Pixel Online Marketing: The Definitive Guide for Small Business Owners

Since the beginning of time, people have been inspired by stories, mostly fictional stories, about those who achieved greatness through hard work and determination. Stories about successful entrepreneurs and intrepid explorers continue to captivate audiences across the globe. And while it’s true that some individuals do achieve great things despite unfavorable odds, it’s also true that most successful business owners and executives started with a simple idea and worked their way up from success to success.

In today’s world, the line between fact and fiction is sometimes blurred — especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. While some businesses maintain a physical presence in the real world, others choose to operate solely in digital space. And since most businesses rely on digital marketing tactics and strategies to connect with consumers, it’s not unusual for entrepreneurs and business owners to turn to the web to find inspiration and guidance on how to make their brands and products known.

In A Nutshell

If you’re looking for an overview of everything you need to know about online marketing, the following overview will help get you up to speed as quickly as possible. We’ll cover the basics such as what is online marketing, the differences between online and offline marketing, and the various platforms utilized for digital marketing.

Before you start your marketing journey online, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. As previously stated, most businesses rely on (or at least partially rely on) digital marketing to connect with customers and potential customers. In today’s world, the term digital marketing can be a bit deceptive, as it oftentimes includes both online and offline marketing. However, when referring to a singular activity, digital marketing usually implies online marketing.

What Is Online Marketing?

Put simply, online marketing is the use of marketing and advertising strategies focused on attracting and retaining customers via the internet.

While this may sound like an easy task, keeping up with all the various platforms, tools, and tactics used to reach potential customers can be rather daunting. As a business owner or entrepreneur, you’re likely already overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations of your company. Adding another layer of complexity to the mix is something you want to avoid. That’s why it’s important to hire a reputable digital marketing agency to take care of all the technical parts of online marketing for you.

Why Consider Off-Peak Season For Marketing?

Marketing can be rather unpredictable, which makes planning throughout the year rather difficult. There are, however, times when marketing is less chaotic and more structured. One of these occasions is during off-peak season. Off-peak season in marketing can be defined as a time of the year when there are fewer demands for your product or service, meaning that there are fewer people competing for your attention and fewer people to impress with your wares.

While this may seem like a gift, marketing exclusively during off-peak season can also be extremely beneficial. First and foremost, you’ll be able to avoid the majority of the competition, meaning that your target audience will be more likely to engage with your brand or products. In addition, you can use the time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as product development, sales, and delivery. Finally, the reduced demand for your product or service means that you can get a better deal on the components you need. All of this can translate into significant cost savings — not to mention that off-peak season often coincides with a shopping holiday, which can boost your sales.

Offline And Online Marketing: The Difference

Even if you have no desire to advertise or market your business in a digital manner, you still need to know the difference between online and offline marketing. While there are similarities, the two are definitely not interchangeable. A bit of background: traditionally, marketing refers to activities aimed at attracting potential customers to a business or a product, whether that business is brick-and-mortar or an online entity.

As previously mentioned, since the dawn of time, stories have inspired people, mostly fictional stories, about great entrepreneurs and intrepid explorers. It’s only natural that these stories would later be used for educational purposes, with some marketers going as far as to say that marketing is the process of telling a brand’s story. While that may be true, the distinction is significant: traditionally, marketing only refers to the process of attracting customers to a business or a product; it does not provide any guidance on how to retain them once they’ve been acquired.

On the other hand, offline marketing is often times referred to as ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ marketing and refers to marketing activities that take place in or near the physical world. This could include anything from radio ads to billboards, magazine spreads, and TV commercials.

Due to the ever-evolving nature of online marketing, it is sometimes incorrectly assumed that the two are synonymous. But despite the prevalence of remote marketing, offline marketing still has its uses. For example, billboards are still extremely effective at getting people’s attention and can be an inexpensive way to spread a message. This is why marketers may still rely on offline measures of some sorts even if they have a website.

The Various Platforms For Digital Marketing

If you’re looking to learn more about online marketing, it’s important to know the various platforms that can be used to gain traction. In general, the more channels you have, the more likely you are to reach a significantly larger audience. The following are some of the most popular platforms utilized for digital marketing:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Squidoo
  • Linkedin
  • Digg

In addition to these platforms, Google Search, email marketing, and text messaging can all be used to gain traction and engage with potential customers. In general, the more channels you have, the more opportunities you have to engage with your audience and the more you can learn about your customers — which in turn can help you to better target your marketing efforts.

YouTube For Video Marketing

If you’ve never heard of YouTube, you may be tempted to skip this section. After all, isn’t YouTube all about connecting with audiences and impressing everyone with your wit and charm? Not so fast. YouTube is a massive platform with over one billion active monthly users. And while it may be tempting to use this platform for self-promotion or simply to entertain viewers, it’s an extremely strategic platform for marketing.

First and foremost, YouTube creators can use the platform to market their products and services. More importantly, YouTube creators can use their platforms to tell a brand’s story — something that traditional marketers cannot do. Furthermore, YouTube creators can engage with their audience through personalized videos and live chats. In addition, marketers can use analytics tools to track and examine the behavior of YouTube viewers.

Instagram For Product Marketing

Instagram is another massive platform with over a billion active monthly users. And while the main purpose of Instagram is to entertain and engage with users, marketers can harness this popular platform to educate and inform audiences about products and services.

In fact, a lot of marketers believe that Instagram is the best place to engage with customers and potential customers. This is because the app allows for both entertaining and informative content, as well as the ability to engage with users through ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. In addition, Instagram allows for the easy addition of a business’s physical location — making it perfect for informing and educating audience members regarding a brand’s products and services.

LinkedIn For B2B Marketing

Last but not least, we have LinkedIn. If you’ve never heard of LinkedIn, you may be tempted to skip this section as well. After all, isn’t LinkedIn all about connecting with potential customers and providing them with useful information? True, but that’s not all it’s used for. As a business-to-business (B2B) marketing platform, LinkedIn gives businesses the opportunity to connect with potential customers, gain valuable insight into their businesses, and present offers and promotions.

Since its founding, LinkedIn has been an extremely influential platform due to its vast amount of members. To date, the platform boasts over 500 million monthly active users. And just about anyone can use the service, as it is completely free. In other words, if you haven’t started using LinkedIn yet, now might be a good time to do so.