There are many things or phenomena in life that we don’t really understand. The statues on Easter Island are one of them. Gigantic black holes and the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, too.
Sometimes, however, these are concepts that elude us. Web marketing is certainly one of these. In this article, the experts at Montreal-based SEO agency My Little Big Web will reveal everything you need to know on the subject.
Get out your paper and pencil, because in the following sections you are about to (finally) learn what web marketing is all about. Let’s get started!
What is web marketing?
Let’s start by breaking down the term “web marketing” to get a clear understanding of what it means.
Simply put, “marketing” is a set of principles, techniques and methods that enable an organization to define its business objectives and strategies for positioning and growth, namely by studying its market, its environment (external and internal) and the needs of its customers.
When the word “web” is added, it refers to online efforts that use new information and communication technologies – including the Internet – as a means of promotion, sales or market research.
Web marketing may also be referred to by other names such as “e-marketing” and “digital marketing”, and we will use them interchangeably for the purposes of this article.
Why is e-marketing important?
While traditional marketing – without the word “web” – exists in the form of print ads (pictured below), TV or radio ads, online marketing primarily uses online communication channels, such as newsletters, social networks and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, to name a few.
Web marketing is very appealing, especially because it offers companies an infinite number of avenues for testing their strategies, even with a limited budget, which is not always possible with traditional marketing, which can be very (very) expensive both in terms of production and media placement.
With digital marketing, measuring the results of a strategy is also much easier thanks to data analysis – the infamous web analytics. For example, when a company displays a paid advertisement online, it can find out exactly how many people clicked on it, whereas it is impossible to concretely measure the results of a billboard on the side of a highway, for example.
Digital marketing makes it easier to measure a campaign’s success and return on investment. Now that’s worth it!
Day-to-day web marketing in a company
A range of tactics are used in business that fall under the umbrella of e-marketing. From the website itself to digital banner ads (pictured below) to online brochures and email marketing, these efforts all connect with customers where they now spend most of their time: online.
Digital marketing examples
Web marketing includes a variety of elements. Let’s take a look at some of them together.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is an integral part of web marketing. It is a set of techniques used to increase a website’s visibility in the results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Bing.
SEO is a complex area that includes on-page (e.g. keyword research), off-page (e.g. backlink creation), as well as technical (e.g. structured data) optimization. At My Little Big Web, SEO is one of our specialties.
Content marketing is another web marketing element. It involves the creation and promotion of content with the goal of building brand awareness, increasing web traffic and generating new leads or customers.
Blog posts, like the one you are reading right now, fall under the banner of online marketing. They are a great way to answer a question using a targeted keyword to direct the user to your site.
Social media marketing
Social media is another component of web marketing. It consists of various social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) that are designed to facilitate the creation and sharing of user-generated content, collaboration and social interaction. If your company has one of these networks, and you actively use it, then you are doing web marketing.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, sometimes also known as Internet advertising, is another common type of web marketing. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are probably the best known of these.
PPC is a method of buying advertising space (on a site or search engine) that allows advertisers to pay only when a user clicks on the ad.
Google Ads (pictured below) offer good visibility on Google’s search engine, since they show up ahead of the organic results. A company that wants to position itself quickly on a term can use Google Ads to maximize its chances of appearing at the top of the search results for a given query.
Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing technique that involves promoting a brand, product or website on an affiliate site, hence the origin of the term. It can be in the form of banner ads, blog posts or other materials. An affiliate allows a company to leverage the traffic it receives.
Internet marketing includes many other components, including embedded content advertising, email marketing and attraction marketing. Perhaps we’ll discuss them in another article? To be continued…
Is web marketing profitable for all businesses?
Yes, all businesses can benefit from digital marketing, whether B2B or B2C. However, each company must develop its strategy according to its own objectives, since an online marketing strategy for a car dealership won’t be suitable for a farming business.
For this reason, it is always recommended to enlist the support of a web agency that specializes in this field, such as My Little Big Web.
How to create relevant marketing content
You should start by creating a persona with social and psychological attributes and characteristics that represent your target group of consumers. Next, you need to assess where this hypothetical customer is in their buyer’s journey.
If they are just beginning, or at the awareness stage, developing a consistent content strategy is your best chance to reach them, because they have just realized that one of their needs is still unmet. So you need to inform them. Blog posts (image below), infographics and short videos are excellent ways to do this.
If your prospect is at the consideration stage, he is undeniably aware that he has a particular need to meet, and he wants to find concrete ways to satisfy it. Therefore, he will search the web for more detailed information than at the awareness stage. Producing webinars, e-books or whiteboards are elements that will help you catch his attention and hook him.
And if they get to the final stage – the decision – the customer knows what their options are and what they want. Sharing testimonials, portfolios, case studies, and if you’ve positioned yourself as an expert by teaching them well, as we do through our YouTube channel videos, chances are they will choose you over the competitor who may not have done such a good job.
How long will it take for my marketing efforts to deliver results?
With traditional marketing, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to accurately determine the effectiveness of an initiative.
Take, for example, a hotel chain that buys advertising space in a printed newspaper to promote a new package. The hotel has no idea whether a new customer who comes to the hotel was prompted by the ad.
But if the same channel chooses to broadcast its promotion via pay-per-click advertising such as Facebook Ads, it can determine this much more accurately. That’s the beauty of Web marketing: virtually anything can be tracked and measured.
In any case, the success of your Internet marketing efforts largely depends on the precision of your strategy and the budget you invest. If you operate a business in a niche sector with few competitors, you may be able to get by at a reasonable cost.
Conversely, if you’re competing against giants such as McDonald’s, Amazon or IBM, for example, the budget you’ll need to invest to make your mark is likely going to be much higher.
Get a robust web marketing strategy and carve out a space in your market
Now you know a little bit more about web marketing. We hope that this overview has helped you improve your knowledge of the field, which we bet will continue to grow in the years to come.
If you want to implement an effective web marketing strategy, we invite you to contact us. We will gladly discuss your needs and objectives to design an e-marketing plan that will take your business to the next level.