Many of us aspire to be self-employed by running our own business while doing what we love! Most times, we have the skills to offer high-quality products and services. However, finding and retaining an audience is essential to increasing your sales.
Before the shift to the internet, you needed to be an extrovert, networking with people in your industry and potential clients to garner an audience.
While this is still a great idea for starting your brand and building customer relations, it is not easy for everyone. Introverts may find networking to be incredibly cumbersome.
Instead, you can build your audience online. This is convenient for those who may have to work during the day and only have after-hours to advertise.
Making money from your couch and enjoying your job is as simple as online marketing!
As TNMedia says, online marketing is “…any tool, strategy or method of getting the company name out to the public. The advertisements can take many different forms, and some strategies focus on subtle messages rather than clear-cut advertisements.”
In more simple terms, online marketing is an attempt to spread awareness about your product service or brand online in any way. There are several ways to do this:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay per click advertising
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
Let’s talk a bit about each!
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of improving your site’s ability to be discovered organically by search engines.
The goal is to get your site to rank as high as possible in the long list of web links served by a search engine when a person enters a specific word or keyphrase.
This is a popular way of creating visibility for your site, especially on Google!
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing can be called the paid version of SEO.
Companies pay search engines to advertise their articles, products, and other weblinks to remain at the top of Google search in the hope of garnering more traffic and conversions.
Content marketing is the practice of creating valuable or usable content for an audience looking for information.
This way, you can show users how to solve their problems while suggesting your own product as a superior solution.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses one or more social media platforms to engage with your audience.
It also allows you to speak to your base on a more personal level. It also gives you the ability to showcase your products and services.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is somewhat similar to search engine marketing.
Instead of being limited to Google for advertising, you integrate your ads into social media feeds and other websites to showcase your products or service.
You pay for each click on your link.
Affiliate marketing is advertising through referrals. You promote another company’s products, and you receive a portion of the profits of each sale.
One of the older but still very effective means of marketing is email marketing. After you have permission to email your customers, you can send them valuable information and convince them to buy right in their inbox!
It is plain to see how important online marketing is to the growth of your brand and customer outreach. Applying these practices may be all your business needs to see a deserved surge in customers or sales.
Now, let’s talk about each strategy and get to understand it better while showcasing people who represent perfect examples of the use of these techniques.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you look for an excellent example of effective SEO, Backlinko by Brian Dean is where you should look. Outranking giants like Wikipedia and Forbes, these accomplishments are a testament to his skill in using SEO.
What’s more is that his website manages to rank highly on search engines, with less than 40 posts!
His blogs focus on correct and effective SEO strategies, and they explain how to use them in great detail. Their information is precious! He proves the viability of his own advice with the success of his website!
As Brian’s detailed blog describes how to use SEO with your online marketing strategy, he uses a step-by-step guide to explain how to successfully execute these strategies.
Furthermore, he shows proof of the success of his approach. However, implementing these steps is complex, and many do not stick to them! But for those who want to try it out, start with these three articles:
- How to rank for any keyword
- Link Building: The Definitive Guide
- Google’s 200 Ranking Factor: The Complete List
Now let’s take a deeper look at search engine optimization and genuinely understand how it works.
The first thing you will want to note is that there are two types of SEO practice; on-page and off-page SEO.
Google makes upwards of 600 changes to its algorithm every year. This makes it challenging to cater a single strategy to maximize how Google keeps up with its changing user behavior.
However, the use of on-page SEO has remained relevant after all these years.
On-page SEO isn’t directly responsible for a website’s boost in rankings. But it does affect the factors that push your website higher among the rankings, like the click-through rate (CTR) or the time on site.
For instance, when you write a blog or create a webpage, you write a customized meta description. When you ensure your keywords are in the description, they are bolded once your keywords match the user’s search query.
This captures the eyes of search engine users and makes it more likely for them to click!
How many times a user sees your link and clicks it, as well as how long they spend on the page absorbing the information, determines how far up the Google ranking ladder you’ll climb!
Now, let’s look even closer at what makes up on-page SEO.
- Crawl Errors
- Keyword Research
- Page Optimization
Crawl errors refer to broken or duplicate links to your site that Google finds as it crawls the internet.
They are bad for your website’s health and success. Google penalizes websites with broken or duplicate links, your rankings can drop, you slow your own website, or users just won’t be interested in your website any longer.
This is especially important when your site is linked to other sites! You don’t want someone who is referred from another site to meet a broken link!
Obviously, you need to ensure that you have no crawl errors on your website for maximum effectiveness of your site. If you are unsure of whether your site currently has broken links, try Screaming Frog. They scan your website for free, tell you if you have any errors, and suggest how to fix them!
Keyword research is fundamental to good SEO. Keywords refer to the individual words or phrases that we type into any search engine to find the content we are looking for.
For instance, you may have found this article by typing “guide to online marketing” into Google. Narrowing down what your audience is searching for and catering your keywords to their search is one of the most brilliant SEO marketing moves you can make!
With this in mind, there are two types of keywords that you should be aware of. These are long-tail keywords and head/short-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords refer to those that have more than 3-5 words and target a particular topic.
Long-tail keywords are great for pointing users to the specific content they are looking for and often have less competition for Google ranking. On the other hand, short-tail keywords are usually less than 5 words and are very general.
These work as a catch-all keyword, attracting many viewers with general keyword searches, but you still have to duke it out among thousands and thousands of articles structured to catch that same audience.
An example of a long-tail keyword is “2mm half round platinum wedding band”, whereas a short-tail keyword would be “platinum wedding ring.”
Each of those searches will provide you with very different results. The person who uses the long-tail keyword is also more likely to buy the ring once he finds it since it was what they were looking for specifically.
Having a blend of short-tail and long-tail keywords is the best way to maximize the SEO of your website. You’ll get the best of both worlds! For Keyword research, try Moz or AdWords Keywords Planner!
When writing content for users and Google, optimizing your page is essential for better rankings. Try checking out BackLinko’s on-page SEO checklist when writing so that you know what to do to improve your SEO.
Factors including where your keyword is in the title, using H1 and H2 headers, your permalink, your internal linking, your images, and outbound links all have an impact on your rankings!
Slow sites repel users. Now, we live in a world that is extremely fast-paced, and making users wait on a sluggish site to load increases the bounce rate.
Between users leaving because of a long load time and Google’s dislike of slow sites, your site’s ranking is likely to plummet over time. Ideally, your site should take about 1 second to load. As time increases, the percentage chance of bouncing increases.
Off-page SEO refers to all SEO done off-site, basically the opposite of on-page SEO.
This relates to link building and social sharing. You can even write a guest post on another site to help build your own reputation!
Now, let’s discuss link building and social sharing.
Link building is one of the most significant factors in improving your website’s rankings in search engines. It is when one site mentions another in their content!
There are many benefits of link building, including an increase in online reputation and more traffic coming from off-page links. However, link building is challenging work and takes time. So here’s how you start.
When you write your own content, include links to other reputable sources that add value to your content. Be sure that the links are diverse and relevant in the context of your content.
By giving others praise and trusting their work, they, in turn, will do the same for you. Over time, just as you have linked others to your site, others will link you!
It is widely known that sites with more backlinks and links to other websites do better with their content!
Sharing recent articles on your own social media is another way to create off-site links.
For example, when you’re using LinkedIn services, you can write a portion of your article and link the rest to your website, rather than just posting a link. LinkedIn notifies others when you have written an article, not when you share a post.
Otherwise, social media stands as an excellent way to spread links to your site around the web, gathering more attention and backlinks.
Search Engine Marketing
Known as the cousin to SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the paid version of SEO.
Instead of optimizing your content for it to eventually show up at the topic of Google’s rankings over time, you pay to be at the top of the list based on a predetermined keyword.
This strategy can have a fantastic return on investment! Imagine how many clicks you could get!
While this tactic can definitely get results, it is best implemented if you can immediately recoup the ad’s costs. This is because these ads can get pretty expensive based on the keyword you use.
Some may even cost you $600 per click. If you are not selling products that can immediately cover that cost, you may run into more problems than it’s worth.
Content marketing refers to providing timely and relevant information for your audience. Using this strategy, some content creators can build their website to generate a six-figure income.
However, this requires consistency and valuable information. Like Backlinko, Jon Morrow, who has grown his blog into a money-making machine, says that your content is essential.
The truth is in his work, where he writes about particular struggles but is widely accepted! He gives specific instructions when needed, communicates clearly, and sparks curiosity in readers.
Content marketing is critical when it comes to your online marketing strategy because SEO is content. Without content, none of the SEO benefits we discussed earlier apply.
When your brand does not have a strong voice or is just starting, show your audience that you have the knowledge to share with them around the topic of your business. Companies that publish over 16 posts a month do better in Google rankings.
Whether your content is written or through videos, providing information to your audience is guaranteed to get you more attention.
Content marketing shall remain one of the best ways for a company to convert more of its visitors to paying customers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a super-powerful marketing tactic used by many to promote their products and services. If you truly want to maximize your audience growth, social media is the place to do it.
Often, creators go viral for one or two videos, amassing a large following. Of course, this could happen for you, but don’t rely on that.
Slowly and steadily building a following through helpful content is a sure-fire way to attract the audience that is looking for you.
A great example of the power of social media is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a social media powerhouse, having a Facebook page with over 2.5 million likes, a Pinterest board with nearly 20,000 followers, and another 2.8 million followers on Instagram.
He is famously known for saying, “Content is King, but Context is God.” What he means by this is that content is, of course, important. However, you must present it as it can be best received on each platform.
For example, you can post a long blog in the status bar on Facebook. However, users don’t often read such long content.
Similarly, social media like Tik Tok requires funny, engaging, emotional, and quick-witted content to get the most reaction. It is about making the audience feel as much as they can with the time allotted.
Try to tell stories effectively in the context of each platform.
To learn more about how to build your social media, start with Gary himself! Otherwise, check out these articles to learn more about building your social media following:
- 17 Killer Facebook Post Ideas For Small Business Owners
- 20 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest Features You Didn’t Know Existed (But Totally Should)
- Instagram Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Instagram Success
- The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet
Paid Social Media Advertising
Organic reach has been plummeting on social media in the past few years. This is especially true for Facebook.
After realizing that the best way to increase revenue is to have businesses pay for ads, social media companies are trying to maximize this.
For an effective marketing strategy, you must have a blend of free and paid advertising to attract customers and grow your audience.
Pay-per-click ads or PPC sounds familiar. We touched on a specific version of this form of advertising when we spoke about SEM.
However, there are plenty more applications of this form of advertising, especially on social media. The most popular forms of this are Google Adwords and Facebook.
Let’s focus a little bit more on Facebook and how PPC ads are used. Facebook formats your ad to look like a newsfeed update. Therefore, it blends into the page, and users can’t often tell an ad from an organic post.
Once your post is created, you tell Facebook who you would specifically like to target. For example, you may want to reach out to men aged 18-25 who like reggae music. You can be super specific if you want to be!
Facebook then serves the ad to people with the parameters you set forth. This means that the ad is only seen by those likely to click it. When an audience member clicks your ad, it may take them to your Facebook page or a website.
It is up to you where the link lands!
Affiliate Marketing is one of the most significant sources of income for those who consider online marketing. It is an effective form of passive income.
Before we get any deeper, let’s define passive income. Passive income refers to income made in which the earner is not actively involved. When you are creating your online marketing strategy, include ways to generate funds from affiliate marketing.
Amazon is an excellent example of how you can begin using its affiliate marketing program. When you sign up, you now have access to all product links from Amazon.
When you suggest that an individual buy a product you have linked from Amazon and they click your link and purchase, you get a small commission on each sale.
This and many more affiliate programs exist for you to take advantage of. In addition, you can always set up a deal with partners or businesses that would mutually benefit from sharing your audience.
For a great example of someone owning the affiliate marketing game, check out Pat Flynn, who makes more than $80,000 just from this form of passive income.
One of the original forms of online marketing is email marketing.
You may think that its age makes it obsolete, but that’s anything but true. According to Bryan from Videofruit, his most valuable asset is his mailing list.
Having worked for HubSpot and Kissmetrics, Bryan shifted his focus onto his own blog and providing a service through it; teaching.
This has garnered him hundreds of thousands of dollars and the credibility to show others how he reached his success. This is, of course, through his mailing list.
Let’s discuss why mailing lists are so important and how you can get one started!
You are 40 times more likely to gain a new customer through email advertising than on social media. It is an excellent form of long-term advertising, given that most of us don’t often change our emails.
In addition, customers are more like to respond if you personalize your emails and segment your mailing list.
Personalizing your email list means that instead of starting your email with “Hello there,” you say “Hello Jacob.” People are more likely to respond well, especially if they feel as if you are talking directly to them.
Secondly, segmenting your audience means capturing their specific interest and sending them emails catered towards that topic. For example, if you sell books, you may segment your audience based on what they like to read and then cater your new arrivals email to the persons who enjoy the genre of those books.
Email marketing continues to evolve but remains one of the most potent and effective ways of reaching out to your audience.
Wanna get yourself on the map while also connecting with your audience? Online marketing is one of the best ways!
It is this tool that takes the idea of starting your own business and makes it a reality. However, like anything in life, it requires consistency, knowledge, and passion for truly showing its benefits.
Go ahead, give it a shot! Follow this guide and read up any extra information.