Are you looking to market your business online but aren’t sure where to start? With so many internet marketing options to choose from, it can be tough to make a decision on where to begin. Some companies have limited budgets so must further narrow their focus on where to spend their money advertising online.
Every company is different, so you have to figure out what is best for your company, your industry, and your particular goals.
For instance, some companies do a great job advertising their goods or services on social media. If they develop a strong following, they can bring in enough business to thrive. But advertising online is complicated, and it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Let’s go into some tips on how to get started advertising in the digital marketplace.
Define Your Goal
The first step when starting with internet marketing is to define your goal. You need to know what it is you are marketing—and it’s not always the thing your company sells.
Sometimes, you are marketing your brand or an idea. What are you trying to achieve? Of course, you want to sell your products or services in the end, but that may not be your marketing goal. Your marketing goal is not the same as your business goals.
- For example, if you believe your products are so strong they sell themselves, then your goal may be to get visitors to head to your brick and mortar store. You need to find ways to market your store so that people want to go there. Can you draw them in by promoting free coffee? Is your store unique in some way that would make people want to go there, even if they have never heard of your products?
- Maybe your goal is to get more visitors to that stellar website you paid to have developed. Can you lure them in through an email campaign?
- Or perhaps you have a YouTube channel that does a great job of selling your products. Maybe your advertising goal is to get more subscribers.
Once you define your goal, it’s easier to figure out which marketing methods you should try. If you want more website traffic, you might consider SEO (search engine optimization) or paid search (pay-per-click) advertising. These methods are great at boosting a website’s visibility online.
Choose Your Advertising Channels
After you have clearly defined your marketing objectives, you can select which marketing avenues are best for your business. Most businesses—even large ones—can’t advertise on every platform out there. The smart move is to find the perfect ones for your business, your industry, and your goals.
Example 1: if you sell a product that is extremely visual, you may want to try advertising on Instagram or Pinterest. People will be drawn to the visual appeal of your product and click the social media ad. They will then be directed to an online store where they can purchase the product.
Example 2: If your product or service is difficult to sell without demonstrating how it works, you may want to create YouTube videos and advertise on YouTube. The ad may draw people over to the channel where they can watch videos about your products.
Social media advertising is extremely successful today as many people spend significant amounts of time on social media.
Paid search advertising is also an effective way to market a business, especially a local business. You can target your ads to specific locations, distinct audiences, and other targeting parameters.
Here are some of the main ways to market your business online:
- PPC (pay-per-click) advertising/paid search
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Social media marketing and advertising
- Content marketing - blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, and more
- Affiliate marketing
How can you be sure which digital marketing method is best for your company? Run some tests.
Even after researching the different types of internet marketing strategies, you may still be unsure which one will work best for you. A good idea when first starting out in digital marketing is to test out the different advertising methods. But you don’t want to just dip your toe into everything because that won’t get you anywhere.
You need to choose one or two methods and go all in. If you think you can successfully market your products with a blog and affiliate marketing, you need to do it right. You also need to run tests to determine whether your marketing efforts are paying off. If they aren’t working out, the test results help you feel confident that it’s time to try something else.
Each marketing strategy has pros and cons, so think carefully about which ones you want to try. Once you determine which method is helping you meet your advertising goal, you can dump the ones that are not working, saving you time and money. Sometimes, more than one option is smart, though.
For instance, SEO and PPC advertising work well together. One method targets organic traffic and brings your website up in the rankings over time, and the other helps you bring in traffic right away.
Engage With Your Audience
No matter which digital marketing methods you decide to use, you must engage with your audience openly, honestly, and consistently. To improve your company’s sales, you need to create a brand following. You want customers to come back to your business again and again, and connecting with your audience emotionally is key to any successful digital marketing strategy.
Consider Teaming Up With an Internet Marketing Company
If any of this digital marketing talk sounds overwhelming to you, it’s important to note that you don’t have to market your business online without help. Just like a homeowner can get help managing their landscaping, or a business owner hires a company to hang a sign on the front door, you can get help with internet marketing from marketing professionals.