online marketing

What is Online Marketing and How Can You Benefit From It?

  • 6 min read

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With half the world’s population using the Internet, the effects on the global connectivity are felt in all aspects of our lives, including business. This means that marketing, a key component of every company’s strategy, has also shifted from traditional channels to the Internet – creating a new form of marketing: online marketing.

Online marketing can be defined as a set of tools and strategies used for promoting products and services on the Internet.This type of marketing includes a wider range of marketing elements and channels compared to traditional marketing due to the complexities of the web.

In this article I’ll talk about what are:
  • the elements of online marketing,
  • what benefits it can bring to your business and
  • how to get started with it.
Online marketing has gained popularity due to the widespread Internet usage. Unlike traditional marketing which includes things like billboards, TV and radio advertisement, online marketing uses digital channels to reach, engage and convert virtual visitors to customers.

Before online marketing, the cost of marketing products or services was much greater, and it was almost impossible to measure the effects the advertisement had. How can one measure if a radio commercial is successful? Online marketing changed all that, bringing tools to measure and analyze marketing campaign performance.

Today, anyone with an online (or offline business, for that matter) business can engage in online marketing to promote his products or services by building a website and starting to advertise online.

 
online marketing


Let’s take a look at various online marketing channels.


Online marketing channels

  • Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a strategy of unpaid promotion by trying to rank as highly as possible in search engine results page (SERP), for certain keywords.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is a form of marketing that uses paid promotion (ads) that display in search engine results, or are placed in specific parts of various websites (banners).
  • Affiliate marketing. This type of marketing is based on revenue-sharing. A business pays an online retailer for each sale they make through his recommendation.
  • Content marketing. A cornerstone of modern marketing, it includes publishing content on a company’s website to attract visitors and turn them into customers. Blogging is the most famous example of content marketing.
  • Social media marketing. It’s a process of promoting a business through social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram etc.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement. This form of marketing is similar to search engine marketing but not limited to display ads on Google and other search platforms. For example, a common PPC channel is Facebook advertising.
  • E-mail marketing. The oldest form of online marketing, it’s all about using e-mail to directly reach customers and promote a business.


Online marketing benefits

Online marketing can bring many benefits to a business.
  • Ability to measure the impact of all channels. This is probably the most important benefit online marketing has, especially when compared to traditional marketing.For example, with analytics tools you can see how many visitors have come to your site, how long they’ve stayed, what pages have they visited and so on. You can easily calculate how profitable each channels is, and what you need to do to improve it.
  • Reduced costs. Since you can easily measure the effectiveness of your every channel and campaign, you can focus on the most profitable ones and ignore the rest. This leads to reduced marketing costs.
  • Gone are the days of mass marketing. With modern targeting tools, marketers can reach individual customers with personalized offers. For example, you can collect data which shows that a customer has been checking out your webshop product and use this data to target them with discounts through e-mail. This often leads to higher revenue.


online marketing strategy



How to get started with online marketing

By now you realize that online marketing is a great way to reach your customers.

But how do you start with online marketing? The first thing you have to do is define your goals and make sure they’re measurable. Without this,  you won’t be able to track your performance.

Some examples of online marketing goals:
  • Get 100 new customers next month
  • Increase email sign-ups by 20% in three months
  • Increase traffic to your website by 10% this month
These all depends on what your industry is, what are you trying to achieve (build brand awareness, increase sales etc.), and how do you want to do it. For example, SEO is free but it takes a lot of time and effort. PPC, on the other hand, is costly but it can bring measurable results fast. It all depends on your preference.

After you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to start developing your marketing strategy. After that starting making your first online marketing campaign by using one of the channels listed above, and don’t forget to measure the results.

I hope this guide has helped you understand what online marketing is, and how you can benefit from it. If you need help with your online marketing efforts, contact us today and we’ll help you.

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