If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already pretty aware of the ins and outs of online marketing. But just in case, I thought I’d cover some of the basics. Hopefully, this will help you move beyond simply using online marketing to grow your business.
What is Online Marketing, And What is Separating It From Everything Else
If you’re not familiar with online marketing, it isn’t hard to understand what it is. When you combine the power of the internet with the ability to track and analyze how people interact with your content, you can effectively reach and engage with your audience like never before. Think of all the times you’ve seen ads on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. That’s online marketing in a nutshell.
Why Should You Care About Separating Online Marketing From The Rest Of Your Business?
If your business is already handling all the logistics of sales, service, and delivery, why should you bother with the minutiae of marketing? The best answer is you shouldn’t. Think of all the times you’ve seen ads on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. That’s online marketing in a nutshell. If you run a small business, chances are you’re handling the daily processes of marketing and sales. You can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket. Doing so would likely result in you closing down your business. Going from zero to eighty in no time flat.
Marketing and Sales Are Two Different Things
In traditional marketing, you would typically use billboards, posters, magazine spreads, and radio ads to market your product. Now, with the rise of online marketing, you can use all of the above, as well as social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. But beyond that, you can create individual campaigns for each channel, using a combination of the above to target your ideal buyer.
Online and Traditional Marketing Have A Place
Despite all the power of online marketing, don’t expect it to replace the rest of your marketing strategy. In all likelihood, your online and traditional marketing will work in conjunction with one another. For example, you might use traditional marketing to attract new customers, and then use online marketing to encourage them to make a purchase. Or, you could use online marketing to gain a following on social media, which then makes your job as a sales person that little bit easier.
If you’re looking to grow your business, you should be doing everything you can to make that happen. With the exception of SEO, which is a form of online marketing, everything above constitutes ‘traditional’ marketing. It’s not a bad thing — in fact, it can be a very good thing. Using multiple channels and formats to connect with your audience ensures you reach the right person, while also maximizing your reach.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the process of getting your website to show up when a person searches for your product or service on search engines like Google. To put it simply, SEO is a form of online marketing that helps your website earn more organic traffic from search engines. To learn more, check out our guide on how to get started with SEO for business.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is any traffic that comes to your website without purchasing a ticket to get there or through paid advertisements. Normally, when a person lands on a web page, the site owner will show up in the header, footer, and maybe a small snippet of text somewhere on the page. Unless the site owner did something to help the search engine pick up on their site, the majority of visitors will be unaware that they’re on a different site than what they were searching for.
Why Should You Try To Earn Organic Traffic?
If you’re looking for a way to earn more traffic to your site, you should try to earn it organically. Why? Think of all the times you’ve seen ads on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. That’s online marketing in a nutshell. If you want to earn more money, you can use your Instagram account to gain a following. Once you have a following, you can use your Twitter account to promote your Instagram content, and so on. You can use the above techniques to attract potential customers to your site, who will then make purchases or enquiries as a result of your marketing efforts.
How To Properly Use Social Media To Grow Your Business
Social media sites like Twitter and Instagram were built for sharing and connecting with others. So it should come as no surprise that many businesses use these sites to gain exposure and grow their audience. But you can’t rely on the above companies to grow your business. You need to actively participate in discussions, build relationships with other users, and encourage engagement.
For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent looking to attract potential buyers to your listings. You might join the #realestatetips hashtag on Twitter, where you can share helpful tips with other users. You can also use your profile to engage with users who mention or otherwise reference real estate related topics. Doing so will likely result in you earning several hundred or thousand followers. If you can gain even a small percentage of those followers to your profile, you’ll see a significant uptick in web traffic to your site. Remember, as a business owner, you’re under no obligation to purchase any real estate properties. But if you’re feeling generous, you might consider giving some of your valuable time to work for free. Helping others is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and it also draws some of the most generous users to your side.
If you want to grow your business using social media, you must develop an approach to garnering social media users’ attention. You can use several techniques to ensure you achieve this, ranging from using highly targeted ads to interacting with individuals to create brand awareness.
Develop An Email Marketing Strategy
While the above certainly helps, you should also consider developing an email marketing strategy to reach your target audience. With an email marketing strategy, you can send out regular emails to people who’ve signed up for your newsletter, offering them exclusive deals or discounts, or just offering them helpful tips on how to improve their lives. If you want to grow your business, you can use your email list to gain additional signups for your mailing list, or you can use the list to reengage with past customers, reminding them of your services, and hopefully, encouraging them to make a purchase or take a journey you recommend.
The Bottom Line
If you want to grow your business, you need to do everything you can to make that happen. With the exception of SEO, which can be highly effective when managed properly, everything above constitutes ‘traditional’ marketing. It’s not a bad thing — in fact, it can be a very good thing. Using multiple channels and platforms to reach your audience ensures you reach the right person, while also maximizing your reach.