All about online marketing

In 2021, online marketing is more booming than ever. Potential customers are on the Internet. Projected global e-commerce sales revenue is $4.5 trillion by 2021.

Search traffic generates 65% of total e-commerce sessions. 33% of these through organic searches and 32% with paid searches. All in all, plenty of reasons to excel with online marketing. What exactly is it and how do you deploy it for your business? Read all about it here.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing includes all the marketing efforts you accomplish on the Internet to generate more sales. Online marketing activities are aimed at reaching your target audience via the Internet. When you attract as many visitors to a website as possible, conversion automatically increases. This will bring in more customers. More customers also means more sales. Online marketing is used to increase the profitability of a website.

Companies pursue constant growth. To accomplish this, online marketing is the key factor. There are different types of online marketing:

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the process of gaining attention and sales through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. There are two types of social media marketing. Unpaid (organic) and paid social media marketing.

Organic social media marketing focuses on building community and strengthening relationships with customers. The goal here is to build customer loyalty. There are several ways to do this. Position your company as authoritative within your niche. How do you do this? Encourage customer engagement and be seen as an expert. In addition, you must continually show appreciation for the customers and the community.

Paid social media marketing is what you use to promote a business. Each social media platform offers its own paid social media marketing. On Facebook, it is possible to have existing organic post promoted. Most paid social media campaigns use the PPC model. Pay Per Click ensures that an advertiser pays for each click received.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the optimization of websites and digital content to move higher in Google’s rankings. This maximizes the number of visitors to a web page. In addition, it ensures that traffic is relevant. More relevant visitors, in turn, result in high conversions.

Google has little online robots called ”crawlers.” The crawlers go through every web page on the Internet. The found content is linked to relevant search terms. These are placed categorized in Google’s index, a kind of table of contents. When a searcher types a particular search term into Google, relevant content comes up.

Search Engine Optimization consists of on-page and off-page. On-page SEO involves optimizing the content and technology on a website. Off-page SEO is all about link building.

On-page SEO is the optimization of content to rank higher in search results in Google. Optimized content meets the following concerns:

  • relevant titles with the keyword;
  • Internal links that redirect to related pages;
  • meta titles and meta descriptions with the keyword.

Before optimizing content, conduct keyword research. During this research, you assess search terms for how often they are searched for (search volume) and the level of competition. In addition, distinguish between long-tail and short-tail keywords.

Content marketing

Content marketing is the process of consistently creating, distributing and promoting content strategically with the goal of attracting, engaging and converting the target audience. There are different forms of content:

  • blogs;
  • videos;
  • infographics;
  • e-books;
  • emails.

Content marketing is a big part of SEO. In addition, content marketing occurs in social media marketing.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is working with influencers to promote a product or service to their online audience. An influencer is someone with a large online following. Examples include celebrities, experts, niche and micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are influencers with under 100,000 followers.

Before online marketing, influencer marketing was only profitable for big brands that could afford to work with big names. Today, influencer marketing can be performed as an SME.

Influencers are paid to post on Instagram, for example, to promote a product. Influencer fees depend on the size of the online following.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing that involves payment for a service provided. The ”affiliate” sells a product on behalf of a company. For each sale, the affiliate receives a pre-negotiated commission. This can be a fixed amount or a percentage.

E-commerce web shops benefit greatly from this method of advertising. You pay only when a sale is completed. Besides e-commerce web shops, affiliate marketing has opportunities for every business model.

The advantage of affiliate marketing is that the product is recommended by someone the customer trusts. The customer already follows the affiliate, this creates trust.

The affiliate promotes a product to the relevant online audience. A special link is used to track sales and clicks. When a transaction is completed, the company pays out the commission.

Email marketing

E-mail marketing is a form of marketing in which e-mail is used to send a direct marketing message. Its purpose is to attract new potential customers and retain current ones. E-mail marketing is one of the first forms of online marketing. It sounds old-fashioned in 2021, but the power of good e-mail marketing should not be underestimated.

Moreover, e-mail marketing is profitable. The ROI (Return On Investment) is 122%. That is 4 times higher than other types of online marketing. This high percentage is due to the minimal cost of an e-mail.

It starts with collecting e-mail addresses. How do you do this? Make it attractive to leave an e-mail address with your company. Possibilities include a discount code or a specific piece of content the searcher wants to access (an e-book or roadmap).

After collecting email addresses, building the relationship with the customer begins. Create different customer segments. This way, the emails match the customer’s needs as closely as possible.

Search Engine Advertising (SEA).

Search engine advertising is a form of marketing that involves placing an ad in Google. High ranking in Google makes a website more visible in the search engine. Advertising in Google is a great way to quickly appear high in the search engine. Through a safe the search terms are ”sold”. Therefore, the price of an ad depends on which search term you want to be found for.

SEA is a form of online marketing that delivers results right away. Targeting an audience is done efficiently. The searcher performs a search and your Web site is immediately displayed. Due to the fact that the searcher is already actively looking for your product, this results in higher conversions. The customer finds you, rather than the other way around.

Go for online marketing

All this shows that online marketing is very effective. Potential customers are on the Internet; it is up to you to delineate and reach the right audience. Whichever way you choose, each form contributes to higher conversions.

Each form has its advantages and disadvantages. When you are going to choose a form of online marketing, it is important to set goals in advance. Thus, a different form of online marketing suits each goal. Need help with this choice? The answer is one bell away.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.