There was a time when online marketing was seen as an extra and something to do if your business had the resource, however now, more than ever, your online presence is an important and essential part of your business strategy.
Even before the global lock down, businesses large and small were recognising the need for communicating online. The move between traditional and digital advertising is forever increasing and with the amount of people accessing the internet on a daily basis growing as well, it’s a sure sign that this is where your business should be showing up.
However what areas of digital and online marketing should you focus on in order to gain the best results and see the best possible outcomes of your efforts? You don’t need to be completely tech savvy but there are some things that will helps you along the way.
First off, what is online marketing?
Online marketing is a subset of the bigger picture of digital marketing and refers to any type of marketing that takes place online. This could relate to social media, blogs, email newsletters, websites etc. It’s main purpose or focus is to attract customers and to help build an online presence.
Why use online marketing?
Your customers and prospects are looking for you online! The people you are trying to reach are spending much of their time online, they’re already searching for your services / products or what you have to offer – and here’s your chance to be there for them.
The benefits of marketing online?
As a small business or start up company, the main focus is going to be getting the first set of customers through the door. In the past, people would send leaflets through letterboxes or leave business cards in shop windows but now there is a much easier and more effective way to achieve results. The benefits of using online marketing include:
- Being able to interact and engage with your audience in real-time, 24 hours a day, being there at their time of need and providing a flow of communication when they want to hear from you.
- The ability to reach a wider audience, a global market-place, targeting specific groups or demographics where necessary.
- The ability to get to know and understand your audience, understanding their pain points and what they are looking for the most and building a relationship and trust between you.
- A cheaper and more cost-effective way of advertising.
Your competition is online
If your competition is online and you’re not, you’ll be missing out on opportunities that could have come your way. Learn from your competitors and see what they are doing – and what is working – and formulate your own version of this into your strategy. How are your competitors communicating with your audience, what platforms and content are they using?
Give your customers a choice on who they go to, if you’re not online, they don’t know you’re there!
Improve your credibility
We know that customers buy through someone they trust, and that bond and credibility is just as important when thinking about businesses online. So, using online marketing to build up that trust and to show your knowledge and expertise is the perfect place to get your message across. You can use network groups to provide indepth advise and expertise.
You can write articles and blogs to provide solutions to your audience which can be shared across your channels. You can begin to build an engaged audience through your email list and provide regular meaningful and insightful information.
The more visible you can make yourself and be available for people when they need you, the better.
Drive more traffic to your website or services
One of the main hurdles small businesses find is the ability to find quality leads and getting people to discover them in order to make sales. That’s the beauty of online marketing and using it correctly to drive traffic to your website, where people can find you and learn more about what you have to offer. Through the different types of content you produce, you have the ability to drive traffic to your site, whether that be through a Facebook post, an email newsletter or a guest blog post, when you write or create a piece of work, it’s the ideal chance to highlight your business .
One point to remember is not to oversell your services as people will get bored or annoyed with being directed to the same point from every piece of content you produce. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t produce content – just mix up what you create and one of the best things you can do is provide inspirational content for your audience.
Measure analytics real-time
Another great reason to use online marketing is that you can measure and visit your analytics at any time, ready to be see what’s working and what not be. It is so much easier to be able to make adaptations and amendments at the click of a button in order to see better results. You don’t need to wait for results to roll in or for a third party to produce analytics for you – they are ready there for you. Make the use of every piece of information you can and analyse the data in order to build your business, engaging with every person that comes into contact with your business.
Marketing trends to implement
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
If you’d like to know more about any of these, we’re happy to talk through each option – just give us a bell and let’s talk.
In the meantime, why not download our FREE social media checklist – don’t forget the basics, it’s our gift to you.