One of the most important aspects in designing your marketing plan is defining your marketing objectives- and then deciding on which methods to use. Focus on your target audience, which can help you whittle down to the types of marketing that are most advantageous for your business’ needs.
A brief look at the most common online advertising:
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization
This is using content, like high-quality articles, to get the best exposure for your company through search engines. The SEO arena has lost some of its usefulness due to the overuse of keywords or back-links- it can be read as spam by filters. Parts of SEO to pay attention to:
- Titling. A strong title can make or break your content.
- Content. Excellent content filled with relevant details that actually inform customers is a must.
- Images. Eye-catching images and the use of related infographics help increase content views and shares.
- Keywording. Appropriate use of keywords in your content and menus can bump up your ranking on search engines.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing
It might seem interchangeable with SEO, but optimization is actually a part of SEM. This is where you use search engines to market your website and increase your company’s visibility. It also usually contains several of the following:
- Management of submissions to search directories, like Google or Bing
- Management of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or other types of pay-for-placement advertising
- Monitoring ROI results
- Monitoring link and reputation popularity
SMM, or Social Media Marketing
This is a fairly recent buzzword in online advertising. The premise is basic: using social sites to promote your company profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) or for multi-media promotions (videos on YouTube, mobile applications).
The popularity of social media formats is dependent upon several factors: low costs for high exposure; immediate connection with target audiences; and an easy platform for creating brand recognition.
It’s useful in optimizing your target marketing to the right sites for your business, with the added potential of reaching new clientele.
Emails are still a necessary component of electronic marketing. Many companies succeed in keeping their clients by creating a strong brand relationship via emailed newsletters. Giving customers the option to sign up for your company email offers:
- Up-to-date information about your business or product
- Introduction of new products or services
- Promotions for valued customers
- Direct interaction between business and target audience
By updating and adding to your email database regularly, you can keep track of which marketing works or doesn’t work. You’re also building brand loyalty, repeat business and the holy grail of advertising: word of mouth.
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click
This is precisely what the name says: you pay for advertising every time a customer clicks on your ad. The ads/banners are on pages that have specific keywords or a topical connection to your business. It’s geared towards your targeted audience, and you only pay when your ad is clicked.
These are company announcements, with a focus towards getting press coverage for your advertising promotions. The online announcements or marketing campaigns can be:
- Coupons via portable marketing
- New product or service releases
- Launch of a new website
The aim behind a release: to gain brand exposure and credibility through the press.
For All Types of Marketing
Within all of these methods, don’t ignore the importance of two emerging influences:
- Mobile Marketing. The use of tablets and Smartphones has made certain changes necessary to the integration of multi-media (mobile-friendly emailing, text advertising, ads on new apps for MMS, etc.)
- Viral Marketing. Finding the right combination of advertising ingredients to reach the highest level of international brand recognition
Any combination of the methods listed above can be integrated into a successful marketing strategy for your company. You need to define your company’s needs, decide which of the types of marketing best suit your business, and then tailor your marketing plan accordingly.