Online marketing is a set of tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the internet. Online marketing includes a wider range of marketing elements than traditional business marketing due to the extra channels and marketing mechanisms available on the internet.
Online marketing can deliver benefits such as:
- Growth in potential
- Reduced expenses
- Elegant communications
- Better control
- Improved customer service
- Competitive advantage
Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, web marketing, digital marketing and search engine marketing (SEM).
Online marketing combines the internet’s creative and technical tools, including design, development, sales and advertising, while focusing on the following primary business models:
- Lead-based websites
- Affiliate marketing
- Local search
Online marketing has several advantages, including:
- Low costs: Large audiences are reachable at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets, allowing businesses to create appealing consumer ads.
- Flexibility and convenience: Consumers may research and purchase products and services at their leisure.
- Analytics: Efficient statistical results are facilitated without extra costs.
- Multiple options: Advertising tools include pay-per-click advertising, email marketing and local search integration (like Google Maps).
- Demographic targeting: Consumers can be demographically targeted much more effectively in an online rather than an offline process.
At the very least, a website can help your customers find you, providing contact details and showcasing your work. But the marketing opportunities that the internet presents go much wider and deeper than this.
You can tell visitors about your product or service and promote special offers. You can improve customer service by giving useful information and enabling customers to offer feedback.
Promoting your company online
Your website is no use if nobody visits it. Simple steps like choosing a memorable name, promoting your website and driving traffic to your site via email marketing campaigns and including your web address in printed marketing materials and company stationery can all help.
Social media marketing is now routinely used by many businesses to promote their businesses online and engage with customers and to build their reputation and brand. Establishing a presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can allow you to communicate directly with exisiting and new, target markets.
You can also use online equivalents to traditional marketing methods — advertising on other websites that your target customers are likely to visit, for example, or setting up affiliate marketing relationships with other companies.
But one of the best ways to get visibility is to appear high up in search engine rankings.Search engine optimisation and pay per click advertising are generally considered the best ways to get people to your site.