from the crowd, and engage with potential customers on a personal level through stories and videos. Some of the most popular social media platforms include:
- Facebook – One of the first and most popular social media platforms where marketers can connect with consumers.
- Instagram – A popular social media platform where users can engage with brands.
- Twitter – A popular social media platform where users can engage with brands.
- Pinterest – A visual social media platform where users can engage with brands.
- YouTube – A video hosting platform where users can engage with brands.
- LinkedIn – A professional networking platform where users can engage with brands.
- Snapchat – A photo messaging app where users can engage with brands.
These platforms each have their perks but also their downfalls. For example, Snapchat allows people to easily share images with their followers but can be a pain to manage if you’re trying to run a business on a small budget. You’ll need to maintain a small team just to keep up with all of the tasks involved in running a store on this platform.
Though email marketing is becoming less popular as a form of online marketing, it’s still a very effective way of getting people to interact with your product or service. To make your emails more effective, you can use marketing automation tools like HubSpot or MailChimp to create triggered emails based on customer behavior.
With this type of marketing, you’ll want to sit down and develop a plan before you begin sending out emails. It’s a good idea to look at how other companies are running successful email campaigns and replicate what you can. Be sure to research popular email marketing trends like “no-reply” emails or unsubscribe links in order to stay relevant to your audience.
One of the biggest perks of email marketing is that you can add subscribers to a list whenever you want. Though it can be difficult to get started, once you do, it’s very easy to keep the list growing. In fact, you can use tools like MailChimp to get started with email marketing very quickly.
Though not as popular as it once was, display advertising is still a viable way of marketing products online. This type of advertising is all about showing ads to people when they’re searching for information online. Though this type of marketing can be slightly cost-efficient, it’s imperative that you find the right audience for your product or service.
The most effective way of doing this is through paid search, where you’ll pay a company to get your product or service ranked high in search results for relevant keywords. Though paid search is a bit more expensive than other forms of online marketing, it can produce excellent results if used correctly.
As the name would suggest, display advertising is used for displaying products for sale online in physical venues. This can include anything from billboards to magazine racks to online banners and more. Though there are a variety of places where you can display ads, the two most popular platforms are Google and Facebook.
Currently, Google AdWords is the most popular tool for display advertising, with Facebook’s Ads platform following closely behind. If you’re looking to get started with display advertising, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend. Simply put, the more you’re willing to spend, the more you’ll get in return.
Measuring the Results of Your Marketing Efforts
No matter the type of marketing you’re doing, whether it’s online or offline, there is always one thing needed to make it all worthwhile: measurement.
In the beginning, you’ll want to set up automated systems to track the results of your marketing efforts. Though this may seem like a laborious task, once you do it once for all of your marketing channels, it’ll be much easier to maintain and update as needed.
To measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you’ll need to consider several different metrics. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Lead Generation – This measures the number of new potential customers brought into your organization through various marketing tactics.
- Revenue – This measures the money brought in by sales from customers acquired through various marketing tactics.
- Lifetime Value – This measures the total amount of revenue (e.g., purchase value or membership fees) that a customer is likely to generate over the course of their relationship with your organization.
- ROI – This measures the return on investment from various marketing tactics.
To calculate the ROI from your marketing efforts, simply divide the lifetime value of a customer by the total cost of the marketing program (including AdWords fees).
These are just some of the most essential points you need to know about online marketing. If you want to get started, you can use any of the tools mentioned above or develop your own strategy. To ensure your marketing plan is as effective as possible, be sure to take some time to research what other companies are doing and use that knowledge to your advantage. Good luck out there.