Noor Brabant is a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is officially known as Noord-Brabant, which means “North Brabant”. The name was given to the region during the Middle Ages because of its northern location. The region is well-known for its manufacturing, and a large proportion of the population is employed in this area.
The economy of the area is closely tied to that of the wider region, which has led to some significant socio-economic challenges. Several historic churches can still be found in the area, and several monuments commemorate the sacrifices that the population made during World War I and II.
The Rise of the Onlines: Global Trends & Mobile Commerce
The digital age saw a radical transition in the way that we conduct business. Traditional business models such as retail and manufacturing faced significant disruption, with customers demanding convenience and immediacy. The rise of e-commerce saw shop-online-pickup models evolve, and consumers gained the ability to comparison-shop and find the best prices online, before making a purchase.
The most significant trend that emerged from this digital transformation is the rise of the online marketer (also known as digital marketer or e-marketer). Whereas in the past a business might have relied on SEO and PPC to gain web traffic, today’s online marketer has access to a wide array of internet marketing channels, including social media, email, and mobile.
Mobile commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services via mobile devices. It essentially combines offline and online activities into one medium. Mobile commerce has grown significantly in recent years, with 74% of all transactions now taking place on mobile devices. This primarily reflects the increased functionality of smartphones and tablet computers.
It is well-known that consumers prefer to do their shopping on the go. This trend is commonly attributed to the fact that with mobile commerce, consumers can research and compare prices online before making a purchase. This convenience has resulted in an increase in mobile commerce activities, such as online reviews and purchasing, by 6% and 11% respectively.
The increased use of mobile technology in e-commerce has presented significant opportunities and challenges to traditional retailers and brands. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that consumers are empowered to research and compare products and prices online. This means that the competition has shifted from stores and malls to the internet, and online marketers must now be seen as a vital part of any business’ marketing mix.
According to a LinkedIn report from August 2021, one of the significant emerging skillsets of 2021 is digital marketing and marketing management. The report states that 97% of business leaders expect their marketing to become more digital in the next 12 months. This could indicate a significant role for those with a background in Online Marketing.
Why Online Marketing?
In the last few years, entrepreneurs and business owners have seen the transformative power of the internet and digital technologies. This has resulted in an increase in the number of businesses and brands embracing digital marketing and online media.
The emergence of platforms like Shopify and Shopnow has made it much easier for business owners to set up online stores. These platforms allow entrepreneurs to focus on growing their business, while taking care of the nitty-gritty of running a store. Having your own online store means you can run your business from anywhere, at any time. You don’t need to be tied to a physical location, and you can update the website and content whenever you want.
The increased use of technology in all parts of our lives has made us more willing to try new things. This is why the world of marketing is changing, and online marketing is one of the best tools available for entrepreneurs and businesses wanting to take their marketing to the next level.
The Role of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engines such as Google. Typically, SEO involves using keywords and phrases in your content, links, and basic website structure to achieve higher rankings.
In 2021, SEO is still considered a very important part of any online marketing strategy. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 62% of respondents say that SEO is extremely important to their business, and 40% say that it is somewhat important. Only 8% consider it not important at all.
The SEO landscape changed significantly in the last year. Gone are the days of using old tricks such as stuffing keywords in your content, and solely relying on backlinks from popular websites. The most effective SEO tactics in the future will focus on developing authentic content that will engage and inspire consumers to action.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Like SEO, online reputation management (ORM) is an important part of any online marketing strategy. It entails taking care of your online image and preventing your business from being attacked or damaged online. ORM can be done both manually and digitally, with the latter being the preferred method.
Manual ORM typically involves monitoring content written about your company and responding promptly and professionally to any negative comments. You can engage with the commenter by thanking them for sharing their opinion, and inviting them to share their thoughts on your products or services.
With digital ORM, you can use tools like Google My Business to manage your online reputation. You can also use tools like Yelp, Zocdoc, and others to find negative reviews, and use this content to improve your company’s rankings in search engines.
The increasing dominance of search engines like Google has made it much easier for consumers to find information about your company and its products. This puts you, the entrepreneur or business owner, in a much better position to take care of your online reputation. If a consumer sees that you’ve addressed the issues in a reasonable manner, they might consider your business’ approach ethical and therefore respectable.
The Rise of Social Media
The rise of social media is considered one of the biggest trends that emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, only 22% of American adults used social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter.
However, since the pandemic, the use of social media channels has exploded. According to the Radicati Group, the number of Americans using TikTok, WhatsApp, and Instagram has increased by 94% since before the pandemic.
To effectively use social media, you must first have a strong presence on the platforms where your target audience spends their time. In 2018, the top 10 most-used social media channels were:
Having a strong social media presence can do wonders for your business. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 45% of respondents cite increased brand awareness as the number one benefit of having a presence on social media.
The rise of TikTok and other platforms shows that consumers are relying more and more on the opinions of others when it comes to selecting products and services. The ability to discover new products and gain access to helpful information via digital marketing and social media makes it much easier for consumers to choose your company compared to competitors.
Email marketing is still considered one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. In the coming months, businesses will continue to rely on email marketing to drive customer engagement and build trust.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 37% of American adults have used email marketing. Additionally, HubSpot Blogs research found that 44% of consumers have used email marketing to learn about a new product or service, and 31% have used it to sign up for a deal or promotion.
You can use email marketing to promote your business, raise awareness about your products and services, and keep your customers engaged with content that is relevant and helpful to them.
The Future of Online Marketing
The future of online marketing looks very different from what it did just a few years ago. Gone are the days of marketing in one city or region. Today, marketers must understand and adapt to global trends, and consider consumer psychology, conversion optimization, and social media when crafting an effective marketing plan.