Online Marketing Curriculum Guide: What Every Online Marketer Should Know

In the past, any business that wished to be successful needed to focus on attracting as many clients as possible, and marketing was used as a tool to achieve this. In 2019, the game has completely changed. Businesses that wish to thrive need to build loyalty with their customers.

In order to do this, businesses must adopt a digital marketing approach, and utilize the power of digital marketing channels to connect with customers, and grow loyalty over time. As a digital marketer, you would generally expect to have a sound knowledge of digital marketing theory, and theory applied to real-life scenarios in the workplace. For many marketers, this would mean learning and mastering the fundamentals of marketing analytics, digital marketing research, and optimisation. Before we begin our discussion on what every online marketer should know, let’s take a quick moment to review the definition of an online marketer.

An online marketer is someone who promotes and sells products and services over the internet.

If you’re looking to make the leap into the world of online marketing, or are currently working in an inhouse marketing department, and wish to gain greater responsibility, this is a good place to start.

Why Marketing Analytics And Research Are Essential

For many businesses, marketing analytics and research are used together. Essentially, marketing analytics helps to quantify the success of a particular marketing effort, while research helps to determine the preferred approach to take. For example, you might want to track how many visitors came to your website from a particular social media channel, or how those visitors performed once they reached the checkout page. This type of information can be used to determine the effectiveness of different online marketing campaigns, and help to improve future efforts. It is also possible to track how individuals respond (or don’t respond) to different marketing tactics, allowing you to determine if certain campaigns are working, or if a change in approach is warranted.

This is important because if you’re not measuring the results of your marketing efforts, it’s almost impossible to know what’s actually happening. You might get the impression that your online marketing campaign is working, when in reality, it could be that you’re just seeing the results of pure chance.

What Is Optimisation?

To ensure that a business maximizes its online marketing efforts, it’s important to put in place the right structures and processes. This is where optimisation steps in. With optimisation, you can test different approaches, and determine which one is most effective. You might look at the conversion rates of different web pages, or see if different landing pages have a different effect on conversion. There are many different approaches to optimisation, and it’s important to find the one that works best for your business.

Basic Guidelines For Online Marketing Campaigns

As a starting point, here are some basic guidelines for all online marketing campaigns.

1. Measurement Is Important

This point cannot be emphasized enough. Without measurement, you cannot know if you’re making any progress or success, and it’s all down to statistics. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. If you can’t measure improvement, then how can you claim to be making any progress at all? 

The way to begin establishing this kind of measurement is to set up automated marketing emails, or create a spreadsheet to log the results of your various marketing efforts.

2. Look For The Long-Haul Results

Although it’s always great to see immediate results of your marketing efforts, you must keep in mind that these results can be skewed. It can be difficult to establish the exact cause of any success, or failure, in online marketing. This is why it’s important to look at the longer term results of your various campaigns, as these will be more reliable indicators of what’s actually taking place.

As a general rule, you would want to try and establish if longer-term results are proving to be more effective than shorter-term results, or vice versa. It’s also worth looking at the performance of different tactics over time, and seeing if there is any major changes in trend that would warrant a review of your strategy.

3. Keep Testing

Marketing is constantly changing, and to remain effective, it’s important to continue testing different approaches, and measuring their results. If you’re not willing to continually find new ways to improve, then you’re already falling behind your competitors. The sooner you begin testing, the sooner you’ll be able to establish which approach works best for your business, and allow you to implement it without delay.

It’s also important to do this testing thoroughly. For example, if you’re working with a marketing automation tool, you must make sure that you’re not just seeing superficial success, but that the tool is actually doing its job, and transforming the way you approach marketing. You can have the best piece of software in the world, but if it’s not configured properly, then it’s not going to help you to grow your business. Testing different marketing automation tools, or other marketing platforms such as HubSpot, can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it’s essential that you do so, if you wish to succeed as an online marketer.

4. Measure The Right Things

If you’re going to measure something, make sure that you’re measuring the right thing. If you want to know how effective a certain piece of content is, then you should be looking at the number of clicks, shares, likes, and/or comments that the content receives. These are all key performance indicators, and if you want to establish the value of an online marketing campaign, then these are the metrics that you must be looking at.

Content is only valuable if it converts and delivers as promised. To establish the value of this content, you must look at the numbers, and see how many customers are actually purchasing the product or service after reading the content. You cannot value content based on how many people said that they liked or shared it, because in all likelihood, they didn’t.

5. Be Objective

If you’re evaluating the effectiveness of an online marketing campaign, then you must set aside your personal opinions and approach this purely from an unbiased standpoint. If you have a particular piece of content that you feel is very valuable, but your customer base doesn’t seem to agree, it could be that you’re acting as a subject of your own survey. In this case, you’re not being objective, as you have a financial interest in the result of the survey. If you want to establish the value of an online marketing campaign, then you must look at the results and opinions of others, as these will be more reliable.

6. Track The Data

Once you’ve measured the results of your various marketing efforts, it’s time to sit down and analyze the data. This is where you’ll discover the true value of your marketing activities, and allow you to establish what worked, and what didn’t.

There are various tools, and software applications, that can be used to analyze and track data, and the sooner you begin using them, the sooner you’ll be able to establish which approach is producing the most desirable results. Marketing analytics software can help you to establish benchmarks, determine the effectiveness of different campaigns and strategies, and even allow you to repeat content that has proven to be successful in the past.

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more information on online marketing, here are some further reading suggestions.

The New Way to Market: Digital Marketing > SEO > PPC

If you’re new to the field of digital marketing, then it can be a little overwhelming and somewhat expensive to establish an inhouse team. That’s why many businesses have chosen to outsource their marketing activities to specialised firms. What this typically means is that you’ll be paying for ads that appear in places such as Google, Bing, and other search engines, as well as social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. There are various advantages to doing this. First, it saves you money. Second, it allows you to rest assured that the advertisements are being displayed in the most effective manner possible. Third, it allows you to measure the results of your marketing activities, establishing whether or not specific campaigns are producing the results that you’re looking for. Finally, outsourcing your digital marketing allows you to focus on growing your business, and letting the experts handle the minutiae of marketing administration.