With marketing, a company aligns its activities with the needs of the market. It does so in a targeted manner and oriented to target groups. The development of products and services in line with market requirements is just as much a part of marketing as advertising. Online marketing pursues these goals with the help of online media.
What opportunities does online marketing offer?
Online marketing uses a variety of channels and instruments such as corporate website, social media, blogs, affiliates, e-mail, newsletters, search engines, online advertising. A well-planned interaction of these channels can increase the reach and implementation success of online marketing measures.
The model of the customer journey along the points of contact between a consumer and a brand, product or service provides a good framework for the comprehensive planning of online marketing and its interface with other marketing dimensions such as print, public media, events.
Online marketing is essentially characterized by feedback processes. Sending and receiving messages and information can be productively combined.
Online marketing has a wide range of media at its disposal: Image and video, text and sound, apps. In the targeted combination of these media lies great leverage in terms of attention, credibility and activation of the target group.
It can draw on very sophisticated methods to measure its impact. It should work consistently with KPIs. Well-planned online measures can be continuously improved. Some measures can be fully or partially automated.
What are the goals of online marketing?
Online marketing objectives should be clearly integrated in the company’s overall marketing. Typical global goals that can be implemented well with the means of digital marketing are:
- Branding / brand building
- Leads / contact initiation
- Conversions / Sales
Branding aims to strengthen the awareness and reputation of a brand or to introduce a new brand to a target group.
Engagement can be defined as the first level of actions taken by a user. The goal is not just to be noted, but to provoke a reaction. This can be the click on the link to the website. But typical engagements are also the Likes on a Facebook page or a YouTube channel of the company. So this is about more than awareness, it’s about first steps of engagement.
Generating a lead means eliciting a response from an online user that the company can follow up on communicatively. This can be a contact via mail, telephone call or the registration for a newsletter. This provides the company with individual access to a potential customer for further communication or sales measures.
The goal of conversion goes a little further. Conversion is a defined interaction on an online platform such as a (mobile) landing page. Filling out a questionnaire, downloading documents or installing an app are examples of such online interactions.
Online Marketing Channels& Tools
The corporate website can be the centre of a company’s online marketing. But there are also players who initiate their target group approach from a social media presence on Instagram. Still others use a multimedia blog for this purpose. The properly weighted mix of online channels should be strategically planned.
In this strategic alignment, the company must keep in mind that it can only directly control part of its online presence. Its own website or its own social media channels, for example. What is reported and discussed about the company on other platforms is beyond direct access. It is important to monitor this content in order to react to it if necessary.
What channels and tools are there? Here are some of the most relevant ones:
- Corporate website
- Social media marketing
- content marketing
- Search engine marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search engine advertising (SEA)
- Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing
- E-mail marketing
- Advertising banners
On a second look, it becomes clear that these aspects are not on the same level. Some are channels — website, email, social media, blogs, ads — some are tools or techniques to effectively present content online — content marketing, SEO. The implementation of these techniques then takes place in turn on the channels used by the company and linked to each other.