How to Get Started with Online Marketing

There is no question that the world of online marketing is changing the face of traditional marketing. While much of the old guard may still believe that print and radio advertisements can bring in the most leads, data proves that internet marketing is the preferred way to go.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 64% of survey respondents said that they’d rather discover new products through digital marketing, compared to 19% who preferred to find products through traditional marketing methods.

When we dig into the reasons why people prefer to find new products online, we find that respondents cited “easy access to information” (52%) and “variety of products” (43%) as the main drivers behind their behavior.

While the way we find and engage with products may be changing, the goal of a business — whether they’re selling products online or through other means — remains the same: to generate revenue and grow their company.

So how can marketers take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior and still generate revenue?

Build A Brand

“Brand” is a word thrown around a lot in marketing these days, but most people don’t really know what it means. A brand is a combination of marketing techniques and planning that results in a feeling of cohesion, trust, and familiarity among customers.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 49% of respondents said that a brand makes them more receptive to marketing, compared to only 11% who prefer to be approached based on their interests or hobbies.

A brand experience is when a consumer interacts with your company, product, or service in a way that feels consistent with the brand. This consistency may be due to the way a company presents itself online — through brand promises, colors, and designs — or it may be the result of a marketing campaign that brings to life the feeling of unity that the brand seeks to convey.

If you’re looking to establish a brand identity online, take a close look at your website. Does everything from the copywriting to the design of the site reflect your brand values? Are you sure? Has this been tested with customers? How can you tell?

You can also review your social media pages to see how customers are engaging with your content and whether or not you’re connecting with them on a personal level. Do you see a pattern in what they’re posting? Do you enjoy engaging with them on a more personal level? Or are you getting the sense that your content isn’t connecting as well with your target audience?

The Importance Of SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, takes into account how people are searching for products on the internet and how those searches are influencing prospective buyers to visit a website.

SEO is a relatively new marketing tool, but its effectiveness cannot be denied. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 27% of respondents said that SEO is “somewhat” or “very” effective, compared to only 5% who said that it’s “not at all” effective.

Why is SEO so effective? Primarily because internet users are finding what they’re looking for, and the businesses that provide those answers appear near the top of the search engine results page.

If you’re not appearing near the top of the search engine results page for the keywords and phrases that your audience is using, then you’re not optimizing your website effectively. It’s probably not getting the results that you’re looking for.

The Importance Of Email Marketing

Although it’s not quite as popular as it once was, email marketing remains an essential part of any business strategy. If you’ve been avoiding it, now might be a good time to indulge.

Why? Primarily because email marketing allows you to target the right audience, engage with them on a personal level, and provide valuable, personalized information that may be of interest to them.

Email marketing also gives you the ability to monitor the behavior of your buyers with a little bit of analytics. You can view a business’ email list and get a sense of which messages are resonating with your target audience, resulting in a greater chance of converting them into paying customers.

The nice thing about email marketing is that it doesn’t require a lot of effort to maintain a successful campaign. You don’t necessarily need to create and send out emails on a regular basis — once or twice a month usually does the trick — but it’s important to have at least a few emails per month, especially if you want to keep your customers engaged and interested in your brand.

It’s also important to determine whether or not you want to pitch your customers or just inform them of your products. The difference between the two is subtle but significant. A customer who hears of your product through an email campaign may not want to be pitched again, as they’ve already heard your message. But someone who is on your email list because they’re interested in your product may be receptive to future pitches, as they’ve acknowledged that they’re interested in your company.

Content Is King

The content that you create, both on and off your website, plays a crucial role in establishing a brand identity, ensuring the success of your SEO campaign, and drawing in potential customers.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 65% of respondents said that content is “very important” or “somewhat important” to their online marketing strategy, compared to only 16% who said that SEO is “very important” or “somewhat important”.

The content that you create doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to succeed. In fact, 7 out of 10 respondents said that “use of language and words” is “somewhat effective,” while only 3% said that it’s “very effective.”

So what is making content so important? Well, to begin with, your customers or prospective customers may not always have the time to spare to browse blogs, follow social media accounts, or listen to podcasts.

In today’s world, people have other things on their minds, like paying their bills or applying for jobs. It’s not always easy to find the time to focus on a brand or do research online. But if you want to engage with your customers and grow your business, you may need to resort to less traditional marketing tactics.

If you want to keep up with the latest trends in digital marketing, check out our Digitally Native blog for helpful tips and inspiration.