The past two (and continuing) pandemic-stricken years have underscored the massive role of the internet in our lives. Whether work from home mandates, virtual classrooms, ordering food, or shopping, we turned to the online space for almost every day-to-day activity. Furthermore, mobile devices have seen an unprecedented surge, contributing towards a significant share of website traffic.
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When everything is shifting online, why shouldn’t you do marketing? The unquestionable benefits of the online space have driven marketers to switch to online marketing and led to high demand for online marketing certification courses. What’s better, you can even find online marketing courses for free and learn the basics of this in-demand skill.
This article will walk you through some core concepts of online marketing and help you find online marketing courses for free.
What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing refers to any form of advertising or marketing via web-based channels. Often referred to as internet marketing, online marketing entails spreading a brand’s message among the public by using different tools, strategies, and methods that leverage the internet. In simple words, online marketing is any advertising activity on the internet to grab people’s attention and, hopefully, get them to buy your products or services.
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Types of Online Marketing Strategies
In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common types of online marketing strategies that are changing the landscape of modern advertising:
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of adjusting your website in a way that increases its organic or natural placement in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves using website optimization best practices, such as using specific keywords or structuring your website to improve search engine rankings. Your website content, page structure (keywords, title, URL, etc.), and links from other sites are the three core metrics that Google and other search engines evaluate to determine the site’s quality and ranking. As a result, SEO skills constitute a vital component of most online marketing certification courses.
Email marketing means reaching out to your customers via email. It is one of the most cost-effective online marketing strategies. You can directly connect with a large customer base through ads, newsletters, promotions, reminders, and so on via email. However, it isn’t enough to only send out emails without considering demographics or the needs of individual customers. Therefore, it’s pertinent to analyze the purchasing habits of your target audience and design personalized email marketing campaigns.
Content marketing is a term used to describe the creation and distribution of natural, valuable, and relevant content to increase brand awareness and achieve your marketing goals. The “content” can include anything ranging from blogs, emails, and videos to social media posts, white papers, newsletters, and the like. Rather than explicitly selling, effective content marketing strategies focus on providing content that provides value to customers and connects with them on a personal level. A well-planned content goes a long way in conveying expertise while attracting and retaining the target audience.
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-per-click or PPC is an online marketing strategy that uses services like Google Ads to promote products/services through advertisements appearing on SERPs. Companies typically pay to have their ads appear whenever users search for a specific term on Google or other search engines. Moreover, companies are charged every time a user clicks on the ads. This internet marketing model is a way to buy visits to your site rather than relying on organic web traffic.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing or SEM is a blanket term referring to any strategy to improve the ease of finding a particular website through a search engine. Therefore, PPC is a type of SEM that deals explicitly with the ads you see at the top of SERPs. On the other hand, SEM generally refers to paid search activities that include the PPC model. It is also pertinent to point out that SEM and SEO are different. In SEO, you don’t pay any search engine for clicks and traffic but rather earn a free spot in the SERPs by using the most relevant content for a specific keyword search.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing relies on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like to promote a business and connect with customers. However, this online marketing strategy doesn’t always drive sales. Instead, it focuses on increasing customer engagement, building networks, and creating a brand image. Social media marketing offers companies avenues to engage with existing customers and reach out to new ones while promoting their own culture and mission. Moreover, social media marketing lets marketers track the success of their marketing campaigns through various data analytics tools.
Apart from the ones discussed here, online marketing strategies include affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, reputation marketing, display advertising, and many more.
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Benefits of Online Marketing
The domain of online marketing consists of many tools and strategies that can help you or your business achieve greater acceptability and visibility. So, let’s get down to the specifics and look at some of the benefits that online marketing brings to the table:
- Low operating cost is one of the most significant advantages of online marketing. As a result, online communication is more affordable and offers greater reach than conventional advertising modes such as radios, billboards, and newspapers.
- Online marketing helps you target specific niches. The use of SEO, PPC, email marketing, and other online marketing strategies have enabled businesses to tailor their marketing campaigns in a way that caters to particular verticals or target audiences.
- Online marketing is quick and convenient. The internet has made it possible for people to access millions of products and services right from the comfort of their homes. Businesses can market their products and services with a few mouse clicks while offering customers a hassle-free shopping experience.
- You can measure and track your online marketing campaigns using various tools. Moreover, you can illustrate your progress through detailed graphics. Quantifying and monitoring results gives you an idea of how your marketing campaign is faring and helps you improve traffic, leads, and conversions.
- Online marketing provides ample scope for data collection and personalization. You can analyze a customer’s buying habits to understand their buying preferences. Also, you can use the data to understand which products sell more/less when the demand is high, etc. You can personalize the customer experience.
Online Marketing Courses for Free
Have you been looking for a free marketing course online? upGrad offers an array of online marketing courses for free to help you stay ahead of the curve. You can check out the following marketing courses free of cost:
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The widespread use of the internet and mobile devices for personal and business purposes has generated innovative advertising channels for quick information dissemination. Not just that, these online marketing avenues can drive customer engagement to a level that was previously unimaginable with traditional marketing methods. Signing up for a free marketing course online will help you acquire the in-demand skills and open up career opportunities in the online marketing domain.
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1. What is the most effective online marketing strategy?
With the plethora of online marketing options available, it can be pretty overwhelming to pick out one or decide which one’s most effective. However, there is no single effective online marketing strategy since each technique brings something unique to the table and has its set of pros and cons. Moreover, the online marketing strategy that proves effective for your business might not be as impactful for a different company. In other words, the effectiveness of any online marketing strategy depends on various factors, including the business type, the target audience, business goals, etc.
2. How do you attract customers?
A crucial part of social media marketing is attracting customers. Here are some tried and tested tips on how to attract customers to your website: Offer discounts and promotions Reconnect with old customers Ask for referrals Update your website Take advantage of online rating and review sites Team up with complementary businesses Increase brand awareness through networking and social events
3. What skills do you need for digital marketing?
A career in digital marketing involves traditional marketing, SEO, social media marketing, web design, content writing, and much more. Given below are the top skills you need to master to be a digital marketing expert: Content creation CRM SEM SEO Basic design skills Data analysis Social media marketing Communication skills