How To Market Your Business Online (Beginners Guide)
Last Updated December 16, 2021. Est. Read Time – 12 minutes
So You Want To Learn How To Market Your Business Online?
Well, you have come to the right place! My name’s Raz, founder of Apollo Marketing Agency, and I’ll run you through some beginner steps and teach you some online marketing basics within this article. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve wasted several thousand marketing dollars at the beginning of my career, testing several campaigns and channels before finding the winners.
This gave me a couple of months of stress and anxiety, self-doubt started to creep in but finally-with enough persistence, I broke through. That’s why I want to give you some solid pointers from what I’ve learned so you don’t make the same stressful, and expensive mistakes.
However, if you want to hire a professional who has generated over two million dollars in sales for his client’s don’t hesitate to schedule a quick call with me, I’d love to help!
Where do I even begin with digital marketing? – is probably what you’re thinking right now.
And rightfully so, the online world is huge, complicated-yet bursting with opportunities. I’ll try to break it down and make it as clear as possible for you to understand within this article.
We’ll cover some marketing basics together, learn about the different online marketing channels, as well as teach you some advanced tips and tricks for each channel. You’ll also get a list of sources to further learn about these channels.
First, let’s make sure you have a couple of things in order before diving deeper. The items listed below aren’t required to begin marketing, however, they will help you build off a solid foundation. Be the wise man that built his castle on a rock foundation, not sand.
Digital Marketing Readiness Checklist – Are You Ready To Market Your Business Online?
1. Do you have a marketable brand?
What is a marketable brand? Having a marketable brand in a nutshell just means that you have an appealing, modern logo with consistent brand colors and a slogan. But, most importantly, a unique value proposition that can be presented to customers to make you stand out from the competition. (I.E. “we have been in business for 20 years” or “we are a platinum-rated with Owens Corning”)
2. Is your website marketable?
As you can expect, if you’re doing digital marketing, your website is as important if not more important than your brick-and-mortar business location. Having a website that is marketable means a few things;
- Have clear messaging and a call to action (I.E. “get your free quote today” or “give us a call”) on your website.
- Make sure your website loads within 3 seconds. Use google’s free tool here – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to read. (majority of website visits are done on a mobile device)
- Do you have a lead capture form or the ability to make sales on your website?
- Make sure everywhere your phone number appears on your website is able to be clicked and called (for mobile devices).
- Make sure you set up google analytics and tracking pixels (i.e. Facebook Pixel) on your website. These trackers will help you better understand your audience and give you the ability to run hyper-focused ad campaigns just for your website visitors.
3. Do you have a social media presence?
Making sure you have at least a Facebook account is crucial for your digital marketing efforts, as Facebook is the largest social platform in the world with over a billion users. Making an account will not only let you share and engage potential customers for free, but you will also be able to create an ads manager account and begin paid marketing campaigns through Facebook and Instagram (Instagram is owned by Facebook).
Facebook is one of the largest data firms in the world, with tons of information on its users. As a business owner and digital marketer, you have access to this information and are able to run paid advertisement campaigns with surgical precision, showing ads to only your target market.
Create your ads manager account by clicking here.
4. Do you use a CRM?
A CRM or a Customer Relationship Manager is the most valuable organizational tool you can have when marketing your business online. Think of it as your business’s digital Rolodex. You can save and manage both prospects’ and sold clients’ contact information, and save custom notes and files per contact. Many modern CRM’s have integrations with the online marketing channels we’ll cover later, making the process of inputting information more seamless than ever. Hubspot is a good Free CRM to get started with, this is what I use for my own business.
5. Do you have 500 to a thousand dollars a month for ad spend and experimentation?
You can start testing several marketing campaigns and finding winning ones to scale with just 1-2 thousand dollars. You can start basic digital marketing for little to no cost, however, you’ll be in it for the long run, and it’ll take you a long long time to get returns. We’ll talk about these free methods later on. Just note that paid ads get you the most immediate return, and it’s a good idea to start spending money on campaigns as soon as you can in order to build your prospects list and find which ads are doing the best (so that you can invest more into the winning ads).
So now that you got all of this figured out. You’re ready to start marketing. You are set up and ready to get more business through many different digital channels. The first question you need to answer is – what marketing channel should you focus on? If you are hiring someone to delegate your marketing to, you don’t have to worry about this. They’ll know which ones offer the best opportunity cost for your business.
However, If you are starting off and are going to do the work yourself, you will be forced to focus on just one or two sources at a time. As you keep reading and learning about each marketing channel, keep in mind what your business goals and skills are, this will help you decide which channel to focus on first.
How To Pick The Best Online Marketing Channel For You?
With so many digital marketing channels out there, it’s important you don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t waste money on channels that don’t compliment your business. As you read the list of sources below I want you to keep your product and customers in mind, and make sure the marketing channels you invest in are appropriate for your business.
All services and products break down into two categories – “A Need” and “A Want”. Businesses selling “A Need” should focus their marketing efforts on Google Pay Per Click Ads and SEO. While businesses selling “A Want” should focus more on marketing with Social Media and developing brand awareness. Email marketing is usually more effective with businesses that sell a “want”.
What’s a “Need” Business?
Simply put, a need is something that someone doesn’t purchase by just stumbling upon it. They go out of their way to find the product because they need it. Keep in mind some businesses fall in between, for example, Apollo Marketing Agency can be considered a need for some companies yet a want for others. In these cases, it’s important to test multiple methods to see which one brings the best return.
For example, if you are a plumber (A Need) who only sells to people who are in immediate need of your service, then marketing on Facebook is a waste of money. This is because your target audience isn’t going to be on Facebook while their toilet is overflowing, they’re going to do a Google search and call the first person they see, making Google Ads your best investment for marketing.
What’s a “Want” business?
In a nutshell, a want is usually something a prospect wants that’s purely emotional. Like luxury items or quality of life improvement (i.e. comfier shoes, new clothes, decorations, fast food, etc).
In another example, if your business is trying to sell a modern kitchen remodel (A Want), you should focus more on running stunning before and after montages, and customer testimonial videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
One final note on choosing the proper marketing channels, if you are a B2B business you should invest in LinkedIn ads as that’s where over 70% of social media leads are generated for B2B services and products. I won’t dive too much into LinkedIn here, but I encourage you to do your own research as it’s a powerful tool that many B2B companies use.
Major Online Marketing Channels, Best Practices, And Methods Explained
1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Key Benefits – Show up in Google search results more frequently, and higher in the search results. Generate more organic traffic to your website and landing page. SEO is a longer-term strategy and requires excessive amounts of patience and persistence.
The Method in a Nutshell – It’s important to first understand that Google determines the rankings of websites in search with its own algorithm that nobody knows exactly. However, we do know most of the significant factors that affect rankings (through extensive research and testing). Your goal in S.E.O. optimization is to appeal to these factors so that Google can rank you higher in search results. There are two sides to improving your SEO standings with Google.
On-site (ranking factors you can work on within your website) and Off-site (work that you have to do off your website). I listed some actions you can take to improve your SEO, however, it is summarized and very dumb downed, I highly encourage you to learn further about this complicated topic.
- Make sure to have a healthy amount of keywords/keyphrases (keywords are the words/phrases you want to show up for in search results) sprinkled around your website and pages. This is called keyword optimization. Don’t try to rank for more than 3 keywords per web page.
- Make sure your website loads fast and gives users a smooth experience.
- Make sure your website pages are all linking to each other. (most frequently done through a menu bar at the top of your website, also referred to as a header).
- Make sure to have a blog page within your website. Use it to post relevant content for your target audience.
- Update content on your website frequently, this shows Google that you take care of your website and that its users would benefit from your content more than websites that don’t update their content.
- Probably the hardest part of SEO, yet one of the largest factors is Off-Site optimization. Focus on getting other websites (in similar markets) to link to your website (aka backlinks). The more backlinks you have, the higher chance Google will see you as a reputable resource for their users.
- If you want to rank for local keyphrases (i.e. “Sacramento General Contractor”), a few links from local companies and directories can get you on the first page within just a few months, depending on how competitive your industry is. This is assuming you have good on-site optimization. The best way to do outreach to these websites and ask for links in-mass is to use a tracker like SEMrush, which shows your current SEO standings with Google and helps you find websites to request links from.
Some SEO statistics
- Google’s SEO algorithm uses over 200 factors to determine website rankings.
- High-quality content (blogs) and link building are the two most important signals used for ranking.
- 57% of marketing executives say developing on-page content is the most effective SEO tactic.
- The average word length for a top-ranking Google article is 2,416 words.
- 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.
- Content containing videos are 50x more likely to get organic ranking than plain text alone.
- Only .78% of Google search clicks happen on the second results page.
Further free In-Depth Learning – SEMrush SEO Academy
2. Social Media Marketing
Key Benefits- In marketing, you need to be where your customers are. In the modern world, this means Social Media (over 4.48 billion users worldwide), mainly Facebook and Instagram. Running ad campaigns on these networks and posting frequently is always a good idea, not to mention a majority of businesses can run very profitable marketing campaigns on these platforms with as low as a thousand dollars a month in spend. I’ve seen this to be true for my clients several times over. Other than making more sales for your business, you will also get more brand awareness within your target audience.
The Method in a Nutshell – Social media marketing is a combination of natural growth (posting consistently on your profile), as well as creating paid marketing campaigns to reach new people and generate more leads and sales. Let’s focus on paid marketing for now, as it brings almost immediate returns.
Creating Facebook Ad campaigns are pretty straightforward. The general process is as follows – create your ad (with videos, images, and your copywriting (the text in the ad), next you specify a target audience (people with specific demographics, hobbies, behavior patterns, and interests) that you want to show your ads to, and finally, you set a budget and an ad goal.
Here are a few things I want you to keep in mind while making your ads and campaigns.
- Testimonial videos will almost always out-perform any other type of video or image in an ad.
- Test out multiple target audiences, try very specific audience targeting and very broad audience targeting.
- Test multiple ad campaigns at the same time, cut off ones that perform badly, and invest more and create more ads based on the winning(better performing) campaigns. The best strategy for testing your ads is to create a couple of campaigns that are identical and only change one variable. For example, use a different image in each campaign, but keep the targeting, copywriting and call to action the same. This is known as split testing, Facebook provides a pre-built system for creating campaigns that make this easier.
- If you are generating leads you can do so with two methods; have the Facebook ad send the user to your own landing page or use Facebook’s built-in lead capture form, keeping the user within the app. There are pros and cons to both of these strategies. Using Facebook’s lead capture form will give you more volume, and for a cheaper cost per acquisition, however, they tend to be lower quality leads. Leads generated from your own landing page will be higher quality as their contact info for your form isn’t automatically filled in by Facebook.
- When choosing which interests and demographics to target for your target audience, make sure you have some understanding of your customers’ own interests and demographics. If you don’t have this information, you should at minimum do some research to try and limit the amount of testing and money needed in order to find your perfect target audience.
Some Social Media Marketing Statistics
- As of October 2021, there are 4 and a half billion people active on social media.
- 85% of marketers rank short-form videos as the best type of social media content.
- 50% of marketers plan on increasing ad budgets for Facebook in 2022.
- 90% of Instagram users follow a business page.
These are just a few pro tips I picked up on in my career, but if you want to do a more technical deep dive, I highly encourage you to take Facebook’s free courses on their advertising platform and get Facebook Certified.
3. Email Marketing
Key Benefits – Email marketing is one of the largest drivers for repeat customers. Having the ability to reach out to your customers and prospects for practically free is a huge asset to your marketing efforts that shouldn’t be ignored. Spending the time to send out even just one email a week to stay in your customer’s mind is always a good idea.
Method In a Nutshell – Simply put, a good email marketing strategy is to send a large variety of emails a week, never bombard prospects with back to back “10% Off” and “Buy One, Get One” obnoxious offers. Make sure to provide value to your customer more often than you ask for a sale.
For example, provide valuable resources and information through newsletters, free E-books, and any other type of free content (that your demographic would enjoy) you can think of. Only after sending about three of these “giving” emails do you want to send a single “ask” email, or a sale. But how do you get these emails you might be wondering?
The hard part is that people are more conservative than ever with sharing their emails, so in order to pass this hurdle you need to provide customers and prospects with a “lead magnet” in exchange for their email. A lead magnet can be as simple as 10% off their first purchase, or for higher ticket items and services, a free e-book or beginners guide is very effective. These Lead Magnets can be marketed online on all channels, through a social media post, Facebook Ad, Google Ad, Blog Post, or just placed anywhere on your website.
So now that you know the very basics of a good email strategy, here are some more in-depth professional pointers.
- Segmentation: Use your email marketing CRM to segment your prospects into the right campaigns. This will allow you to create a more personal relationship with your prospects, and allow for a better customer journey for them.
- Personalization: Most email marketing CRM’s allow you to automatically input the recipient’s name into the email. Always, always, always do this if you can. Personalizing emails has been proven to increase conversion rates by 10%.
- Analyze your Data: Keep track of your open rates, bounce rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this information to create and test out new campaigns, otherwise known as A/B split testing. By now you’ve probably noticed that A/B split testing is very important, no matter how you chose to digitally market your business.
Some Email Marketing Statistics –
- The average email open rate is 19.8%, a click-through rate of 11.4%, and a bounce (when emails don’t land in an inbox) rate of 9.4%.
- 4/5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing.
- 31% of B2B digital marketers say an email newsletter is the best way to nurture leads.
- Brands that use A/B split testing for their email marketing campaigns see an ROI of 48:1.
- You will receive a higher clickthrough rate if you don’t send more than 5 newsletters a week.
- 80% of users will open a welcome email.
- Personalized emails enhance click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%.
Continue your Free learning with Hubspot’s academy. (Hubspot is not limited to email courses, I highly recommend you check them out).
4. Google PPC – Pay Per Click
Key Benefits – Google Adwords (PPC) has one purpose and one purpose only- it allows you to skip all the hard work of SEO and to just pay Google, in order to show up on top of search results. This is a major inclusion to your market stack as it can almost instantly start generating sales and leads for your business (if managed properly).
Method In a Nutshell – Google Adwords is a bit more technical than Facebook ads, it’s very easy to start, yet difficult to master. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it’s the easiest to start yet hardest to master online marketing channel.
Please note that the success of your Google Adwords campaign is heavily influenced by the quality of your landing page (the website page users go to when they click on your ad). Here’s a quick summary of how it works: first, you create your Google Ad’s account and make sure it’s connected to your google my business page.
Google holds your hand throughout most of the ad-making process, which basically goes as follows:
- First, set up your targeting, which you pick based on location and keywords (the search words and phrases you want the ad to show up for).
- Second, create the ad, you type your heading, body and chose what you want your landing page to be.
- Set a max budget you want to bid per click for your ads. You will be bidding against competitors who are also bidding for the top place for their ads. Google determines higher placement with two factors – whoever is willing to pay more and whoever has a higher “quality score” on their ad.
This is a very simplified breakdown of the process, you’ll learn a lot by setting up your first practice ad campaign with a minimal budget, however here is some higher-level advice that you should implement in your campaigns.
Advanced Pointers –
- Quality Score – It is not uncommon for marketers to get top placements for their ads by bidding less than their competition. This only occurs when you have a higher quality score than your competitors. In order to increase your ads quality score keep these factors in mind; Your ad has a high click-through rate (I.E. You have a good call to action, and copywriting), ad relevance (is your website what the users are looking for?), Landing Page experience (is your website relevant to your ad, and does it load fast?) Go more in-depth on how to improve your quality score from Google itself by clicking here.
- Keyword Research – Make sure you do keyword research before committing to any. You can use Google’s own keyword planning tool inside of your ad account, or you can use paid software like SEMrush. A good starting place is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What keywords are you using to try and find your business? There are two types o keywords, peripheral and targetted. A peripheral keyword is something a prospect early in the sales funnel would search. While targeted keywords are what someone whose ready to purchase would search. Typically peripheral keywords are cheaper and easier to draw traffic from.
- Different Keyword Types – This is where it gets complicated, there are different types of keywords. The best ad campaigns use a combination of these. Use the different symbols in the chart below when inputting keywords into your campaign. Pro Tip: shoot for more negative match keywords than positive keywords.
Some Google Ads Statistics –
- There are over 2 million active Google Ads accounts.
- Google accounted for 93% of the world’s searches last year.
- 95% of searches are more than 4 words.
- Customers are 70% more likely to purchase a product that was retargeted (shown to them multiple times).
- 2/5 small businesses use Google Ads.
I would love to go more in-depth with Google Ads as it’s one of my favorite channels, however, I don’t want to overwhelm you with its complexity just yet. I plan on making a separate blog training on Google Ads and the results you can expect, (I’ll link it here when it comes out.) Or follow our Instagram page @apollomarketingagency to stay updated on all things digital marketing!
Feel free to learn more about this online marketing channel from Google themselves through their online certificate program (FREE) by clicking here.
If you’ve read this far, I want to thank you for your patience, and for trusting Apollo with your digital marketing education!
I’d like to think if you’re still reading that you’ve at least learned a bit more about how to market your business online. Also, I want to offer you 10% Off your first service purchase from us! Just let us know that you read our blog!
The Most Important Landing Page Fundamental To Understand (in my opinion)
As discussed, landing pages are a huge factor in determining the success of your business’s online marketing campaigns. For this reason, we should discuss this simple-yet fundamental theory to increase your landing page conversion rates. Essentially it’s the formula to determine the likelihood that someone will purchase your product, or move further down your funnel.
The Dr. BJ FOGG Method
Dr. BJ Fogg was a professor at Stanford who wanted to develop a formula that shows how consumers accept new products. This method has proved itself time and time again, it’s now used in every aspect of advertising and marketing campaign development.
In a nutshell, in order for a prospect to convert (behavior), there must be ample motivation for the product/service, an easy ability to purchase the product/service, and a clear trigger (call to action/offer). The method chart is below, take a quick glance at it.
Motivation is the emotional need your prospect feels for the product/service. You can increase the motivation of your prospects with pictures and imagery within your ads and landing pages. Also, keep your customer in mind, and try to make your copywriting as relatable as possible.
Ability is typically the affordability of the product/service. It can also be the ease of obtaining the product/service (i.e. do I have to fill out this intimidating form with 20 questions or just a simple 3 question form?).
The trigger is the call to action. It’s what you want your prospect to do within your page.
Learn more about this method here – https://instapage.com/blog/bj-fogg-behavior-model
Thanks For Reading!
We hope you learned something new! We wish you the best of luck on your digital marketing journey! Again I highly encourage you to dive deeper into these subjects with the free training resources we provided within the article. And as always if you ever have any questions, we’re a phone call away. Visit our client portfolio showcase here to see some companies we’ve helped!
Sources We Used In This Article
2021 SEO Statistics – https://www.impactplus.com/blog/seo-statistics
2021 Social Media Statistics – https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23865/13-mind-bending-social-media-marketing-statistics.aspx
2021 Email Marketing Statistics – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats
2021 Google Ads Statistics – https://www.digitalthirdcoast.com/blog/google-ads-statistics
More Email Marketing Statisticshttps://www.statista.com/statistics/812060/email-marketing-revenue-worldwide/
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