For many, the idea of making money online is as exciting as the idea of becoming financially independent. You may have heard of click fraud, where unscrupulous businesses earn revenues by deceiving web visitors into clicking on ads or taking other questionable actions online. Although this is still a prevalent issue, legitimate online marketing businesses like Uber, Shopify, and Amazon make it possible for anyone to start an online marketing business and make a profit from the effort.
Why Online Marketing?
The global marketplace has changed, and traditional business models are no longer fit for the digital age. In the past, businesses could rely on customers coming to them for their product or services. However, with customers seeking information and products and quickly shifting to online marketplaces, the traditional marketing model is under pressure.
E-commerce marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), and content marketing are all terms used to describe the methods of marketing online and through digital channels. With more and more individuals turning to the internet for their daily browse and purchasing habits, online marketing is here to stay.
What makes online marketing different from traditional methods is that you don’t need to rely on customers coming to you for your product or service. Instead, you can use the internet and digital tools to connect with potential customers, position your product or service, and sell it online.
The good thing is that you don’t need a massive budget to get started with online marketing. You can actually start a business with very little investment and hire an affiliate marketing manager to help grow your business. There are a variety of digital marketing strategies and tactics you can use to grow your business, and with careful planning you can create a successful income stream. Let’s examine how you can start an online marketing business using three steps that can be applied to any industry.
Step 1: Create a Business Plan.
A business plan is a roadmap for your business. It should include all the key objectives you plan to achieve, the goals you set for your business, a financial analysis of your business’ projected income and expenses, and a detailed analysis of the market for your product or service.
You can use the sample business plan template from the SBA to create your own business plan for free.
Ensure you have all the necessary information before you begin to draft your business plan. You don’t want to run into trouble later on because you didn’t have all the data you needed at the time.
Step 2: Select the Best Digital Marketing Platform.
Once you have created your business plan, you can begin to think about the tools you will need to grow your business. When choosing a digital marketing platform, you need to consider things like the cost, the structure, and the integrations available. Ultimately, you want to choose a solution that is flexible enough to accommodate your changing needs while remaining economical.
There are a variety of platforms you can use to establish and grow your business, including HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, and LeadSquid. All of these tools offer various pros and cons, so you need to choose which one is the best for your business. For example, if you are just getting started, you may want to consider an affordable solution that is simple to use.
Step 3: Create Key Account Terms.
Once you have chosen the right digital marketing platform, the next step is to create key account terms. These are the terms and conditions you will need to follow in order to operate a designated account on the platform.
Your key account terms should include the following elements:
- an identification number for your account (also known as a customer ID or CID)
- a password
- a personal email address
- a physical address
- terms of service
- payment options
- third-party integrations
- tax statements
You should review your key account terms every month or so in order to ensure you are always following the most current version. In case you do not agree with any of the terms, you can contact the customer service team and request a review. However, doing so may damage your business relationship with the company.
Establishing a Brand Name
Even though you may not yet have a product or service to sell, you can begin to establish and grow your brand name by using various platforms to spread the word about your business.
You can create a brand page on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as forums and blogs that are associated with your business. Doing so can help establish your brand name with the general public and make them more receptive to your marketing messages and offerings.
Blogs and forums are especially effective at establishing brands. If you are unable to maintain your own website yet, you can use platforms like Medium or Squarespace to create a professional-looking blog for free. From there, you can use the internet to your advantage and spread the word about your business. If you are wanting to take your online marketing to the next level, try using a tool like HubSpot to build a brand page and gain more traction.
Growing a Brand Through Email Marketing
Once you have a brand page on social media platforms, you can use the various accounts to grow a following and send out regular email marketing campaigns. Use the contacts you have gathered to send out an email introducing your business and inviting individuals to join your mailing list. Make sure to follow the guidelines and policies of the platform you are using for email marketing. Additionally, make sure to keep the emails relevant and interesting, and use short, snappy subject lines.
Email marketing is one of the most efficient forms of digital marketing. For just a few dollars a month, you can have a team of marketers working for you, creating emails and using them to grow your business.
Building a List Of Relevant Industry Insiders
If you are just getting started, it may be difficult to know who you should contact in order to gain access to the relevant industry insiders. You can begin to build a list of people who work in your chosen industry by taking advantage of the various platforms and websites that are relevant to your field.
Visit industry websites and forums that are connected to your selected industry. This will give you a good idea of who is in the industry and how others view and interact with the professionals. You can also visit relevant social media accounts and begin following the individuals who seem to be doing well and are willing to share their knowledge with others.
As you gain more experience and begin to work with other businesses, you will have the opportunity to connect with other industry professionals and gain access to even more resources. With careful planning and research, you can begin to put together a plan for how you will move forward with your business and begin to establish yourself as an expert in your field.