Online-marketing refers to the techniques and tools that business owners use for promoting their brands on the internet. As such, any strategy that you use on the internet for emphasising your brand and catching people’s attention is a part of your online marketing strategy. The internet has made it easier for smaller and midsize businesses to attract customers the world over. In the past, only large corporations or business groups could promote their wares overseas. Today, if you can ship your products to another continent, there’s no reason why you would want to remain confined to your neighbourhood, locality or even your city. Similarly, if you can provide certain services online, you can only stand to gain by employing various online marketing strategies.
There are seven sub-categories of online marketing. These comprise:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Estimates suggest that over 90 percent of online experiences start with a search. But, many people typically don’t have the patience to keep poring over pages and pages of search results. In many cases, people will not look beyond the results appearing on the first page. Thus, a business appearing in the first page of results will invariably be more successful than one appearing on the fifth page. To accomplish this, businesses utilise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies. Thus, SEO refers to the process of optimising your online content. This enables search engines to display your website as one of the top results when people search for specific keywords.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): This refers to instances where marketers pay search engines for displaying their ads along with organic search results. People clicking on these sponsored results will typically visit the website of the marketer. As such, SEM is simply a paid version of SEO.
- Content Marketing: This involves creating media files and content and distributing it among your prospective customers
- Social Media Marketing: The advent of various social media channels has made it easier for businesses to remain connected with their customers. Thus, business owners use these channels for engaging their customers and building relationships with them.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising: This is somewhat similar to SEM. However, it is not confined only to the search engines as is the case in SEM. Several social networks enable business owners to create ads that integrate organically into their feeds. Thus, each time a person clicks on the ad, the website owner will pay some money to the owner of the ad.
- Affiliate Marketing: This involves sharing profits with other marketers in exchange for promoting each other’s products. Some people refer to this as referral marketing too.
- E-mail Marketing: This involves sending e-mails to your customers when they sign up to receive updates or alerts. You could use these e-mails for notifying your customers about forthcoming sales, new product or service launches and other activities.