What is Online Marketing?

Online marketing, or Internet marketing as it is often referred to, is a culmination of the various techniques or strategies used to market a business on the web. If you are a small business owner, understanding the basics of online marketing is essential for your success on the Internet – and having a more thorough understanding of the trends that come and go and those strategies that are effective every time is important.

Note that online marketing, and Internet or digital marketing are interchangeable, so you know what someone is talking about regardless of which phrase a person uses. At its core online marketing can be defined as:

Using tools that are available and the most appropriate for providing quality, relevant content in order to engage in conversations that are based on value with your communities of interest. These communities may be clients, prospective customers, influencers, etc.

Essentially, the development of content is at the very core of an effective online marketing plan, as delivering valuable, relevant, and useful information that can be delivered to your target audience via blog posts, social media, your website’s pages, videos, and even email is critical. It’s all about spreading your company’s message and solutions far and wide around the web, or locally if you target customers only in your local geographic area.

Today, marketing is not about “advertising,” it is about engaging and communicating with prospective and existing customers

The term “marketing” at one time was interchangeable with “advertising.” Today, people run from ads on the Internet; anything that promotes Buy! Buy! Buy! will be flatly ignored. Building relationships with customers and talking with your audience instead of talking to them is key.

In a nutshell, it all boils down to value. Consumers today want value whether it is in the content you deliver, or the conversations you engage in with them. How can you help a prospective client with his/her needs? What valuable information can you provide? How can you grow your customers’ trust, and grow brand awareness? Ultimately, it all happens by putting your customers’ needs first and foremost in front of how much money you will make. When you truly care about your clients and helping them, it comes through in your marketing efforts.

When you use ethical tactics and focus on delivering what your customers are looking for, you never have to worry about trends that come and go. As a small business, concentrate on creating outstanding, valuable, engaging content that delivers, and spreading it via your blog, web pages, social media, videos, images, and any other avenue you can think of to get it to those who need the solution you have to offer.

Build credibility and trust, deliver value, engage on a personal level with existing and potential customers, and enjoy success online.