A few years ago, a friend convinced me that it is time to scale back on traditional marketing tools like flyers, billboards, or television ads and to start exploring the possibilities of using the Internet. With much trepidation but also a bit of excitement, I slowly incorporated online for my business marketing mix, and I am grateful I did.
Online marketing has given me a lot of new ways to reach out to customers, to create opportunities for my company, and to cut marketing costs. Of course, I also saw how distracting and overwhelming online marketing can be because there are so many options available. Over the years of trying out various marketing techniques, I have found some tools that I consider my three best partners for online marketing.
One of the most ubiquitous and effective ways of online marketing, this is also the most professional way to reach customers. This often starts by asking your customers to sign up for a free online newsletter by submitting their email addresses, usually in exchange for a token or a prize. After this, your company will be able to send information that is relevant to the customer. The information is usually condensed in a stylized format with a good layout, like in typical newsletters.
The e-newsletters are sent out regularly to update the registered customers about new products or services, promos, and discounts. Ideally, e-newsletters contain only photos and short descriptions or summaries and should be linked to a landing page, such a company's website, where more information about the e-newsletter contents can be found.
Social media networks
Social media networks are also fertile ground for online marketing. Followers, fans, and friends in social media accounts are captured audience for various marketing materials. Informal market research, product launch, updates, and contests can be easily conducted online by using the social media networks.
I also discovered that the social media networks, because of their social identity, are also a great way to create rapport with all company stakeholders. With close and immediate interaction with individual customers, this online marketing tool also strengthens public relations by allowing a venue for customer grievances to be addressed immediately and for positive customer feedback to be amplified.
Bloggers, meanwhile, are individuals who maintain web pages where they aim to share information on various topics. Some of them accept payment or free gifts in exchange for publishing company press releases, while others who get a high number of views on their page sometimes agree to have ads placed on their blogs, for which they are paid. Both are acceptable online marketing methods.
Another way to engage bloggers—and this is my favorite—is to actually connect with them (virtually or personally) and create a professional relationship with them. This means getting them to know, understand, and believe in the company, its products, and its practices, and continuously share that information to their readers. This arrangement can be free or not, but the important thing is to keep them as supporters of your company.
All three of these have served me quite well, garnering for me and my business true, long-time supporters and loyal customers.