It is a common practice for companies to promote themselves in various online mediums including social media, blogs, and websites. The concept behind the practice is to reach a larger audience and gain more traction and credibility with your audience.
Whether you are a B2C (Business to Consumer) or B2B (Business to Business) company, the practice is the same. In fact, the practice is so common that there are entire agencies that exist solely to handle this kind of online marketing for businesses and brands.
But what exactly is online marketing and how does it work?
Introduction To Online Marketing
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with online marketing. If not, here’s a quick tip: go look up the definitions of online and offline marketing on Google. You’ll get a hit with terms like “digital marketing” and “email marketing” as the top two search results; these are the two most popular forms of online marketing.
So, you’ve found your way to this article, I guess it’s safe to assume that you either work in digital marketing or are interested in learning more about it. If this is the case, I have good news for you: you’re in the right place!
The purpose of this article is to take you through the basics of marketing and give you an overview of what digital marketing is and how it’s evolving.
Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing is what got us here in the first place. You may be familiar with radio ads or elevator pitches that mention a product or service and then offer a call to action like “buy this” or “click here” to learn more. In today’s world, traditional marketing still exists alongside the digital revolution.
What’s important to note is that not everything done today by marketers is digital. For example, radio ads can still exist alongside digital ads that might pop up on your phone when you load a specific website; the type of ad you see might depend on your device and your location. In other words, not all marketing is created equal, and it’s important to examine what format your target audience is most receptive to before you start slinging slogans and trying to push product.
The Difference Between Online and Offline Marketing
When talking about traditional marketing, many people confuse online and offline marketing. In fact, the two go hand in hand — online marketing often is the practical application of offline marketing.
So, what is online marketing?
Simply put, online marketing is the process of promoting a product or service using digital platforms like search, social media, and email.
As opposed to offline marketing which often means putting up posters, radio ads, and TV spots, online marketing can be more effective and less expensive. If you’re looking to promote your business or brand, the first place you should look is the search engine results pages (SERPs) since consumers usually turn to search engines before they browse social media and email to find what they’re looking for. Even if you manage to get your content to make it to the top of social media platforms, you’ll still have to engage with your audience which can be more costly than simply paying for ads.
Why Orlando Is A Leading Hub For Digital Marketing
If you want to learn more about digital marketing in Orlando, you’re in the right place. Not only does Orlando have the Center for Digital Marketing and Innovation at the university level (which I’ll discuss later in this article), but it’s also home to a range of marketing agencies that provide services from strategy through execution. Some of the biggest names in digital marketing include:
- Accenture Interactive
- Blue Corona
- Cannady & Company
- Enova Digital Marketing
- McCann Digital
- Rubicon Project
All of these agencies have one thing in common: they were founded prior to the 2008 economic crisis and have since evolved with the times, remaining committed to providing digital marketing services to businesses and brands across industries.
Find Your Niche: The Basics Of Digital Marketing
The first step to successfully carrying out any kind of marketing is developing a solid understanding of what your brand or business is and isn’t good at. A lot of businesses try to be all things to all people and end up diluting their purpose and failing to satisfy their customers. To truly succeed, you need to zero in on your target audience and find your own distinct advantage.
It’s important to understand that the customers you acquire don’t necessarily have to be existing customers of yours – they could be people who have never heard of your business, brand, or product. That’s why it’s important to establish a clear connection between your business and the people you’re trying to reach – if you can’t explain your purpose or value proposition to them, it’ll be difficult to convince them that your product (or service) is what they need.
Of course, the other side of the coin is that not all existing customers are created equal. Some customers are more valuable than others and require a different kind of attention from you as a marketer. This is why it’s important to understand your target audience’s demographics and psychographics so that you can identify these “high-value” customers and focus your efforts on them.
There are six basic elements that make up a successful digital marketing campaign:
1. Audience Research
This is how you find your niche. You look at what your competitors are up to and decide to either complement their efforts or take them down a notch. To do this, you must first understand who your target audience is and what they want. The first step is to conduct research; this could be through surveys or focus groups. You want to find out everything you can about your potential customers including their likes, dislikes, demographics, habits, and any other information that might be valuable to you.
After you have all this valuable information, organize it in a way that makes sense to you. Think about the big picture but also recognize that you’re a human being and make occasional mistakes. Having too much information can be overwhelming – try to keep it simple but not too simplistic.
Here’s an example of a successful audience research project that focuses on men between the ages of 18 and 34 who have purchased luxury goods and wish to purchase more expensive items. The study found that men in this demographic were less likely to believe that the economy would improve if businesses had more loans to offer. As a result, the researchers proposed an ad campaign that encourages business owners to offer loans to young entrepreneurs who can expand their businesses and offer more employment opportunities which, in turn, can lead to an economic improvement.
2. Brand And Business Analysis
This is how you position yourself in the marketplace. You want to position your brand or business in a way that makes consumers interested in what you have to offer. To do this, you have to take a step back and examine your purpose and values; your mission statement (what you’ll use to describe your brand). Your vision and strategy (how you’ll achieve that purpose and strategy). Your mission statement should offer clarity about what your brand is and is not, while your vision and strategy describe what you’ll actually do to pursue your purpose.
When developing your brand and business analysis, it’s important to consider your audience and what they expect from your brand. You want to stand out from competitors who are also trying to make a name for themselves in this space; in other words, it’s important to do your homework up front.
3. Product And Service Analysis
This is how you prepare to pitch your product or service to various stakeholders like customers, retailers, and government agencies. You want to develop the argument as to why someone should buy your product or service. For example, if you’re a direct seller of travel insurance, you might develop an argument that the customers of your product or service have a certain need that your product can fulfill. If you’re a car manufacturer, you may want to argue that the purchase of your vehicles will lead to economic development.
What makes for a successful product or service analysis? First of all, it has to be detailed and as objective as possible. Consumers can be incredibly skeptical of ads so it’s important that the information presented in the pitch is legitimate. You might want to consider using research from STEP (System for Training Employment Preparation) to prove the benefits of your product or service.