All You Need To Know About Online Marketing
Essentially, online marketing refers to all tools and strategies used to promote products, services, and brands through the Internet. It is also called Internet marketing, web marketing, or digital marketing.
Online marketing harnesses one powerful resource — the Internet. With all the additional channels and mechanisms found available on the Internet, online marketing can influence a larger and more diverse audience. With more marketing elements at its disposal, online marketing has better success as compared to traditional marketing.
What makes online marketing effective is its ability to promote products and services to a mass audience even with limited financial resources — simply because the Internet itself is a free resource.
In this digital age, there is no better path to progress but to move forward. There are three main points why businesses should consider online marketing as a priority:
- Canadians are now more active online. In fact, they have become so dependent on the Internet that they search for products and service providers online and immediately make a purchase if the website allows for it. If they can’t find you when they do these searches, you are already at a disadvantage.
- You can reach more audiences at a lesser cost. You can start gaining more sales from your website alone — as long as online marketing is strategically implemented.
- Online marketing does not come off as a hard sell, a stark advantage from direct and traditional marketing.
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors while reducing your overhead costs, then yes, you will need online marketing to boost your business.
What Powerful Tools Does Online Marketing Harness?
Online marketing aims to improve a company’s online presence through its website and various social media channels. The Internet has a wide range of tools and channels businesses can use to promote their brand and product/service:
Blogs are online posts that provide information about nearly any topic. On a business website, blogs are used to communicate and provide information regarding topics that relate to the company’s industry. Blogs are written in a conversational format, providing an advantage to companies who want to humanize their brand. Since content is only effective when it can drive high-level engagement, blogs help encourage more interaction with users and increase website traffic (possibly leading to conversions).
One approach to improving web visibility and influence is to establish a company’s presence on other sites. This can be achieved by posting comments on sites that are also relevant to your business. A well thought-out comment will also help establish your reputation as a reliable source of services, which is another strategy to market your brand to potential clients.
Emails are useful tools for communication, information, and marketing.
Companies send emails to clients and other partners to provide them with news updates, stories, and other upcoming product information. You can also advertise new events and product promos through emails. Aside from providing information, emails also allow opportunities for your receivers to respond and provide. This encourages client satisfaction and loyalty.
There are several media sharing sites, particularly photos and videos, which allow companies to publish content about their brand, products, and services for free. Companies can capitalize on these sites to advertise their business to help drive more traffic into their websites.
Microblogging allows companies send or broadcast short messages to other subscribers. Microblogs are longer than text messages but shorter than a blog post. It is a popular communication and promotional tool since companies can send frequent, short messages or polls to encourage audience interaction and engagement. This makes your company more visible to online users and potential clients.
There are now three out of four Canadians who use smartphones for online searches and purchases. Companies can reach more mobile users and convert them to potential clients through mobile marketing. This includes creation of websites that are both mobile- and SEO-friendly. Since mobile devices allow users to share and streamline define their searches through their geographic location, companies can engineer more focused promotional strategies to these potential clients.
Just like in traditional marketing, companies can purchase space and place ads online. These ads, on the other hand, contain links that redirect users to the companies’ website when they click on them. Its advantage is its speed since companies can quickly publish ads and immediately receive feedback from the target audience based on the number of times the ad was viewed and clicked. With online advertising, you can alter your strategy to effectively drive traffic into your business site.
Search engine optimization or SEO refers to the process of optimizing a company’s website to improve its performance in search engines. SEO utilizes the strategic placement of appropriate keywords so that target clients can find their websites on search results. Aside from keyword placement, SEO also builds links and citations, both of which contribute to a company’s improvement in search ranks. SEO’s impact is also flexible: depending on the company’s needs, it could either result to a local or global reach.
Social bookmarking is a process of storing and managing websites and pages a user visits frequently. What sets it apart from desktop bookmarking, users can share their saved bookmarks on sites so these can potentially be viewed — and re-shared — by other viewers. By using social bookmarking sites, online users can access their bookmarks from any tool or gadget. This is another free marketing tool companies can take advantage of: they can submit their website links to these sites, which can be potentially seen by thousands of visitors.
Social networking, as defined, is “the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests.” These help companies build a network of contacts and engage with existing clients. While websites focus on specific topics or segments, other sites can be utilized to focus on professional networking and recruitment for businesses. This will give your company more exposure and positive reputation.
A podcast is a series of audio and video files that are shared or broadcasted through an online or mobile application. Unlike webcasts, which require Internet access so they can be viewed, podcasts allow users to download the files so they can be viewed at any time they wish to. Podcasts are mainly used by companies to promote new products, provide tutorials, and air interviews, among others.
This kind of online marketing uses the word-of-mouth approach. The key element to successful viral marketing is to create compelling content: if an audience finds it interesting enough, then it is worthy for sharing, enough to make it “viral.” This increases a company’s chances of reaching a wider audience and attracting more potential customers.
A webinar or web conference is a seminar shared real-time through the Internet. Companies use webinars to announce new updates or products, present product demonstrations, or conduct open forums with audiences or clients. Through webinars, companies can reach a wider audience when sending a message — especially their global consumers who can’t physically attend the seminar.