A simple answer to “what is online marketing?” would be that online marketing, also known as Internet marketing or search engine marketing, is a set of tools and practices for promoting products, services, and brands on the Internet. Online marketing can be used to promote both physical products available in brick-and-mortar shops and purely digital products, such as e-books or premium website templates.
Unlike traditional marketing, which is often limited by location and other factors, online marketing can reach more channels more quickly, while using tools that are not available to traditional marketers. It’s important to understand, however, that online marketing and traditional marketing are not mutually exclusive; they can one work together, one complementing the other, to improve reach and increase results.
What is online marketing if not an improvement over traditional marketing practices? Although online marketing and traditional marketing can be used together, online marketing is for many businesses a far more effective way to market their products and services. This is because online marketing, whether used on a small or large scale, comes with many significant advantages, including:
Online marketing reaches large audiences at a considerably lower cost than traditional marketing.
Online advertising platforms such as Google Adwords as well as other online marketing strategies can be easily adapted to the specific needs of each business or individual; dynamic changes can improve the effectiveness of ongoing marketing campaigns.
Online marketing efforts can be tracked, measured, and analyzed using analytics software, which results in a faster understanding of marketing data and greater control over the marketing campaign.
Online marketing can include pay-per-click advertising, social media ads, mobile marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, video marketing, podcast ads, local search integration, content marketing, social media marketing, and more. All of these can be combined to maximize results.
The online marketing process can target consumers based on demographic groups, which not only increases conversion rates, but also increases the value of every dollar spent on marketing.
Online marketing often combines creativity with accurate targeting to win over customers. It achieves this not by direct selling, but rather by establishing a connection with potential customers (think of social media marketing), and then persuading them to buy through content marketing.
What Is Local Online Marketing?
Local business online marketing is a cost-effective way for small businesses to promote their products and services to a local audience. This can be done in a variety of ways, including local search ads, local content marketing, and local social media marketing. Another important component of local online marketing is mobile marketing, which makes small businesses easier to discover by mobile users. For many local businesses around the world, local online marketing is simply the most cost-effective way for them to promote their products and services, supplanting traditional marketing entirely.
Whether you run an online or brick-and-mortar business, online marketing is the answer to reaching a highly targeted audience at an affordable cost.