What is Online Marketing?

Online Marketing (also known as Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO) is both an art and a science. In the not-so-distant future it may be known, once again as Marketing.Online marketing encompasses various strategies and tactics (both online and offline) designed to reach your target market and identify potential customers for your sales cycle to start. Marketing and Sales work hand-in-hand, however our definition of marketing and online marketing does not extend to sales. The sales cycle starts once contact has been made with a potential customer. That is, in sales terminology they are a Prospect (not a Suspect).To do your Online Marketing well, you need to do your Marketing well.

The traditional marketing elements of Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People need to be applied to Online Marketing, just in a different way. For example when looking at your marketing ‘Place’, you may sell your products through a distributer AND online in your ecommerce store. The internet has multiplied the ways to market your business.

To be successful, you need an understanding of your People (target markets) to develop a Product or service, and your offerings Promoted in the right Place. And the Price needs to be right!

It’s putting together all the pieces of the marketing puzzle.

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You will need a number of online activities and have content in various online channels to deliver the right messages to your target markets.

Nurturing your potential customers without being too pushy is what is called ‘Attraction’ or ‘Inbound’ marketing. It’s the opposite of ‘Push’ marketing with the ‘rah, rah, buy now, hurry’ style of marketing. If you tried Push marketing in social media the echo would be very loud (i.e. not many followers, Likers or Connections).

The basis of Attraction marketing is being seen as a valuable, trustworthy contributor to a business. You may give away video tutorials, information about your industry and helpful tips all of which are seen as valuable to your potential customers.

These days, potential customers often don’t contact your business until they are ready to buy. Pre-internet they would need to contact you to find out more about your products or services, so the sales cycle started earlier.

To get your message across to your potential customers, you need to be where they are ‘hanging out’ online. How do you know that, you ask? Good question! That’s where your marketing strategy comes into play.

A marketing strategy defines the who, what, where, when, why and how of your marketing your business. Facets of a successful online marketing strategy include:

  • Your target markets
  • Defining your Product Price Place Promotion and People
  • Website and/or Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation and your best keywords
  • Social Media Management including which channels
  • Social Media Advertising and the budget for paid advertisements
  • eNewsletters
  • Branding and Visual Design
  • Marketing calendar

Anyone can do a Facebook post, let’s face it. But to have the right message, in the right marketing channel, to the right audience, at the right time with the right call to action, now that’s the art and science of online marketing. Fascinating!