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What is Online Marketing?

chen.jpg By Chen Hindi

chen.jpg By Chen Hindi

Online marketing, or in its many other names, online advertising, internet advertising, internet marketing, e-marketing, web marketing, etc. etc., is the general term for advertising on the internet platform.

It includes hundreds of ways to advertise online, some of the ways you are very familiar with such as SEM (first ads you see in Google for example), SMM (ads you see on the side bar in Facebook for example) and Email marketing (marketing content newsletter sent by a company direct to your inbox) and others which you might not know but will find out about later on (content marketing, mobile marketing, affiliate marketing, etc.).

To make it simpler, there are three major types of online advertising – search, display and social.

Search - advertising through search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). SEM (Search Engine Marketing) refers to the paid ads a user sees after typing his search phrase. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to promoting your website through relevant content to search phrases (blogs, articles, etc.).

Display - advertising through websites on the web. The “display” item can be a text link, a banner, a clickable photo, a video, etc.

Social – advertising through social networks. SMM (Social Media Marketing) refers to paid ads appearing in social platforms. SMO (Social Media Optimization) refers to the use of social networks to brand and distribute the objective being advertised. Each way to advertise mentioned above is a world full of terms, numbers, categories, methods and even dedicated technologies managing them.

Since we know that you’re already lost with all the acronyms, terms and confusing words above, let’s take a simple example. Let’s suppose you own a business in Mauritius. The business you own is a retail shop selling kids clothing. You’ve opened the shop two years ago in the north and you’re planning to open another one soon. Since you already have the shop for two years, you also have clientele.

One of your clients bought some items for her kids last week and her friend, living in the south, came to visit her and loved the clothes. She wants to buy the same for her daughter. However, she doesn’t want to drive all the way to the north again just to find out you don’t have the items she wants anymore. So she asks her friend for your shop’s phone number but the friend doesn’t have it, she usually just comes to the shop. The next things she will do is go to Google and type your shop’s name. What happens in the next 40 seconds will probably determine if you’ve just earned a new client or not.

If your shop will appear in one of the first results by Google, and assuming you have the updated phone number and opening hours on your website/Facebook page (which ever came first in Google’s search results) she will call the shop and get her answer.

But what happens if you don’t have an active Facebook page? A website? Some sort of visibility online? The truth is, that if she didn’t find you instantly, she will probably forget about it. Firstly, because she is not going to make another effort on top of what she has already done. Secondly, she was searching in Google. Your many competitors appeared in her search results. She simply moved on to the next thing.

Let’s go back to the first option where she founds you online. What did she find? A website? A Facebook page? Can this encourage her even more to come and visit your shop? If the Facebook page is updated with new beautiful arrivals items that will leave her with good impression, she will not only call the shop, be assured, she is now very motivated to visit your shop, even more motivated than before she found you online.

If we take it a bit further, let’s assume you are running active campaigns online and people are talking about your product, sharing your photos, sending their friends interesting links you’ve shared, discussing the cool campaigns under your brand name. The friend, although living on the other side of the island, didn’t even need to look you up or be surprised by the fact you exist, she would have already known.

Now let’s shift from the kids clothing shop and think about any other business – a flower shop, an optician, a lawyer, a doctor, a hotel, therapist, furniture shop, design company, nursery, transport services, book shop, real estate agency, real estate constructor, museums, restaurants, delivery services, factories, NGOs… well, you get the picture.

It doesn’t really matter what’s your business, whether your targeted audience is in Mauritius or Europe, US or China, whether your target audience is middle class or wealthy population, men or women, youngsters in their 20s or couples in their 40s, businesses overseas or local businesses. If you own any business entity and you want to promote it, it MUST be online.

The meaning of online marketing, in the very simple level is to exist online – to have a website or a Facebook page, Instagram account or a recurring newsletter, some sort of a presence.

In a more professional level, it’s not only about having a Facebook page, or a website but it’s also maintaining it - uploading news, interacting with clients, providing the client with all the information he was looking for without having him make any effort.

It’s also being up to date with changes - asking your clients what they think, reply to their questions & requests in a matter of minutes, creating interesting and interactive campaigns, talking about what’s interesting TODAY.

One of the biggest advantages of the online marketing platforms today is that EVERY single impression, view, click, lead, comment and share is counted and registered. It means you can know EVERY SINGLE piece of information about your online presence and campaign. You can then analyze it and improve your performance (optimization). Learn what your clients like and what they don’t, what sells and what doesn’t. This information helps your main goal – increase revenue.

On our next post we will explain more about SEM and analysis in online campaigns, through the example of advertising in Google.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for any further question.

Did you know that…?

Google answers to at least 2 trillions of search results every year, which makes more than 5 billion searches every single day!