Many online marketing channels are dynamic, very viable, and full of possibilities.
However, so many people are afraid to jump into marketing online because they don't think of themselves as well-versed in marketing or computer technology.
It's true that the internet marketing field will require certain technical skills, but it's in no way a barrier that you can't pass through. In fact, the world of online marketing has one of the least barriers to entry of any business.
And, if you really want it, you can get it without being very computer savvy.
If you want to be a digital marketer, you need to understand a few basic concepts and online marketing channels.
In another post, I discussed in detail how to become a digital marketer even if you don’t know anything about it.
In this post, I am going to highlight 5 important online marketing channels that you need to know about to become a successful digital marketer.
Let’s see what those 5 online marketing channels are.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is, by far, the most profitable online marketing channel there is.
It offers the highest return on investment (ROI). In fact, according to an estimate, email marketing has an ROI of 4300%, which means that for every $1 spent, you get a revenue of $43.
Apart from that, email marketing is a clutter-free, noiseless environment where you and your email subscriber can engage in a one-on-one conversation and focus on the service or product at hand.
How does email marketing work?
It’s simple. In email marketing, you ask for the email information of your existing customers and potential customers. Once you have those email addresses, you start talking to them via emails and sharing valuable information to them that they would find useful. You also send marketing emails to them whenever you have something to sell or promote.
One of the main goals of digital marketers is to acquire leads in the form of email subscribers. As the email subscription list grows, the online marketing business also grows accordingly.
Note: An email subscription list is basically just a list of email addresses of interested potential prospects that can one day become paying customers.
Many famous digital marketers say that not building an email list right from the start was their biggest mistake.
There are various tools available online that will help you with the email marketing process. Some of them are paid options and can cost you quite a bit, especially if you don't already have a running online business to support the costs.
However, there are also plenty of cheap or free options that you can use to get started in the email marketing world without costing yourself too much.
2. Social Media Marketing
Although not as effective as email marketing, social media marketing still has its place in the online marketing world.
As a matter of fact, if you are ready to invest in sponsored and paid social media ads, the social media marketing platform can easily become one of your most profitable online channels — especially in the infancy phase of your business.
Email marketing and content marketing (as you will learn later) are more like long-term solutions. You should keep building on them, and they will offer great returns in the future.
However, channels like social media marketing and paid ads (we’ll talk more about paid ads later in this post) can give you instant returns.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing can and should be used in two different ways...
- First and foremost, social media websites should be used to build credibility and online presence. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are great platforms to gather your customers, connect with them, seek feedback, and offer great advice and discounts. These websites should be used to form a successful community that would later help you generate more customers from within and outside of your existing network.
- On the other hand, you can also use social media marketing to run paid ads on these social media websites. These paid ads are shown to targeted customers, so they are more likely to buy from you.
3. Content Marketing
Seth Godin, the modern-day marketing and branding guru, says:
“Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
And he isn’t too far away from the truth.
In today’s competitive online world, content marketing is one of the purest forms of passive marketing that gradually but surely builds customers and fans.
Let me explain its basic concept so that you don’t get confused. Here is how it works.
People come on the web to find information. They are either looking for something to buy or they are looking for information (before they make their buying decision). The content you publish on the web helps them find that information on the internet.
Content marketing refers to the process of publishing highly useful and valuable information for your prospective customers. And you have to share that useful information on a regular basis.
This drives consistent traffic to your website. And because you give so much value to them for free, they are inclined to not only buy from you but also connect with you on different social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
But … Doesn’t Content Marketing Sound Like Blogging?
In case you’re wondering, yes, blogging is a major part of content marketing. And infographics (images with stats and other information) and videos are also different forms of online content.
I highly recommend you follow the following protocol before creating content:
- Identify your readers and customers.
- Find out what they want.
- Determine their biggest problems and see if you can offer a solution to those problems.
- Having a defined industry is very important. You can’t talk about everything to everyone. You need to have a very focused and narrowed niche. For instance, you can’t have a blog that discusses your personal stories, lifestyle tips, financial tips, online marketing tips, blogging tips, gardening tricks, and parenting issues. It will rarely work. Focus on one particular topic. This is what we call ‘having a niche’ in the digital marketing world.
- Start a self-hosted website using WordPress as a content management system (CMS).
- Start publishing useful content that will attract your ideal target audience and potential customers.
- Create two-way lanes to your social media profiles and email marketing funnel to create a well-rounded online strategy for your online marketing business.
4. Paid Ads
All the methods mentioned above require patience, perseverance, and hard work. You will have to invest some time before these methods mature and start providing organic results.
However, if you want a quick fix and have money to spend in your online marketing budget, running paid ads can be a great option.
But make sure that you are doing it the right way. Otherwise, the marketing budget can easily get out of hand without too much profits to show for.
This is how it basically works.
You define who your customers are and then run targeted ads that are specifically shown to them. These ads cost you.
But when your target audience click on your ads and buy your products, you not only recover the cost but also make profits.
You can run paid/sponsored ads on search engines, such as Google, Bing, etc., as well as many social media websites.
5. Affiliate Marketing
What do digital marketers do when they don’t have anything to sell?
Do they just abandon their dream of becoming an online marketer?
They sell someone else’s products.
Yes, that’s a thing in online marketing, and that is known as affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is an old and proven online marketing channel.
While reading the above methods, you might be thinking about the fact that you don't have a product or service to sell.
Even if I get traffic and customers with the methods mentioned above, what would I sell?
Affiliate marketing solves that problem for you.
You see, you do not even need your own product to make money as a digital marketer. Instead, you can sell someone else’s product and earn a commission on each sale. This is commonly known as affiliate marketing.
Different affiliate marketing programs have different requirements and rules, so I won’t generalize anything here.
So, which online marketing channel attracts you the most? I’d love to know your thoughts. And if you have a question about any of these methods, feel free to ask in the comment section.