What is online marketing? Definition, types, and benefits
Whether you’re in marketing or a related role, you’ve probably heard of online marketing. You might wonder if there is a difference between online marketing, digital marketing, and internet marketing and what exactly it all entails. Or you might want to know if it’s right for your business and how to get started.
If your business is just now looking into online marketing, you’re in good company — 60% of marketing leaders say their companies are only beginning to visualize and build a digital marketing organization. These marketers are all headed online because that’s where the consumers are — and the sales. US adults spend more than eight hours a day consuming digital media, and nearly 30% of US retail sales happen online. That’s a huge share of the market you’re missing out on every day that you don’t have an internet marketing strategy in place.
Online marketing and ecommerce make it possible for the entire customer journey to happen digitally. Potential customers can discover a brand, engage with a brand, make a purchase, and finally advocate for that brand — all online. Plus, digital media can be less costly to produce than print or other mediums, and it can reach a much wider audience.
In this article, you’ll find a definition of online marketing, an explanation of its benefits, the different types, and some tips for getting started.
- What is online marketing?
- Online marketing benefits
- Types of online marketing
- Get started with online marketing
What is online marketing?
Online marketing, also known as digital marketing or internet marketing, is a form of marketing that uses the internet and technology to connect with potential customers.
Traditional marketing channels include billboards, radio, print, and television, while online marketing shows up in social media, websites, emails, and other forms. The methods, strategies, and channels that fall under the umbrella of online marketing are diverse, but they all seek to use the internet to connect to larger and more targeted audiences.
Online marketing benefits
In the same way that the internet has changed how we live, think, and communicate, it has opened up new possibilities and new benefits to marketers. In addition to offering a wider reach, online marketing is:
- Cost-effective. Digital messaging can be cheaper and more efficient to produce than print . It can duplicate faster, and it can be highly targeted to reach only the most relevant audiences, which means it usually offers a strong ROI.
- Fast. Your audience can act on your messaging right away, giving you a quick turnaround on your investment.
- Trackable. It’s easy to know whether your audience is clicking, opening emails, sharing, or making purchases. If you know what isn’t working, you don’t need to waste time and resources on it. If you know what is working, you can lean into it.
- Targeted. Online marketing allows companies to target specific audiences and customize their messages.
- Personal. Digital methods can be automated and responsive to online consumer behavior, which means that an unlimited number of individual customers get timely, relevant, and personalized information.
- Impressive. The content you share online is a chance to demonstrate expertise and create brand recognition.
- Attractive. Many online marketing methods are inbound, which means that by creating accessible and appealing content, you can draw in the right customers rather than blasting and hoping it reaches those who are looking for it.
Types of online marketing
There are many types of online marketing, and just as the internet continues to change and evolve, the way businesses use it to market their products and services will change along with it. You don’t need to use every type, but successful marketers will select at least a few that complement each other and work best for their goals.
Common types of online marketing include:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Web design
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Display advertising
- Online events and webinars
- Conversion rate optimization
- Influencer marketing
- Marketing automation
- Customer relationship management
Get started with online marketing
For businesses, a good online marketing strategy isn’t just an advantage — it’s essential. That doesn’t mean you need to give up the familiar marketing tools that work. It’s a great idea to use online channels together with traditional ones. And it’s also a great idea to make sure that all your online marketing efforts are integrated.
Evaluate what your current online marketing strategy looks like. You might already have a website, social media accounts, and an email list. The next step is to evaluate how well each of these channels is working for you. You can quantify your answer by calculating the ROI of each digital marketing campaign. Identify the business goals that your digital marketing strategy should support, and then identify your digital marketing goals. Make a list of which aspects of your current online marketing strategy are working and which are not.
Adobe can help
Adobe Marketo Engage is a complete toolkit for all your online marketing efforts. This marketing automation software can help you reach larger audiences at a lower cost, manage new leads, and keep a growing customer base engaged with personalized email campaigns. Be prepared for growth with technology that is scalable for businesses of any size.
To learn how it works, watch the overview video or take an interactive tour.