The concept of internet marketing is simple: Use the web to connect with potential customers and make sales.
The question is: How do I do that?
Well, a lot has changed in the last 10 years, and the way marketers function has evolved along with it. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re already somewhat familiar with internet marketing. But let’s take a quick review anyway.
What Is Marketing?
In its simplest form, marketing is the action of inviting people to buy your products or services. But that’s not all there is to it. Marketing is a broad spectrum of activity that includes everything from advertising to public relations and social media.
The marketing function starts at the end product (such as a TV or car), and works its way up. That is, the people at the top of the marketing food chain get the most credit for what happens under the hood. The people at the bottom are usually the ones hitting the buttons, taking pictures, and reporting on what happens.
The Evolution Of Online Business
The internet has changed all our lives, and not just our sales volumes. More and more people are discovering the power of the web, and businesses that embrace this power are thriving.
If you’re still operating your brick-and-mortar store, you can use the internet to reach out to customers and provide them with the best possible shopping experience. You can even set up shop online and take credit cards (or even bitcoin!).
The key takeaway is that you can now do business anywhere in the world, and customers can reach you (and buy your products) from any device, at any time. This connectivity has enabled entrepreneurs to emerge who might not have been possible until recently.
Why Online Businesses Have Surged In Popularity
The first and most obvious reason why online businesses have soared in popularity is online shopping itself. Thanks to the likes of Amazon and eBay, which facilitate online buying and selling, consumers have complete control over what they buy and when they buy it. This convenience has encouraged more and more people to become online shoppers. As a result, online businesses can potentially reach a much larger audience, provided they have the right marketing strategy in place.
Where Should My Marketing Dollars Go?
Since marketing is all about driving prospective customers to your business, you may be wondering where you should allocate your marketing budget. There are numerous tactics you can use to ensure you spend your money effectively.
Leverage the data you have about your customers, potential customers, and digital marketers in general. This is especially important if you use online marketplaces like Google Analytics or HubSpot. With these tools, you can track your marketing activities, analyze the results of your campaigns, and identify areas for improvement.
You can also use the data you have to optimize your social media accounts. For example, if you notice your YouTube video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, but your Facebook page receives only a few thousand impressions per day, your social media strategy may be ineffective. You can test different types of content, adverts, and calls to action to see which performs best.
Marketing Is (And Always Has Been) A Larger Concept.
Traditional marketing, which ranges from radio ads to billboards and magazine spreads, is simply applying old rules to new platforms. The difference is that these platforms are global, and your potential customers may be in any country in the world. As a result, you can’t rely on one or two channels to gain market share. You need to spread your digital influence as far and wide as possible. To do this, you need to evolve your marketing strategy to fit the times we live in.
Marketing In A Digital Age.
Since the dawn of civilization, marketers have been using all available means to attract customers. From billboards in Times Square to radio ads in the middle of the country, they’ve always looked for ways to get the word out.
Well, today we’re in a new era. And just like many other areas of business, marketing has shifted to the internet. But that doesn’t mean all rules are gone. Far from it.
What it does mean is that you need to change the way you think about marketing in general, and online marketing in particular.
Online Marketing In A Nutshell
To truly understand online marketing, you need to remember back to college and the first rules of marketing. Then you’ll have the basics of applying digital marketing to your marketing strategy.
- Find your audience
- Know what they want
- Establish credibility
- Be consistent
- Measure the results of your efforts
- Take a leap of faith
The first step to developing an effective online marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. To do this, you need to look at what platforms they’re using (if any), what kinds of content they’re consuming, and so on. Once you know who your target audience is, you can craft marketing material that will compel them to action.
Knowing your target audience is just the first step. From there, you can evolve your strategy and determine how best to reach them. The following steps will walk you through the process of marketing online:
Step 1: Find Your Audience On Online Marketplaces.
If you sell your products and services online, you’ll need an audience to purchase them from. With so much competition, it’s essential you have a way to get potential customers to notice you.
One of the best places to find your audience is on online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. These platforms exist to connect buyers with sellers, and they do so using a point system that rewards participating businesses. To get started, create a free account on one of these platforms. Then, you can start listing your products and earning those juicy points.
Step 2: Set Up Shop.
Once you have a free account on an online marketplace, you can set up shop, which provides you with a web address (also known as a shop uri) that you can use to identify yourself as a seller on the platform. Make sure you use this web address to identify your business and, if applicable, write-up your credentials. As a new seller on the platform, you’ll also need to complete a few tasks (such as setting up security and taking care of any outstanding payments) before you can start selling.
Step 3: Measure The Results Of Your Efforts.
Once you’re up and running, it’s time to crunch the numbers and figure out which campaigns have performed well and which ones could use some work. To do this, you need to look at metrics such as revenue, conversion rates, and average order values. Fortunately, many online marketplaces provide tools to help you easily track these numbers. For example, on Amazon, you can set up automated email campaigns that will notify you when a new order is placed. With these email notifications, you’ll have the chance to follow up with the customer to see if they’re having any further problems.
Step 4: Identify Areas For Improvement.
Once you have a good idea of which parts of your strategy worked and which ones could use some work, it’s time to find the problems and fix them. This is where you can improve by taking note of what didn’t work and why. Then, you can find a way to make it better. Remember: There is no failure in the process of learning.
Step 5: Reap The Benefits.
Finally, it’s time to benefit from your hard work. Once you’ve made the necessary improvements, it’s time to sit back and watch the customers come in. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for!
So, how exactly does all this relate to marketing? Well, you can use the information you’ve collected to plan your offline marketing efforts. Just remember that you can’t measure the success of your traditional marketing methods online. But you can use your online marketing tools to track the results of your efforts, and adjust your strategy as needed.
You may not need to change a lot about your strategy, as you can probably apply most of what you learned to the internet. But you should definitely keep all of this in mind as you evolve your marketing efforts.