E-marketing is evolving so rapidly that even industry experts have to be involved in non-stop learning and practice out-of-the-box thinking to remain on track. However, there are more or less stable foundations any online entrepreneur should understand about internet marketing, no matter how deeply he or she is integrated in the marketing activities of the firm.
Be Clear about Your Business Model Going Online
E-marketing is a very broad definition of online marketing activities, which has nothing in common with your business model. In e-commerce, products can be traded directly to customers (B2C), to businesses (b2b ecommerce software) or from customer to customer (C2C). According to the US statistics, B2B e-commerce accounts for 90% of all internet transactions.
One should differentiate between lead-based websites when a company sells most of its goods from its website, affiliate marketing when products or services of one company are sold by other partners, and local internet strategy when a company builds relationships with consumers through social media or internet sales promotions.
The mentioned business models can rely on the following approaches: one-to-one, meeting consumer needs, niche marketing and geo-targeting. In order to promote its products and services, any company should choose the most optimal business model or combine several business models together.
Prioritise Types of Internet Marketing
At least three types of internet marketing should be mentioned here: ‘pay per click’ (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM). PPC is a company’s website listing placed in paid search results and paid by the advertiser only when the client clicks on it.
SEO is a process of website optimisation; so, the marketed website will come out organically in the search results of search engines. SMM stands for marketing activities through social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). SEO prices are obviously one of the most cost-efficient but multi-component marketing channels.
PPC marketing still remains effective for many companies, but the prices per click have increased significantly. The overall trend today is to invest more SMM marketing channels and mobile marketing whose popularity is growing. As an online entrepreneur, you should prioritise your internet marketing channels and allocate the limited resources to the most effective ones.
E-mail Marketing Is Still Alive
E-mail marketing implies spreading company’s special promotions into consumer’s inbox with the permission of this consumer. One can mistakenly assume that with the growth of social media and messengers, e-mail is a relic, which should be forgotten by marketers.
The results of the recent survey have shown that in 2018, 99% of people check e-mails every day. As much as 95% of businesses in the US confirmed that e-mail marketing is included in their activities, while the inclusion of social media in the portfolio was reported by 93% of businesses. Developing your e-mail marketing strategy, think of how to create useful e-mail content because no one would like to read spammy messages.
Social Media Are Useless without User Engagement
In contrast to one-way communication with e-mail marketing and mobile advertising, social media allow for a dialogue with a broader virtual community and provide rich sharing options for photos, videos and text. If your business wishes to arouse trust from potential clients, your social media presence has to be regular, genuine and overwhelming.
In turn, customers should be gradually and consistently engaged in what is happening on your virtual community page. Otherwise, they will lose interest and unsubscribe breaking all the connections with your company online.
Remain Flexible and Cost-Effective
The example of a Romanian wine company Cotnari demonstrates that with e-marketing businesses should always keep their finger on the pulse to remain effective.
Cotnari managed to increase its revenue by nearly 50% selling the products online after distributing wine only through physical outlets. However, the firm focused only on two types of e-marketing such as SEO and PPC. The flexibility requirement means that this company should be ready to switch to SMM any time it is reasonable and justified. To remain cost-effective, firms should regularly monitor the changes in the online market.
E-Marketing Is Intangible
The major limitation of e-marketing lies in the inability of buyers to physically interact with the products distributed and marketed online. Honestly speaking, this limitation is being successfully overcome by the applications constructed on augmented reality and virtual reality.
Nevertheless, it is still a challenge for online marketers to make the experiences of customers real and authentic. Therefore, there are no insignificant details when you market your brand online. The research in this area has shown that website design features can substantially influence customer’s decision to shop online.
The viability of your e-marketing strategy will reveal only with time. It does not matter how successful your online efforts are now, you will have to adjust them to the constantly changing online market and altering consumer demands. So, stay toned and flexible.
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in both freelancing and academic writing industries, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.