If you’re looking to enter the world of online marketing, then you’re in luck because there’s plenty of room at the top. While the phrase “online marketing” conjures up thoughts of struggling to make a profit online, what we really mean when we say “online marketing” is all of the following:
- marketing on the internet
- marketing on social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram)
- paid advertising (e.g., Google Adsense)
- competition analysis
- analytics (e.g., Google Analytics)
In all of these areas, you’ll discover varying degrees of difficulty in getting started (and staying at the top). However, with a little bit of research and a lot of drive, you can achieve spectacular success in all of these areas and build an entire business around them.
Let’s examine each of these areas of online marketing in detail and explore the various ways in which you can get started.
Marketing on the Internet
If you’ve been on the internet for even the last few years, then you’ll know that it’s changed the game. While the internet has always been a place where you can connect with potential customers, the vast majority of them will now click away from a web page if it’s not beneficial to them. As a result, traditional print publications like the New York Times or Time Magazine have had to adapt to these new ways of thinking and acting.
To be successful online, your product (e.g., a kitchen appliance) will need to have a distinct value proposition. Consider adopting the following four Ps of marketing:
- Product (e.g., a kitchen appliance)
- Price (e.g., a reasonable price for the product)
- Place (e.g., where can I buy this product? Global or local markets?)
- Program (e.g., how can I buy this product and receive support from an expert team? Online banking, shopping, or calling a phone number and getting routed to a live person?
From a marketing perspective, the internet provides the perfect platform to target niche audiences and build brand recognition. One of the best things that could ever happen to your business is to automate your marketing so that you can truly scale and thrive as an online business. You’ll be able to attract a following who are already interested in your niche, and as a result, you’ll be able to greatly accelerate your growth.
Marketing on Social Media
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably already somewhat familiar with social media. While social media only recently became a household name, it’s been around for a while and was initially used to connect with like-minded people. Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms.
If you’re looking to market on social media, then you need to consider your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do they like? What are they interested in? These are essential questions that you’ll need to answer before you decide on the platforms that you’ll use to reach your audience.
The beauty of social media is that it’s extremely user-friendly. You’ll typically only need to have a significant presence in order to successfully reach your audience. You don’t necessarily need to have millions of followers to reap the benefits of social media. In fact, it’s often times more beneficial to have a small audience on social media than to have a large one. This way, you’ll ensure that you have the ability to connect with your audience and engage with them constantly.
If you’re looking to enter the world of online marketing, then you need to consider the various players in your industry. Who’s competing for your customers’ attention and what are they doing to gain support?
You’ll initially need to determine the size of your industry before you dive into this aspect. Only you know the answer to this question, but if you’re not sure, try looking up the industry statistics on google or nolo. It’s usually a good idea to work with a strategist who can help you analyze and identify the competition.
You’ll then need to create a strategy to address the competition. What do I mean by this? Imagine that you’re tasked with marketing for Cutlery, a brand of cutlery. You’ll begin by researching the competition, which in this case would be:
- Other cutlery brands
- Cutlery made by similar companies
- Cutlery that is marketed towards similar audiences (e.g., sports fans)
- Cutlery that is cheaper (and thus more affordable)
- Any other brands or products that Cutlery’s customers may be interested in
With a solid understanding of your competition, you’ll then be able to develop a clear value proposition and marketing strategy for your product. To determine whether or not this product is right for your niche, you’ll need to consider the competition and decide:
- Whether or not you think that this product will be a viable option for your niche
- What you will do to differentiate yourself from your competition
- The pricing for this product (e.g., Will you price it lower than your competition? How much will you charge?
- The type of customer that you’ll target (e.g., Upper-class customers? Gen X? Millennials?)
- The distribution strategy (e.g., Will you sell this product online? Will you have a brick and mortar store? Will you license your brand to retailers?
- The amount of support that you’ll provide (e.g., Do you provide live chat or email support? Do you offer installation services? Do you offer a warranty? What is the terms of your warranty? How do I get support if I need it?
Once you’ve developed a clear picture of the type of customer that you’ll be attracting and the pricing for your product, you’ll then be able to determine the various platforms that you’ll use to reach them.
If you’ve ever tried to run an online business, then you’ll know that the biggest obstacle that you’ll face is getting a clear picture of how your website is performing. Without clear, data-driven analysis, you’ll never be able to properly optimize your site or your social media campaigns. Worse yet, without analytics you’ll never know if your efforts are actually paying off or if you’re just wasting your time and money.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this problem. Most reputable digital marketing agencies offer a free trial or some sort of analytics service. All you need to do is visit your agency’s website or contact them by phone and ask about their analytics platform. Most digital marketing agencies will have a clear picture of your website’s performance in terms of conversions (i.e., how many people have clicked a link, purchased a product, or signed up for a mailing list) in just a few minutes. From there, you can decide whether or not this product is right for your niche. Just remember:
The more data that you have, the more capable you’ll be of making informed decisions regarding your marketing and sales strategy. Analytics also provide a clear picture of where your efforts are paying off or where you might need to make changes. The benefits of analytics can’t be stressed enough. They provide vital information regarding your website’s performance and allow you to make calculated efforts to grow your business.
As you can see, there are numerous aspects of online marketing. However, with a little bit of research and a lot of drive, you can become extremely successful in this space. The world of online marketing is yours for the taking. All you need is the opportunity and a good idea.