The internet has revolutionized the way you have to think about marketing. Whether you like it or not, marketing online is now one of the major areas you have to think about as an entrepreneur. And in order to do online marketing effectively, you have to go back to the basics and understand how it works, and understand what your options are.
Marketing as a concept means to make a product or service known to potential customers. This concept has been around for decades in its most traditional forms. And guess what, the basic concept remains the same when we move to modern forms such as online marketing.
With online marketing, it won’t really make a big difference whether you’re dealing with a small business or a large company. And yes, online marketing is just as necessary for offline businesses as it is for online businesses.
There are many advantages to online marketing, with the most important one being that you won’t need a huge budget to achieve good results. With traditional marketing methods and strategies, it’s virtually impossible to outdo a company with a marketing budget bigger than yours. Online marketing however makes this quite possible.
However, when you decide on doing your your marketing online, you must understand that it’s all about using the appropriate channels in smart ways. Spending big bucks on online marketing does not always guarantee success.
Online marketing options
To start building an effective online presence for your company, the first thing you’ll need is a website. Of course, there are ways to do it without a website as well. However, having a little corner of the Internet dedicated to your company and its products and services can go a long way.
By having a website for your business, you can get closer to potential customers and present a better image of your company. Customers should get to know the character of your company, as well as the products and services offered. When it comes to online marketing, the website is in a way the face of the business or company. Your website is how people get the first impression about your business.
However, having a website won’t bring you new clients by itself. You need to work on ways for people to find out about you and get to your website. Otherwise, simply building the website will be as profitable as building an amusement park in the middle of a deserted island.
Assuming your already have a website for your business, the next step is to direct people to your corner of the World Wide Web. There are several ways to market your website in order to spread the word about your business.
Social media marketing
Making your brand known by using social media platforms is one of the fastest emerging ways for companies to attract attention on the Internet. By embracing the world of social media, companies encourage people to engage with them, bringing brands closer to existing and potential customers.
The social media websites most commonly used for online marketing include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and the like. Social media marketing focuses on quality content creation and interactivity between the customer and the company.
This is an advertising system provided by the Internet’s largest and most widely used search engine, Google. AdWords works by placing your ad at the top, bottom or the sides of search results whenever a relevant search query is performed. AdWords is flexible, so can choose to pay per click, or for every 1000 times the ad is displayed.
You can also try the newer and simpler version of AdWords called AdWords Express. AdWords Express is aimed at small and medium sized businesses, or those who simply don’t have as much time to run a full Adwords campaign.
Google Places a.k.a. Google Business
This is a free feature offered by Google to help businesses connect with locals. The unique thing about Google Places is that it will not only list your company in the search results, but also on Google Maps. This tool can also provide people with general information about your business, such as the exact location, phone number and working hours. On Google Places, users can also upload pictures and write reviews about your company.
Google Places is incredibly easy to set up. Its also very easy to understand how it works. Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant in New York. A person making a Google search for “pizza restaurant New York” could easily come across your restaurant if you’re registered on Google Places.
Search engine optimization – SEO
This is a way to optimize your website to display more often in the search engine results. Unlike Google Adwords which is a paid service, SEO falls into the “organic search” advertising category. This means that the pages which appear in the search results, do so entirely because of the relevance to the search terms. In other words, if you are listed in the search results, you do not need to pay Google for it.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a process by which you can improve your rankings, which means more free traffic for you. Unlike the other options, SEO is not in itself a tool, but an Internet marketing strategy. Optimizing a website for positive search engine rankings largely depends on search engines’ algorithms, which are liable to frequent changes. In order to optimize a website for SEO, its content and HTML need to be modified to increase relevance (this is known as “on-page SEO”).
Increase your profits by increasing online audience exposure
Any company can benefit from implementing a good marketing strategy. Online marketing is beneficial for both companies doing business online, as well as for more traditional “offline” businesses.
Traditional marketing methods may be considered a “safer tactic” simply because they’ve been around for a lot longer than the Internet. However, many of the variations on traditional marketing still require big budgets to cover an ever decreasing audience and shrinking exposure. On the other hand, the number of people who trust the internet to pick a brand keeps rising.
Online marketing is undoubtedly the best way to go about making your brand well known to potential clients. These days, we have more than enough options for online marketing. However, the perfect strategy is always a mix of the different options that you have deemed appropriate for your business.
It’s on you to choose the right set of online marketing tools and techniques for your company. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to build an effective online presence. Online marketing is definitely worth your time.