Online marketing has really come into its own in the last 10 years or so and as of now shows no sign of slowing down. As more and more people and businesses get connected to each other by everything from a cell phone to a tablet, computer or even television set, the need for online marketing continues to grow. As any business with a website or online storefront knows (or should know) the internet has potentially brought millions if not billions of people to their doorstep, if they can just figure out how to reach out to them and let them know they are there. That is why the demand for online marketers has skyrocketed and will more than likely be the reason demand continues to grow as the world becomes more connected and smaller through technology. While some businesses choose to keep their marketing in-house, many simply don’t have the time or knowledge to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, so they look elsewhere to marketing firms, agencies, or independent contractors.
While at this point most of the larger companies are online with a solid online presence, there are always new or existing companies moving to online sales and services every day. Couple that with the constant state of change of many of the major marketing platforms online, and you have a job security that as of now shows no end in sight.
What Drives Online Marketing
So, what really drives online marketing? There are many different types of marketing services used. Many companies will try several of them and often settle on the few that work best for them. That’s not to say that there are not companies out there that have their online marketing covered across the entire spectrum of options. I’m just pointing out that while they may not all work for you, there are a handful at least of quality options that would fit into your company’s marketing efforts.
This of course leaves the door open for a knowledgeable and savvy marketer to step in with any number of services to help and promote a business’s products and services.
Online marketing includes the below categories, and more:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The art of improving the quality of your site’s content as well as increasing site traffic from users doing organic searches. SEO has changed over the years to better align with how people use the world wide web. A good example would be the way people are finding your content through searches. With the rise of mobile phones and tablets came a need for much more organic and natural voice searches. A good SEO consultant needs to be able to change on a dime when someone like Google makes a large algorithm change.
The use of email to reach out to potential and existing customers to promote a business’s products and services. This would include things like a drip campaign to keep existing customers engaged with a company to create a lifetime value customer.
Social Media Marketing
The use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Linkedin, or Pinterest to reach out existing customers and to prospect for new ones. This can be both a paid or an organic type of marketing, and often it works well when it’s both as you have different options for targeting depending on which you choose.
Content Creation includes the writing of blogs which helps users engage with your company as well as increasing your SEO efforts when done well. Another category of content creation that has lost some favor over the years but is still valuable is the writing of articles to be posted on other websites. While it no longer helps with the SEO of your site, it does allow users that you might not reach otherwise to engage with your company’s content.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
One of the most popular forms of digital marketing, pay per click advertising uses platforms such as Google Ads or Bing to offer up advertisements to people doing an organic search. This usually involves you paying only when the person doing a search clicks on your ad and continues to your site, but not always. There are many options for advertising on a platform such as Google Ads, re-marketing to people who have been to your website and showed interest in your content or products. Display marketing to targeted websites or re-marketing a visual ad to users on a site that accepts google display ads are a few more options here.
Sometimes a company just wants consultation and strategy from you for what directions and options you see as viable to their marketing endeavors. While you may not do the work yourself, you would be part of the process in guiding a business while they actually do the work
One of the major perks of online marketing is that even if you work for an agency or directly for a company, many times you are able to work remotely, and more often than not that can mean directly from your own home. Another perk if you are going to go contract or independent is that the start up and upkeep cost is very minimal as most of the value comes from you, what you know and your ability to use your knowledge to create a concise and actionable game plan to help grow your client’s business.
How To Gain Knowledge
While hands-on experience is invaluable, and I would argue it is needed to become a knowledgeable and effective marketer, certifications are also very valuable as many companies look for certified professionals when selecting someone to fulfill their online marketing needs. Of the different certifications available Google and Facebook are at the top of the list as both have a tremendous presence online (as if I needed to tell you that.) Amazon is another big online presence, but as of my writing they do not have an online certification offering.
The world in online marketing is only in it’s infancy as many of the larger platforms are still struggling to keep up with needs of their advertisers and customers, which makes no better time than the present to jump in and get your feet wet marketing on the world wide web. Over the next five to ten years I’m confident that it’s going to change drastically from what we see now, so never feel like you just don’t know enough. We all are going to be learning at a rapid speed to keep up with the platforms and options that are going to be offered to us.
If you’ve been around marketing for a while or just feel like it’s something you’d like to pursue, drop us a line as we are always looking for new talented individuals.
About the Author –
Mikel Reynolds has been working in the I.T. and marketing fields for 20 plus years. He has done everything from being a trainer / teacher for a community college to web and application development. He has also done most forms of online and/or grass roots marketing to search engine optimization, as well as pretty much everything in between. He knows there is always more to learn.