Online marketing means advertising and marketing using the internet to drive sales of a product or service. It can increase direct sales via electronic commerce, or it can generate sales leads from websites or emails. You can choose from a variety of specialized areas of internet marketing, including content marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing and using social media.
Method 1 - Selecting Your Online Strategy
1.Learn the definition of content marketing. Content marketing is a strategy for selling your goods or services. It involves setting yourself up as an expert in your field by creating and sharing content that is closely related to what you are selling. The content can include blog posts, videos, online courses or e-books. The goal is to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience who will purchase your goods or services.
2.Write a blog. If you have a business, consider starting a blog as part of your marketing plan. You can write how-to articles, product reviews, answers to questions and posts about upcoming events. Blogs give you more flexibility than other forms of social media like Facebook or Twitter because you own the content and aren’t bound by a third party’s rules or restrictions. Also, if your posts include keywords or phrases and link to internal and external content, you can improve the search optimization of your website. Blogs drive sales because you can include product information and links to product pages.
3.Create videos. According to Cisco, video accounted for 64 percent of consumer internet traffic in 2014, and it is expected to grow to 80 percent by 2019. Video is so popular because it's engaging and allows people to get information and entertainment that’s easy to digest. With so much information available at their fingertips, most people want to get their content quickly and move on. Produce creative videos that educate your customers about your products. Keep the videos relevant to your audience. Also, promote your videos across several social media channels.
4.Write e-books. Price Waterhouse Cooper predicts that revenue from e-book sales in the United States will grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. That’s an increase of 276 percent. Since the popularity of e-books is increasing so significantly, consider using this type of media to connect with your customers. Content marketers create self-published titles on platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and make them available for free. E-books can help you generate sales leads, educate customers about you and your products, build your brand and offer valuable information to your target audience.
5.Produce infographics. Infographics are visual displays of information. They display your content using visual design elements. They can illustrate a point from an article, but they also usually convey a self-contained message. Infographics are effective because they can quickly communicate complex information in a visually-pleasing, easily-understood way. Use infographics to present survey data, explain how your product or service works or to compare products or services
6.Teach an online course. Teach a class in your speciality. You can teach the class in person, or you can offer it online. Options for offering your class online include sending it through e-mail, hosting it on your website, or publishing it on an online platform like Udemy.
7.Host a webinar. A webinar is a workshop or seminar that is presented over the web. Sites like GoToWebinar allow you to host and record webinars. Webinars are practical because you can connect with any number of people from anywhere in the world. Also, like videos and infographics, webinars are visual, which makes them effective at engaging and capturing your audience.
Method 2 - Building an Online Presence
1.Understand the basics of building an online presence. If you own a business, you need a website. It doesn't need to be fancy, but it does need to present essential information to potential customers. Things like your business' contact information, product descriptions, an online store, etc.
2.Learn the definition of paid channel advertising. This is also sometimes referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. All of these terms can be used interchangeably, and they refer to purchasing or renting traffic through online advertisements. Although it can be expensive, this strategy is effective because it is measurable and can be used to target specific niches in your target market. But you have to be savvy and develop a successful strategy.
3.Understand the different sales models. The most common forms of paid channel advertising are cost-per-mille (CPM) and cost-per-click (CPC). CPM ads are the banners you see across the tops of web pages. You have billed a flat rate based on the number of times the ad is displayed. CPC ads are the paid advertising results you see on a Google search results page or in the side margin on a Facebook page. You pay for every click on your ad.
4.Develop an advertising strategy. Use strategies that let you get the most from your ads. You want to time them properly so they reach your target audience at the right time. Also, you must use strategies that target the location, behaviour or browsing habits of your target audience.
5.Choose an ad network. Use information about your target audience to evaluate the different networks and choose the right one for your ads. What works for another business might not work for you. Think about how you want to target your audience and the visual appeal of the ads.
Method 3 - Connecting to Customers with Email Marketing
1.Learn the definition of email marketing. Email marketing is sending a message about your business to a group of people via email. It gives you a way to promote your business and stay connected with your customers. You can send advertisements, requests for business or solicitations for sales or donations. It is an inexpensive and efficient way to reach a large audience. You can also segment your e-mail list to send different kinds of emails to different customers.
2.Use automation. Use automation technology to send thousands of emails to customers on your marketing list. The software can segment your list and send targeted, timed emails to your customers. It makes your customers feel like you are reaching out to them personally. Email automation software companies include MailChimp, InfusionSoft, Marketo, HubSpot and Eloqua.
3.Comply with laws regulating SPAM. Familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) CAN-SPAM Act. This act specifies requirements for commercial emails, gives customers the option to opt out of receiving emails from you and imposes tough penalties for violations. It applies to all commercial email, including bulk email, individual commercial messages, business-to-business (B2B) commercial messages and emails sent to consumers.
4.Measure engagement and conversions. Calculate the number of times your emails are opened by customers. Also, measure how many visits to your site are generated by each email campaign. Evaluate how often an opened email converts into a sale. Determine the total revenue earned by each email campaign. Use this information to design future email campaigns.
Method 4 - Driving Sales with Affiliate Marketing
1.Learn the definition of affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you agree to promote related products on your blog or website with affiliate link buttons. When visitors to your blog or website click on that affiliate link button, they are redirected to that merchant’s website. If they make a purchase, you receive a commission. The commission on one sale can be anywhere from $1 to $10,000. The amount you can make depends on what kind of product you promote.
2.Understand the basics of how affiliate marketing works. Many online retailers who sell products or services offer affiliate programs. If you decide to sign up for a company’s affiliate program, you get a tracking link to put on your blog. When visitors click on that link, the link stores a cookie in their browser that remains for a set period of time, such as 60 days. If the visitor purchases a product from that merchant site within the time period, you earn a sales commission.
3.Understand why affiliate marketing is advantageous. Affiliate marketing is inexpensive. Not only is it free to join an affiliate program, but you also don’t have to deal with storing or shipping products or with providing customer support. Also, it is a source of passive income. You can be earning money even when you’re not working on your computer. Finally, it allows you to work from home.
4.Compare affiliate marketing with other types of blog monetization. Other methods of monetizing your blog include selling ad space to sponsors or signing up with an advertising placement service like AdSense. With these programs, you get paid anytime a customer clicks on an ad that is displayed on your webpage.
5.Choose a product that is relevant to your audience. Think about the traffic that will be visiting your blog. If you are writing a blog about sewing, it might not make sense to have affiliate links to weight lifting equipment. Chances are your readers wouldn’t be interested in that product. This means they would be less likely to click on the affiliate link, let alone purchase something through it.
6.Promote physical products. Physical products are goods that customers can buy. Typical physical product commissions range from 4 percent to 10 percent. Choose an affiliate program that drops cookies that don’t expire for 60 to 90 days. This extends the time period during which you might earn a commission.
7.Promote information products. An information product is created by another blogger or author to teach something. For example, it might be a course or an e-book. To find these affiliate programs, you generally need to contact the author or blogger directly. Typical commissions on information products range from 30 percent to 50 percent.
8.Promote services. Think of the services you use and that your readers are likely to use. For example, a parenting blogger could promote child care or tutoring services. With services, you are likely to earn repeat commissions as visitors to your blog may purchase from the service on a recurring basis. Typical commissions for service affiliate programs range from 15 percent to 30 percent. Some service affiliate programs may pay even higher commissions, depending on what the service is.