How to adapt to an online-first marketing strategy
Many companies are moving their marketing efforts online. Here's why, and how to get started.
Published byAlexis Pratsides
Many companies have recently been seeking to move their marketing efforts online. More and more people are gaining access to the internet every day so it would only be natural to use the internet as one of your main lead sources.
Especially with the recent Covid-19 outbreak, marketers realise that using traditional methods can be unreliable compared to online alternatives.
We have had several clients who want to move into the realm of marketing online but have no idea where to start. In this article we will explain some key online strategies and how you can incorporate them into your overall marketing strategy.
Advantages of online marketing
Online marketing is an excellent way to get your business and brand in front of potential customers that you otherwise might have not connected with. Below, I have listed three of the biggest benefits compared to traditional marketing:
1. Cost effectiveness
When comparing to traditional means of marketing, digital marketing can be much cheaper. Although marketing online has increasingly become more expensive over the years–because of more competition–it can still be cost effective.
Websites and social media accounts can often generate significant traffic for free – search engine optimisation (SEO) is a good example of a free marketing traffic generator.
2. Targeting and interactivity
When comparing traditional advertising (e.g. TV, mail, print) to social media and search advertising, the level of targeting varies greatly. Platforms such as Facebook allow extremely specific targeting, using metrics such as interests, relationships, age and location. This increases the efficiency of your advertising as they tend to lead to higher conversion rates.
Users can also choose when to interact with content and have control over what kind of content they see. This can lead to more engaged and relevant traffic when compared to old-school marketing.
Advertising on TikTok, for example, is highly engaging. Users are already scrolling through their feed when your advertisement appears and have the ability to interact with it.
Unlike traditional advertising, online advertising allows direct measurement of the effectiveness of your efforts. It gives you the ability to view exact numbers of metrics such as impressions, clicks and conversions which can demonstrate the cost effectiveness for each advertisement.
Transition to online marketing
When adapting your marketing efforts online it’s important to weigh up the options against your current marketing strategies. Think about your goals – visibility, awareness, sales. Then, think about how each online marketing strategy can help achieve those goals.
Three types of online marketing
You must first try and focus the goals of your marketing campaign as this will help you discover which online marketing strategies would work best for your company.
Here are three core online marketing strategies which can all be very effective in their own right.
Paid advertising (pay-per-click)
When you are releasing a new product, it can be a good idea to start with a paid strategy online. This would work similarly to traditional TV advertising, getting as much awareness and interest in your product as possible from relevant potential customers.
Using display ad campaigns on social media platforms can help to introduce this new product to a large number of people in a short time span. As mentioned before, using data from these platforms can help you target specific and highly relevant groups.
Here is a list of some advertising platforms you can start using today:
- Google Ads (Formerly Google AdWords, search and display advertising)
- Great for all types of products and services. Google ads can be very useful if you want to dominate the search engine results pages. The platform can also be used for adverts across Google’s network, including YouTube and Gmail.
- Facebook ads (Facebook and Instagram)
- Facebook ads can be very targeted because of the abundance of information they have on their users.
- Snapchat Ads
- Ideal for advertising to younger consumers through photo or shortform video content.
- LinkedIn Ads
- Good for targeting older generations and for B2B services. LinkedIn ads can be run through sponsored posts, which appear on the newsfeed, or direct mails, otherwise known as InMails.
There are obviously numerous platforms that you can use to boost your brand, product or business’s visibility online. Try and choose the platforms which best represents your client and customer base.
Although cheaper than traditional advertising channels, the downside of PPC is budget. Good budgets usually dictate the effectiveness of an online advertising campaign.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
When someone searches for a query related to your product or service, results for that query are shown. Search engines use a variety of signals in order to rank certain webpages over another such as relevancy, location and authority.
The aim of SEO is to increase these signals and gain rankings on search result pages. Most SEO is done on-page, which includes making content as good as possible and targeting relevant keywords.
The term off-page SEO relates to optimising your business’s online presence outside of your own website to create links to your website. Incoming links to your website are a major search engine ranking factor. These links can be built by your own team or a dedicated organic outreach team that finds relevant and powerful links.
Social media engagement
Social media isn’t all about pulling huge numbers of views and followers. Putting regular content out on social media is a crucial step when you are creating a trustworthy presence online. Previous and potential customers like to see the inner workings of your business or products. This generates trust from your customers, which makes them more likely to want to work with and buy from you. A recent study by Google found that 2/3 of shoppers said online video gave them confidence in making a purchase.
Some of the main platforms you should be using are LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for general updates and quick shares. These platforms, along with YouTube, are also great for longer form video content.
Although difficult, building an engaged audience on these platforms can be a great source for leads. Having a large audience leads to your brand and message being sent to many previous and potential customers.
Hopefully this article gives you an idea on how to push your marketing into the online realm. There are a lot of different possibilities when using online marketing strategies. It would be a good idea to weigh up your options and use the strategies that best fit your business goals.
More insights from the team