Marketing is a fundamental part of doing business today. Regardless of whether you sell products online or offline, marketing is necessary for generating sales.
Traditional marketing (i.e., billboards, magazine ads, radio ads, etc.) can be costly and, in some cases, may not even be effective. Today, with the resurgence of social media, marketing has become much more sophisticated. And, since SEO is built on a foundation of robust content, it makes sense that marketing content would become more important.
What Is Online Marketing?
“Online marketing” can include online behavior that leads to commercial activity, such as browsing a website or making a purchase online or offline. However, to be considered “online marketing,” the activity must occur online.
The term “marketing” does have a different meaning when used in the context of digital marketing. In general, marketing is used to describe a business’s interaction with consumers to gain interest in a product or service and to move those consumers to take action, such as make a purchase, fill out a form, or connect with the business in some other way. This definition of marketing can also include activity that occurs offline, such as a business card or cold calling, but the focus is on the brand’s interaction with consumers in the digital world.
The Three Phases of Effective Online Marketing
Just like any other form of marketing, online marketing is a process that involves a series of steps, or “phases.” These phases can be used to determine how a business should approach marketing activities for the greatest chance of success.
The three phases of online marketing are:
Just as any other form of marketing, marketing online involves a lot of thinking. You’ll need to consider what approach will be most effective for your business, products, and target audience. It’s essential to have a plan before you start launching into any marketing efforts.
You’ll need to determine what metrics you’ll use to evaluate the success of your marketing plans, such as traffic, leads, sales, and ROI (return on investment).
Once you’ve got a strategy in place, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of executing your plan. This involves taking action, building websites and social media accounts, and getting the word out about your business.
While you’re learning the ropes, you can also use online marketing to test out different marketing approaches and find what’s working best for you. This will help you establish a baseline of knowledge about online marketing and allow you to constantly refine your strategy as you go.
The more you do, the more you’ll learn!
Now that you’re equipped with some basic knowledge about online marketing, it’s time to take a step back and analyze the results of your work. How are your efforts paying off and what could you do differently to get better results?
You’ll need to consider the metrics from the previous step to gather data about your performance. This data will allow you to identify any flaws in your strategy and get the needed adjustments done before you start again from square one.
Even with the best strategy and the best of intentions, there’s no denying that digital marketing is a bit of a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll need to keep at it and stay the course to see the results you’re after.