If you haven’t recognized the importance of marketing online, then you’re definitely missing out on a lot of opportunities to grow your brand. We can’t stress enough that online marketing (or digital marketing in general) is already a necessity for every brand, big or small. In fact, we have a whole blog article showing the reasons why you should be doing digital marketing. However, if you’re already convinced that online marketing is a need and you want to learn how to do it, then this ultimate guide will surely help you.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing the following:
- What is Online Marketing
- Why a Website is Important for Online Marketing
- Different Ways to do Online Marketing
What is Online Marketing?
Online Marketing is pretty much self-explanatory: it’s marketing in the online world. From search engines, social media to mobile, online marketing is getting the word out about your brand using the internet.
We feel compelled to differentiate it from digital marketing. Some people use it interchangeably, but there is actually a difference. Digital marketing is the umbrella term for all marketing efforts using digital media, and online marketing is a part of it. Digital marketing can include TV Ads which doesn’t necessarily use the internet, hence, not all digital marketing is online marketing. However, at this age, the internet is very widely used and online marketing has become the majority of digital marketing. That’s why most people get confused about the two terms.
Online Marketing Strategy
Creating your Business, Customer and Marketing Strategies
In creating an online marketing strategy, there are three aspects: your business strategy, your customer strategy and of course, your marketing strategy. If you’re wondering why we don’t go straight to create the marketing strategy, that’s because what and who you communicate with your marketing strategy depends on your business and customer strategy.
To illustrate, let’s take a hypothetical sports brand NutriBodz:
|mission||Encourage active lifestyles by offering nutritional products|
|objective||Offer nutritional products|
|value proposition||Scientifically proven to work|
|elevator pitch||NutriBodz creates nutritional products to improve athletic performance|
These information are very important in creating your marketing strategy. Knowing what your brand is offering and what it is trying to achieve is the soul of your marketing.
|mission||Encourage active lifestyles by offering nutritional products|
|target audience||Male and female ages 24-45, interested in sports, fitness and wellness|
|audience goals||Better sports performance, feel healthier and energized|
|audience channels||Social Media, Blogs, Search Engines, Word-of-mouth, Email Ads|
For obvious reasons, marketing won’t work without knowing well your target audience.
Now that we know how to identify your business and customer strategies, we can now move forward to creating our marketing strategy.
First, we segment our audiences so we can create accurate marketing strategies for our audience. The more segmented, the more accurate. Let’s take a segment from our sample audience: female ages 24-35.
Segment A (Female ages 24-35)
|target audience||24-35 year old females, interested in fitness|
|audience goals||See fitness results faster|
|business goals||Sell nutritional supplements||Gain organic reach||Gain blog readers|
|KPIs||# of supplements sold||Comments, likes and shares||# of blog visitors|
With segmentation, we are able to create more specific goals and key performance indexes (KPIs) which our online marketing efforts will try to achieve.
Now, we finally create our marketing strategy for the said segment. A marketing strategy is composed of marketing plans specific to goals within each segment.
|goal||Sell nutritional supplements|
|audience||24-25 female interested in fitness|
|plan||Launch ads, create social media campaigns||Sponsored blog listing, create 2 blogs per week, install likes and share button on each blog|
The Marketing Funnel
Another important consideration when creating an online marketing strategy is knowing your marketing funnel well. Neil Patel has a simple definition to the marketing funnel: “set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion”. Usually, it has three parts: the top-funnel, middle-funnel, and bottom-funnel. But another way to break it down is through the following:
- Awareness – the audience knows about your brand
- Interest – the audience shows consideration to your brand
- Desire – the audience wants to make a purchase and is also evaluating other choices
- Action – the audience finally makes a purchase
It’s called a funnel because at the beginning of the funnel, there are many people who can take this step. And as you move forward, some of these people may drop out, narrowing your audience.
So why do you have to know your marketing funnel? That’s because your marketing plans depend on the steps on the funnel. Each step in the funnel corresponds to a specific marketing tactic.
Pro Tip: The key to a successful online marketing effort is being present at the right moment to capture the customer.
But First, Your Website
Before doing any online marketing effort, it makes sense to have a “home” for all the information about your brand. And like any other home, people will get to know more about you and even judge you. On the internet, your brand’s home is your website. Having a website is important when you market online because it’s where you want to take your potential customers and have them make a profitable decision. Although a Facebook Page for your brand can also be called a website, it is highly recommended to have your own website with your own domain name to establish credibility and to have all the flexibility to design, organize, and publish content.
Different Ways to Do Online Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your online content with the goal of having search engines put you on top of search results. It is an important online marketing tool simply because people search things on the internet everyday, and you want to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with them online.
We have to admit, SEO is a complex process. It’s not a one-off marketing effort where you go through a linear process, and you’re done. No, it’s not like that. It’s a combination of different tactics, inside and outside your website. Plus, it’s a continuous process! You don’t stop even if you’ve already reached number one because you continue to compete for the top spot all the time. Which is why we wrote a whole blog article about it so you know how to do SEO. It generally tackles 5 ways to boost your SEO:
- Strategise your Keywords
- Keep your Content Rich and Optimised
- The Technical Side of SEO
- Sign Up for Google My Business
- Optimise your Website for Mobile
While there’s SEO, there’s also SEM. To make it simple, SEM is the paid version SEO. Instead of undergoing the complex process of optimising, you can actually pay your way to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). But again, like any other marketing effort, it’s still a competitive space.
A common platform for doing SEM is via Google Ads. On Google Ads, you pay for the keywords that you want your brand to show up for. For example, for SuperBodz, you can pay for search keywords “fitness supplements”.
Other search engines like Yahoo and Bing have their own version of SEM campaign manager, so you can also consider them when planning your SEM strategy.
Now, down to our heavily-used online marketing strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a marketing approach that creates and distributes valuable, relevant, and consistent content to the audience to get their attention and ultimately, convince them to take a profitable customer action.
Content Marketing is actually SEO. You need to produce and organise quality content to support your SEO strategy. Besides, people can find you when you deliver content that they are looking for.
It can also be said that Content Marketing is the bloodline of online marketing. Without timely and relevant content, you have no material to use for your online marketing. There are several ways to use content marketing, some of it are:
- Social media content
Social Media Marketing
Wait… we already mentioned social media on content marketing, right? That’s because there are online marketing efforts that can be part of another; just like how content marketing is a part of SEO.
Anyway, as a strategy of its own, social media marketing is, obviously, marketing on social media. Most of the people, if not everyone, you want to target are on social media, so you want to take this opportunity to market to them where they are. Would you believe that as of 2019, people spend 12 hours a day on social media? That means you have a 12-hour chance to market to them. That’s why companies do social media marketing because aside from the fact that it’s cheap (most of the time, free), the market is very easy to reach.
Social media marketing comes in two forms: paid, and organic(free). You can pay for ads on social media, or you can produce a lot of valuable content.
Last but not the least is email marketing. Many brands fail to recognize the importance of email marketing, but come to think of it: you can’t create almost any social media account without an email account. So, marketing to people via email is another big opportunity to offer your products or services.
Email marketing is usually already in the middle funnel. An email address is a lead you generated from an awareness campaign. This makes email marketing more personal than social media marketing. You already have some information about who you’re marketing too… at least, the name. When marketing via email, take this opportunity to get personal. Create an email subject that catches attention, or even have their name on it. And when it comes to the content of the email, make it simple yet informative. When a person opens an email, he/she devotes a certain number of time to absorb your content, so take this chance to sell your brand the best that you could.
Online Marketing is the new marketing. It’s measurable, targeted, and cheap. We decided online marketing as our offering in our agency because it’s a very big help to small businesses to get your brand out there. So now that you know how online marketing is so important, allow us to help you make the most out of it.
Let’s talk about it! We’re offering a 30-minute FREE Consultation! Book an appointment now and let’s see how we can help you. <3