Online Marketing is the future of business. It’s a powerful tool to help you reach a global audience, target your ideal customers, measure your results, and save money.
More and more people are shopping online and using the internet to research products and services.
That means that if you’re not using online marketing, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach potential customers and grow your business.
So let’s understand it in detail.
What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing, or digital marketing, is about using the internet to get the word out about your company’s brand, products, or services.
This approach involves various methods, such as email campaigns, social media engagement, online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and other digital techniques.
The primary goal of online marketing is to connect with potential customers through the online channels or mediums they frequently use, like reading, searching, shopping, and socializing online.
Online Marketing vs Offline Marketing
Online marketing is where you can find and target anyone, anywhere. It’s very precise, so you can reach people based on their interests and behaviors.
It is all about interacting and engaging with your audience in real-time. You can do this through social media, websites, and you can track your results in detail to see how your campaigns are performing. Plenty of budget-friendly options, like social media ads and email marketing.
Offline marketing also can be called personal selling, is about reaching people in their local communities and building personal relationships. It involves physical materials (like flyers and brochures), events, and TV ads.
It’s not as data-driven as online marketing, but it does offer some unique benefits, like face-to-face interactions and the ability to build trust and brand recall.
Of course, offline marketing can be more expensive than online marketing, especially if you do things like TV ads or large events. If you want to reach a local audience and build personal relationships, offline marketing is a great option.
Benefits of online marketing
Now, let’s discuss the top benefits of online marketing so you can start using it to achieve your business goals.
With online marketing, you can reach people worldwide, no matter where your business is located. This is a huge advantage, especially if you are selling products or services that are in high demand globally.
Online marketing is often much cheaper than traditional marketing channels, such as TV, radio, and print. Through your phone and internet, you can literally promote your business via social media platforms such as Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook etc. This makes it a great option for your businesses if on a budget, especially startups and small enterprises.
With online marketing, you can track the results of your campaigns in real-time. This means you can see exactly what’s working and what’s not, so you can make adjustments as needed.
Your website and other online marketing channels are available to customers 24/7. This means they can learn about your products or services, make purchases, or contact you for support anytime.
Flexibility and adaptability:
Online marketing campaigns are easy to adjust and optimize. This means you can quickly respond to market changes and customer feedback.
Higher conversion rates:
When you target your ideal audience and deliver personalized content, online marketing can lead to higher conversion rates than traditional marketing methods. Online marketing can significantly impact conversion rates by employing several strategies like targeted marketing, personalization, building strong connections & encouraging to take action, optimizing user experience, and simplifying the decision-making process. This means you’ll get more sales and leads from your marketing efforts.
You can use online marketing to target your ideal customers. This is because you can choose to show your ads to people based on their demographics, interests, and even their online behavior.
Online marketing allows you to interact with your customers directly through social media, email, and other channels. This helps you build relationships with potential or existing customers, and it can also create opportunities for more sales.
B2B vs B2C online marketing
While both B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) share the common goal of promoting products or services, the approach and tactics vary significantly.
Let’s find out how.
B2B: It is for businesses that want to sell to other businesses. It’s about finding the right companies and people who need your products or services to improve their businesses.
B2C: It is for businesses that want to sell to individual consumers. It’s about finding people who need your products or services for their own personal use.
B2B: Businesses often need to get approval from multiple people and do a lot of research to make sure they’re getting the best deal. B2B buyers focus on logical purchases.
B2C: B2C transactions are usually simpler, like buying a candy bar at the checkout counter. You don’t usually need to do a lot of research or get approval from anyone before you buy it. B2C purchases may be logical or emotional.
B2B marketing is about understanding your customer needs and pain points and then converting that knowledge into educational content, such as whitepapers, case studies, webinars, blogs, etc.
B2C marketing is about creating visually appealing and emotionally resonant content that captures people’s attention and makes them want to buy your products or services.
B2B: Use LinkedIn to network, generate leads, and share content, while email marketing delivers detailed product information, industry updates, and personalized offers. Many use review sites like G2, Sourceforge, or Capterra to promote their products
B2C: Use social media to reach and engage with consumers, while e-commerce websites offer seamless online shopping experiences.
Types of Online Marketing
Online marketing, or as many call it “Digital Marketing,” covers a lot of ground, and there are many different ways to do it. As the internet changes, with the latest innovations in AI technology, new mediums of communication emerge, and businesses need to change their marketing strategies, too.
Not all types of online marketing are necessary; you should pick a marketing mix (refers to the strategic combination of product, price, promotion, and place to meet customer needs and achieve business objectives) that works for you and what you want to achieve.
Below, I have listed the various types. I have not gone deep into every topic here, as it will be covered separately.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s a way to make your website more visible in search engines like Google, Bing, etc. When you rank higher in search results, more people will see your website and click on it. This can lead to more visitors, leads, and sales for your business.
It’s about writing blog posts, making videos, and creating other types of content people want to read, watch, or listen to. The goal is to provide valuable information and build your brand’s reputation as an expert.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising
It’s a way to pay for your website to rank at the top of search results. You participate in bids and pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad.
Social Media Marketing
Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your products or services. It is about creating content, engaging with people, and running ads.
It’s about sending personalized messages to your email list. It’s a great way to promote your products, share updates, stay in touch with customers, and build relationships.
Affiliate Marketing or Partner Programs
It’s when businesses pay people or businesses (affiliates) to promote their products or services. Affiliates earn money each time someone clicks on their link and buys something.
It’s when you partner with popular people (influencers) online to promote your brand or product. They create content promoting your brand, which reaches their audience and can lead to more sales. Most influencers work on a fixed cost.
It’s about reaching people on their phones and tablets. This includes mobile apps, text messages, and ensuring your website looks good and works well on mobile devices.
It’s about using videos to sell your product. This could be through ads, tutorials, product demos, or fun, engaging videos that tell a story.
Examples of Online Marketing
Some examples of how the big brands use online marketing or digital marketing for their businesses.
- Nike creates and shares engaging content that inspires athletes and fitness enthusiasts. For example, their Nike Training Club app offers free workouts and nutrition tips. Nike is very active on social media, especially Instagram. They post inspiring content, such as photos and videos of athletes training and competing.
- Sephora uses email marketing to promote new products, offer exclusive discounts, and stay in touch with customers. They also send personalized emails based on customers’ purchase histories and preferences.
- Salesforce is very active on LinkedIn, sharing various content, including blog posts, articles, and videos. They also run targeted advertising campaigns to reach potential customers and partners.
- IBM published a white paper called “IBM’s Authorized SAM Provider Offering” to introduce their offerings in the program to new clients. The paper highlights the positive results of a survey of IASP clients conducted in May 2023.
There are millions of examples of how small businesses have aced online marketing and converted it into an engine for lead generation
How to start online marketing?
Before starting online marketing, the first thing that should be very clear is having a clear goal.
Do you have your goals defined? If yes, are those measurable?
If not, you can consider some of the below.
- Increase website traffic by 30% in the next six months.
- Generate 500 new leads in the next quarter.
- Increase the website conversion rate by 15% within a year.
- Increase brand mentions on social media by 50% in the next three months.
- Achieve a customer retention rate of 80% or higher for the year.
- Increase email open rates by 10% within the next quarter.
These are just examples. You can have your own set of measurable & trackable goals.
The next thing to concentrate on is getting detailed profiles of your ideal customers done. It lets you understand their needs, pain points, and online behavior.
This information can shape your marketing messages and content to make them more relevant and engaging.
Below are a few points to consider while starting your online marketing.
Create Quality Content
It’s the foundation of any good marketing strategy. It will attract your target audience to your website and keep them coming back for more.
Make sure your content is valuable, informative, and engaging. Focus on providing solutions to your audience’s problems and answering their questions.
It helps search engines (like Google or Bing) understand your content and rank it higher in their search results. This means that more people will see your website when they search for relevant keywords.
Use relevant keywords throughout your content, including in your title, headings, and body text. Write meta descriptions that are informative and enticing. Use headers and subheaders to break up your text and make it easier to read.
Identify Social Media Channel
Next, determine which social media channel your audience is hanging out. Once you know that, you can focus on the platforms that are most relevant to your business goals.
Some of the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Each platform has its unique strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the ones that are right for you.
For example, if you’re targeting a younger audience, you might want to focus on Instagram and TikTok. If you’re targeting a business audience, you might want to focus on LinkedIn.
Start Email Marketing
Get your email list ready for email marketing & segment it based on demographics or past behavior. Then, send personalized, targeted emails to specific segments.
Many businesses include cold email outreach as part of their email marketing activity. Some have a specialized Sales Development team for identifying prospects based on your ICP and converting them to sales-qualified leads.
For cold email outreach, you can use email automation software like Smartreach.io to schedule your campaigns, send follow-ups, personalize your email, provide detailed reports, etc.
Run Google Ads and social media ads.
These are two of the most popular ways to reach your target audience online. Google Ads allows you to target people searching for specific keywords on Google, while social media ads allow you to target people based on their demographics, interests, and online behavior.
To use Google Ads and social media ads to target specific keywords, demographics, and interests, you’ll need to create ad campaigns and ad groups. In your campaigns, you’ll set your budget and bidding strategy. In your ad groups, you’ll add your keywords and target your ads to specific demographics and interests.
You have to identify influencers whose audience aligns with your target market. You can search for them on specific social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok.
Once you’ve identified a few potential influencers, reach out to them and introduce yourself. Please explain why you’re interested in collaborating with them and what you hope to achieve.
When you’re working with influencers, it’s important to encourage them to create authentic content about your products or services. This means giving them creative freedom and allowing them to create content that resonates with their followers.
Analyse You Data
Data analysis can help you track your website traffic, user behavior, conversion rates, and campaign performance. This information can help you understand how your website is performing and identify areas for improvement.
There are many different tools available for data analysis. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are popular free tools that you can use to track your website traffic, user behavior, and organic website performance.
You can also use paid tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to track your campaign performance and identify keyword opportunities.
SmartReach.io for Cold Email Outreach
SmartReach.io is a user-friendly sales engagement platform that automates the process of cold outreach. It automates tasks such as sending personalized emails, follow-ups, email validation, etc. It provides AI-generated email drafts and subject lines as well.
Using a tool like SmartReach helps save a lot of time for sales reps, providing them the time to focus on other important tasks like building rapport or a relationship with the prospect, etc.
Increase your brand awareness, grow your lead generation, and strengthen customer relationships with personalized campaigns and powerful analytics.