Online Marketing is the oxygen for business.
Regardless of size, every business is on the internet. The process can be different. Whether through the website, blog, social media or even Google website, blog, social media or even Google Map. You must have to ensure your strong online presence to achieve business objectives and Online Marketing is the solution.
For a business not to go online is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but no one else does. (by Stuartt H. Britt)Click To Tweet
Before going further I need to explain something more interesting.
- 1 The Scope of Online Marketing
- 2 Definition
- 3 Web Design
- 4 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 5 Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- 6 Pay per Click (PPC)
- 7 Content Marketing
- 8 Social Media Marketing
- 9 Email Marketing
- 10 Affiliate Marketing
- 11 Mobile Marketing
- 12 Online PR
- 13 Analytics
- 14 Conclusion
The Scope of Online Marketing
I believe with the start of the internet, online marketing was initiated. Today everyone, no matter who he is, somehow or the other, do online marketing. Let me clear you here, we do marketing even when we talk to our friends — referring to the basic marketing definition, creating value for each other.
The scope of online marketing is very vast. Check who can be online marketer:
- Business Owner/CEO/Managers — you can learn online marketing if you have a business and want to get some more shots with the internet or maybe just want to get knowledge so you can discuss deeply when you are hiring an online marketing firm.
- Entrepreneur — or you just about to get started with a new idea. Online marketing can help you a lot.
- Marketing Staff — if you are already doing a job in the marketing field and your boss can ask you to look for more ways to promote business. Online marketing can be a good skill to impress your boss.
- Business Student — if you are studying business studies and particularly marketing, you are the right person. Take yourself to next level and learn online marketing.
- Freelancer — if you are looking for part time job then I suggest you learn online marketing.
So now you know the importance of online marketing. Let’s get started what is actually online marketing?
online marketing or internet marketing or web marketing refers to a set of powerful tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the Internet.
I made it simple for you. Any marketing activity performs through the internet or spreads the word of mouth through the internet is called online marketing.
Did you hear Word of Mouse?
Basically, anything you do on the internet to attract other for your business is called as online marketing. The ultimate objective of every activity is to let customers buy your products.
Experts divided online marketing into 10 sub-divisions. Each of these sub-divisions is a vast industry itself and need a lot of skills. A good online marketer must have all basic skills of each sub-division.
- Pay Per Click
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Online PR
Online marketing can’t do anything for you if you don’t have a strategy. Just like commercial marketing strategy, online marketing is effective with proper strategy. What web-design is best for your business? Which social media platform is best for your business? Where your target audience available online? When does your target audience want to receive an email from you?
The obvious way to ensure your online presence is to have your own website. Today website can do much more than just an online brochures. You can sell your products, chat with customers, gather customers’ data and can do much more and more.
Here I am not going into deep that what website can do for your business. I want to share a quick overview of why web design is the core part of online marketing strategy.
Web-design is the layout of your website. Depending on your business nature and target audience, choose appropriate web design for your website. I recommend you to read this whole guide on Web Design.
Be creative in your web design. The website is the first touch point users will experience on the internet. Web design must be simple and easy to navigate. ProBlogger has the perfect example of creative, simple and easy to navigate web design. I’ve attached 4 images to understand the importance of web design.
The first image is showing the upper portion of the main page of Problogger website, which is clearly presenting the logo of Problogger, Link Buttons of different pages, a link to Problogger event, the latest blog post, and podcast.
The second image is showing the link buttons of pages ( a great example of easy to navigate), social networking links, blog posts and podcasts.
ProBlogger is a blog about how-to-blog, so the third image is showing their services. Whatever you want to build a blog, they will provide you service.
Being the core part of online marketing strategy, Problogger also using the email subscriber widget to gather users email addresses and their important links. You can see in the fourth image.
The Internet is now being used on all devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. So make it sure your website is responsive to every device. A responsive website means whatever the screen size a user is using, your website should be adjusted to it. (responsive web design)
A good web design should also be easy to navigate. All the links, tabs and information you want to present to your users should be located in simple way.
Navigation is like road signs. The more you add signs on your web page, the more users feel easy to use.Click To Tweet
Create a sitemap page for easy navigation.
Important Elements of Website
Being a fair online marketing practitioner, you have to present some important information on front page:
- About Page — A page about you and your business.
- Contact Page — A page containing contact information.
- Terms & Conditions/Disclaimer — A page about your terms and use of products if you are selling something.
Your website must have above-mentioned links to get the customers’ trust. Even you are legally bound to give the above-explained information.
Being an online marketer, it is your job to make sure you’ve to build a web design which is creative, simple and easy to navigate. The more you make web design presentable, the more chance are that users will attract. A fast, all time active, updated and secured website is the choice of every user.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To make sure your website is live on search engine where real customers can easily find you, you need to implement some strategies. In general, these strategies are called Search Engine Optimization.
You optimize your website in a way that search engine shows your website in the top results for a particular keyword.
SEO increases the visibility of a website in SERP, which ultimately gets the benefits in real life.
For example, if you are searching some SEO tools for your website then probably your keyword would be “SEO tools for blogs”. I’ve done research against this keyword on Google and here are the results:
The above image explained that how these websites implement SEO to get top results. More than 63, 00,000 results are available for this keyword. The result on top is a blog post covering the list of good SEO tools (not actually an SEO tool). Result no. 2 & 4 are actual SEO tools.
Here is the lesson. The good you implement SEO on your website, the more chances are there to get top position in SERP. The high you on top of the search results, the more chances are there to attract customers.
I hope you understand why SEO is an important ingredient of online marketing strategy.
Let me define you what SEO is:
Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results, commonly referred to as "natural" or "organic" results.
Search Engine doesn’t Like SEO
Although Google don’t allow to manipulate the search results but there is a term “White Hat SEO” exist. You are allowed to do it. Do it in good manners. Don’t spoil your relations with a search engine by doing “Black Hat SEO”.
SEO is a strategy and set of different activities and an ongoing process. Two main categories of SEO are On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-page SEO you do when you do on your web page. Here are some tips how to improve your on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO consist of activities you do on your website. Link-building is most important off-page SEO activity.
Link-building or back-linking is one of the major factor search engine giant Google use to rank the website. Backlinking is the process in which you agreed on others put your link on their web page. The more your web page or website has backlinks, the more SERP will be high.
While link-building, keep in mind that only build high authority and relevant backlinks. For example, if your niche is fitness then all your backlinks must be from the same niche and not from other like finance or science.
Best ways to build quality backlinks is generated quality content which compels others to use it as a reference on their sites and guest posting. Write guest articles for other blogs and websites and include a relevant backlink.
Google has recently released an algorithm update called Google Penguin 4.0. This algorithm update is about backlinks. It means Google will take actions against Spammy backlinks immediately. To learn more about backlinks visit this impressive blog from Brain Dean and for SEO you can follow HubSpot and Moz Blog.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is the paid version of SEO. Search engine marketing is simply putting your web page on the first against a pecific keyword with the help of some money.
There is so much competition on the internet. You may have to wait for months to see your webpage on the first page of Google, even you did perfect SEO.
So, the easy way to get top position in SERP is SEM. But it is paid and even in some cases, you may cost one click in $500.
Search engine marketing’s plus point is that first 4 or 5 results are clicked mostly and you can put your web page after paying some amount to the search engine.
Search engine marketing or SEM is worthy if you are selling some paid products of services. Don’t waste your money if you are distributing free products like blog posts. Sometimes, SEM costs more money than reward. Google has published many case studies that how users spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in SEM and take benefits even better.
SEM depends on keywords. On Google, you will start Google AdWords campaign against a specific keyword.
First thing you need to analyze the right keyword for your campaign. For this purpose, you can use many tools that provide best keyword suggestions. You can use search engine itself to dig out which keyword is best for your campaign.
Look for the keyword which is widely used in general human search. Like you, there are many others who are also bidding on the same keyword so cost may vary from one keyword to another.
Word Stream has explained search engine marketing in the best way. To learn more about it, click here.
Pay per Click (PPC)
As term defines itself, Pay per Click is advertising model in which advertiser pay some cost to the publisher on each click one ad received. It is similar to search engine marketing but SEM is just related to search engines.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Instagram also have their PPC program.
Unlike search engines where advertiser bids for keywords, these networks have fixed rate. When an advertiser pays some cost to publisher against some specific keywords, ads show on related search queries. These ads are called sponsor ads.
The formula behind pay per click is very simple.
Pay per Click $ = Advertising Cost / Total Clicks on ad
Facebook advertising program is simple and looks like a Facebook status update. You create an ad, then pick audience like women, age 23 to 35, location New York City, and any other detail if you want to add. Your ads will go live after selecting a budget range.
You can put your ad on the sidebar also. When people click on an ad they will be redirected to your suggested link either a URL or Facebook Page.
Here comes the big new era of online marketing, its content marketing. In order to identify, attract, acquire and engage the target audience, generate the relevant and valuable content— this is all that content marketing is being called. No matter what you’ve created, if you attract and engage your target audience, you are the content king.
Content marketing institute explained content marketing in simple words:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
It’s all about relevancy and time. Content marketing is providing timely and relevant value to target audience.
There are so many tactics being used on the internet even in offline marketing to attract and engage customers. Compelling text ads, 30 seconds TV commercial, a unique logo, a long blog post containing FAQ related to your product, or short voice based radio ad, all are the example of content marketing.
It’s the strategy, which drives your content marketing. There are many content forms, you can use to deliver your message to your customers, but which is effective, relevant and need of the time is most important. Sometimes, a short how-to-configure video can solve your problem is you are selling a WordPress plugin and sometimes a long descriptive blog post is the solution to your need, in which you answer many questions frequently asked by your customers.
As I explained that the strategy behind the content matters, so create a good strategy for it.
Steps to Content Marketing Strategy
Here are some steps involved in content marketing strategy:
- Define Target Audience
- Identify Target Audience’s needs
- Setup Goals and Objectives
- Determine content marketing type:
- White Papers
- Blog Posts
- Establishes Content Marketing System
- Selection of the Content Distribution Channels
- Monitor and Evaluate Results
Your content marketing strategy should be well researched so that you can take it easily to the end. The end doesn’t mean that you will stop creating content at some point. It means after evaluation, you will rearrange your strategy especially your content type. The best platform to learn content marketing is Content Marketing Institute.
The blog is your online diary. Blogging is now the core part of web marketing strategy. Research states that B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not (InsideView).
As I explained earlier, Blog is online dairy. You write your knowledge about anything and publish online. The blog is a type of website with an inner difference. Unlike a website, Blog has one main page with multiple blog posts. A popular platform for blogging is WordPress and Blogger. I suggest you start with WordPress. It is easy to setup and easy to maintain.
Companies use blogs as lead generation platform. It is very easy to write about something and add your relevant product link within that writing and upload on your blog.
A common reason to start a blog by companies is to answer frequently asked questions by their target audience and share relevant knowledge. Blogging idea for companies supports this research that 81% online consumer believe on the information shared on blogs (BlogHer)
To learn more about blogging, I suggest you follow ProBlogger.
A core part of content marketing strategy, Video marketing can lead your whole internet marketing strategy independently. A picture worth 1000 words and a video worth 1000 pictures. How is it easy to explain installation process of a device through short 2-minute video rather than creating a long 2500 words blog post?
Online Video hosting platforms like YouTube made very easy to go online for video. A video which go viral can brings huge traffic to your website and ultimately you can make them your customers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media networks were started to satisfy the social personal need but with the passage of time became the need of business life. Now no matter who you are, either you are a housewife, a school going child, a low-level employee or the CEO of world’s no.1 business identity must have at least one social network account.
Social media marketing growth rate is unbelievable. Just Facebook has more than 1700 million active users and there are countless social networks available.
Yea… Me also.
It’s time to take advantage of this growth.
Internet marketing gurus are now considering social media marketing as a core part of online marketing strategy. Even search engine giant Google now considered social traffic as a SERP factor.
With the different theme, design and the features, every social media network is important for business. I mean, could you even think about the 140 characters limit status update? But WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) attract more than 8.1 million users to it.
Effective social media marketing goes right when you select the most appropriate social network for your business. I am again mentioning the example of a company who sells the complex gadgets and uploads how-to-use videos on YouTube to support its products. Wouldn’t it be effective?
To attract and engage customers, social media networks are the best platform. The greatest benefit of social networking sites is to get one-on-one with each customer. Starbucks use Twitter to listen to its customers and improving their customer service section.
While implementing social media strategy, you need to know the dynamics and context of each social network. Another important factor in the success of social media marketing is timely engagement. You must know the best time to communicate with your followers.
Good old days are back. Email marketing repositioned itself. Now email is one of the top sources to engage your target audience.
Email marketing is much changed now than previously it considered. There are many types of emails exist now to entertain your customers.
You will see hardly any website or blog without having an email subscription form. Why? Because everyone realized the true value and impotence of it.
Email is the easiest source to get connected with your target audience. Only you have to get permission from them to send emails. Believe me, customers love to get noticed.
The best part of this type of marketing is the loyalty. Email marketing creates loyalty.
Just like other types of marketing, Email marketing to needs a strategy. The first thing you need to start email marketing is building an email list. Keep in mind, do not send spam emails, rules are also tight now.
The best way to build an email list is to ask your customers to drop their emails at every touch point, whether, it’s your outlet or a website. Many tools and plugins are available to set up email subscription form on the website. There are many styles available to show form but choose the style which doesn’t annoy your users like a pop-up box. The best way to display email subscription form is placing a top bar or locating it to the right bottom corner.
There are many email software and online applications available to customize your emails for every campaign, whether its newsletter or announcement of new product features or free giveaways. I used MailChimp. It is effective and easy to use plus it also gives you true analytics for your email campaign.
Steps To Email Marketing Strategy
To understand more email marketing strategy, consider these phases:
- Getting Permission
- Sending Appropriate Emails
- Meet the expectations
- Ask for Best Time and Frequency
- What to include?
- Use Auto Responder
- Reply Every Query/Response
- Redesign Your Email Campaign
Email marketing is all about expectations. Your customers expect something that’s why they’ve given you their email address. Follow their rules. Ask them what frequency they like. Respond every query from your customers. Evaluate your campaign and redesign email marketing campaign as per need.
It’s time to earn more. It’s time to focus other options of online earning than an advertisement. Parallel to earning, affiliate marketing can double your profit by selling products.
Don’t you want others to sell your products and services on your behalf? I do want and many large enterprises practice the same strategy.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based selling program in which one business gives the opportunity to others to sell its products or services and in return, the business pays some reward to them.
Affiliate marketing is referring products you like and use to other and in return, if others purchase that product through your suggestions, you will get a commission. You can say affiliate marketing as a referral marketing. Amazon is successfully using affiliate marketing to grow its sales.
Affiliate marketing works best if you’ve to develop trusted relations with your readers and they know you cannot refer them a wrong product.
Affiliate marketing is actually a win-win situation. You are happy because you earn a commission. The company is happy because they get sales from the customer they don’t know and the customer is happy because he purchases the product best meeting to his needs.
When you sign up for an affiliate program, a code has been generated, which you will add on your website or blog and when a customer clicks on it and made a purchase, you will get a commission.
Affiliate marketing involves many tricky steps to get success. Most of of all don’t get enough benefit from it due to common mistakes like:
- Only selling not helping
- Not testing
- Too many selling
- Not comparing
- Not tracing.
Pat from Smart Passive Income is the master of affiliate marketing. Learn more from him, click here.
80% of internet users own smartphones. Did you hear that? What does it mean? Use of mobile phones is keep growing and the one who is ignoring to mold his business strategy according to this will eventually kick out from the competition, now or soon.
From the search for products to making a purchase and even after that, mobile phone became a core part of our life. You cannot even think to ignore the mobile users as your target audience.
The emergence of smartphones and excessive use of internet on mobile developed a separate marketing category called mobile marketing.
Same as online marketing, mobile marketing is also a core part of business strategy. Mobile marketing discussed under the umbrella term, online marketing.
While designing online marketing, you need to allocate time, resources and budget for mobile marketing also.
Mobile marketing is featured with time and location sensitive, personalized information, and responsive interface.
Here are some important key elements of mobile marketing. How you can build your mobile marketing strategy:
- Make Your Website Mobile Friendly (Responsive web-design)
- Create Mobile Friendly Content (Readable/watchable on mobiles and tablets)
- Create Mobile App
- Start SMS/Text Message Campaign
- Use Mobile text/Video Apps to connect with customers (WhatsApp, Viber, etc.)
- Create QR Codes
- Create In-Game Ads
KFC uses mobile marketing to its best. They’ve launched location-based mobile marketing campaign. Through which customer who’ve downloaded KFC app received SMS with best deals when her or she near to the KFC outlet.
McDonald received 7 million app downloads, a rate higher than industry norms when they’ve announced a free coupon with a mobile app. This mobile app made order process easy and fast.
Doing online marketing but not managing online PR, you are wasting your time. I believe that there must be a goal behind every online marketing strategy is building online PR.
Online PR is same as offline PR. The only difference between them is online PR build and maintained through the internet. Tools like social media networks, emails, press releases, blogs, SEO, and website are used.
Each and every element of online marketing supports online PR. If your online marketing strategy is not supporting to help you building and maintaining online PR then it’s time to revise your online marketing strategy.
To be successful with the online PR strategy, Smart Insights suggested a framework review different options that are available for getting your name out onto other websites. They’ve developed a framework, take a look at it. (Image: Online PR)
Each of the above-discussed options is going back to the business website to build and maintain online PR.
If you are not doing analyses of your activities, you are not going to get anywhere. To achieve most, you need evaluation.
After implementing online marketing strategy (all necessary elements are used), keep measuring the strategy whether results are up to the mark or not.
I say Analytics, it means analyses of all the activities you did in your online marketing strategy i.e. website analyses, email campaign analyses, social media campaign analyses, mobile app analyses, etc. Measuring each element, you need a different platform. Analyses are difficult especially when you don’t have access to all data (newbies) or when you can’t interpret the data (experienced).
So it is clear now,
It’s all about data and its interpretation. The more you interpret data, the more you understand the pinholes leading to failure.
Tools for Analytics
There are many tools available that make easy for us to collect data. Here are my suggested tools that I use to get success:
Google Analytics: Google created its own tool to analyze the websites and mobile apps. It is most comprehensive and detailed tool available on the internet to analyze the websites. Website analyses and audit is important when you are focusing on organic traffic. It is free of cost and involves only technical knowledge. How your website is performing? To learn more about Google Analytics’ features, visit here.
Bing Analytics: Similar to Google, Bing is also a search engine. Bing also provide analytical tools to webmaster called Bing Analytics. It is also free and requires some technical knowledge. Bing Analytics provide detailed information how a website is performing. An online marketing expert should have basic knowledge of this tool also.
MailChimp: As I explained earlier, MailChimp is an online service helps to regulate email marketing campaigns. MailChimp also provides email list building tool. After initiating email campaign, MailChimp provides deep analytics to the webmaster about the success-failure ratio. How many emails received? How many emails are opened and how many replies received? In short, MailChimp is a complete solution to manage email campaigns from initiating to analytics.
Facebook Analytics: Social media campaigns also need deep analytics to confirm that either we are achieving results or not. Facebook provide analytics to webmasters.
Above discussed analytics tools are free and famous to analyze your online marketing campaign. Almost every social media network provide analytics to analyze social media campaigns.
There are many premium tools available to ensure deep and effective analytics. To boost your online marketing campaign here is the complete list of tools which you can use for analytics.
Online marketing is the process of maintaining relationships through the internet.
No matter your business is online or offline, web marketing will help you a lot. It is cheap, effective and easy to analyze.
To make internet marketing successful, you need to understand its basics. Above discussed categories are core elements of internet marketing.
Online marketing starts with the online presence and never ends till you though no need of it and I’m damn sure you will never gonna say. Online marketing strategy contains multiple strategies about content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, blog marketing and video marketing. Each strategy supports other and works as a pillar of online marketing.
I hope you’ve now enough idea how online marketing works. Please let me know what you learn from this guide.