As the world becomes more digital, marketing and advertising become more vital to businesses and organizations. In today’s world, a business’ marketing budget is similar to its budget for sales and operations – it’s an essential part of its overall strategy.
But what exactly is marketing, and how is it different from traditional advertising?
Marketing encompasses all the activities and expenditures a business undertakes to promote its products and services – effectively creating awareness of, and attraction to, its goods and offerings.
It begins with a comprehensive analysis of the needs and wants of your ideal customer, and then takes into consideration all the factors that could influence their buying decision – including your product or service, pricing, industry, and so much more.
This marketing funnel consists of targeted, personalized, and sometimes creative advertisements that are designed to grab the attention of potential customers, incite action, and ultimately close a sale. Essentially, your marketing strategy seeks to “market” your product or service to the right audience at the right time with the right message and content – driving sales and brand awareness.
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The Importance of Digital Marketing
In the not-so-distant past, a business’ primary focus in marketing was to send out massive amounts of paper flyers, magazine advertisements, and billboards to capture the attention of potential customers. Today, with almost everyone having a smartphone, a digital marketing strategy is of paramount importance.
You may choose to advertise on social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram, or you may want to create a website where customers can find out more about your business, subscribe to your newsletter, and make purchases. Regardless, the goal is to attract potential customers to your site – and keep them there!
Since Google Ads and other digital advertising platforms were founded, companies have used these services to gain credibility and authority in their respective markets – effectively using online marketing to establish and promote their brands. This trend is only going to continue as consumers become more tech-savvy and companies realize the power of the internet to reach millions of people quickly and effortlessly.
The Evolving Role of Marketing
Marketing used to be limited to the four walls of your office – but the world is now a global village, and your customers can be anyone, anywhere. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, customers in emerging markets spend nearly as much as those in developed countries – proving that no market is too big, or too small, for effective marketing.
Because of this, the role of marketing has evolved – from being concerned solely with gaining customer interest, to now including the active engagement of current customers. Marketing in the digital world is focused on generating demand for your product or service through various online channels, all while staying consistent with brand guidelines and ensuring a high degree of quality.
The four walls of your office may no longer be confined to the confines of a building – allowing you to market your company and its offerings globally, and across multiple channels, simultaneously.
The Four Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotions
The foundation of any effective marketing strategy is to identify the needs and wants of your ideal customer – what do they desire, and what are your competitors offering that might be a better fit?
You can then proceed to create a plan to address these needs and wants, driving sales and growth with an existing product or service.
However, these goals should be supported by a comprehensive marketing plan – one that takes into consideration all the P’s of marketing.
The first step in this process is to analyze the current state of affairs with a purpose-built marketing dashboard – utilizing robust tools and analytics to keep tabs on all the essential metrics and KPIs.
It’s important to constantly measure and evaluate the success of your campaign, and this marketing dashboard allows you to keep track of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll need to track and evaluate throughout the life of your campaign.
Why Should You Market Your Business Online?
If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re already aware of the many benefits of marketing and advertising your business online – especially since you’re probably reading this on a tablet or smartphone. But just in case, here are a few reasons why you should do some online marketing:
1. Attracting and engaging with potential customers online is a lot easier than trying to attract and engage with potential customers in a physical space. With online marketing, you can essentially put out content whenever you want, and you can choose the platform – whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram – to best reach your audience.
When used effectively, social media can be a valuable tool in your marketing toolbox – allowing you to quickly and easily reach millions of people with your content.
The Emerging Markets Are An Opportunity
Unlike many other industries, marketing and advertising play a much more prominent role in the emerging markets – both in terms of budget and importance. According to HubSpot Blogs research, customers in emerging markets (in which we include countries like China, India, and Indonesia) spend nearly as much as those in developed countries – proving that no market is too big, or too small, for effective marketing.
With more people having access to the internet, and more businesses establishing their presence online, marketing and advertising will only become more relevant and important in people’s daily lives.
The Importance of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in any digital marketing strategy. Optimizing your website can make a massive difference in its discoverability and ability to rank in search results.
However, implementing a quality SEO strategy is quite a bit different from just plugging in keywords and hoping for the best. You’ll need to make sure that your chosen keywords are relevant to your business, that they’re used in the appropriate contexts, and that they appear on your site often (but not too often – it can hurt your ranking!).
To create and implement a quality SEO strategy, you should hire experienced SEO professionals to help you identify the right keywords, and to ensure that your site is built according to Google’s guidelines. The process of incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy is called “semantic marketing”, and it entails more than just plugging in keywords into your content.
Instead, you need to make sure that your chosen keywords are relevant to your business – appearing in the right contexts, and in the correct amounts – and that they’re consistently used throughout your site, incorporating the appropriate keywords into your copy and in your URLs.
Growing A Following On Social Media
One of the primary reasons why marketing and advertising is moving online is to be able to gain traction and authority on social media channels. By creating and engaging with content on social media, you’ll be able to gain credibility and authority in your market – effectively using social media to establish and promote your brand.
If you want to market your business on social media, you have two options: you can either engage with your audience on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, or you can create a blog and use social media to interact with your readers.
Blogs allow you to feature content from various sources, including customers who’ve purchased your product or service. Through these customer-generated content platforms, you can gain credibility and authority in your market by showcasing your expertise.
The Importance Of Video In Marketing
Unlike text, which can be efficiently typed and copied and pasted into a new document, audio, and video are more difficult to replicate – especially video, which is easily manipulated by digital thieves. Videos, like photos, allow you to show how your product or service works in real life – providing much more value to your audience and allowing you to connect with potential customers more effectively.
Marketing and advertising are here to stay – and no industry is safe from the impact of digital marketing and advertising. As business are forced to adapt to the modern world, marketing and advertising will only become more important to companies and brands worldwide.