Online marketing is a subset of digital marketing that uses the internet to promote businesses and their products or services. This can be done via email, social media, digital ads, and online content. Many online marketing strategies will be part of a comprehensive business marketing plan.
A small business can set its online marketing goals by identifying target markets and creating customer personas (fictional characters who represent different target audience groups). Online marketing campaigns are designed to increase sales, brand awareness, attract and retain customers, or drive business growth.
Different types of online marketing
You may use some or all of these methods in your online marketing plan:
Email marketing is a great way to promote your products and business. It can be used to engage existing customers, initiate contact with potential customers, and generate sales. Email messages can be used for announcements of sales, limited-time promotions, seasonal promotions and contests. They can also spread the word about content marketing initiatives like blog posts, videos, and podcasts.
Online or digital ads are created to drive clicks to an online destination. This could be a landing page, or the e-commerce site of your business. Digital ads include a compelling image, a catchy slogan and branding, as well as a call to action. Google, Bing and Facebook are all good places to place digital ads. Digital ads are usually priced based on how many clicks they generate. This varies from one platform to the next.
Social media marketing
Popular platforms like YouTube are used in social media marketing.
TikTok and Snapchat can be used to promote businesses. Creative content builds brand awareness, encourages customers and fosters loyalty. To increase visibility and engagement, hashtags are often added to comments, social posts, bios, and bios.
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of useful materials online that your target audience will find helpful. Blogs, whitepapers, whitepapers, and videos are all examples of the types of online content that you can find. Content marketing is more about brand awareness and building long-lasting customer relationships than selling products. It can be shared via a business’s website or social media platforms, email, and other channels.
Influencer marketing is the use of online influencers, people who have a large following on social media to promote a company’s products and services. You should look for influencers who have an audience similar to your target audience. Influencers receive product gifts, monetary compensation or commissions in exchange for their services.
Developing an Online Marketing Strategy
Understanding your target audience is the first step to determining which online marketing strategies are best for your business.
Identify your target market
Knowing who purchases your products and services will help you reach more potential customers. You can learn more about your customers by conducting online surveys, asking for feedback, and having in-person conversations. This will help you to understand why they bought your products or services, what their needs are, and how your business can improve their retention.
How did they learn about your product? What made them into customers instead of just interested prospects? What do they care about or value? Use this information to guide your online marketing efforts.
To group customers into different groups, you can also gather basic demographic information such as gender, age, location, occupation, income and behavioral characteristics. To tailor your marketing messages to specific audiences, you can create customer personas.
Define online marketing goals
You can establish goals for your online marketing strategy once you have identified your customer, their needs and the solutions that your business can offer them. These are some of the areas you should consider:
Awareness of your brand. Brand awareness is the ability to distinguish your products and services from your competitors by ensuring that consumers recognize your brand. Although the goal of brand awareness isn’t to sell, it is a crucial step towards future growth.
Sales. A potential customer can become a paying client by setting sales goals. Sales goals could include attracting new customers via referral programs, discounts for first-time buyers, or selling more products through subscription models or new product launches to existing customers.
Customer retention. It is often more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to upsell existing customers. Therefore, it is important for businesses to be able to keep customers happy over the long-term. Customers retention goals aim to build loyal customers and increase the frequency they buy your products.
Learn the difference between paid and earned marketing strategies
There are three types of marketing strategies that can be divided into earned, owned, and paid. You may choose to examine some of these options closer depending on your company’s goals and financial resources.
Earned Media : The attention your business gets that you didn’t create or pay, such as articles on review platforms, media coverage, and podcast appearances.
Owned Media : You control the marketing channels such as email campaigns, social media pages, and business websites.
Paid Media : You pay for external marketing channels such as Google and Facebook ads, or paid influencers.
While sales goals often tie to digital ads and email marketing, influencer marketing and a website for a business, brand awareness might be more closely tied to earned media.
Employ SEO tactics
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is intertwined tightly with content marketing and brand recognition. It determines the rank of your website and profile on search engines’ unpaid results pages. More people will be looking at your business if it appears on the first page for search results related to specific keywords. Here are some strategies to increase rank:
Target keywords to be used by your customers when searching for your products or services.
Add helpful pages to your website. These pages will answer your customers’ most pressing questions and include your targeted keywords.
A responsive website design makes it easy for customers to navigate your site from mobile devices.
Create or claim your business profile on popular social media platforms such as Google, Bing, and Yelp and keep the information accurate.
Response to customer questions or reviews.
Customer relationship management (or CRM) is essential for customer retention and the ability to market your products to customers who are already familiar with your company. You can use email marketing to reach customers regularly to share news, announcements, and/or content.
This article was originally published on Fundera, a subsidiary to NerdWallet.