The internet has opened up many opportunities for entrepreneurs, and the world of online marketing is no exception. With nearly all the big companies having a digital presence, marketers now have access to millions of consumers who seek products and services online. So as the economy shifts to focus more on digital channels, marketing on the internet becomes more important.
In order to succeed, you need to arm yourself with the tools of the trade. In this guide, we will discuss the basics of online marketing as applied to small businesses.
Broadcasting is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and it’s still very effective. With the click of a button, you can reach thousands, if not millions, of people who have heard of your product or service. As the name implies, radio commercials are one of the most popular forms of broadcasting. But you can also use podcasts, live streams, or YouTube videos to reach your audience. When it comes to marketing a product via audio or video content, you can use a variety of platforms like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more.
The world of social media is vast, and it’s constantly expanding. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have grown exponentially in the past decade and have changed the game when it comes to marketing. While some experts claim that traditional forms of marketing like radio commercials are still highly effective, social media allows you to target ideal audiences with tailored messages and offers.
If you want to succeed in the world of online marketing, you need to learn how to harness the power of social media. When it comes to marketing on social media, you can use a wide array of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach your audience. Keep in mind that the services have changed the game once again and have made it easier for businesses to engage with customers and build credibility. Plus, these platforms are free, so you have no financial barrier preventing you from taking advantage of their popularity.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Searchenginewatch.com reports that more and more people are using the web to search for products rather than visit sites they find via links or advertisements. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s important to note that a successful SEO strategy can’t happen overnight. You need to constantly analyze your progress and tweak your plan as needed.
In 2019, SEO changed its game, and it’s now much less about links and much more about content. Google focuses more on the content than the design or functionality of a website when it comes to organic search results. That means you can’t just chuck out a bunch of keywords and expect the right content to show up. You also need to consider the quality of the content itself.
There are tools like Google Keyword Planner that can help you discover the right keywords and phrases for your content (such as an SEO plan). With these tools, you don’t need to worry about keyword density or mixing keywords with unrelated words. Instead, you can just enter your content and the tool will populate keywords and suggestions that you can use. Plus, you can also import your old blog posts and use the tool to find new content ideas. It’s a handy tool for brainstorming new content or for finding topics that you’ve already covered but want to bring back for a second shot at success.
Email marketing is another form of marketing that’s been around for a while but is still extremely effective. You can’t throw out a ton of emails and expect them to reach your customers. Instead, you need to put in the time to nurture your contacts and develop meaningful relationships with prospects. By doing so, you’ll be able to effectively market your product via email.
You can use a tool like MailChimp to collect emails from your website visitors. Once you have a small pool of email addresses, you can take the time to develop a list of potential customers. You then move into email marketing, sending out periodic emails with content that’s useful and interesting to your audience. The key is to send relevant and interesting content that will keep your audience engaged and interested in your products or services. You can also use tactics like cross-selling and upselling to encourage subscribers to take further action, like buying a product or getting a service. You should also measure the success of your email marketing strategy with metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and sales.
Pricing strategy is an important part of any marketing plan, and it’s certainly applicable to the world of online marketing. If your product is affordable, there will always be someone who wants to buy it. But at the same time, you want to make sure that you offer the best possible pricing for the value that the customer receives. Just because your product is affordable doesn’t mean that you should undercut your competition or offer ridiculously low prices to make a profit. That just encourages unethical business practices.
One way to approach pricing is to look at your competition. If you have several competitors who offer the same product, but at different price points, you can take this into consideration when structuring your own pricing strategy. Just make sure that you don’t price yourself out of the market. If possible, find a balanced approach that encourages customers to come back for more while not depriving you of potential business.
Digital Marketing Mix
What is digital marketing? Simply put, it’s the use of digital tools to market a product or service online. There are four distinct types of digital marketing:
- Traditional web marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Email Marketing
Each of these platforms offers different benefits, so you can use a combination of them to effectively market your product. For example, you can use social media to keep in touch with existing customers and establish credibility, while email marketing allows you to target potential customers and provide them with valuable information. If you aren’t sure which type of digital marketing is right for your business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to attract new customers to my business?
- Am I looking to grow my presence on social media?
- Do I want to gain a bigger audience on TikTok?
- Should I focus on increasing my email list?
- Do I want to drive more traffic to my website?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you should consider using digital marketing. However, if you want to be effective, it’s important to learn which platforms work best for different types of businesses. For example, if you’re looking to grow your social media presence, start by analyzing your current accounts on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
As for the type of content you should create, it depends on your target audience. Do you want to attract venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs to your business? Or are you looking to inspire families to cook more together? Depending on your niche, you can develop content that’s appealing to the people you’re trying to reach.
There are three other aspects to consider when determining the right content for your digital marketing strategy: purpose, channel, and time.
MarketingCharts reports that consumers have fewer brand prejudices when it comes to non-branded products. That means you can appeal to a broader audience by using a similar marketing strategy for a diverse range of products. As a small business owner, this might be something you want to consider if you want to gain credibility with your customers and expand your reach. For example, if you’re marketing dog food, but you also sell clothes for dogs, you can use the same online marketing strategy to market both products. The only difference will be the content that you use and the platforms you choose to use.
Dogs and their owners are a committed couple. Therefore, if you want to attract potential clients who are interested in purchasing your product, you can take advantage of this by creating content that’s appealing to both groups.
With a variety of platforms available for marketing, the way you approach content creation depends on your business goals. You can use HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Michael Hyatt’s article, “How to Create Killer Content for your Business,” to get you started.
Which platforms should you use to reach your customers? There are many different answers to this question, but it depends on your target audience and what you want to achieve.