While most marketers use a mixture of digital and print methods, online marketing is becoming more and more important within the advertising marketplace. This is no wonder since the average American is online a staggering twenty-four hours a week. Online marketing encompasses a wide range of tactics, from digital ad placements on blogs and websites, to placements in Google and Bing search results, on social media, and even through sponsored content. The content in these ads is almost as versatile as the options for placement: text, images, video, and animation are all being used in exciting ways to engage potential customers online. If you’re new to the world of online marketing, or even if you’ve executed some online campaigns in the past, it may be a good time to revisit how you’re using online marketing to sell your organization. With its host of benefits, a switch from more traditional methods to an online approach may boost your sales and exposure.

Online Marketing Adds Breadth and Depth to Your Reach

Have you ever placed an ad in a niche magazine that relates to your company and wished that only female readers in a certain age bracket saw the ad? Or been frustrated that a clever billboard you stood up only reached audiences in a certain region who drive? Online marketing can take a lot of these frustrations out of your marketing process by ensuring that you reach the audience you want to.

When it comes to adding breadth to your marketing, it’s hard to rival Google Adwords. With an average of six billion searches a day, it’s clear that people are using Google when they’re online. Google’s popularity isn’t the only part of the equation that matters, though. The other factor is how people are using Google and how that can be useful for your business. People use Google to search for products and solutions they’re interested in learning more about, which means that they’re actively interested in what you are offering.

Google AdWords lets you place ads on Google’s own search results, reaching prospective customers quickly and efficiently. Additionally, AdWords lets you place ads in other places like Gmail and YouTube, and target specific interests like “pet lovers” or outdoor “enthusiasts,” so that you can be sure to reach the exact demographic you’re after. Other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer you the same depth in targeting specific audiences. Demographic controls on Facebook allow you to create ads that are shared with demographics based on location, line of work, political affiliation, gender, and education. You can even target Facebook users based on if they’ve moved recently or who they are friends with. If you’re selling something that would make a great wedding gift, you can target users who are friends with someone who’s newly engaged or a newlywed. All of these factors can have a major impact on deepening your audience and making sure your ad is seen not only by the right people but at the right time in their life.

Online Marketing Offers Better Data

In addition to the depth of audience and content online marketing provides, you can also get much timelier data about your marketing campaigns when executing them online. This data can be distilled to the same granular level as the demographics you are targeting, making it a major boon for marketers looking for solid, actionable data. Dashboards like Facebook Insights and Google Data Studio help you visualize, interact with, and utilize your data in exciting ways.

One of the greatest benefits of the data gleaned by online marketing efforts is how quickly that data can be repurposed to inform a new segment of your audience. Remarketing campaigns and retargeting campaigns are two such ways to re-engage with potential customers who have interacted with your content. If done well, such campaigns can make a major difference in converting customers who would otherwise have never made a purchase. Even creating an opt-in email list is a great way to start building a base of potential customers, and is much simpler than getting a customer’s mailing address or phone number.

Online Marketing Is More Cost Effective

Just weighing the above strengths of online marketing, it’s not hard to understand how much value marketers can gain by using online methods to reach their customers. Online ad space is generally cheaper than traditional methods and offers a much higher return on investment, too. One of the major reasons for this is that online marketing tends to be inbound as opposed to outbound. In inbound marketing, customers are already interested in or seeking solutions similar to your business, which means that they already have a stake in taking action. Online marketing helps you create the right conditions for a customer to learn more about your product or brand, which in turn can translate to a purchase. In outbound marketing — think of the billboard example, again — you don’t have nearly as much control when it comes to creating a “right place” and “right time.”

As a digital marketing company in Charleston, SC, we understand that transitioning to the world of online marketing can be daunting. We also know that it offers businesses some exciting benefits, and we want to help your business move forward. If you’re interested in learning more about web design, digital marketing strategy and implementation, be sure to check out the other articles on the DigitalCoast Marketing blog.