How to Set Up an Online Marketing Business – Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re looking for an easy way to make money from home, you’ve probably considered exploring the lucrative world of online marketing. There are plenty of opportunities out there, from managing affiliate sales to creating videos for platforms like YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram, to building landing pages and drive traffic to them.

You may be wondering how to set up an online marketing business, but overwhelmed by the number of possibilities. Where do I even begin?

To spare you the headache of figuring it out on your own, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide to assist you in setting up your own online marketing business. From choosing the right legal structure to getting your online marketing license, this article will walk you through every step of the way. By the end of it, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the benefits of an established business you can grow with confidence.

Why Online Marketing?

The opportunity to make money online is certainly there, with a 2014 report from the United Kingdom government forecasting that 15.9 million people will go online this year to make a purchase and that nearly 4 million of those people will utilize social media to research and compare prices.

With so much opportunity out there, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are choosing to dive in. In fact, this year Google Search volumes for “digital marketing agency”, “online marketing company”, and “marketing agency” are all expected to increase by 59%, 25% and 17% respectively.

Aside from the countless possibilities for profit, online marketing allows you to effectively market your products to people all over the world. No longer limited by geography, you can market your product to anyone who has an internet connection. And because internet connections are so prevalent, even the least tech-savvy among us can still get online and engage with your brand.

The Different Forms Of Digital Marketing

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re somewhat familiar with digital marketing. If not, don’t worry, we’re going to cover the basics of what it means and why it’s so important.

For those not familiar, digital marketing can be described as “all the methods and tactics used to promote a business or product online”.

It can be somewhat overwhelming to consider all the various forms of digital marketing, but it’s vital to understand the distinctions, otherwise, it becomes difficult to know where to start. So, let’s take a quick look at the different forms of digital marketing and why you need to know what each one is:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Video Marketing (VM)
  • Generic Digital Marketing (GDM)

If your business is based in the UK, you’ll need to register with the UK Trade Association as a digital marketing agency. (You can find more information about registering as a digital marketing agency on the Association’s website.)

SEO – Search Engine Optimization (Paid)

If you’ve ever shopped online, searched for something, and landed on a retail website, you’ve experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) first hand. SEO is a form of digital marketing where you pay to have your website optimized for specific keywords (phrases), leading to increased click-through rates and, consequently, sales.

Most people are familiar with SEO because it’s usually one of the first things businesses think about when trying to gain web traffic. However, not many people realize that you don’t need to have a physical retail store to get started with SEO. In fact, you can get started for free (with minimal limitations).

SEO is all about having your website or blog optimized for various keywords and phrases (often referred to as “keywords”). The better your site is structured, the easier it will be for Google to understand and place your website or blog in its top rankings.

There are a number of free SEO tools that can help get your site ranked on Google and other search engines. Some of the more popular ones include Google’s SEO Toolbar, which is a free extension that can be added to your browser, and SEMrush, a tool that can help you find keywords that can help drive traffic to your website.

PPC – Pay Per Click (Solo)

If you’ve ever shopped online, searched for a product, but saw multiple ads and clicks before landing on a retailer’s website, you’ve experienced Pay Per Click (PPC). When you engage with advertisers through PPC, you pay per click. (In some instances, you may also be charged per impression.)

PPC comes with several advantages. First, you don’t need to maintain a large social media following. Second, you can target specific audiences based on interests and behaviors. Third, you can target specific keywords without needing to obsess over them. Finally, you get to see the results of your ad campaign almost immediately.

PPC is a great choice for startups and small businesses trying to gain traction online. Essentially, you can try it without risking too much money. Think of all the different ways you’ve searched for a product online – from browsing Google search results to visiting retail websites that show up in online search directories – all of these are forms of PPC. And all of these can be used to gain instant visibility and credibility for your company.

SMM – Social Media Marketing (Couple & Family)

An increasing number of people are realizing the power of social media to spread the word about their brands and products. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 64% of consumers have watched video content on social media to learn about products.

Despite its popularity, not many people understand the ins and outs of Social Media Marketing (SMM). Simply put, SMM is using social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) to gain brand awareness, promote products, and connect with customers.

One of the most effective and, at the same time, one of the most popular ways to utilize social media is through video. In fact, video content is becoming more popular than text on social media platforms. To take advantage of this trend, you need to become a video content creator. (If you’re looking for a leg up in this area, check out this helpful guide by Rainmaker Labs to create video content that will engage your target audience and inspire sales.)

VM – Video Marketing (Corporate)

Another emerging trend that’s taking the internet by storm is video memes. Simply put, a video meme is a popular clip that goes viral on social media platforms. For example, in January 2017, a video of Jared Leto singing the “Hallelujah” chorus from the classic rock band Queen was uploaded to YouTube and received over 27 million views.

The reason why video memes go viral is that they often offer a quick laugh or entertainment value while also marketing a brand or product. Therefore, they’re a great fit for internet users who are on social media platforms looking for a quick distraction or to laugh at. (It should come as no surprise that some of the biggest companies in the world are getting involved with video memes; in fact, here’s a short video that shows you how.)

GDM – Generic Digital Marketing (Real Estate)

Last but not least, let’s not forget about the humble banner ad. (Yes, those tiny ads that appear at the top of your website’s page or in the sidebar of a retail website.) Although they are often considered “less than pure” forms of digital marketing, banner ads can play an important role in gaining web traffic and establishing credibility for your company or brand.

The banner ad industry grew 26% in 2016 and is projected to grow 22% in the next year. (According to the IAB.) So, if you’re looking to get your foot in the door of the online marketing world, establishing credibility through creative banner ads may be the way to go, especially if you want to avoid the costs associated with other forms of digital marketing.

How To Set Up Your Own Online Marketing Business

Now that you have a clear idea of what each form of digital marketing is and why you need to know about them, it’s time to lay out the steps to take to set up your own online marketing business. Keep reading for more information.