Inside the Minds of Online Marketing Millionaires

While many of us now spend more time in cyberspace than we do in physical reality, the online world is still a relatively small slice of the total consumer market. The most valuable consumers in digital space are those in the marketing and advertising sectors, where data shows that income is increasingly reliant on online interactions.

The Rising Influence of Digital Consumers

If we compare traditional retail revenue to that of e-commerce, we see that online purchasing and interactions now account for a quarter of all retail sales. In 2021, online marketing and retail will reach a value of US$17.8 billion globally and is expected to grow to $26.2 billion by 2025.

This shift towards digital consumers is also being mirrored in the marketing and advertising industries, with the biggest digital brands employing hundreds of thousands of people and garnering billions of dollars in annual revenue.

The fact is, for centuries, marketers and advertisers have been using various digital tools to test products, analyze consumer behavior, and gather market information. The digital revolution has now provided those tools with the ability to reach billions of people across the globe, almost instantly. As a result, many marketing and advertising agencies are now operating across digital platforms, and a digital marketing guru (Jordan Levine) notes that “Today, anyone can be a marketer. Digital literacy has been empowered, and consumers have the ability to become skilled marketers.”

Why Are Online Marketing and Advertising Industries Thriving?

The simple answer is that, globally, people are now more open to purchasing products and services online. In developed markets like the U.S., the digital native generation (those born after 1995) is more proficient at navigating online stores than they are at going to the supermarket. This trend will likely continue as more brands and retailers realize that the easiest way to reach customers is online. A Harvard Business School study found that 45% of consumers in developed markets like the U.S. have bought something online that they didn’t see or try in the physical world. Most notably, in 2020 alone, nearly 3 billion credit card transactions took place online, up 23% from 2019.

The Future of Online Marketing And Advertising

It’s also important to note that, while the majority of retail revenue still comes from offline stores, online marketing and advertising are transforming the way brands interact with customers. The rise of the ‘native’ or’social’ advertising platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube – which are designed to be seamlessly integrated with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter – are helping to improve the customer experience by showing relevant ads that can draw potential buyers into a brand’s site or app.

In 2021 alone, the native advertising market will account for nearly $10 billion in revenue, according to the latest reports from Statista. The growing trend is being referred to as ‘in-platform’ marketing or ‘digital’ marketing to reflect the growing importance of digital channels in a brand’s marketing mix.

The Rise Of Influencer Marketing

One of the major takeaways from the 2020s will be the continued rise of influencers and their associated marketing platforms. As noted by HubSpot Blogs, “Influencers are becoming more important in spreading brand messages, influencing purchase decisions, and inspiring consumers to action,” and market research firm Influential suggests that consumers are more likely to be influenced by popular content created by individuals with large followings on social media.

In addition, platforms like TikTok and Instagram – which are owned by massive tech companies like TikTok’s parent company, TikCorp, and Instagram’s parent company, Facebook – have become mega-successful by tapping into the desire for self-expression among younger consumers. As social media and the internet mature, marketers should continue to explore ways to leverage influencers and other content creators to spread brand messages to younger demographics.

The Effect Of The Pandemic

We’re also likely to see the effects of the pandemic shape our future marketing and advertising efforts. Most notably, the impact of the virus will likely result in more limited consumer spending and an increased reliance on digital marketing and advertising to retain customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented marketers and advertisers with unprecedented challenges, forcing them to rapidly adapt their strategies and spending priorities. In 2020 alone, digital marketing and advertising spending grew by 19% according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), with most of that traffic coming from search engines rather than social media platforms. The IAB also forecasts that worldwide digital advertising and marketing spending will hit $17.7 billion by 2023.

The increased reliance on digital marketing and advertising comes as no surprise. Over the past decade, we’ve all become far more accustomed to relying on our smartphones for information and entertainment, and with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing organizations to close down and individuals to be restricted in their movements, people have had to turn to their screens for stimulation.

According to a recent study from the ad agency Huge, consumers in the U.S. alone have spent more than 4 billion hours per week watching YouTube videos, 4.7 million hours on Facebook, and 2.8 million hours on Instagram. During the pandemic, these platforms have provided a steady supply of content that people can easily access, helping to keep them satisfied and engaged with content that is safe and easy to consume in large quantities.

How To Become An Online Marketing Millionaire

To further illustrate how the digital landscape is changing the face of marketing and advertising, here are a few ways that you can become a millionaire in online marketing and advertising in 2021.

Start A Blog

Blogs aren’t just for fun these days and, if you can find a niche in which you can become authoritative, you can use your blog to build a following that will attract potential customers to your website or social media platforms. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is to create valuable content that resonates with your target audience. For example, if you’re marketing luxury goods, you could write an article for a top-tier blog like GQ on how to dress like a millionaire or how to buy a luxury item on a budget.

Not only will blogging increase your online footprint, providing you with more ways to attract potential customers, but it also allows you to gradually build a profile as an authoritative voice in your niche. If you have a blog that attracts a lot of traffic, it’s relatively easy to secure a writing gig with one of the top-tier media brands in your niche. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable writer, you can move to the next step and begin to build a following on social media platforms.

Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Customers

The ability to attract, engage, and retain customers are essential to the health of any business and an even more critical now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, social media has become a key touchpoint for customers as they seek guidance and reassurance during this time of uncertainty.

According to HubSpot Blogs, “During the pandemic, customers have turned to social media to get the answers they need. Companies like Perfetti Vanotti, an Italian luxury goods company, saw its sales increase by 50% on social media platforms like TikTok, where it has over 45 million followers,” helping to drive revenue of over $30 million annualized in 2020.

Generating Leads

With so much information available online, leads are easily generated for sales teams. Not only does the internet provide a treasure trove of marketing data, but it’s also a place where consumers can be found looking for the products and services that your business offers.

While it’s important to have a strategy for generating leads, it’s also essential to follow-up and close the deal once you’ve generated interest in your product or service. To do this, you’ll need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, like HubSpot, to store contact details and follow up on leads. A CRM tool can also be used to segment leads based on their profiles and interests, which helps you target the right message to the right person.

To attract, engage, and retain customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers must quickly adapt their strategies and use a variety of digital tools and platforms. While many industries have been deeply disrupted by the pandemic, the future of marketing and advertising seems more promising as people become more reliant on technology to keep them informed and entertained.