Introduction online marketing

 
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When you Google search a product or service you offer do you show up or are you still searching for yourself to no avail after the 10th page?

You only have to look around you to see everyone is on their phones using social media or 'Googling it'. They are watching TV, using their laptops and mobiles at the same simultaneously, Instagramming, Snapchatting, Facebooking and Tweeting. You can't get away from it and the statistics prove it too, it's not just the younger generation but everyone and anyone is at it. It's time businesses started using the internet to reach their potential consumers by showcasing their business on these online platforms.

What is online marketing?

Digital marketing is also known as, online marketing or internet marketing is just a method of marketing communication but created and viewed on devices such as mobiles, laptops or tablets and typically shown to users when they are using the internet.

  • Online marketing allows businesses to create adverts on social media to getting their website seen by users via Google (also known as SEO, search engine optimisation) or email marketing. 
  • Also, when you ask bloggers to review your products in their blogs.
  • In other words, unlike traditional marketing (newspaper, TV and radio), digital marketing allows you to promote your product or service to potential customers that may not know you exist. They just need to use a mobile, tablet or laptop and have an internet connection.
A snap shot of all the online marketing from email to cloud to e-commerce

A snap shot of all the online marketing from email to cloud to e-commerce

Why do I need to promote my business online?

  • Compared to billboards, TV and magazines or newspapers it's certainly cheaper to advertise your business. You don't need to be a big brand to be able to advertise your services and products.
  • Statistics say it all, 93% of the UK's population use the internet. Over a half (32 million) of the UK's population actively use social media, yet only 26% of the UK's SMEs use social media to promote their business. There's a big opportunity for businesses to build brand awareness, long-term relationships with consumers and their fan base, which will lead to sales.
  • Unlike traditional marketing, creating TV adverts or designing adverts to be featured in magazines takes time and resources. For instance, to create great flyers you needed paper, printing and even a designer. With online marketing, you can learn the tools and you have the ability to reach your target market without any major hurdles. With Internet marketing, you can only be the one to stop yourself.

Now ask yourself... 'Why not?'. After all, you've got nothing to lose and more to gain.

When should I use online marketing?

The beauty of online marketing is you can start anytime if you’re one man band or woman small business doesn't take long to get started.

  • Best time to use digital marketing is when you have a new product and regularly business as a whole to discover new fans. Even if you are sharing new content and have a great article with the knowledge to highlight your an expert in your industry. 
  • During a new product launch or rebrand!
  • Keep your customers informed about your brand, without trying to sell anything. Take Mercedes-Benz as the perfect example, once in a while you'll see a 5 to 10 second video advert on Facebook with no cars in it but Mercedes branded theme (look, feel and colours) and just the ad finishing with the iconic Mercedes logo. This is only possible as Mercedes have used branding to build that great reputation but essentially the Facebook video advert Mercedes are reaffirming, their position in the market place. 
End of Mercedes-Benz's advert screen shot

End of Mercedes-Benz's advert screen shot

Where do I even start marketing my business online?

  • All you need is a laptop, tablet or mobile and internet connection.
  • Do some quick research on your audience. If you don't have time, just ask yourself, what do your potential customers use the most or do the most? Are they always on Instagram sharing images of themselves, their latest fashion or cars and lifestyle. They are consistently on YouTube trying to fill their time with entertainment or do they Google search something you offer, religiously visit a particular blog or follow a blogger.
  • Try not to opt for the easiest option and the first one that springs to mind, remember the consumers rules the roost these days. We are demanding and they want more from us so, whichever platform you use it need to be where your target audience is. 

If you're stuck just take a look at Social Media Stats at a Glance 2016 it'll give you an idea of demographics and behaviour of people using social media.

Finally...

Don't worry, l know it can seem daunting but I'll make it digestible with weekly bitesize practical tips. All you need is a laptop, paper and pen if you are old fashioned like me.