How to Increase Sales with Online Marketing

It is no secret that businesses thrive on the internet and social media platforms. It would be safe to assume then that businesses rely heavily on online marketing to grow their businesses. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or run a big corporation, you can benefit from understanding the ins and outs of online marketing and how to utilize it effectively.

The Basics Of Online Marketing

Understanding the basics of online marketing will help you get a better grasp of how businesses use social media platforms to grow. The basics of online marketing include:

  • content marketing – creating content (such as blog posts, web pages, or videos) to attract, educate, and entertain potential customers
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • email marketing – using email to send special offers, promote upcoming events, and more
  • social media marketing – using social media platforms to gain attention, build a community, and promote your business
  • market research – collecting relevant data, such as demographics, psychographics, and market trends, to identify the right target audience and gain a better understanding of how online marketing works

Why Should You Care About Online Marketing?

It is important to remember that marketing has changed as the world has changed. Back in the day, people would flock to a local movie theater to see a cartoonish depiction of a lion tamer. They would buy goods from a small shop that sold pots and pans from Italy. The world is a very different place today and so are consumers’ buying habits. You should care about online marketing because it can propel your business to the next level, especially if you use the right strategies.

Additionally, not all consumers are online shoppers and therefore not all online marketing is created equal. Some of the most successful online marketers are those who have mastered the art of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is all about engaging with consumers through content that is helpful, informative, and entertaining. This may sound easy enough, but that is only because it is easy to do. If your content is helpful, informative, and entertaining, you can be sure that your customers will return for more.

The Different Kinds Of Marketing Channels

Just because marketing has changed doesn’t mean that it is only useful for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. In fact, it can be highly beneficial for your business to adopt an online presence whether you are a physical or online business. Here are some of the different kinds of marketing channels you can use to reach your audience:

  • social media – platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn that allow businesses to connect with customers, prospects, and other stakeholders
  • search engine optimization – using keywords and the right metadata (such as tags and descriptions) to have your content show up when relevant search terms are entered
  • brand awareness – raising brand awareness is about getting the word out there that your brand exists and it is something that people should think about when deciding what products to buy
  • email marketing – sending out emails with special offers, discounts, important information, and more
  • display advertising – placing ads on websites that you own or control (such as your own blog) to try and generate sales
  • content marketing – creating content (such as blog posts, web pages, or videos) to attract, educate, and entertain potential customers
  • pay-per-click advertising – paying to have your content or products highlighted in relevant searches to drive more traffic to your site
  • online classifieds – creating an online marketplace to connect businesses with customers who are searching for specific products or services

The Importance Of Online Marketing (Even If You Are An Offline Business)

Even if you are not running a traditional brick-and-mortar business, you should still care about online marketing. It is not about whether or not you have a website. It is about whether or not you use the internet to reach your audience. Therefore, even if you are not technically online, you are still engaging with your audience and therefore still marketing online. A classic example of an online marketer who is not necessarily based in a physical location is HubSpot. They have offices around the world but the majority of their employees work remotely. HubSpot’s approach is to use online marketing to attract, engage, and connect with potential customers regardless of location.

Even if you are not a traditional business, you can benefit from an online presence in regards to marketing. It is always wise to have an online presence, whether you are selling widgets on or serving as an industrial sponsor of a sporting event.

The Evolving Role Of Marketing

Even industries that you would not usually think of as being related to marketing are changing the game as well. The role of marketing has changed from being tied to a specific product or service to being a strategic part of a company’s overall communications strategy. For instance, HP has a new line of business focus called “Experience Marketing”. For a company that makes printers and laptops, the strategy behind experience marketing is to focus on customer experience instead of just pitching a product. Therefore, they build websites and social media accounts to conduct customer research, understand customer behavior, and gain credibility with potential buyers. The takeaway is that even industries that you would not normally associate with marketing can be considered part of the overall marketing strategy.

How To Increase Sales With Online Marketing

Now that you understand the basics of online marketing and its multiple applications, let’s dive into how you can use this knowledge to grow your business.

The first step to increasing sales with marketing is to determine the primary goal you are trying to achieve. What do you want to see happen as a result of your marketing efforts? Be very specific with this question and break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, let’s say you want to see a 1000% increase in website traffic. You can create a goal for this such as “I want to grow my audience by 100% within the next month.” Now, you can determine the steps you need to take to meet this goal. Let’s say that one of your goals is to have more people visit your website. You can start by creating more content. Whether you are writing a blog post or recording a podcast, make sure that you are consistently bringing value to your audience and creating content that is useful and entertaining. Additionally, you can integrate Google Analytics into your website to track the traffic you are getting and the actions that your audience is taking (e.g. buying your products, subscribing to your blog, etc.).

Another way to increase sales is digital marketing/search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about having your content show up when relevant search terms are entered into Google. The advantage of SEO is that it is very easy to implement and can be used to increase sales without having to spend a large amount of money on expensive ads. Additionally, with the right SEO strategy, you can ensure that your content shows up near the top of the search results for relevant terms. There are dozens of SEO tools such as Google’s own Keyword Planner at that can be used to easily find the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for.

As you can see, there are many ways to increase sales. Just remember that the goal should be to create multiple steps that will inevitably lead to sales. It is not about pushing as much product as possible. You can use marketing to increase sales, but you should determine the underlying goal of your marketing strategy before you start to execute.