An Introduction to Online Marketing – the Whys & Whats

If you’re relatively new to online marketing it can be confusing to know where to get started. You may have heard that you ‘should’ be doing online marketing but don’t really know why and which channels and tools to look at first. So in this blog I’ll cover the basics and that should give you astart on your way.
online marketing
Firstly the ‘Why’

According to Hubspot, more than ¾ of the total population will be online in 2012.

UK consumers spend 25% of disposable income online, according to stats from WorldPay.

There are more than 800 million active Facebook users, growing over 200 million per year (Social Media Examiner).

These stats give an example of why online marketing is booming and important to your business. If you’re selling online then this is where your consumers are spending their time and they need to easily access your site over your competitors. If your website is less a shop and more of an information provider then it’s probably the first place your prospects will be looking for you and will be the first impression they have of your business.

Very important point: There is no point having an amazing website if no-one knows it exists.

That and the stats above is why you need online marketing.

So ‘What’ should I be doing?

There’s a lot to cover so I’ll just throw the basics at you in this blog…

  1. Know your target audience and how they like to communicate
    There is no point investing time in Facebook if your audience isn’t there!
  2. Check what resources you already have
    Do you have a database including email addresses (opted in if B2C), have you created guides or case studies?
  3. Define what you want to get from your online marketing
    Driving site traffic, brand awareness, more online revenue, collecting data or leads?
  4. Make a list of suitable channels that fit with the first three points
    Email marketing, Pay per click ads, Natural search, Social media, Banner ads…
  5. Get your costs/required resources
    Do your research and get costs for the best providers then look at which will need lots of your (or your teams) time and which can just run
  6. Plan in activity
    This is important, how are you implementing, what can you start when? Fill in an annual calendar to make sure you have activity across most months
  7. Go for it!
    Make sure you have measurements in place to see what works and doesn’t in the early days, change what doesn’t work