The fact, that your are on this page and reading this text now, shows that you at least heard something about Online Marketing. Probably you googled terms like „SEO“ or „Online Marketing“ and the search engine sent you to the seo-nerd. Or you coincidentally typed www.seo-nerd.com into your browser bar and clicked through to this page. Then this must be fate!
The term „Online Marketing“ get’s more than 99.900.00 results on Google. That’s quite a lot. Probably there are also as many ideas of what is actually meant, from: “I have a homepage. Is that not that enough?“ to „You have to foreclose the KPI, then go viral!“. So that you do not lose track of all these buzzwords, the seo-nerd explains the most important cornerstones of online marketing.
What is Online Marketing?
In general, Online Marketing means all measurements of marketing that are implemented using the internet. Besides customer acquisition, customer loyalty and brandbuilding are also goals of Online Marketing. Digital marketing, however, is more than the transfer of classic marketing to the web. It is used to direct users to your own website in order to draw attention to your products and services and thus to prepare and conclude transactions.
Online Marketing disciplines
The targeted approach of potential customers is provided through various disciplines and measures of online marketing.
In Display Advertising, graphic advertisements (banners) are integrated in various formats and designs, on web pages or in apps, which lead potential customers directly to the company’s website. Banner advertising is especially suitable for short-term campaigns for the promotion of a product or for the promotion of special offers with vouchers or discounts.
E-mail Marketing means the mostly promotional contact to existing and potential new customers via e-mail. Usually, this is equated with newsletter marketing, in which customers are informed about products, offers and services, either on a regular basis or occasionally, on specific actions. However, an excellent customer service via e-mail can also be seen as a marketing tool in the widest sense, as customer satisfaction and the brand image can be strengthened by particularly good customer support.
Affiliate Marketing refers to partner programs, where there is a cooperation between the merchant and the website operator (publisher). The publisher’s website is used for merchandising purposes by adding banners or links to the merchant’s shop. For the placement of prospective buyers, the publisher receives a commission, which usually occasions less costs for the merchant than the comparatively expensive banner advertising.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Nowadays search engines keep the online world running. Of course, Google and Co. are important components of online marketing. The search engine marketing can be distinguished in two parts:
Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
In Search Engine Advertising paid ads are placed in the search results, for example with Google AdWords. These are then displayed, e.g. at Google, above the organic SERPs and usually recognized first by the users.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization means all measures to improve the ranking in the organic search results. This includes, in addition to OnPage SEO, ie all the measures that are implemented on the website itself, also OffPage SEO – optimizing the popularity of a page on the net.
It has never been as easy as today to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances around the world – thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Co. However, the numerous small and large social networks are not only popular with private users. Also companies can use social media for marketing purposes; be it through company profiles for image cultivation and contact management with the target group or through the targeted ads in social networks.
Content Marketing has established itself as a major factor in online marketing in recent years. It is not primarily about directly encouraging potential and existing customers to buy, but about tying them to the company or the brand. Therefor content with added value is created in order to increase the degree of recognition, to expand a brand or establish oneself as an expert.
Just as in the classic PR, Influencer Marketing relies on the use of popular ambassadors. These influencers are people who are generally highly regarded in social networks, are well networked, have a high reach, and are perceived as experts in their niche. The principle is: does an influencer recommend a product, he/she is believed by his/her followers and the probability is high that these will buy the product.
It quickly becomes clear that the single disciplines of Online Marketing are difficult to separate from each other. For a successful online marketing these always intertwine and form synergy effects.
Online Marketing Mix
As the Internet is always moving and evolving, it is very likely that new sub-disciplines of Online Marketing will develop in the future. It is therefore important not only to establish one method, but to combine different methods and to develop an Online Marketing mix.
Therefore the question is not: do I back on SEO or Social Media? But: How can I successfully combine these two disciplines? This applies, of course, to all aspects of online marketing.
Determining for a properly Online Marketing mix are the following questions:
- Where is your target group?
- How do your competitors work?
- How much can you invest in Online Marketing? (Not only financially, but also time and personnel)
- What goals do you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term?
On the basis of this questions you can identify the Online Marketing channels that are qualified for you. For an Online Marketing Mix it’s also important to control constantly how far your efforts are worthwhile and what results they achieve. So you may notice that a certain discipline, which was initially very promising, hardly bears fruit. This gives you the opportunity to concentrate your resources on other channels.
The magical formula of Online Marketing
„Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…“ Whoever now expects the ultimate magic formula for successful Online Marketing, the seo-nerd unfortunately has to disappoint. A simple, always valid formula does not exist – and no, the answer is not always „42″. Instead Online Marketing is about to lead your strengths and address you target group as best as possible. What your strengths are and what your target group looks like differs not only from branch to branch, but is unique for every single company. A profound analysis of the target group as well as of your competitors, the clear definition of your own (partial) aims and not least a meaningful budget planning are the foundations for successful Online Marketing. And, of course, you need the right people to implement your strategy.
How to find an Online Marketing agency?
For most companies, the question arises whether they want to implement their Online Marketing in-house through their own marketing department, or if they want to use an Online Marketing agency. Of course, there is no flat-rate answer here and it is not just a matter of money. Whether in-house or agency – both variants have their advantages:
Advantages of in-house Online Marketing
- Employees know their own company and the internal processes very well.
- Industry and specialist knowledge does not have to be learned.
- Communication and decision-making are often shorter.
- Employees have focus only on the company, so only a “client”.
- Employees are sometimes more credible when it comes to building cooperative ventures.
Especially who wants to hold the reins, backs on in-house marketing. But many managers wish for a jack of all trades: SEO, SEA, Social Media and e-mail marketing should be best implemented by one employee (or as few as possible). Not only in this regard an agency offers many advantages.
Advantages of an Online Marketing agency
- Agencies have specialized know-how in Online Marketing.
- They are always up to date.
- Agencies have insight into many projects – no operational blindness.
- Normally, a large network already exists.
- Online Marketing agencies are flexible, services can be combined as needed.
- The company does not have to take care of education and training by itself.
- The appropriate staff does not have to be found, but is already available in an agency.
Even if companies do not have to look for the right staff, they need to find the right Online Marketing agency.
How can you find an appropriate Online Marketing agency?
When you have decided to task an agency with you Online Marketing, the big challenge is to find the right partner. Countless agencies offer their services online – with sometimes tempting proposals. However, as in any good relationship, it’s true: So hedge therefore, who join forever (or at least for a certain time)…
Ask yourself, what you want.
What services do you want to take? SEO, Social Media Marketing or a mix of multiple disciplines? In addition to full-service agencies, there are also those who are specialized in one or a few basic disciplines.
Ask your network.
Besides several agency rankings, which are available online, you should simply ask around in your surroundings. Ask e.g. companioned entrepreneurs who have experienced with an Online Marketing agency.
A competent agency usually does not make cold calling. A good Online Marketing agency impresses by the fact that it also runs good Online Marketing for itself. Logically, right? It will not have to curry favor with you, but you will find it. No one would hire a social media agency with a sleepy Facebook profile, or search for an SEO agency on Google’s page 5.
Inspect references and customer projects.
Look at which clients an agency has been managing and which projects they have implemented. They provide a good overview of how the agency works. This allows you to see if the agency has already experience in your industry, for example, or whether they maintain projects which you don’t want to be associates with.
No strategies off the rack
As unique as your company or your product is, as individual should also be your Online Marketing. Of course, agencies know which measures generally go down well with a certain target group, but a cookie-cutter approach Online Marketing strategy is an absolute no-go. “We have already done this with customer XY”, should be a clear warning signal for you.
Don’t let them dazzle you.
Beware of agencies that claim to know all the secrets of the Google algorithm, to get your website on the pole position within one week or to provide your Facebook page with 10.000 new fans overnight. This may sound fabulous, but is simply overdrawn.
You can recognize a good agency by the fact that is places all important facts on the table, such as their operating principles, settlement basis, contact persons, etc. Your questions should be answered coherent before you sign the contract. In addition, they should explain individual actions in a comprehensible manner and keep you informed about the progress.
Don’t buy a pig in a poke.
Even if marrying at first sight are very popular nowadays on tv, one should not hire an agency from the spot. The Online Marketing agency of your dreams offers you ideally a free initial analysis and a non-committal conversation, so you do not have to tie yourself down immediately.
Last but not least, you should not ignore your gut feeling. In a conversation, get an impression of who you are dealing with. Because at best you work together with your Online Marketing agency for a long time.