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Nowadays, most advertising is done digitally, on social media and websites. Gone are the days where you needed a lot of money to take out ads in a newspaper or a billboard on the street. Today, you can start online marketing with next to nothing.

In this post, we give a brief introduction to online marketing, how to go about building a strategy, and some of the tools you can use to get started.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing refers to any way of spreading the word about your company, product or services on the Internet. It covers anything from sponsored social media posts, online ads, content such as blog posts, etc.

Roughly, online marketing can be divided into the following subcategories:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Improving your content’s position in organic search results by optimising it for the search engine (usually Google). Organic search is the most prominent way for people to find your business, so making sure your content is visible and ranks well is vital.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Similar to SEO, except it consists in paying search engines to display ads pointing to your website instead of painstakingly making efforts to help it rank at the top of results.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements. Like taking out an ad in a newspaper, but on an online platform. Unlike SEM, it’s not limited to search engines like Google – platforms like Instagram or Facebook will allow companies to purchase ads.
  • Social media marketing. Using social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) to link with customers, grow your online presence and eventually direct people to your products and services.
  • Affiliate marketing. Using other individuals to promote your business and rewarding any sales or customers brought to the site by the said affiliates.
  • Content marketing. Creating valuable content for potential customers to download and entice them into your products and services. Think white papers, blog posts, brochures, webinars, eGuides, etc. Content marketing is often used as a lead generation tool, too.
  • Email marketing. Sending emails to a database of consenting leads about your company, services products – often news, content or promotions.

While we won’t detail each of these in this blog, you can expect to find more detailed posts about these online marketing strategies in due course.

Building an Effective Online Marketing Strategy

Now that you know of all the tools at your disposal, you need a strategy in place to utilise them efficiently.

  • Be strategic. Don’t just jump in and be in a rush to produce content for all of the platforms you can think of. Depending on what you’re trying to promote, some might be more effective than others – so don’t waste time and resources on creating content for platforms that won’t bring any leads or customers in.
  • Define your intention. What do you want to achieve out of this online marketing strategy? Who is the audience you are targeting? Where are you likely to reach them better? From these questions will emerge some ideas about the best tools and platforms to use in your strategy.
  • Keep your audience in mind. When you are creating content, know exactly who you’re creating it for. Are you making videos to entice Gen-Z customers to your website? An email campaign to promote your brand to parents/homeowners? Keep these personas at the front of your mind when you’re putting together your online marketing content.
  • Set measurable goals. Once you’ve got ideas, it’s easy to get carried away and churn out content enthusiastically. How do you know if your strategy is successful, though? The key is setting goals that you can track and look back on. These goals could be a number of page visits per day/week/month, a number of sales achieved in a certain time, a number of followers on a social media platform, of email subscriptions, etc.
  • Evaluate regularly. Once your online marketing strategy is underway, set some time to reflect on a regular basis. If your goals are monthly, put a time in your calendar to look back on them every month, for example. This could also be a good time to set new goals, more or less ambitious depending on how successful you’ve been in achieving the previous ones.

Online Marketing Tools

Although a more extensive guide to each online marketing platform is coming soon, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most popular tools you can use to build your online marketing strategy.

  • Mailchimp. An email marketing tool with plenty of templates and resources to create the perfect marketing campaigns for your business. There’s a free tier as well as more advanced paying plans.
  • Canva. Create beautiful designs with limited design experience. Canva provides templates, easy to use tools and a range of formats to create professional-looking content for your online marketing strategy.
  • Google Suite. Google offers a whole suite of tools to create and evaluate your online marketing campaign. See which terms are trending with Google Trends, check your pages’ traffic with Google Analytics, improve your performance on Google Search with the Google Search Console, and more.
  • Facebook Audience Insights. Facebook for Business enables you to track who your page viewers are in terms of age, demographic, location and more. A handy tool to check the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
  • Meet Edgar. A tool that allows you to schedule social media posts across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. A huge time saver if you have a small social media team!

Online marketing is just one of the subjects we can help you with. EWOR’s programmes aim to provide budding entrepreneurs with a comprehensive education from the most successful founders, CEOs and innovators.

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An exclusive 10-month, fully-sponsored, program designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

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Daniel Dippold

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