What Is Marketing Online for APNs?


Most of us are familiar with traditional marketing — billboards, television commercials, magazine spreads, radio spots, and so on. But what happens when you’re not physically in the same place as your target audience? A lot, as it turns out. More and more of us are finding ourselves inside the comfort of our couches, enjoying the company of our smartphones, and interacting with brands online. This content marketing style is commonly known as “Marketing Online,” or “MO” for short.

Marketing Online covers a wide range of tactics, from social media campaigns to blog posts to videos to webinars, that brands can use to connect with current and potential customers in a digital world. With a bit of planning and strategizing, these tactics can help businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals and build stronger connections with audiences.

Traditional Versus Digital Marketing

When it comes to marketing, we often think of billboards, radio ads, and magazine spreads in terms of “traditional” marketing. After all, those are the methods that have been around since the beginning of time. But those methods aren’t going anywhere, especially as more and more of us rely on social media to discover new content.

On the contrary, “traditional” marketing still has a lot going for it. Billboards and magazine spreads are great ways to reach the majority of your audience, and radio ads still serve a purpose (especially in driving traffic to your website).

What is changing, however, is the medium through which we consume content. In the past, someone might have gone to a billboard or a magazine to read an article. Now, they can read the same article on their phone while using social media to connect with the author and other interested parties.

Additionally, online retailers like Amazon and others offer a variety of products that were never available offline before. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers. If you can get someone interested in your product through an online search or social media campaign, you’ve now opened the door for them to potentially become a customer. That is the definition of a brand, and that is the definition of a successful marketing campaign.

The important thing to keep in mind is that marketers should not put too much stock in the “traditional” meaning of “traditional” marketing. Instead, they should see it as a broad term that can include anything done online. Because of new media’s ever-changing nature, marketers should stay current with new techniques and tools.

Key Takeaways

Traditional marketing may still be practiced offline, but it is vital to understand that marketing online is a distinct and growing method that offers many benefits. These tactics offer businesses of all sizes the ability to connect with customers and potential customers wherever they are, whenever they want, and however they want. The following are some of the key takeaways from a recently published guide to marketing online by HubSpot.

Personal Branding

Personal branding can also be referred to as “branding.” Essentially, personal branding is when you take ownership of your personal image and connect it to your professional life and career. This is different from traditional marketing in that you are not pushing a product; you are simply providing relevant and valuable content that makes the reader feel that they are directly connecting with the author.

In his book, “How to Build a Personal Brand,” HubSpot’s very own Jared Farr recommends creating an identity that is honest, unique, and compelling. A personal brand can only be built on authentic interactions that are founded upon a business’ values, according to Farr. He also emphasizes the importance of establishing a presence across platforms and engaging with customers throughout the sales process. Additionally, marketers should use social media to listen to and understand their audience. As HubSpot’s Director of Marketing, Kate Orso points out in the guide, “Your social media strategy should not only include content, but it should be interactive and engage with your audience.”


As mentioned before, online retailers have made it possible to offer products that were never available before. This type of innovation presents a unique opportunity for marketers. If you can get someone interested in your product through an online search or social media campaign, you’ve now opened the door for them to potentially become a customer. As HubSpot’s Director of Marketing, Kate Orso points out in the guide, “With innovation comes change, and this presents an opportunity for marketers. Rather than doing the same thing they always did, they can try new things and prove to their audience that they are open to new ideas.” Additionally, you should not be afraid to fail. In the words of HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Scott Knies, “Innovation is not a competition; it’s a collaboration.” The collaboration between product development and marketing can lead to innovative ideas that are not only effective but also make the entire process more enjoyable. This is what makes marketing so exciting!


Another important factor to consider is relevance. Simply put, relevant content is content that is both relevant and interesting to the target audience. There are many techniques that marketers can use to determine the “relevance” of an article, tweet, or similar content. Marketers can look at things like the timing, style, and volume of a piece to determine its relevance to their target audience. Essentially, marketers should try to determine whether or not the content they are creating is useful and/or interesting to the people who matter most to their business.

Key Differentiators

So what exactly makes up a “traditional” marketing campaign? Simply put, it is something that has been in existence for several decades and is still practiced today. But what about online marketing? What makes it “online” marketing? Well, for one thing, it’s always been done online. But that’s not all there is to it. As Kate Orso points out, “Traditional marketing is something that we do, and it’s always been done mainly offline. What exactly does that mean? It means that we’re still engaging with potential customers in some way, whether that’s an in-person or phone call interaction or a written piece in a magazine.”

However, with the rise of social media and digital marketing, offline marketing has evolved to include more than just traditional methods. In fact, it can sometimes be referred to as “Web-based” marketing or “eMarketing.” In other words, web content is being used to attract potential customers, inform them about the product, and/or drive them to a sale. Forrester Research calls this type of marketing “multichannelled marketing,” and it is an important distinction to make.

Now, it is not wrong to consider all of these tactics “traditional” marketing. After all, billboards and radio ads were used primarily to attract customers in the digital era, and they still serve a purpose. But it is important to understand that marketers are always looking for new ways to connect with customers and potential customers, and these tactics can help.

The important thing to keep in mind as a marketer is that these “traditional” marketing tactics still have a lot going for them in an online world.