With the Covid-19 pandemic still lingering, people are looking for ways to stay connected. Global market research firm, Future Incite, forecasts that by 2022, 88% of adults in the US will use virtual reality (VR) to connect with others.
While there are many established brands in the VR space, such as IBM, HP, and Cisco, Future Incite notes that many small and medium businesses (SMBs) still don’t know how to properly utilize VR for marketing and sales. Also, many businesses are hesitant to dive into the world of VR, since it’s still considered “high-cost” and time-consuming.
“The industry is growing but remains very much a niche area,” says Future Incite. “However, as people are looking for ways to stay connected and companies realize the power of virtual reality, it could become a mainstream marketing channel in the future.”
Why Should We Care About Online Marketing?
In the last few years, more and more consumers have turned to online marketplaces to purchase goods and services. According to Accenture, by 2022, consumers in the U.S. will spend 4 hours and 36 minutes per day on digital devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This amounts to a total of 1,776 million hours per year.
Additionally, 77% of people globally use digital appliances, such as smartphones and tablets, to research products and brands. This amounts to 7.4 billion hours per year.
So, it’s clear that online marketing has become an essential part of consumer research and engagement. Furthermore, with the rise of digitally augmented and virtual reality content (also known as “mixed reality”), marketers must now consider how to effectively engage with consumers through online marketing in the coming years.
What Is Online Marketing?
Put simply, online marketing is any type of marketing that takes place primarily or entirely online, rather than in face-to-face meetings. It can include everything from social media marketing to SEO to email marketing. It’s often referred to as “digital marketing” or “Internet marketing,” and can even include the offline world to a certain extent (e.g., Google Maps).
While some marketers only consider online marketing to mean paid online marketing (such as SEO and digital marketing consulting), it can include more than just paid channels. For example, marketing through social media channels, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, can be considered online marketing.
“The most recognizable and well-known forms of online marketing are SEO and PPC (pay-per-click advertising), but the practice extends far beyond,” notes Mark Traphael, senior director of content and marketing at Enness Global, in a statement. “It includes virtually all paid and organic content marketing—from content creation to acquiring new leads to converting them into paying customers.”
Why Should We Care About SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting traffic from search engines, such as Google or Bing.
Getting traffic from organic search is considered to be much more beneficial to a business than getting traffic from paid advertisements. Why is this?
Paid advertisements often get banned or limited by search engines due to the intrusive nature of the ads. Additionally, paid advertisements often rely on keyword stuffing and thin content to drive clicks. These are considered to be spammy tactics and ultimately get the advertiser and the business blacklisted by the search engine.
On the other hand, organic search relies on quality content that is easily accessible to the target audience, as well as on trusted and well-known brands.
Keeping these things in mind when creating content is the key to obtaining high traffic via organic search. Additionally, having a proper SEO strategy in place is a must, since it can determine the success or failure of a website or online store.
What Is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an approach to online marketing where advertisers pay a network every time a user clicks on their ad.
PPC is usually considered to be a cheaper option than SEO, but it comes with its share of drawbacks. For instance, clicks can be considered a nuisance, as they occur without any contextual relevance or tie to the overall business objective. Additionally, with the ever-changing algorithms of search engines, having a strategy in place that can continually update and adjust to changes is essential.
It’s also important to consider the type of user you’re reaching via PPC. While brand advertisers and products that target millennials may see an increase in traffic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their customers are the most valuable or that they will remain customers for life. With the rise of clickfarmers and automated software that populates websites with paid clicks, it’s important to consider the sources of your traffic and whether or not these sources are valuable and sustainable.
Why Does SEO Need To Be Continuous?
SEO is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. Just because your SEO tactics are working now, it doesn’t mean they will continue to work in the future.
To stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to continually look for ways to refine and improve your strategy. This can be done by using tools that can analyze and track the performance of your SEO tactics, evaluating both your paid and organic search results against metrics that determine success, such as the number of conversions and the amount of revenue generated.
Additionally, having a multichannel strategy that includes SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing tactics is considered to be the best way to ensure that your marketing dollars are spent effectively. When each channel is focused on the same goal, but using separate tactics, it results in a more efficient and cost-effective strategy.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves creating and distributing content such as blogs, podcasts, and video content to attract and engage an audience.
Since the Internet and social media make it relatively easy to target the right audience, content marketers can have a wider reach than traditional marketers. Additionally, with the ability to post content at virtually no cost, many content marketers can get started investing in online marketing and never look back.
What Is Video Marketing?
The video marketer’s job is to create and distribute video content, whether it’s an online tutorial, a how-to guideline, or an explainer video.
Since video content can typically be viewed on any device, regardless of whether or not the user has a television, the video marketer can ensure their content is being seen by as many people as possible, drawing more traffic to their websites and online stores.
Which Forms Of Marketing Should We Focus On First?
According to HubSpot Blogs research, nearly 75% of consumers have altered their habits due to the pandemic. As a result, many businesses may be able to ride the wave of the pandemic as a way to build a solid foundation of customers.
Based on these findings, you may want to consider spending some of your marketing dollars on creating brand awareness and getting the word out about your business, rather than focusing on sales just yet.
However, before you make any major marketing moves, you should first consult with an expert to get the best plan of action. You can start by having a conversation with Lynda.com, a digital marketing learning platform, to see what they can offer.