As the world starts to feel smaller with the internet growing in capabilities and users online marketing has become more and more important; leveraging web-based technologies such as websites, email and online shopping platforms to allow new and traditional businesses to commerce with customers of whom they have never met.
Online marketing is not much different in terms of goals then marketing in the real world the concepts of brand, look, feel and delivering message are the same the main difference is the medium, namely peoples phone, PC and laptop screens.
The methods for delivering online marketing include email, websites, social media, search engine optimisation (or SEO) and blogging to name the most popular.
The art of online marketing is identify reliable channels where your customers spend their time reading for example searching on search engines, shopping on platforms that allow you to post content, or social networks and leveraging their functions and facilities to get your company noticed.
Almost everyone these days has access to the internet meaning your customers are likely to make use of computers for work plus smart phones to keep in contact with each other one of the many advantages and challenges for your online marketing journey is to convert virtual visitors to paying customers.
More specifically online marketing is much more measurable in comparison to traditional advertising which relies on print (magazine/news paper ads or flyers), radio, television adverts or posters and other fixture based items such as billboards, signs and posters. All of which can attract customers to your company but you may never know which one attracted the most. In comparison when you receive a contact form request form your website you know where that customer has been to get in contact, you can also see how many people are on your website, how long they where on it plus how many pages they viewed. Other metrics exist for email marketing where it is possible to see how many emails from your latest mail drop you sent out where actually opened, s opposed to sending out 1000 flyers where a lot of them would just be binned but who binned them.
With all this analysis you can start gauging what channels are working and deserve more investment and which don’t seem to work for you at all and should stop or decrease resources on these channels.
Online marketing assets can also evolve, your website for example can be added to and edited as the environment in which you do business evolves, think of a catalogue, over time the items in the catalogue may stop being produced and you may stop working with specific suppliers or you have started selling more products. This would mean you would periodically need to update your catalogue and get them printed, if you had your catalogue online however you can easily change, delete or add more products.
The disadvantages of online marketing are normally determined by your perspective and relative current success, generally speaking people tend to shy away from tools they do not know how to use or that are over complicated if they are completely untested or unknown by the company.
There can be additional costs to marketing online such as hosting and subscriptions to services however these are normally relatively low compared to print where for example when I got my first batch of business cards and stationary printed off it worked out to cost almost 4 months of hosting on this website. Since I purchased these cards over a year ago now I still have half of them but my website is attracting 300% more new visitors a day then contacts I make at meetups or during my working day. I would say the cost of hosting is negligible by comparison to print (some websites may cost more to host)
Having good knowledge of what is possible can throw weight in to the advantages of some online mediums or reduce the attraction to others.
If you are marketing online a strategy of knowing what, how and when to market online is essential and over time this strategy may well evolve to become more successful.
Online marketing is not a new field, it has evolved over the past 20 years to the point where now most businesses will have some form of online marketing in place.
What is interesting is how using the correct channels and investing in targeting your audience through appropriate channels can have a very positive impact on your online conversions.
Why not contact us to see how we can help with your next push toward online success.