Getting started with online marketing

What is online marketing?


Online marketing is an ever changing feast as our habits as consumers using the internet adapt with the times and the resources we have available to us.

The five main channels when it comes to marketing online are:

  • SEO

  • Social

  • Email

  • Paid search / PPC

  • Display advertising

Using these channels independently of one another can get results, but using them altogether or in a mix that best suits your target audience, and mixed with some offline marketing to back them up, means they can be very powerful.

Your first step in getting started with each channel is to understand what they do and why they’re important.


What is SEO?


SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of getting traffic or potential customers from the results of searches on the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo. While SEO is not a paid for medium you’ll need to invest in the content and links that the search engines will use to rank you, as well as making sure that your website architecture and coding has been done correctly.

With changes to algorithms (the automated process in which the search engines rank sites) being made regularly many companies find that the most cost effective approach to their SEO is to use an external agency or expert, who should be constantly up to date on updates, and who will have the tools, techniques and the time to keep your company ranking highly.


What is social media marketing?


Social media marketing involves using social media channels to encourage traffic through to your site and drive awareness of your brand.

Social media refers to the sites that people use to engage and interact with others – whether that’s for business or pleasure, and can include short format messages, longer updates, images and video and events. It can help you to feed news and content into a wide audience, helping to build links that can assist with your SEO.

Commonly used social media includes:

  • Facebook – B2C

  • Twitter – B2B and B2C

  • Google+ – B2C

  • LinkedIn – B2B

  • Youtube – B2C

  • Instagram – B2C


What is email marketing?


Email marketing involves a more targeted approach – direct mail online. In some ways every single email you send to a current or potential customer, as well as to those people who no longer use your services, is email marketing. A relatively cost effective marketing tool, and with the advantage of being very easily measured, written and targeted well, email marketing can be highly successful.


What is paid search / PPC?


Paid search, also known as PPC (pay per click), is the process of attracting website traffic through paid for advertising on search engines.

Google Adwords is the most popular paid search platform followed by Bing Ads and each platform offers easy to use guides for getting started.

Your paid search marketing will need regular attention. Changes happen regularly as other users change their own spend and targeting, using an agency or expert to do this will allow you to keep your focus on day to day business.


What is display advertising?


Placing your ads on third party websites, display advertising can work to enhance brand awareness and to generate traffic to your site. These can be in the form of banner ads, overlays, videos, interactive ads and more.

Before you buy your display advertising look into the quality of the host website and whether it has synergy with your own values, make sure there is context – is your ad content useful for the customer at that time? Finally, check how many ads they have on their site compared to actual content. If you’re 1 of 10 advertisers you’re getting much less coverage than if you are the only advertiser.


Choosing your online marketing channels


There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which online marketing channels will work best for your new business. In fact, you’ll probably need a mix of all of them. Factors to take into account in your choice include:

  • What are your objectives – for this campaign and for your business?

  • Who is your audience? 

  • How much do you have to spend?

  • What are your messages?

  • How will you measure results?


And finally, as with all marketing don’t forget to test the water, learn from the results, tweak your mix and test again. For further information and guides head to our help centre.