Introduction: How to Market Yourself Online
There was a time when loyalty came naturally. People went to the same stores and bought product of the same brand for years, not caring about what was new in the market. They believed in the brand, and the belief never faltered.
That era of customer loyalty is over.
Today it’s all about marketing. Brands are everywhere,competing for attention through billboards, print ads, TV commercials, etc. It is all about who market themselves the best. Your products might not be the best, but you still might be more successful than others because of your marketing.
The same applies to the digital world as well. A company, a brand, a name - all are created on the foothills of extensive marketing. It is just not enough anymore to create and design a website and then get good web hosting services to host it. These are just the initial steps to a long struggle to the top.
But you can make that struggle easier by simply understanding what online marketing entails. This knowledge will help you choose the right marketing tactic, and transform your company into a roaring success through implementation of the chosen strategy.
Types of Marketing:
Given below are the various ways in which you can market yourself online and increase sales:
Step 1: Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This form of internet marketing increases the visibility of your webpage through optimization and advertising.
- Search Engine Optimization: This is a non-paid form of SEM. This includes link building, indexing, sitemaps etc. The main aim is to make your site more visible in the search results.
- Advertising: This is a paid form of SEM. This includes putting up ads in the most popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. You can select from a variety of ads like pop up, banner, embedded, floating, etc. You can use payment methods like pay per click or pay per impression.
Step 2: Affiliate Marketing
This is performance-based marketing, and has three major players - the brand/owner, the publisher/affiliate and the customer. The owner gives multiple offers to the affiliate to choose from and the affiliate in return influences and brings the customer to the owner. In return the owner pays the affiliate. And the process is simple. The affiliate puts up links and ads in his website which lead the readers to the landing page of the owner and gets paid for the same.
Step 3: Social Media Marketing (SMM)
As the name suggests, you use social media (like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) for marketing your brand. You regularly publish content on these sites to attract existing as well as potential customers to like, share, pin etc. your page. You use the social platform to build relationships and interact with them. In return, they market your business through word of mouth. And keeping in mind that almost every other person has a social profile, SMM is bound to increase traffic to your site.
Step 4: Email Marketing
This is a form of direct marketing. You use email as a platform to send messages to a group of people. These people comprise of your current customers as well as your potential customers. And here’s how you go about it. You ask viewers (of your website) to register their email ID in return for some amazing discount coupon or free gift, after which you start sending them promotional emails.
Step 5: Content Marketing
You create media and publish it in order to acquire additional traffic to your site. The media can be anything - videos, write-ups, blogs, infographics, e-books etc. This creates interest in the target audience and they flock to your site to know more.
Step 6: Referral Marketing
This sort of marketing uses the power of word of mouth. It motivates customers to share their experiences with other people and talk as much possible about the brand and product.
To make a successful marketing plan, you need to use a combination of the above mentioned tactics. Referral marketing and social media marketing can be linked to each other. You can use loyal customers to share, like etc. your brand. Even affiliate marketing overlaps with the other marketing techniques, simply because it uses regular advertising for its marketing purposes like Email marketing, paid per click ads, SEO, Content marketing etc.
Lastly, know what you want to achieve from your marketing plan and formulate a strategy accordingly. The most important thing to do in any business is never to stop marketing.