Online marketing tactics have become increasingly popular over the last couple decades. Once we were introduced to social media, search engines, and were given the ability to start our own websites, online marketing took off! For many, online marketing is a completely new concept and it’s challenging to understand. This blog post will explain the main forms of online marketing so you can start practicing them with your own business.
What is Online Marketing?
The term “online marketing” is used to describe marketing tactics that are implemented through the internet. The opposite of online marketing is traditional marketing. Traditional marketing consists of print advertisements, direct mail, broadcast advertisements, referral marketing and telemarketing. Online and traditional marketing are the two main types of marketing we are able to practice today. Now that we have identified the two types of marketing, Let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of online marketing.
Forms of Online Marketing
It can be very challenging to effectively practice online marketing if you do not have a website for your business. Nearly every online marketing tactic is focused on driving people to your website, in an attempt to grow your business. Starting your own website will build your business’ credibility and help your potential customers get more information you and what you have to offer. You may ask yourself, “If my business does not require a website, should I still have one?” The answer is almost always going to be “yes!” Just about every business, no matter what industry, will find value in having a website. Even if your website just has the purpose of giving future customers your address, it is valuable.
Search Engine Optimization
If you have any familiarity with online marketing, it is very likely you have heard of search engine optimization (SEO). In short, this is the practice of increasing the way a website rankings in search engines, like Google. Two of the most notable SEO tactics involve optimizing your website with strategic keywords and building high-value backlinks. If you are actively practicing SEO on your website, you can expect to see some long-lasting results. There are many, many more tactics you will want to be aware of if you are trying to boost your website rankings. We encourage you to take a look at our numerous blog posts on SEO and learn about the different forms of SEO that are practiced today.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is a term that describes SEO and paid marketing on search engines. As mentioned above, SEO includes tactics that are done to organically boost your rankings, but you can also pay for higher rankings. Search engines allow marketers to run advertisements on their websites. You have likely seen a search engine advertisement when looking for a website. When you pay for search engine advertisements, your website will be listed as one of the top search results with the word “Ad” next to it.
These advertisements can become quite expensive and your website will not experience long-lasting results like you would with SEO. Once your advertisement is turned off, there is no promise your website will continue to see a steady flow of traffic. If you want to practice paid search engine marketing, we recommend you also practice SEO, to help maintain website traffic in the long-run.
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If you have the time for it, you should definitely think about adding content marketing to your marketing mix. Having useful and high-quality content is a great online marketing tactic that can provide support to every other tactic presented in this blog post. It is very difficult to practice most SEO tactics without some type of content on a website. Having great content on your website can add value to your search engine rankings and also to those who visit your website. Search engines view high-quality content as a major indicator of quality.
One of the best ways to practice content marketing is by starting a blog. Blogs are great tools to get your website in front of more people and to further build your credibility. You will be most effective with your blogging if you stay consistent with publishing your content, actively sharing it with your target audience and strategically optimizing the content for SEO.
Social Media Marketing
If your business actively uses Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, congratulations! You are already practicing social media marketing. Many think this term implies you are paying for advertisements on social media platforms, but that is incorrect. Simply having and maintaining a social media presence is social media marketing. When practicing social media marketing, be sure to set time aside to stay consistent with your pages. It may confuse customers if you suddenly stop posting and fail to post again.
Paid social media marketing is great when you are trying to gain brand awareness and your target audience is on a certain platform. There are many different objectives you can choose from when advertising on social media. On Facebook and Instagram specifically, you can choose from awareness, consideration, and conversion. Having these options gives all businesses the opportunity to set up the perfect ad for their needs. Similarly, with paid search engine marketing, once you turn your advertisement off, your average results will decrease.
Pay-per-click advertising is an advertising payment model for campaigns that drive traffic to a website. Paid search engine marketing and some forms of paid social media marketing feature a pay-per-click model. Pay-per-click advertising is usually done through search engines and social media platforms. However, some popular websites will also run this type of advertising, as a means to supplement their income. You have probably seen this on blogs, as many bloggers have this advertising feature set up on their websites.
Are you on a company’s email list where you get sent coupons and are notified of sales or other information? If so, you are a part of the audience for that company’s email marketing. Email marketing has partially taken the place of the traditional marketing tactic, direct mail. Email marketing is very inexpensive and is sometimes even free, depending on which email marketing platform you use. It’s also very effective when done properly, but be sure you follow the CAN-SPAM Act’s regulations.
Which Tactics Should You Practice?
Developing an online marketing plan, where you figure out which tactics you would like to practice, is a great idea. You should likely avoid implementing all of these tactics at once, because it’s often better to ease into them. Additionally, it’s a good idea to decide on a marketing budget and identify where your target audience is the most receptive. Our blog post, How to Develop an Online Marketing Plan will give you a great idea of how to come up with your marketing plan.
We hope this blog post was helpful and informative about the different forms of online marketing! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. You can do that by filling out the form below, and we will be sure to contact you.