E Marketing may mean something slightly different to some folks. It is debated what the term itself expresses or includes but the simple facts are that e marketing is a healthy mix of online marketing strategies and extreme personalization, or connecting, with your audience. There are multiple areas within e marketing that not only play off of each other but are significant factors in how to grow your business, increase revenue and raise brand awareness overall.
If you want to completely simplify things, think of marketing simply as “online” or “offline”. Offline would be real world events or materials such as billboards, radio, television, phone, etc. While a case can be made that e marketing could be broken down into more complex sub-categories, here are the 7 basic areas.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Probably the most intense, if not the most important, of the bunch is SEO. This is the process by which you get traffic from search engines to the site you are promoting. Essentially, when a person wants information, they head to a search engine and type in what they want to find. These words they type in, called keywords, bring up a list of relevant websites to answer their questions or provide additional information. Getting within the first ten search results is crucial because very few people look beyond that to find information. Companies and marketers work very hard to compete with each other for a top ten spot so they can get their sites seen by the general public.
The search engines, such as Google and Bing, have algorithms for how they rank websites. There are many different points involved in these algorithms and it is constantly evolving in order to improve search results. This is what helps make SEO an intense area of e marketing – the constant learning of new strategies and reinvention.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Wait a second, how do SEO and SEM differ? SEM is the process of buying advertising space on search engines. If you look closely at search result pages, you will notice that the first few spots say “AD” underneath them. These companies paid good money for Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to feature them above the organic results. Organic results are simply results earned through SEO.
SEM is huge because for middle-tier keywords you can spend a small amount for a significant flow of traffic. Google AdWords is currently the king of the henhouse in regards to SEM and there are even entire sects dedicated to creating efficient campaign runs or how to make the most of the platform.
PPC Advertising is the process of purchasing ads on websites and social media platforms. The ads on search engines can also constitute this space but the major difference is that SEM solely focuses on optimizing and creating targeted ads based on keywords and specific demographics using search engines. PPC ads can be on nearly every website and social platform across the internet. How it works is in the name itself. Companies only spend that money when someone clicks on the ad. You can set a daily budget or specify a number of clicks. A shining example of PPC are Facebook Ads. Offering an easy platform to create and target your audience, it is one of the most popular forms of PPC out today.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Not to be confused with PPC, social media marketing is simply engaging and promoting through social media platforms. Posting valuable content, key information, collecting customer feedback, answering questions and generally engaging with your audience is what it’s all about. This allows a lot more personalization and connecting since you aren’t robotically posting content but speaking with the consumers themselves.
This is THE most important aspect of all marketing – period. This is a strategic way to create and distribute relevant and extremely valuable content on a consistent basis to your consumers. It is an ongoing process of educating, connecting with and engaging consumers in exchange for their loyalty and, eventually, business. Infographics, articles, blog posts, videos, guides, presentations, white papers, memes, etc. are great examples of content you can create and then blast out to the internet to raise the curiosity of consumers and interact with them. What is absolutely crucial is that you are genuine and truly give valuable information or tips to help your audience. Don’t try to sell them like a late night infomercial or expect things from them – they will see it a mile away and abandon you.
This is a fabulous way of connecting and maintaining an ongoing relationship with your customers. Collecting their email addresses through contests, content exchanges or opt-in forms on your websites or social media can become a channel in which you use specific content marketing to connect with your customers. You can provide newsletters chock-full of coupons, news, reviews, behind-the-scenes info, tips and much more. People love saving money and learning how to make their lives easier so by providing them these solutions, they will not only look forward to your newsletter but see your brand as one that cares about them and that they can trust.
This is the process of promoting other people’s products or services and collecting a commission for each sale or sign up you receive. By promoting the link through the above e marketing areas, you can make extra cash or even use this as an ideal opportunity to promote your own company. For instance, you can offer an affiliate program for your services/products and have others go across the web and promote you. This is amazing because you will have a slew of people increasing your reach and improving your rankings. Be sure to offer a decent incentive – great discounts, free product, ample money or amazing perks – otherwise they have no interest in working hard to promote you.
E Marketing may have broad areas to cover and many channels to get there, but the end result is amazing. Not only will you be promoting yourself across the web but you will be building lasting relationships with your consumers. This relationship is the key to your future growth and success. If you aren’t already involved in all of these areas, you REALLY need to be.
If you find yourself a little short on the time needed to launch a full scale marketing plan or feel like you might be missing something, give us a call and find out how we can help.
With a plethora of options available when it comes to advertising, your small business might just reap bigger rewards than both you and the competition realize!
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