Online and Social Media Marketing – Why It’s Not Just the Internet

The Evolution Of Marketing

The evolution of marketing can be traced through 4 stages. The first stage was being restricted to print, TV and radio. The second stage was developing interactive methods, which led to the formation of the digital nomad lifestyle. The third stage saw the emergence of social media and the fourth stage will be characterised by the rise of virtual reality.

The Rise Of Online Marketing

In the 1950-1960s, the only way to spread the word about your business was to print fliers and hand them out at supermarkets, shopping malls and train stations. TV commercials, newspaper adverts and radio announcements were the most common and efficient ways to reach your target audience. The growth of online marketing can be attributed to the fact that it’s now easier to reach people where they are, rather than having to go to a specific place to reach them. Also, the internet provides you with an abundance of tools to reach people where they are and allow them to engage with your content, much like a TV commercial would do.

In the 2020s, 77% of American consumers are expected to use digital marketing methods, compared to 72% who said the same in 2019. If you’re not using online marketing to promote your business, you’re seriously missing out.

Why Online Marketing?

The most common argument against online marketing is that it’s easier to be heard in your industry if you have a physical presence. A lot of businesses believe that they can gain credibility by being there in person rather than just presenting themselves online. While this is partially true, you can achieve far more by combining the two.

With a physical presence in a real-world location, you can test your marketing materials and be able to determine how effective they are in practice. Even better, you can measure the results of your marketing efforts and determine which ones worked and which ones didn’t. In theory, this makes online marketing a lot more precise and, as a result, a lot more effective.

The Rise Of Social Media Marketing

In the 2010s, social media started gaining popularity as more and more businesses saw the potential to use this platform for marketing. In 2021 alone, there were 16.8 million businesses listed on LinkedIn, with 69.2% using the platform to promote their business. If you’re not using social media to promote your business, you’re seriously missing out on a huge audience. There are hundreds of millions of users across all the major social media channels, which makes it incredibly powerful when used effectively.

Why Social Media?

This question gets asked a lot, but a quick answer is that social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms to promote your business. In practice, this means creating content on these platforms and engaging with users, typically through the use of social media buttons and widgets on your site.

These platforms provide you with a ready-made audience that is already interested in your niche and, as a result, make it easier to market your business. The best part is that you can target specific groups of people based on common interests and affinities. For example, if you’re a pet store and you see that a lot of people on your platform have a love for animals, you can make the connection and offer them some helpful tips on how to purchase a pet that will fit comfortably in their home.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have content that is completely useless to you, but it gets published because it lends itself to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and backlinks to your site. Essentially, these platforms exist to drive traffic to your site and, as a result, make money. Since a lot of these platforms are free, the barrier to entry is very low. This is also why social media is popular in certain industries, like publishing, fashion and marketing, due to the abundance of platforms there are in these industries. It would be a shame for a business to neglect such a valuable marketing tool just because it’s easier to do business in person rather than online.

The Rise Of Digital Marketing

While we’re on the subject of marketing, let’s discuss the rise of digital marketing. With the emergence of tools like mailchimp and drip marketing, companies like HubSpot and Marketo made it easier for marketers to keep track of their campaign’s performance and make informed decisions about which tactics worked and which ones didn’t. This led to the creation of digital marketing agencies, like Linchpin, that focused on using data to optimize the performance of marketing campaigns.

Although these tools made it easier for businesses to track the performance of their marketing campaigns, it wasn’t until the early 2010s that everyone started heading in the digital direction. The shift can be attributed to the fact that social media marketing became so popular and mainstream that people started to see it as an integral part of their marketing strategy.

In 2021 alone, 77% of American consumers are expected to use digital marketing methods to reach their target audience, compared to 72% who said the same in 2019. If you’re not using digital marketing to promote your business, you’re seriously missing out.