The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Business Online

In today’s world, businesses thrive or die based on their ability to reach customers and prospects where they are—online.

Since the beginning of time, businesses have been built on the idea of being present where the customers are. However, thanks to the internet, those customers can now be found all over the place. So if you want to market your business, you need to take into consideration where your target audience is and what platforms they’re using.

Traditional And Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing is when you’re targeting people who have already made the decision to buy your product or service, and it typically involves advertising, grassroots marketing, and sponsorship.

Traditional marketing is done through newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV stations. However, with so much content being created online, many businesses are realizing the importance of marketing their brands online.

When it comes to digital marketing, there are a variety of platforms, tools, and tactics you can use to market your business. However, at the end of the day, it’s about connecting with your audience, engaging with them, and creating interest in what you have to offer.

Why Are Customers (potentially) No Longer Shopping In-Store?

It’s no secret that shopping in-store is becoming a thing of the past. With so much information online about the products you need, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to do their online shopping. Essentially, online shopping allows customers to discover a larger range of products and compare prices more easily. It also allows them to research the products better before purchasing them.

In-store shopping is still popular with older generations and those who prefer the familiarity of going into a physical store. However, when it comes to marketing your business, one size definitely does not fit all. So regardless of whether you choose to do your shopping online or in-store, you need to have multiple methods of reaching your customers.

  • On-site: If you’re doing business within a physical location, you need to ensure that people discover your business in the right way. For best results, use a combination of SEO and pay-per-click advertising to rank for competitive keywords on search engines like Google.
  • Online: If you’re doing business online, your first port of call should be your website. To grab the attention of potential customers, create informative articles that are both easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Use social media to build credibility and engage with existing and potential customers. In addition to this, set up email marketing campaigns to capture leads, and make sure to test different variations of your email subject lines to see which ones bring in the most business.
  • Mobile: If you’re planning on reaching consumers on the go, use a mobile app to enhance your online presence and get the attention of potential customers. There are plenty of apps available on the market, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on anyone.
  • Radio: If you’re looking to expand your brand’s reach beyond just the digital sphere, consider using radio stations to reach your audience. With radio, you can target the right audience and use specialized playing cards and song choices to draw them in.
  • TV: Using your local TV station to promote your business can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. You can choose the channel that you want to use (typically, your town’s local TV station will reach more people than most other channels) and use your business’ name and logo as the anchor for the spot.

Why Should I Market My Business Online?

Online marketing is a fantastic place to grow your business. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential customers, but it also allows you to research how others are doing business and what works and doesn’t work for them. In addition to this, you can keep up to date with the latest promotional techniques and marketing trends.

Marketing your business online is a great way to connect with customers and grow your business. But if you want to ensure that your marketing dollars are being used effectively, consider these five steps:

Step one: Set the right expectations.

One of the most important things you need to do before you start any type of marketing campaign is to set the right expectations. You don’t want to over or under-expectations, so take some time to figure out what results you’re looking for before you get started. It’s also important to be realistic about your expectations, and never, ever expect to increase your sales by just doing marketing. You need to set the right environment for successful marketing, and that means getting buy-in from top to bottom, including your CFO and CEO. As a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that all your departments are on the same page and coordinating their efforts.

Step two: Understand the buying cycle.

The next step is to understand the buying cycle, or the process by which a customer becomes aware of your product, learns about it, and ends up buying it. With the internet, consumers have become more accustomed to conducting research online before purchasing a product or service, so you need to make sure that any marketing or branding efforts you make, follow suit. When a consumer is searching for information about your product or service, they likely will click on a variety of sources, including both reputable and less-reputable ones.

You should also be taking into consideration how long it takes for a customer to make a decision to buy your product or service. In general, there is a common misconception that customers will immediately make a decision to buy your product or service after they’ve seen it or heard about it. This could not be farther from the truth. While it’s true that your product or service might grab their attention, it could take a while before they make a decision to buy. Your product or service might not yet exist in the mind of the potential customer, or they could have seen something similar and are now considering its competitor. This is why it’s so important to build a brand that is both recognizable and trusted, and why you should never, ever rush the process.

Step three: Craft a buyer persona.

Now that you know the buying cycle, it’s time to create a buyer persona, or a profile of the person you’re trying to reach with your product or service. The more you know about your potential customers, the more you can tailor your approach to reach them. Your buyer persona should include key demographic information (gender, age, location, interests, and behaviors), as well as a detailed description of your ideal customer. Having a clear image in mind of who you’re trying to reach, will make your job a lot easier in terms of crafting the right message and pitching the right product at the right time.

Step four: Test and measure the results of your marketing efforts.

Finally, you need to test and measure the results of your marketing efforts. Just because you had a brilliant idea, or you spent a lot of money on an expensive marketing campaign, doesn’t mean that your product or service will appreciate it right away. Your product or service might not yet exist in a form that the general public has yet to discover, or your marketing campaign might have failed to reach the right audience. To determine the effectiveness of your campaign, you should measure the following:

Sales: Generate a report that includes the total number of customers and the average order value. This will indicate how many sales you’re currently making and whether or not your marketing dollars are paying off.

Demographics: Research the makeup of your customer base and determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For instance, did your demographic of females between the ages of 18 and 24 buy more products from your brand than your demographic of 55+ year olds did? This might indicate that your marketing efforts aren’t reaching the people you need the most, and it could be time to reevaluate your approach.

Attribution: Research which factors (campaign, media, etc.) are causing your sales to increase. For instance, did your TV ad cause a significant increase in your website traffic? Or did articles about your company in top-tier publications cause the highest orders?

Step five: Create a game plan.

When you’ve reached this point, you should have a good idea of what you’re looking for in terms of results from your marketing efforts. For best results, create a game plan and lay out a course of action, including specific dates for each step. Once you’ve got your plan in place, it’s time to get to work.