What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing is the practice of improving web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, product or service to potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, display advertising, search engine optimization, Google AdWords and many more. The purpose of marketing is to reach potential customers through channels where they spend time reading, searching, shopping, and socializing online.
The widespread adoption of the internet for business and personal use has resulted in new channels for advertising and marketing involvement, including those mentioned above. There are also many benefits and challenges inherent in online marketing, which mainly uses digital media to attract, engage, and convert virtual visitors to customers.
Online marketing is different from traditional marketing, which has historically included media such as print advertisements, billboards, television, and radio.
Before online marketing channels emerged, the cost of marketing a product or service was often very expensive, and usually difficult to measure. Think of a national TV advertising campaign, measured by a consumer focus group to determine the level of brand awareness. These methods are also traditionally not suitable for controlled experiments. Nowadays, anyone with an online business (and also most offline businesses) can participate in online marketing by creating websites and building customer acquisition campaigns with little or no cost. Those marketing products and services also have the ability to experiment with optimization to improve the efficiency and ROI of their campaigns.
Benefits of Online Marketing
The main benefit of using online channels to market a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of each channel provided, as well as how visitors obtained through different channels interact with the website or landing page experience. From visitors who are converted to paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective in gaining valuable customers.
Analytics for the web experience or mobile application can help determine the following:
- Which online marketing channels are the most cost-effective for acquiring customers, based on the visitor-to-customer conversion rate, and the visitor’s costs.
- Which channels are effective at gaining and driving higher lifetime value for customers – such as email marketing, which encourages repeat purchases to previous customers.
- Which customer cohorts show strong engagement behavior and a high potential for improvement – such as software or mobile applications, who hope to sell more products to customers with high involvement.
Online Marketing Tools
There are a number of tools that can be used to build and maintain a strong online marketing program:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Display Advertising
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Events & Webinars
- A/B Testing & Website Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Marketing Analytics
- Marketing Automation
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
- LinkedIn Ads
- Affiliate Marketing