Online Marketing 101

ONLINE MARKETING DE-MYSTIFIED

THE BUYING PROCESS HAS CHANGED

90% of business to business buyers (B2B) and two thirds of consumers (B2C) are initiating their buying journeys online by doing searching for potential product and service providers.

And they are not just using the internet to find businesses like yours, they are also using online resources to help them make informed buying decisions. According to Sirius Decisions and CEB Research respectively, “67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally” and “57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier”.

What This Means for YOUR Businesses

If you are not visible when your prospects are searching online for businesses like yours, then to them you don’t exist. If you are not willing to share your subject matter expertise and insights with your prospects, then you won’t be building credibility and trust during their buyer’s journey. In either case, you won’t be given a chance to compete for their business. This means lost opportunities.

Businesses must embrace online marketing and take full advantage of its possibilities. A lack of commitment to online marketing, and to making it a core element of your day-to-day operations, will leave you at a competitive disadvantage. Online marketing has become foundational to all things marketing, and in this day and age must be an integral part of any organization’s marketing mix.

SO, WHAT IS ONLINE MARKETING?

Using appropriate, available tools to offer relevant content that creates value
for communities of interest with the goal of driving sustainable revenue growth.

Appropriate, Available Tools

There is absolutely no shortage of tools when it comes to online marketing: websites, social networks, email distribution systems, online advertising, webinars, forums, webinars, etc. The good news is that these tools are available to any small and mid-sized businesses. There are no barriers to entry.

However with so many options, it is easy to engage in the wrong activities and spend money needlessly. The key is to use the right tools – those that are best suited to drive desired business results.

Relevant Content That Creates Value

Ultimately, online marketing is all about content. Both prospects and search engines are constantly looking for timely, engaging, valuable content that will assist buyers in making informed purchasing decisions. The companies that win online are those that do the best job of serving the informational needs of potential buyers.

Therefore, businesses must commit to becoming content-developing organizations. Various content formats such as text, images, videos, audios, blogs and infographics should be aligned with the preferences of the target audience.

Relevant Content That Creates Value

Ultimately, online marketing is all about content. Both prospects and search engines are constantly looking for timely, engaging, valuable content that will assist buyers in making informed purchasing decisions. The companies that win online are those that do the best job of serving the informational needs of potential buyers.

Therefore, businesses must commit to becoming content-developing organizations. Various content formats such as text, images, videos, audios, blogs and infographics should be aligned with the preferences of the target audience.

communities of Interest

When prospective buyers go online to do research, they are exposed to insights from a variety of sources; businesses, influential organizations or individuals, news organizations, other consumers, review sites, social networks, etc.

Of course, businesses must first and foremost communicate and be credible with their target prospects. But this is no longer enough. They must also engage in “influencer marketing”; sharing information and reaching out to those entities that influence prospective buyers. This requires an understanding of the influencer community that can impact sales results.

Driving Sustainable Revenue Growth

Online marketing must directly contribute to the key drivers of revenue growth: lead generation and conversion.

It is not just a matter of engaging in online tactics for the sake of “being in the game” or because competitors are active online. It’s about a commitment to do the right things, day in and day out, so that online activities lead directly to tangible business results.

Online marketing is about the long-game. It’s not about quick hits or results that don’t continue to build over time. It should be approached with the single goal of driving sustainable revenue growth.

Driving Sustainable Revenue Growth

Online marketing must directly contribute to the key drivers of revenue growth: lead generation and conversion.

It is not just a matter of engaging in online tactics for the sake of “being in the game” or because competitors are active online. It’s about a commitment to do the right things, day in and day out, so that online activities lead directly to tangible business results.

Online marketing is about the long-game. It’s not about quick hits or results that don’t continue to build over time. It should be approached with the single goal of driving sustainable revenue growth.

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