What is Online Marketing? – A Comprehensive Analysis

What is online marketing?

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My friend, we are at the climbing trend of the digital age. Don’t you agree?

This so commonly used concept of online marketing in the last 10 years has become more important than ever for businesses looking to enjoy the fruit of success. Now, there is a bottom line we need to know; in that line, you will see exactly what exactly is online marketing and why you should care.

I am writing this article to provide you with the ins and outs of digital marketing, what are its key components, we will also see its benefits, and how you can build a successful strategy for your business or your client. So, get ready, brother or sister, buckle up and let´s get ready to dive deep into the world of online marketing! Well, not that deep, though; you have a life to live. 🤣

Introduction to Online Marketing

Online marketing, you might also have heard about it digital marketing or internet marketing, and yes, it is also valid. We are talking about a process that entails promoting and exposing internet users to our products or services through several digital channels.

These “channels” are normally websites that receive thousands or sometimes millions of visitors on a daily basis. As more and more people spend time on the internet, particularly on those websites that we also call channels. Businesses around the globe have adapted their marketing strategies and methods to reach potential customers where they are – online.

This shift led us to pave the road to recognize how important digital marketing is in today’s business landscape.

Defining Digital Marketing and Its Importance

I don’t want to go too repetitive here, but you need to get it right, so in a few words, digital marketing is the use of digital channels. These digital channels are search engines (Google, Bing, Baidu, etc.), social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), email, and other websites. Doing this helps us, including you, to promote and sell products or services.

Yes, I don’t know if you get it, but it is a crucial aspect of businesses marketing strategies.

Think about it, your business can reach a much larger audience, target more specific demographics, and you can also track the success of your online campaigns of marketing.

In short, it is a fact that digital marketing revolutionized how we do business and how our businesses interact with their customers and, better still, with their potential clients.

Key Components of Online Marketing

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Read it carefully: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is not all about organic traffic, ok? Yes, it is a critical aspect of digital marketing because SEO involves optimizing websites and their content (Images, code, text) in an attempt to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Not only Google now but all search engines.

Keeping a website optimized is important because higher search results rankings will definitely lead to an increase in brand visibility, traffic, and, ultimately, more sales for your business.

Surely optimizing your website is not as simple as it might sound. Several factors you need to consider when you decide to optimize your website for search engines. Things like keywords, on-page optimization (things like meta tags and HTML structure), also backlink profile which points to off-page optimization (such as backlinks profile and social signals).

These factors are things you can improve to improve your website’s performance and the caviar you are looking for: attract more organic traffic, which is also considered free qualified traffic.

2. Content Marketing

Let us now talk about the commonly misused content marketing. This is another crucial element. It is crucial that without it, you will not have digital marketing. Creating content for online marketing involves the creation of relevant and engaging web creatives that should attract and sometimes retain our target audiences.

This type of content we are referring to can come in various forms: blog posts, videos, infographics, pictures, etc.

The end goal behind any content marketing you might see or produce is to arm your audience with helpful and valuable information. Yes, your effort should always focus on these two things: Be helpful and let the content also be useful. Think about helping your visitors solve a problem or help them learn something new, something that makes them want to come back.

Oh, you cannot imagine how far you can go by doing it. You will step strong and establish your brand as THE authority in your industry. You will build trust with your audience, and needless to say, this will also lead to an increase in brand awareness and all-time wanted customer loyalty.

3. Social Media Marketing

All of us, the good-old-boys marketers, are amazed at how social media has transformed how businesses promote their products and services. Back in my days, we didn’t have that! Today, luckily for you, with just a few clicks, you can now reach a wider audience and connect with your customers more personally. Yes, I do that too!🤣

It’s definitely a game-changer in the world of marketing! Those social media websites deal with billions of users worldwide on a daily basis. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and a whole lot more allow businesses to connect with their audience by visiting those websites on a more personal level.

When using social media channels for marketing, businesses share their content to engage with their audience that uses those channels. And since most of these social websites allow the running of ads, businesses can even run targeted advertising campaigns. You need to leverage the power of these social media channels for your business. Did you read the part where I wrote “billions”? Well, it is a fact, not an speculation. If you really want to increase brand visibility, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately boost sales.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is as old as the Internet itself. This form of marketing on the Internet is a reliable and practical approach. All you do when using this marketing form is send targeted and personalized emails (I bet you didn’t see that coming💥 ) to your list of subscribers. Now you want to do this to maintain your customer relationships, and why not? To promote your products and services more directly.

Pro tip: try making groups of emails representing the interest of those clients or leads. You need to craft your email campaigns well to ensure that your messages resonate with your audience, and do not forget; to encourage them to take action.

Not everybody is doing well with email marketing; check this, there are more frustrated email marketers than you might think. But you don’t want to be want of them, do you?

The key to success with any email marketing effort is to provide some value in the information sent and keep your subscribers motivated. If you don’t keep them interested in what you have to offer, they will soon stop opening your emails. Using all marketing channels correctly, including email marketing, will help you see increased customer retention and more purchases from the same client, and customer lifetime value will go thru the roof.

5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising means that you will pay a fee every time somebody clicks on your add hyperlink. Yet another form of online advertising is used by thousands of businesses around the globe. Now, understand that PPC is not only about Google; several other platforms are selling their spaces to buyers willing to pay for their ads to be exposed there.

When you use a PPC marketing strategy, in combination with other forms of internet advertising, it can be an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your business´s website.

There is a common way also used by Google; it is called Keyword bids. This allows ad publishers to have a pool of bidders trying to be the first choice to be displayed when you or I search the internet using a keyword that the advertiser is paying to the publisher for., In other words, you can bid on keywords related to your products or services, while other competitors, in many cases, will do the same; the higher the bid made by anyone, the more frequently your ad will appear.

By appearing, I mean appearing on search engine results pages, social media platforms, and any other platform using this bidding method to charge you the fee.

Here you have a list of the most popular platforms for PPC advertising:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Yahoo

All of them offer businesses the opportunity to appear in front of a large audience. Things like targeting specific demographics, their interests, their browsing behaviours, and even their financial situation! yes, they can all of that and more! 🤔

The Evolution of Online Marketing

Ever wondered how digital marketing evolved? Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane. The world first heard the term ‘digital marketing’ back in the 1980s; the company that called call it this way was Channel Erstwhile Soft Ad Group. Yes, you just found the creators of the term. They were the first to promote via digital channels or the Internet. Fast forwarding to 1981, just a year later, IBM (International Business Machine) introduced the first personal computer to the world. And today, we can’t live without it. In fact, to say the less, it is a must-have for businesses and households alike.

Then the 1990s rolled around, and digital marketing really started to take off. Nothing will be the same because, by 1995, 16 million people were already flattering their butts by surfing the internet. And by 2002, OMG, that number skyrocketed to 600 million!

Check this, only in America; they even boosted their daily internet usage from 30 minutes to a whopping 11 hours. Yes, they do not sleep enough. However, the internet wasn’t at all a pleasant sailing back then. Slow connection speeds (I still remember having to disconnect the phone to use the Internet🤣🤣) and limited access were major challenges, not to mention the sky-high costs that kept middle-income earners looking at the kids playing from the window.

But then, in 2004, something amazing happened; a game-changer player appeared: Facebook. The great 💥Mark Zuckerberg’s creation connected internet users worldwide, and soon after, our beloved Gmail arrived to revolutionize digital email communication. In 2006, Twitter joined the party.

So, here we are today, in 2023, marvelling at how digital marketing has come a long way from its timid beginnings in the 1980s. And guess what? The party is far from over! (Extracted from ResearchGate)

A timeline describing the evolution of digital marketing from 1970 to 2010

Benefits of Online Marketing

Online marketing offers numerous benefits that we can take advantage of.

  • It is cost effective
  • It allows us to personalize and target the desired audience.
  • Can adapt to the technology and trends of the moment.
  • It’s measurable.
  • Online marketing is also scalable.

But lets us see each of these benefits in a more detailed way.

First Online marketing is cost-effective.

One of the most significant benefits of digital marketing is its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional marketing methods🤫. By traditional, I mean not online forms of advertising, like TV, Radio, Etc.

When we advertise online, our businesses can reach a larger audience at a lower price; yes, it usually is a fraction of the cost of advertising using traditional ways of marketing, say print or television ads.

What specific online marketing strategies are most effective?

There is none if you were looking for a definite answer to this question. Because not all online marketing strategies work the same way. There are different businesses, different brand voices, and different niches or industries; it is practically not possible to say, ok, this is the one in all cures. Each business has its own goals and audiences.

For example, say that your business sells physical products; then, you need a different advertising strategy than the businesses selling digital products.

How exactly do personalization and targeting of audiences work in online marketing?

Ok, this is a good question; I can’t go into technicalities. Still, in general, online marketing platforms use data and their available technology to provide us, advertisers, the tools we need to personalise our creatives and later to target the audience we need to be exposed to.
How precise will the targeting be? It will depend on the platform used. For instance, if you decide to go with Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other of the major social media channels, then surely you will have what you need.
How far can you go with personalization? Here you need to combine your in-house marketing team and your chosen advertising platform. Again, the advertising platform plays an important role.

What are some examples of how online marketing has adapted to current technology and trends?

What are some examples of how online marketing has adapted to current technology and trends?

This question seems hard to answer, but it is not! Here is why; All major communication methods today have adapted to the technology available, and as a result, new trends emerge all the time.

Let me share with you three factual examples:

  1. Emails are used for marketing purposes. In the near past, and I mean just 10-15 years ago, email marketing was flat and boring, mostly text. But today, thanks to new coding and image formats, we can even use interactive emails, which increases the fruits received by implementing email marketing strategies.
  • 2. Operating systems on personal computers. In the past, Windows, for example, didn’t show us as many ads, emails, banners, and apps as it does today. Why, you might ask? Well, with technology in a crescendo, like faster CPUs, more hard drive storage, etc., all of these trends & techs opened the door to Microsoft to advertise directly inside our computers.

    Yes, surely you can opt out of receiving marketing materials on your PC, but believe, they will find the way.
  • 3. Influencers. If you talk about influencers back in the 90s, they will probably ask you? Is it another type of disease? Because it was not something expected to get as strong as it is now. Today, thanks to platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and others, kids, yes, kids that didn’t even finish primary school, are making millions per month.

Because they created content that brought them millions of subscribers, the more subscribers you have, the more exposure you represent to a brand, then welcome to the influencer list.

Measurable Results

One thing is to have a great online marketing campaign, and another is to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. One of the key advantages of online marketing is precisely this one; the ability to track and measure the success of your campaigns.

Surely you need to solve any internal misconfiguration before you are able to reap the advantages of online advertising, but once you do. Your decisions about creating new campaigns will be way more effective. Now, tracking and measuring effectiveness take place through various analytics tools. You can businesses monitor the performance of your marketing efforts using tools like Google Tag Manager and analytics; these two work together when it comes to tracking.

What are some specific metrics that can be tracked using Google Tag Manager and Analytics?

These powerful tools let us track a whole array of metrics, allowing us to gain valuable insights and enhance your user experience. Eight main metrics we can track with Google Tag Manager and Analytics are:

1. Pageviews:

These are the total number of visits to the site, and when you see Unique Pageviews, these are measured when the specified page is viewed at least once during one single session.

2. Bounce Rate:

This metric is one of the Key Performance indicators you need to pay close attention to. The bounce rate is represented per cent, and these are visitors leaving your site after viewing just one page. This metric helps us gauge user engagement levels by revealing the percentage of single-page visits, giving us a chance to optimize or, better say, fix our content and keep users hooked.

Some search engines, like Google, also use this metric as an indicator of Main Content quality.

3. Average Session Duration:

it’s kind of self-explanatory, is it? This metric, ASD, measures the average time spent per user session. Offering insights into how strong that page engages your audience.

4. User Demographics:

Here, we have a very important data collection mechanism, and yet, mostly overlooked. If you want to know your audience better, then understanding their demographic data like age, gender, and location is key because it is with these demographic data that you have the raw ingredients to tailor your content to suit your target market better.

5. Traffic Sources:

Where are your web visitors coming from? This metric will tell you exactly this. Are your visitors coming from search engines, social media, or referral links? This KPI helps us understand which channels are driving the most traffic to your site and, therefore, if we should increase our efforts there.

6. Conversions:

Ah, this is music to our eyes! Conversions, conversions, conversions. A business with no conversions is dead or about to die, as simple as that.

But for you to see how many conversions you have, you need to set up specific goals in your Google Analytics. Now conversions can be things like newsletter signups or product purchases; you name it. This data is the one that lets us measure our site’s effectiveness and optimize for more conversions.

7. Click-Through Rate:

How can you know if your webpages are well optimized when it comes to appearing on SERPs? Well, by tracking the number of users who clicked on a specific link or call-to-action. You can identify which elements of your site are successfully enticing visitors to take action. Actions can be a click on search result pages, a click on a button, or even scrolling, but you need to measure CTR, for this KPI will tell you if you need to update something or not. The higher the value, the better, but always keep it above 3%.

8. Events:

These are simple, specific user interactions, like watching a video or button clicks. When using Google Tag Manager to track these events, you can measure these interactions, giving you deeper insights into user behaviour.

There is more!

These metrics are just the tip of the iceberg! With Google Tag Manager and Analytics, you can dive deep into your website’s data if you need help creating a tailored, user-friendly experience for your visitors. So, go ahead and check if your site is having GTM and GA enable. If not, contact us; we can help.

How Online Marketing Helps You Reach Your Goals

Businesses today have many avenues to get their voices out there. Still, some businesses are not doing online marketing, only conventional marketing. And they are missing a big slice of the cake. You want to use all mechanisms available to you if you want to bring more business.

Online marketing is the compliment you need to increase your business reach. Some examples of how online marketing can help you reach your goals are:

  • By allowing you to identify your target audience’s interests and create marketing content adapted to those needs.
  • Your brand will be in front of a worldwide audience which can translate into a faster goal-reach rate. Say that you wanted to sell 100 products to your audience in your city, but now you can the whole country and even other nations with online marketing.
  • Online marketing is more affordable than conventional marketing, allowing you to allocate more resources to marketing areas that bring better and faster results.

Digital Marketing Examples and Success Stories

Let me tell you about a great brand don’t have the kind of marketing that doesn’t look like marketing. In fact, it is so much well hidden between the lines that its owner says: “We don’t do marketing”

1️⃣ – I am talking about Tesla. The company does a kind of marketing that it propagates by itself; yes, you read it right. Let me give you this example:

The tweet, dated back in 2019, features none other than billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk himself. Today, we look upon his company Tesla’s remarkable achievement of selling a whopping nine-hundred and thirty-six thousand vehicles while earning a jaw-dropping forty-four billion dollars in sales revenue – without the aid of any advertising or marketing techniques.

However, as we examine closer at Tesla’s excellent value proposition shown by their high-quality products and cutting-edge technology puts them ahead of their competition through the power of effective branding. Upon initial reading of Elon’s tweet, one might infer that Tesla does not participate in advertising.

Nevertheless, by reviewing their branding tactics further – they are indeed utilizing a form of self-advertisement efficiently. Additionally, during the creation process for their cars, the preparations taken to highlight design and materials and marketability could also constitute as a type of indirect advertisement.

It stands as an example of Tesla’s truly shrewd marketing abilities.

2️⃣ – The secret behind the phenomenal success that Coca-Cola enjoys today goes way beyond clever branding or great taste – it lies in their shrewd appreciation for what truly drives sales: Marketing!

In fact, this iconic company pumped a whopping amount of around $4.32bn into different forms of advertising/marketing strategies last year alone- showcasing a steadfast focus on consumer appeal while staying relevant amidst rapidly evolving market demand patterns. Value addition to clients through promoting exclusive drinks products which capture customers’ interest through varied marketing channels has been a major driver of success.

Check these statistics about the marketing investment of Coc Cola:

Graph about coca-cola company's advertising expenses from 2014 to 2022
Source: Statista

How to Build a Successful Online Marketing Strategy

The ever-expanding Internet calls for businesses needing an accessible online presence via digital advertising strategies. Popular influencers recommend starting by discovering prospects most likely to patronize services; followed promptly by developing a web page exemplifying what distinguishes against competition featuring intuitive functionality

Here is your template for creating a successful eMarketing strategy:

Define Your Target Audience

If you don’t know your audience, it will be very difficult to really run successful online marketing campaigns. It will be like playing a lottery, where the chances of winning anything are close to zero.

Meaning that if you really expect your advertising efforts to bring some fruit, you need to understand your customer’s needs, what they are looking for and how you can supply their needs when it comes to your industry versus your products or services.

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Here you need to get SMART. Yes, you need Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Relevant Goals, Time-bound.

  • Specific: You need to have a clear idea of what you do want to get from your advertising.
  • Measurable: If you don’t know how well your marketing campaign performs, you don’t know where to optimize or improve it.
  • Achievable: Get realistic, don’t go over the top, aiming for things you can’t reach. Focus on what you want based on your industry share.
  • Relevant: What are you doing if your business sells shoes and your advertising goal is to sell more umbrellas? You need to stay relevant!
  • Time-bound: Any advertising campaign needs a time frame to determine its goals reaching effectiveness. Otherwise, you might spend more money than necessary, and the results will not be as expected.

By having all these factors in place, they will help you stay focused on your objectives and measure your progress as you move forward.

Choose the Right Channels

This step is so important; if you don’t get it right, you might waste an important amount of money advertising the right way in the wrong place.

It is not that your campaigns are not working; you might be working in the channel you decided to advertise. Let me give you some examples:

Your business is a financial firm offering things like trading assets of the global markets. You decided to start a great advertising campaign on TikTok!!! Seriously! On TikTok!!! You have LinkedIn, Google Ads, and Facebook, and you decided on TikTok! Why? Because teenagers are great investors? or because your CMO is a teenager?

You need to, first, be realistic; second, do research about where your potential clients go the most; it will not be hard to find. Then, after fast research, you will know where to advertise or what channels you should be pouring effort into.

Create High-Quality, Engaging Content

Now we are in the four gear here. And this car is only five gears! Your creatives are what this section is all about—putting the best of your efforts into creating high-quality, engaging advertising content. Remember, this content will be the first impression your potential clients will get from your brand, so do not look cheap.

And a bit of advice, please don’t get in the middle when your designer, content writer, or marketer starts their work. In my years in the industry, I have often seen how great designs get ignored just because the boss didn’t like them.

They are designers for the same reason they were hired for.

It’s Ok to ask for different samples, but remember, they are the expert in designing; the boss is not!

The same goes for Content writers, developers, web designers, and UX/UI experts. The camping needs to look professional and well put together.

Monitor and Analyze Results

Lastly, monitoring and analyzing results is another way to say Tracking. I mentioned early in the article the importance of Tracking and its role in all marketing efforts, not only at the start, during and at the end of each campaign.

If you don’t monitor essential KPIs, you will find yourself lost, not understanding where the camping went wrong. If you monitor the campaign regularly, you will be on time to decide to stop it, optimize it, or change it completely.

This will also serve as archive data you can refer to when a new campaign is coming. This will help you avoid previous mistakes.

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The Future of Online Marketing and Emerging Trends

It’s 2023, and how you do marketing for your business this year is really different from how you’ve done it in the past. Don’t you agree? With this many new opportunities of today that just entered the scene, we will not have any excuse not to advertise your business.

Only during the last year or two we’ve seen all sorts of new technologies in almost each and every marketing channel. And this seems to be merely starting.

From my perspective, there are three major online marketing trends I think everyone will be talking about:

The first is the coming back of content marketing as the first method businesses are using to attract potential customers. Before the pandemic, startup Founders and B2B SARS marketers would consider first buying paid ads to grow their business. Now, they are doubling down on content marketing. Why? Because Google stated that content marketing is the best way to rank better for buyer searches. Check the information below:

71% of the B2B marketers surveyed say content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year.

Content Marketing Institute Research
Content marketing institute research

Conclusion and Next Steps for Your Business

Now let us finish with a positive note, shall we?

Only marketing holds so much power that you can rest assured that you will succeed if you do it right.

Businesses that are not taking advantage of online marketing are losing money simply like that. It can facilitate growth and success across all industries and sizes.

Do you understand the fundamental components of online marketing? because if you do, our business is set to reach higher grounds.

Are you ready to get started with your own digital marketing journey?

You can contact our online marketing agency today for personalized guidance and expert support in achieving your online marketing goals.

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.