WHAT IS ONLINE MARKETING?
With so much more hype around online marketing today, have you asked yourself exactly what is online marketing and why do I need it?
Online marketing is the use of multiple channels such as a website or blog, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc), pay per click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), use of displays and email marketing to improve your brand presence. All of these channels are very effective.
Each channel has its advantages and disadvantages. Needless to say, that if you plan to use multiple channels then researching each channel will help you enormously before you start making your website.
In this blog series, we will discuss what you need to know right now and share tips and secrets on how to improve your online marketing, and yes, much much more.
WANT TO GET NOTICED BY CUSTOMERS?
… then you will need to do online marketing. Reaching out to customers and establishing your brand is very important for your business’ future and its success. So, how do you go about setting up your marketing channels and is it really so difficult?
Social media is a great place to start. There are no set up costs for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. These channels are rich in support on how to get started.
Want to keep in contact with your customers and build a relationship?
Social media allows for interaction between you and your customers and you can answer their questions directly. Your positive interaction will, in turn, lead to your customer sharing, promoting and recommending your company in their social network.
If you have a website, then you have made a great start to making a presence online. Just by the vast types of plugins available for SEO, mailing, emails and analytics, your website gives you so much power to improve your online presence.
Customers will search for your services as they are looking for answers.
If you have just started building your website, remember to keep it simple. Your customers want their questions answered first. It doesn’t matter that it has some fancy overlay. If it doesn’t load in 2-3 seconds, you may have just lost a customer.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Simply stated, SEO is the process of improving your brand’s results by optimising your website’s content. Your content will rely on desired keywords such as “web hosting”, “web design” or “online marketing” and this, in turn, will increase your exposure in the search results of Google.
Making use of the SEO channel is a long-term strategy. Writing one blog or a very good article doesn’t mean that your ship has sailed. It means you have been taken notice of and that you need to keep your head down and continue working hard. What do I mean?
Google wants you to keep your website fresh. This means that you need to add and edit webpages, write blogs. If you are making videos, add a YouTube channel. Getting backlinks is also very important. This improves your standing with Google and within your industry.
Email marketing is still a very big business today. You can tell by the number of apps, such as MailChimp, that are continuously improving their app. You can also tell by the hundreds of emails that you receive on a daily basis; at various times of the day as well. From recruitment to recipes. The list is endless… and the variety of emails, amazing.
If you are going to be writing blogs or newsletters then you will want to use a mail transaction account such as MailChimp.
Setting up takes a few minutes. There are free or premium templates that can be used. You can use RSS feeds to ensure your mail is sent out based on date and time.
PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
So, you have lots of cash stashed away and are ready to pay for your online ads so that you can get immediate brand recognition and, hopefully, customers will come flooding in. GREAT!!!
This is an excellent way to get started. Or is it?
Having the cash to splash at marketing your product doesn’t mean you will get the desired results you expect. Using the PPC channel on its own can be a very expensive route to take. Anybody who knows a thing or two about marketing will tell you to never put all your eggs in the same basket.
There are 2 types of online advertising channels that can be used, namely text and image.
You see text-based advertising in Google and Bing all the time when your search results are returned. These advertisements can be very rewarding. You will have stumbled across image-based ads whilst reading a news article or a website or social media. Both these channels can be very powerful, but the image-based channel is the most commonly used and the most expensive.
Have an interesting image that is going to make the user click on it.
The more often you receive clicks, the more you can track these users. What are they doing? How long did they spend on a particular webpage? By researching your users, you will begin to understand more about effective advertising and capturing your audiences attention. Not just theirs, but more viewers/potential clients like them.
However, you need to understand this is Pay Per Click (PPC) and that each click will cost you money. A well-planned project and a multi-pronged approach with other marketing channels is a good place to start. Ensure that each channel is used correctly and what it is meant for.
*In our upcoming blogs, we will be discussing each of the above headings in more detail. For now, we have decided to let you know what options are available to you.
Finbar is a Digital Agency based in Johannesburg providing web hosting, web designs and online marketing to clients across South Africa.
Feel free to contact us.
If you invest in a reliable web hosting partner, you can’t go wrong with your business!