Learn how to propose an online marketing strategy, from the definition of objectives and the choice between coverage and affinity to the election to a first approach to the importance of measuring and the fundamental strategies: conversion, content marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing.
Online marketing is the set of techniques and strategies based on the use of the Internet and aimed at increasing sales in a business or a company. Far from the technicalities and Anglicisms so typical of this discipline in this article we intend to approach online marketing for freelancers and SMEs in a simple way. An approach to its keys and tools to apply it successfully.
1. What is online marketing?
Online marketing is not just the traditional form of marketing (offline) brought to the Internet to get conversions, but the online medium has developed its resources with the aim of increasing sales. The personalization of communications and the massive reach that these can have are two of the features of an identity of online marketing compared to traditional.
But, let’s land a little. What are the strategies of online marketing that you can implement in a business? Then we mention them to you later to extend us on the possibilities of each one of them.
Conversion optimization of your web
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing (SEO and SEM)
- Social Media Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
2. Advantages of online marketing in your business
The many possibilities of online marketing are not limited only to large companies and corporations, but also their strategies can and should be implemented on a small scale in SMEs and self-employed businesses.
Nowadays, online marketing in small businesses is almost an essential practice; The potential client has changed the channels in which it is informed and makes decisions about a product or service, and the SME must be prepared for it. With this digitalization of consumer habits very much in mind, online marketing provides the following benefits:
Personalization of the target audience
The consumer of today seeks to feel unique. Applying online marketing strategies, you will know everything about your potential client: your tastes, buying interests, origin, sex … data that will allow you to maintain interpersonal communication, improve your shopping experience and build loyalty. The personalization of the message marks the way in which the client will feel and will perceive you.
We do not understand the personalization of the offer without market segmentation, that is, the division of the total of your database into subgroups of potential customers with the same characteristics. It is a mistake to consider that all our clients are equal and fit into the same strategy. Luckily, online marketing tools allow you to locate and group your customers, which will help you refine your communications and ensure your success.
Contact and immediate response
The online world has no borders, nor the communication established through the medium, a fact that facilitates direct contact with your client, immediate feedback. We assure you that if you have something to lose with online marketing, it will not be time. Your campaigns will be launched and will arrive quickly in the same way as your customer’s response or not.
Measurement of results in real time
Everything on the Internet can be measured; it is already a reasonably hackneyed expression but just as accurate. The results derived from your online marketing campaigns will pave the making of decisions as never before the traditional marketing had allowed. The benefit of measurement is such that according to a report by Demand Metric, 60% of B2B companies use the traffic of their web pages to calculate the success of their digital marketing plan.
Before moving forward, we would like to recommend our online seminar ” How to capture customers in an automated way on the internet,” where we offer practical advice on the application of online marketing techniques in your business:
3. How to design an online marketing plan
Its name indicates it: Online Marketing Plan. Launching to develop Email Marketing campaigns or advertising on social networks without prior analysis and strategy is a big mistake. You need a roadmap to establish objectives and strategies. Let’s see what the steps to follow are.
Analysis of the situation
Are you entirely convinced that your business needs an online marketing plan and that the one you have in mind is the right one? As we have been commenting nothing is left to improvisation. The first thing is to make an approximation to your business, your products, your clients, and the external agents that influence it; this is market, competitors …
The market study is probably the first tool you use for developing your online marketing plan, which will allow you to gain a deep understanding of who your target audience or target their interests, demographics, forms of access your business (computer, smartphone, tablet …) In short, you can know all those aspects that will determine your online marketing strategy.
To establish objectives
The conclusions obtained from your market study will mark the targets to achieve with your online marketing plan. You can set many goals but below we highlight the four most important in digital marketing.
Branding and brand positioning
Your business has to be placed and made visible where your potential client is, not only offline but also online. Therefore, one of the objectives of your online marketing plan can be oriented to the construction, management, and promotion of your brand image, thus granting identity to your business.
The actions of online marketing aimed at this have to achieve a perception of confidence and security among your customers. In this sense, social networks are presented as the primary means to create community and cultivate your brand image.
Increase traffic to the web
Online marketing offers endless possibilities when it comes to increasing visits to your website and thereby increasing the opportunities to sell your products. For this, the phase of attracting potential customers to your site, the base of the conversion funnel, through Inbound Marketing or Content Marketing is essential.
Capture leads and generates sales
But more visits to your website is not always synonymous with more sales, although the arrest of leads is not understood without the arrival of a potential customer on your site. Getting leads or records of potential customers is the fundamental goal of Inbound Marketing. Through quality content, you will be able to increase your database, with which you will be able to segment and customize your offer to reach your sales objectives.
It is possible that the attraction of customers is not a problem for your business, but its loyalty to your brand. Therefore, another of the goals that you can set with your Online Marketing Plan will be customer loyalty and consequently the increase in sales. According to the company Carlson Marketing Group Research (CMGR), for every 5% of commitment, there will be an increase in profits of between 25 and 85%.
Your objectives will also determine the degree of coverage and affinity you are looking for, that is, the percentage of our target consumer that we want to reach and the level of probability that a recipient of the message will be interested in our product.
Determine your online marketing actions and strategies
This is a crucial point. The wide range of online marketing options and plans can collapse but remember that quantity is not everything. Forget about divine qualities such as omnipresence and omnipotence. It is unwise to be everywhere, especially if your small business is short of resources. Decide for the option that provides the highest return on investment (ROI).
At this point, we return to each of the strategies that shape online marketing, and you can implement in your plan:
Content Marketing – Inbound marketing
To increase them to become future customers”. It is the definition that more than a decade ago the author of the Content Marketing Strategies Book, Joe Pulizzi.
This tactic is mainly useful if you have marked the main goal of increasing traffic to your website or improving your brand image. It consists of attracting your potential customers with original, unique and useful content to create community, generate engagement, strengthen your brand and make your website more visible, that is, the position better.
Blogging is the best resource to create content. In fact, according to the B2C Content Marketing 2017 study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of companies worldwide use the blog as the main content marketing action.
Email marketing is one of the most economical and far-reaching potential of which has free or SME tools. The aforementioned study places it as the third strategy in which 75% of businesses put their efforts and resources.
Email marketing allows you to create a relationship of trust that will help you convince and persuade your followers, while also building loyalty to your existing clients. Previously you must make your list or buy a database. Along with a right combination of content marketing and copywriting (strategic commercial texts) can give you spectacular benefits with an affordable investment since that is another success of the resources of online marketing, its low cost.
It is necessary that you take into account the legal requirements that you must meet in your Email Marketing campaigns, especially those that have to do with the Data Protection Act (LOPD). Of course, you must have confirmation by the user subscribed to your list to receive your emails.
Search Engine Marketing (SEO and SEM)
Remember that in the point about the benefits of content marketing we have mentioned the improvement of the positioning of your business or brand. In online marketing, positioning is called to the place your brand occupies on the web. Within search engine marketing there are two differentiated strategies: SEO and SEM.
The SEO consists of organic and natural positioning of your website on search engines like Google. Going out on the first page of the search results is slow, but once it is achieved, it means “free advertising” and a precious source of visits to your website. Although it depends on many factors, you can actively intervene in it through a good content marketing strategy in which you attend and pay particular attention to the keywords with which we intend to position our business. SEO is, therefore, an indispensable part of Inbound Marketing.
Through the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) you will also increase traffic or visits, but unlike SEO, this positioning tool is paid and is applied with sponsored links. A variant of the same is the retargeting campaigns that Google allows through banners in its display network. Your SEM campaigns will be successful if you have achieved a good return on investment.
Social Media Marketing
Social networks are undoubtedly a communication tool with great possibilities in online marketing strategies for self-employed and SMEs. Having a Social Media Plan will contribute to achieving almost all the objectives of your online marketing strategy: both branding and traffic or loyalty, except for the conversion goal, which you will reach through the achievement of the other objectives.
According to the study Priming the economic engine, 94% of SMEs use social networks in their Online Marketing Plan, 91% have managed to increase their notoriety, and 61% were made through them with new customers.
Social media, therefore, is the perfect showcase to show your content but it is very likely that you do not have to be in all but only those that provide you with more profitability and return on investment depending on your business model.
When it comes to capturing leads, you must also take into account affiliate marketing, which consists of paying commissions to platforms and websites to promote your company, product or service. You can spend a commission on the final purchase of the lead they send you, by capturing the point (subscription form completed) or by clicks and impressions.
Read About: SEO Positioning Tips for SMEs
4. Monitoring of your Plan: measurement of results
Churchill said: “As beautiful as the strategy is, from time to time you should look at the results. ” And in this famous quote from the British politician that “from time to time” is scarce. The analysis of the results is an indispensable part when assessing your online marketing strategy and making decisions about it.
It is probably the most calculated metric in online marketing. The conversion rate or ConverSion Rate (CRO) represents the percentage of users who perform a specific action, most of the time a purchase or registration. It is the result of dividing the number of goals achieved among the unique users who visit the web.
The rate of openings and clicks
These ratios are those that are handled in the Email Marketing campaigns (also advertising) and determine, as their name indicates, the interest generated by the message and the number of times the user has clicked on the link of your communication, assessing the performance of it.
Number of total visits
Calculating total visits will help you have a global approach to how actions that aim to drive traffic to your website work. In this sense, it is also useful to determine how many users initiate a new session and how many are recurrent.
It is another metric referring to the traffic that arrives at your website. But unlike the previous ones, the ideal is that it is presented in low percentages since it indicates the number of users came at your page who have not interacted with it before leaving it.
Among the metrics referred to social networks highlights the range that lets you know how many people your message has reached. The range will be higher the more people share your communication.
It is probably the most important metric in Inbound Marketing strategies because it is presented as fundamental to determine profitability and new investments. The ROI calculates the profit obtained according to the initial investment employing the following formula:
ROI = (Profit-investment) / investment
It is possible that you have a large volume of sales but, if you have never stopped to think about the cost of the client and the net benefit that leaves you, you can not gauge the real situation and the viability of your company. Cost per customer acquisition ( CAC ) is a mathematical formula that adds costs and divides them among new customers. It is a metric widely used in startups in expansion and one of the first by which professional business angels will ask you.
Analysis, planning, commissioning and measurement. In short, these are the guidelines you must take into account to apply online marketing strategies in your business.
To finish, we recommend our online seminar ” How to capture customers automatically on the Internet,” where we offer practical advice on the application of online marketing techniques in your business: