Despite all of the gurus and growth hackers around the internet spouting miracle strategies, web marketing – or online marketing – does not have the glamour that many think it has. Strategic and effective marketing is deeply seeded in an analytical approach and an ability to make sense of complex data and behaviors.
Web marketers need to approach marketing like a… web. A combination of campaigns, assets, audiences, and channels is needed to create a web of efficient marketing to capture prospects.
In its most simple form, successful marketing is the act of finding, obtaining, and nurturing a prospect or potential customer with the aim of converting them into a sales-ready prospect.
Web marketing refers to marketing activities that are targeted to online channels.
Marketers have been essentially forced to focus their efforts on online channels as that is where many of their customers spend their time. Along with demographic convenience, companies can have a much more diverse voice via search engines, social media, video, email, etc. Most web channels offer some type of advertising function in which marketers can pay to place an ad for their product.
In addition to content and communications, web marketing also offers a valuable and convenient path to receiving data about your customers. Through analytics, social surveys, email surveys, etc. marketers can now learn an incredible amount of information about their prospects.
Digital and web marketing are becoming increasingly relevant to core business strategies.
This google trend graph shows the 15+ year interest growth of digital marketing:
It is a subtle art and most customers are becoming more aware of when they are being sold to. Marketers have to think like war tacticians in their nurturing efforts to evade detection. Unlike bad action movies where the heroes dumbfoundedly charge straight in, some critical thinking and evasive maneuvers can go a long way.
Many of the biggest and most successful brands are amazing at selling their vision alongside their products. This leads to a long-term and loyal customer.
Most businesses rely on two important constructs to succeed: sales and product. You need a product and you need to sell that product. Web marketing or marketing as a whole falls somewhere under the umbrella of sales, as it’s most effective use is assisting in convincing people to buy that product.
Naturally, a well-rounded marketer has certain creative skills that sales specialists may not necessarily focus on.
Marketers are often responsible for creating graphics, advertisements, writing compelling advertising copy, setting up email campaigns, tracking analytics (extremely underutilized!), and generally nurturing relationships that increase a brand’s awareness and reputation.
How stalkers and web marketers have a lot in common
Over the years as technology has evolved, the channels that were used to find, obtain and seduce prospects evolved as well. The distance between a brand and a prospect greatly diminished and companies can now reach their target audience in some fairly stalker’ish ways.
You know when you are thinking about how you really want a banana smoothie and then you open Instagram and see an ad for a banana smoothie?
That is a new technology called “telepathic display advertising,” which is basically what the name entails.
JUST KIDDING. That doesn’t exist… yet.
*Cue ominously-spooky music*
But seriously, companies can utilize search history, social media behavior, previous websites you visited, and even your actual current location to place an ad on one of your social feeds or on a banner ad on a website you visit.
7 forms of web marketing
With so much technology, marketers can execute “campaigns” that utilize various different technological platforms to reach their audience.
Here are a few of the important forms of marketing:
- Content marketing: All types of marketing utilize an element of content marketing. Content marketing is an overall idea of using written content, video, graphics, etc. to create specific content at specific stages of a buyer’s journey.
- Blog marketing: A blog is a useful tool for a company to reach customers that are fairly new to the customer journey. These are typically people looking for more information on your topic or looking to answer a question.
- Social media marketing: Social media isn’t just about posting pictures of your food anymore. Most major social media sites offer powerful advertising platforms in which you can purchase specifically-targeted ads to any audience you choose. Using a host of demographics like interest, age, job title, etc. companies can find their customer easily.
- Search engine optimization: search engine optimization is a way to optimize your website content in the hopes Google finds it relevant enough to rank it on the front page of specific search queries. This includes technical on-page optimizations as well as building referral links from other authority sites.
- Search engine advertising: dissimilar to search engine optimization, advertising involves paying Google to place your website to the top of Google search results. You may notice if you type in a product or service into Google, the top result will have a little “ad” icon somewhere on it. Bingo!
- Video marketing: An increasingly-important element of all marketing departments, creative video marketing is one of the best ways to reach customers now. People love engaging content and people love consuming videos. Finding your audience via video marketing can be a great way to send additional traffic to your site.
- Bonus: Print marketing: Magazines still exist and are still heavily consumed via digital and print means. Companies can purchase advertising space in magazines of their choice.
Here are some of the top marketing practices in terms of demand:
Digital marketing remains the top dog in terms of marketing utility. Web marketers can safely assume that their value will continue to grow as businesses continue to shift their strategies online.
Thanks for reading!
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