Online Marketing: What is the Meaning of Online Marketing?

The definition of online marketing is “The practice of marketing online, including the activities of searching for, contacting, and engaging with potential customers through websites, email campaigns, and social media.”

This is a broad definition, yet it doesn’t cover all the aspects of online marketing. Let’s break down the definition and see what it means in practical terms.

Searching for, Contacting, and Engaging With Potential Customers Through Websites

As the name would suggest, online marketing involves the use of websites to actively seek potential customers. A/B testing, SEO, and PPC are the three biggest search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, which optimize websites for the search engines (mostly Google).

SEO is an umbrella term for a group of tactics that play a vital role in web marketing. When performing SEO, marketers look for ways to make their website more “visible” to search engines.

Optimizing websites through relevant keywords, backlinks, and content means that the websites have the best chance of being found by users when they perform a search on a search engine. In other words, performing SEO on a website makes that website more “marketable.”

What makes SEO different from other online marketing strategies is that you’re not just advertising to people; you’re engaging with them. With SEO, you want to create content that is both informative and encourages the reader to do business with you.

Another important SEO technique is content curation. Content curation involves creating new content based on existing content. For example, let’s say you’re a fashion publication and you see a trendsetter on social media using a certain brand of dress. Your first instinct may be to create an article about the trendsetter and the brand she uses. By doing so, you’re ensuring that your publication is always fresh and relevant.

Creating Brand Awareness Through Social Media

The idea behind brand awareness is to build credibility and authority for your brand, product, or service among your target audience. In most cases, creating brand awareness entails social media, and the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

On Facebook, for example, your brand may have a Page for customers to engage with you through photos and posts about your products. When people see your brand’s content, they are more likely to remember your brand and associate it with positive feelings and thoughts. In doing so, you are better positioned to gain potential customers’ trust and keep them informed about your products or services.

Instagram and Twitter are similar to Facebook in that they are both social media platforms. However, on Instagram and Twitter, you can add videos and schedule posts, respectively. This provides you with endless opportunities to engage with your audience.

On both Instagram and Twitter, you can use the platform’s “tweet” button to share your content with the world. If you want to create a buzz or gain more followers on these platforms, you can use the “tweet” button to “bomb” your followers with content.

Marketing to Specific Geographic Locations Through E-commerce

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is the activity of buying and selling goods and services over the internet. You can use e-commerce to reach specific geographic locations or domestic markets. For example, if you’re a retailer based in the UK, you can use the platform’s “store” to reach consumers in the UK. Alternatively, if you’re a fashion brand, you can use the store to reach the US market. In another scenario, you can use the store to reach all locations.

E-commerce is a versatile option for marketers because it allows you to target consumers based on various criteria. Some of the criteria you can use to target consumers with e-commerce include gender, age, location, and interests. You can use online retailers to carry your products and generate sales. Online retailers provide you with a variety of ways to track sales, from basic order forms to customized reports.

Marketing Through Email

Although email marketing is not widely used in comparison to other marketing techniques, it is still a highly effective marketing tool. When used effectively, email marketing allows you to target the right audience and engage with them through a personal touch.

Email marketing is also a versatile option since you can use it to target consumers based on various criteria. You can use email marketing to target users by entering their email addresses on a sign-up form or collecting them from a marketing list. Alternatively, you can use email newsletters to keep followers engaged and informed about your company.

Meaning of Online Marketing

To better understand the role of online marketing, let’s look at its definition and role in the grand scheme of things. According to marketing guru Joe Polish, “Online marketing is a subset of marketing that involves getting customers to actively engage with your brand or product through a website or mobile app. It can also involve getting potential customers to interact with your brand through social media.”

In other words, online marketing is a form of marketing that uses digital platforms to find, engage, and convert potential customers into actual customers. In his blog post, Joe Polish continues: “You can think of ‘digital marketing’ as a combination of online marketing and social media. Traditional offline marketing, radio ads, magazine spreads, and TV campaigns can fall under the umbrella of ‘traditional marketing.’”

If you want to know what type of business you’ll be able to build on the back of this course, explore our Digital Marketing Specialization where you’ll learn everything from marketing strategy to analytics and measurement. You’ll also gain in-demand job skills that will make you much more attractive to employers, helping you to stand out from the crowd.