If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with the terms “online marketing” and “nebenjob”. If not, don’t worry – this article will bring you up to speed.
Let’s use Google Trends as an example. On the left-hand side of the page, you’ll see information on the popularity of certain search terms. Below that, you’ll see a bar chart displaying the relative popularity of those terms over time. Searching for “online marketing trends” shows you searches peaked in interest around 2011 before declining since then.
As you might expect, searches for “online marketing” also reached their peak in 2011 and 2012, but since then, searches have been gradually declining as people got the word out about using online marketing to grow their businesses.
In 2019, online marketing had a search interest level lower than it was in 2011 (and below its early 20th century average search interest level). This makes sense considering Google’s own recommendation that marketers avoid most forms of online marketing now that they consider it a ‘retailer’s game’.
Many of Google’s own employees have also commented on the declining interest in online marketing. For example, Chris Capossela, a member of the core search team, stated that AI has enabled Google to become a “much more effective brand campaign evaluator”. He went on to say that “the amount of analysis that goes into our products means that we’re always one step ahead of the trends, and we’re able to deploy our research quickly”.
This is a far cry from the early days of Google, when the company’s very existence was in question due to its ‘search monopoly’ and the growing popularity of alternatives such as Bing and DuckDuckGo.
The Evolving Role Of Online Marketing
If you’re still wondering whether or not to pursue an online marketing strategy, consider the following. First, it’s important to realize that the role of online marketing has evolved over the years. Back in the day, online marketing was all about search engine optimization (SEO) and getting your website listed on top of search results for keywords related to your product or service. As the industry has evolved, so has the meaning of ‘online marketing’.
A key proponent of this approach was Sean Bonner, author of the famous book, “The Anatomy of a $29.99 Plan.” According to Bonner, the key to turning a profit online is to find a way to get people to buy your product or service, even if they’re not specifically looking for your product or service. In other words, you want to find a way to attract ‘online shoppers’ to your website.
If your product or service is relatively easy to find online, even if it’s not in the top ten results of a search engine, you’re probably going to make a profit. This is why ‘shopping portals’ such as Shopbop, eBay, and Amazon have become so popular, as well as platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which allow business owners to connect with potential customers who might not have known they needed a product related to what they were looking for.
More and more business owners are realizing the importance of attracting online shoppers to their websites, rather than just relying on regular customers to do all the buying.
The Rise Of Platform Makers
If you’re looking to attract online shoppers to your website, consider focusing on building a community. Platforms like Shopbop, eBay, and Amazon that allow for online marketplaces have become extremely popular, not because of the products they carry, but because of the communities that form around them.
You could actually make a fairly decent living just by encouraging people to join your community. For example, if you create an eBay marketplace for vintage clothing, you might not have to do any selling yourself to make a profit. Instead, you could just let the community handle the selling for you, and take a cut of the proceeds when someone buys something from your community
In 2021, industry research firm Grand View Research projects the luxury market will grow by 4% year from 2020 to 2025.
If you want to get ahead in this game, build a platform and attract members. Make sure that your platform is fully optimized for mobile devices, as this is where most of your potential customers are now. If you can get the hang of making a profit from a community, you might be able to replicate this model with ease.
Why Should You Avoid Online Marketing?
If you’re reading this, you’re either an existing or aspiring business owner who wants to make a profit. If this is the case, it’s probably best to steer clear of most forms of online marketing. With search engine optimization, you’re trying to manipulate Google to favor your website for certain keywords. This kind of strategy carries with it the risk that Google might one day smell manipulation and ban your site entirely. (For more information on this topic, check out our guide to SEO).
Even if you’re not directly trying to game the system, it’s still risky business to build a following on social media platforms and hope that people will buy your product or service because they feel connected to you.
The industry research firm eMarketing estimates that 56% of consumers have sold something directly to someone they knew online; 22% have recommended a product or service they knew about online; and 20% have purchased something because of an online reputation management (ORM) campaign.
As more and more people turn to the internet to find information and make purchases, the list of no-nos when it comes to online marketing continues to grow.
Nebenjob: Finding Multiple Income Streams
If you’re looking for ways to supplement your existing income, you have several options. One of the most popular ways is to pursue a ‘nebenjob’. A niche market within the industry, a nebenjob is a role that doesn’t require an extremely high level of expertise or talent but nonetheless provides you with multiple streams of income. Within the next five years, the industry research firm eMarketing predicts that 37% of traditional marketers will pursue multiple nebenjobs, while 28% will specialize in a single area.
If you can become an expert in any field and can translate your expertise into a service or product that will make money, you can pursue a nebenjob. To give you an idea of the kinds of things you can do, here’s a short list:
- Digital marketing and social media strategy
- Content marketing and strategy
- Email marketing and campaign management
- Pay per click (PPC) management
- Reputation management and crisis management
- Video production and strategy
- Content and community building (e.g., social media)
In most cases, you won’t need a formal education to get started. As long as you have a decent knowledge of the English language and can pass a simple test, you should be able to find work. You might not get the salary you’d make as an experienced marketer, but you will likely be able to find work that provides you with a steady income.
How To Become A Successful Marketer
If you’re looking to make a living as a marketer and want to be successful, you need to follow a simple formula:
- Build a platform
- Attract members
- Make money
Building a platform is a basic tenet of digital marketing. If you want to succeed as a marketer, you need to make sure that you have a strong platform to draw from. A platform is essentially a base camp – something you build up before you begin to attract members.
If you want to succeed as a marketer, you need to make sure that you have a strong platform. For example, if you decide to create a blog to attract potential customers to your site, you’ll want to make sure that your blog has a following. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the demographics and behavior of your audience. This way, you can tailor your content to meet the needs of your audience.
Attracting members is relatively straightforward. You can use any of the platforms you’ve built to attract individuals with a similar interest in what you have to offer. In the early stages of your business, you might not have the time to dedicate to attracting members. However, as you grow your business, you can become more selective with your choices. You can use the tools you’ve built to target certain groups of people based on interests, behaviors, and demographics.