Online Marketing: Why You Need to Know the Basics

Nowadays, almost everyone can access the internet, so it’s no secret that running an online shop has never been easier. Despite the convenience of online shopping, many businesses still prefer to operate stores in person. Maybe it’s the personal touch that makes a difference, or perhaps it’s the ability to gauge customer reaction and adjust business strategies accordingly. Whatever the reason, offline and online marketing go hand-in-hand, and it’s important for any business to understand both sides of the coin.

Why You Need To Know About Online Marketing

If you’ve decided that an online shop is for you, then it’s time to learn the basics of online marketing. Much like offline marketing, online marketing involves a mixture of strategy and execution, with the latter typically encompassing digital marketing, social media, and SEO (search engine optimization). Let’s examine each of these in turn.

Digital Marketing

If you’ve decided to operate an online shop, then you’re most likely already familiar with digital marketing. Online marketing is all about promoting brands and products online, and there are three primary strategies that you may integrate into your marketing plan: SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click), and Social Media.

SEO (search engine optimization) involves doing some (or all) of the following:

  • Creating content that will rank highly in search engine results for relevant keywords
  • Setting up blog posts and articles to promote products
  • Optimizing websites for maximum usability
  • Integrating video content, if applicable
  • Focusing on branding and marketing messaging
  • Improving conversion rates and establishing trust with new and existing customers
  • Measuring the effectiveness of your efforts and adapting as needed
  • Fostering a customer-centric mindset
  • Staying on top of the latest search engine algorithms
  • Balancing high-quality content with social media posts
  • Attracting, engaging, and retaining a qualified audience

In practice, SEO is a lengthy process that requires a significant amount of research and testing. However, thanks to the ever-changing world of algorithms and constantly evolving SEO techniques, it’s possible to stay ahead of the game.

Social Media

While SEO focuses on bringing in new customers through organic traffic, social media aims to promote your business among your existing clientele. Like SEO, social media also involves a combination of strategy and execution, with the former focused on building and engaging with a social audience while the latter encompasses everything from content creation to budgeting and monitoring performance.

The primary difference between SEO and social media is that the former focuses on attracting organic traffic, while the latter focuses on attracting paid traffic. Paid traffic can also be referred to as “acquired” or “manual” traffic, as opposed to organic traffic (also known as “earned” or “natural” traffic) which comes from web searches performed by potential customers who find and click on your content organically.

Once you’ve established a presence on social media and amassed a following, you can use platforms like Hootsuite to integrate your social media accounts into one place, where you can then engage with your audience and monitor the performance of your campaign.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

As the name implies, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising entails paying publishers or media companies to promote your product or service in their content.

PPC advertising is generally less expensive than traditional advertising, which is why it’s so popular among entrepreneurs and small businesses. With PPC, you’re only charged when a user clicks on a sponsored link or buys a product that’s promoted on your behalf. The cost of a PPC campaign is determined by a number of factors, including the daily budget and the quality of the traffic you receive.

PPC is a form of “conversion” marketing, which aims to generate leads or sales through relevant and appealing content. While SEO promotes your products among people searching for similar content, PPC targets consumers who are already aware of your business and looking for specific products or services.

Why Should You Integrate All Of These Technologies?

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to separate marketing efforts into distinct silos, as everything from SEO to PPC to social media falls within the realm of digital marketing. This is one reason why it’s important to master the basics — SEO, PPC, and Social Media — before moving into more complex forms of marketing such as content marketing or paid marketing (i.e. using adwords or affiliate marketing to attract customers).

One of the biggest advantages of SEO, PPC, and Social Media is that you can test and analyze the results of your campaigns easily. SEO changes constantly, while PPC and social media are always evolving, thus making it easy to track changes in search engine results and determine the success (or lack thereof) of a particular campaign.

Tracking the performance of your campaigns is critical, as you’ll want to know which methods work best for bringing in customers and which ones you should avoid. If you’ve decided that an online shop is the right move for your business, then mastering the basics of online marketing will put you ahead of the game, allowing you to effectively integrate SEO, PPC, and Social Media into one cohesive marketing effort.