Back when I first opened my business and the earth was still cooling, marketing was expensive. We’re talking printed brochures and flyers and ads in the paper or in the telephone book. Creating a marketing budget that would create results was not for the feint of heart.
Enter the Internet and the ability to market online! Online marketing uses methods and techniques available on the Internet to showcase and strengthen your brand, communicate with those interested in your business or product, and meet new people searching specifically for what you do and sell.
Online marketing comes in nearly as many types as the 99 flavors of ice cream you see displayed at your favorite ice cream shop.
Which online marketing flavor will get the job done for you?
This is a challenging question to answer because much depends on your business, your marketing goals, your budget and available time, and where your target audience hangs out.
Let’s take a closer look at eight of the main types of online marketing.
Social Media Marketing spans the big five: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. It may also include YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and Podcasting. The list continues to grow as new platforms are created. Which of these platforms you choose will depend on the type of business you have, and where your target market or ideal client can be found. Whatever the platform, social media allows business owners to market to consumers and other businesses no matter where they are located. Physical boundaries are no longer an issue, and you have the ability to market to consumers and businesses all over the world. The only cost involved is if you take advantage of ads on one of the platforms (which we’ll talk about briefly), or hire an outside party to manage your social media.Which flavors of online marketing work for you?
Email Marketing is another low or no-cost marketing tool. The idea behind email marketing is to create an offer of some sort that will entice business owners to fork over their email address in exchange for something they find to be of value. It might be something as simple as a report about something they are interested in, a short course delivered by email, a how-to-guide, a checklist … you name it. Once someone gives you their name and email address, they are added to a mailing list, which gives you the ability to send them your newsletter, updates about your company, valuable information, whatever it is you tell them you’ll be sending them. These subscribers have already given you their trust by providing their email address, so treat them well. Nurture them and send them information that will provide value, and don’t bombard them with sales or spam, or you’ll lose them.
Content Marketing is comprised primarily of blogging, or article submission to 3rd party platforms like Tumbler, LinkedIn Publishing, or Triberr. It can include written or audio blog posts, podcast episodes, or YouTube videos. Content marketing can additionally include eBooks, PDF downloads (often used as freebies with your list-building), or other forms of written copy like as courses or checklists. One good thing to remember with content marketing is to cross promote your content. Don’t post something on your blog and then forget about it. Promote it on your social media channels too. Put your content on your blog first. Then cross-promote.
The same goes with other types of content, but get the most out of your content by cross-promotion wherever you can.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing is the driver of bringing web traffic back to your website and specific web pages. Good SEO practices help search engine algorithms understand what’s on each web page and push your content to show as the best search result when someone types a query on Google or Bing.
Influencer Marketing is when influential leaders (thought leaders) explain why someone should buy a specific product or use the services of a certain business. For instance, books recommended by Oprah or Reese Witherspoon in their respective book clubs soar to #1 because influential people read the book and suggest others do too.
Affiliate Marketing is promoting other’s products and services in exchange for earning a small commission from the sale. Some business models are built around nothing but promoting items sold by other people.
Paid Advertising (Pay-Per-Click, Paid Ads, Amazon Ads, Google Adwords, etc.) is when you create an ad and pay a fee to run the ad for a specific time period while targeting a specific target audience. Definitely not one of my marketing strategies of choice, but one some businesses find to be profitable. Paid ads are available across many social media platforms. With a $5 marketing budget you can place an effective Facebook ad and gain insights into what your marketing audience will respond to.
Joint Venture Partnership Marketing is when you and another business agree to cross-promote each other to your respective customer audiences. These types of partnerships are formed from networking connections and bring new services and products to fresh target audiences.
Out of the eight strategies I’ve covered here, I’d say Social Media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing make my top 3, and are strategies we highly recommend. The one thing to keep in mind when taking advantage of social media or content marketing is to always drive people back to your website to sign up for your list or schedule a call. Social media platforms come and go…you don’t own them and aren’t in control of them … you don’t own them and aren’t in control of them. Your website, however, is YOUR home turf. It’s your real estate, so you have much more control over the entire process.
With so many choices, how do you decide which is right for you? BizEase Support is here to help. Our team is knowledgeable and skilled to guide you toward an online marketing strategy that will bring you the results you seek.
In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up ecommerce solutions, membership sites, web design and maintenance, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our bi-weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every other Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!