The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing
The era of the internet has definitely changed the way people promote their businesses. Online marketing today has become quite a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, but many still choose to neglect it and go with the traditional ways advertising. In the 21st century we have access to way more resources, thus have far more potential than ever before. Business owners, who have used a digital marketing strategy at least once, know all about its benefits, the biggest one of which is its inexpensiveness. A good and an effective marketing strategy does not have to cost thousands, or in some cases millions of dollars, it just has to be carefully devised.
Now what does this carefully devised strategy look like, you might ask. Let me start by telling you about how Volvo, a Swedish car corporation, boosted its sales during the Super Bowl, when it didn’t buy any airtime for ads during commercial breaks. Until recently Volvo was suffering from lack of awareness, especially in the US. It couldn’t afford the 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl, which cost several million dollars, so the marketing team had to find a way that wouldn’t leave a huge hole in Volvo’s budget. The company decided to address online marketing for help and ran a Twitter contest, where they gave someone a chance to win a new car, all they had to do is tweet #volvocontest every time any car commercial was aired during Super Bowl. When other companies spent millions in ads that barely helped their sales, Volvo’s careful use of social media marketing increased their sales by nearly 70%.
It took long hours, brainstorms and a lot of open minded people to come up with that kind of a fix for Volvo’s awareness problem. But there are also these ready-made solutions, that you can try to promote your business without the need of a marketing department.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The number one concept in online marketing is creating and generating online traffic, this is where search engines like Google play an important role. If your website has SEO, means search engines can direct thousands of users to your website. Optimizing websites’ ranking in search engines is done by knowing the key words and phrases that people search for the most and then “adjusting” your website to have those keywords.
2. Social Media Marketing – This term was nonexistent before the 21st century, as was the term “social media”. But after its introduction, social media has not only allowed people to get in touch and make friends from faraway places, it has also opened a door for business owners to reach a certain “audience”, to spread the word and to showcase their product/service to anyone. Facebook and Instagram promotion pages are very effective and cost very little money. Instagram also gives photo/video related or camera manufacturing companies a way to promote their products, by posting high quality photos. This emphasizes on the quality without actually concentrating on the product itself.
3. Affiliate marketing – This is a type of marketing, that is based on performance, the business pays one or more affiliates for each visitor/customer that they bring with their own efforts. There are two ways affiliates can make money: 1. A merchant – Where you, as a business owner get more customers and make more money by giving incentives to your affiliates who bring you customers, and 2. An affiliate marketer – where you become an affiliate for someone else’s business and get paid for the number of customers you deliver.
Digital marketing is the future, as is everything else that’s digital. Online marketing requires no extra efforts, no extra time and is very budget friendly. Taking these marketing tips to the next level is completely up to you: you can think up a smart strategy like they did at Volvo, or just use the tips above to boost your sales.