In today’s digital world, marketing strategies are constantly evolving. While traditional methods of marketing still exist, the methods for reaching potential customers change as quickly as technology does.
The way our society communicates changes, as well. We are constantly being bombarded with advertising campaigns, sponsored content, and personal brands. Even search engines like Google are adapting to ensure their users always have the most relevant content in front of them.
With so much transformation, how can businesses determine how to market their products and services effectively?
This question was recently posed to me by a business owner who was seeking advice about which form of marketing would be the most effective for her startup. After reviewing her business goals and objectives, I was able to provide her with a detailed roadmap for optimizing her efforts.
The Evolution of Online Marketing
To properly answer the question of which form of online marketing to choose, we must first examine the evolution of online marketing.
Traditionally, marketing has been separated into two categories:
- Traditional Marketing: This includes magazine ads, newspaper ads, billboards, and radio and TV advertisements.
- Digital Marketing: This includes everything from email marketing to social media marketing.
While these methods of marketing have not changed, the channels through which we are able to spread our message have shifted. With the emergence of social media, blogging, and search engines like Google, the line between digital and traditional marketing has blurred.
What was once considered “traditional” marketing now works heavily within the digital sphere. For example, YouTube videos, which are considered a form of digital marketing, have reached such a large audience that many businesses now use them to learn about their audience and to build their brand.
The Dangers of One-Sided Conversations
One of the primary reasons why the line between digital and traditional marketing has blurred is that businesses often struggle to have one-sided conversations when it comes to marketing.
If we compare this to the real world, most people have one-sided conversations with those they know or those they encounter on a daily basis. However, in the world of marketing, the majority of interactions happen online, and as a result, businesses often find themselves in a dialogue with strangers or customers they’ve never met before.
Unfortunately, not all businesses are equipped to have these kinds of conversations. Often, the person they’re communicating with doesn’t have all the information they need, so the outcome is always one-sided and rarely productive. This can quickly deteriorate into a frustrating game of bait and switch.
In these situations, it’s easy for the person on the other end of the line to feel like they’re being tricked, and it’s even easier for them to simply walk away. In the long term, this can hurt a business’ reputation and make potential customers less likely to engage with them.
Why Email Marketing?
Based on the information provided by our business owner, we know that she’s fairly new to the world of entrepreneurship, and like many others, is looking to learn as much as possible. Since most people are already familiar with email marketing, we’ll use this form of marketing as an example.
Emails are one of the most popular forms of digital marketing. Not only do people like getting them, but they also often feel like a business has delivered value to them since they were useful in some way. In 2016, email marketing was responsible for 19.4% of all internet traffic. This makes it the most popular form of digital marketing.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that when you use email marketing to engage with your audience, you are in a “two-way conversation”. When someone emails you, they are effectively sending you a message, but in addition to just sending you the email, they are also engaging with you through their choice of words and the content of the email.
What makes email marketing so effective is that it allows businesses to have two-way conversations with their audience. Through these conversations, businesses can discover what their audience wants and needs, which can help them develop products that are more tailored to their desires.
However, although email marketing is an incredibly effective form of marketing, it’s not always the best choice for businesses. If your business is a B2C (Business to Consumer) one, and you want to only engage with current customers, trying to convince them to buy your product again might be the best option.
The Advantages of Blogging
If we examine the evolution of online marketing, we’ll see that businesses have been able to take advantage of new media channels, platforms, and websites to grow their customer base and engage with new audiences.
Blogging is one of the most popular and effective forms of digital marketing because of its interactive nature. In addition to being able to have a two-way conversation with potential customers, businesses can also use blogs to engage with existing customers.
When someone decides to blog about your product or service, it essentially means that they have an interest in and are knowledgeable about your industry. In other words, they have a “qualified niche”.
As a business, you can either choose to engage with your audience through a blog, or you can choose to ignore them. This is a decision you should make carefully since people who are interested in your product or service might otherwise decide to go elsewhere.
The Unique Appeal of Virtual Reality Marketing
If someone chooses to ignore you, it might be because you didn’t provide them with any value or information that was useful to them. In this case, the best thing for both you and them is to simply walk away. However, if someone wants to engage with you and is open to receiving value and information, virtual reality marketing might be the perfect fit.
Now, if someone chooses to ignore you, it might be because you didn’t provide them with any value or information that was useful to them. In this case, the best thing for both you and them is to simply walk away. However, if someone wants to engage with you and is open to receiving value and information, virtual reality marketing might be the perfect fit.
Why? Because instead of just looking at a screen, where you see a static image of an online advertisement, users in a virtual reality environment actually “feel” a product or service, feel what it is like to use it, and are much more likely to believe that they can actually achieve the desired results. For example, imagine how much more effective a mattress pitch might be when shared in a virtual reality environment versus a 2D image on a screen.
If you’re looking to engage with customers in a way that is both useful and entertaining, virtual reality marketing might be the answer. When people visit a company’s website, they are already considering whether or not to purchase the product. However, when they walk through the virtual reality version of that product, they can actually “feel” what it is like to use it and experience many of the benefits first-hand.
To properly utilize virtual reality marketing, you need to first determine the platform that your users prefer. If you’re unsure, you can always test out different versions to see which one works best for your business.
The Different Types of Marketing Channels
As we stated above, the channels through which we communicate have changed. While traditional methods of marketing still exist, the methods for reaching potential customers change as quickly as technology does.
This means that instead of focusing on just one or two channels, marketers must now have a broad strategy in mind when creating their marketing plan.
Not only do these changes make it harder for businesses to determine which marketing channel to rely on, but it also makes choosing the right type of marketing channel a lot more challenging. To help with this, I’ve put together a list of different types of marketing channels and the pros and cons of each one.
To effectively market a product or service, businesses must be able to reach their audience through as many different channels as possible. In an ideal world, this would mean using every available form of digital marketing. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, so marketers must be strategic about which channels they use and when.
When a business decides to use multiple channels, it is often referred to as “omnichannel marketing”. Since marketing is a continuous process that involves constant adaptation, it is essential to be open to trying new things and to reevaluate your strategy as new information becomes available.