Online marketing: A definitive guide for startups


Over the last decade internet usage witnessed a 1,355% jump the largest exponential growth- that is 2 in every 3 individuals use the internet not only for information but transaction.

In the last month, how has the internet influenced your decision about a matter?

If you’ve been wondering how to use the internet to engage your customers and increase sales. Read on!

What is online marketing?

What is online marketing?

Online marketing otherwise known as electronic marketing, internet marketing or digital marketing is the process of promoting a product/service without the use of traditional marketing methods such as Newspaper Ads, Print Ads, Direct mail and TV, Radio Ads, Handouts, cold calling, and event marketing.

Promotion is important as it informs target audience of your brand and its offering.

Traditional marketing requires great copy for immediate conversion while the case is the same for online marketing, there are several medium to convert your prospect without stress.

Why is online marketing important?

  1. Online marketing allows you to create different campaign at the same time and double down on what works for your business.
  2. Online marketing helps you reach audience and prospects that will most likely buy your product or services.
  3. Online marketing is measureable- campaigns, post metrics and website metrics all have an analytics dashboard and this makes your work easier.
  4. Customers don’t just want to be seen as numbers with online marketing you can show them that you really care about them by creating a message that corresponds with their journey.
  5. Your competitors are online too, to be in the league of big players get online.
  6. Online marketing is flexible, you can always adapt and change your strategy from observation of your customers.
  7. Online marketing costs less than traditional advertising.

Types of online marketing

Types of online marketing

1. Paid advertising

2. SEO

3. Influencer marketing

4. Content marketing

5. Affiliate marketing

6. Email marketing

7. SMM

1. Paid advertising also referred to as pay-per-click you pay per the time your Ad is clicked either on search engines or social media channels.

Paid advertising allows you to override a platform’s algorithm to stay top of search results and consistently be showed to your target audience. For Google Ads, targeting certain keywords are crucial so you don’t waste your Ad budget.

Ways platforms charge.

A. CPM (cost per mile): this means you will be charged every time your Ad view reaches a thousand times

B. CPV (cost per view): You will be charged per view

C.CPA (cost per action): You will be charged when every viewer takes a specific action hence it is important to have a clear call to action and write like the user has no knowledge of your product.

Advertising on Google requires that you bid for certain keywords you want your Ad to show for, for example, “paleo diet” if you win the bid whenever an individual scours the internet using related keywords. They’ll see your Ad in the search result

2. SEO: Search engine optimization is writing for the web with the aim of ranking number 1 on search engines.

 Search engines use a method called crawling to build a bank of web content, so when an individual inputs a query it displays what it has found to be related to the query and fulfills it as search results.

How to make search engines work for you

On-page SEO: This addresses everything that happens on the front page of your website, good content is as powerful as memorable aesthetics it changes things, an important way to improve your website copy is to make keyword research using tools like Semrush or Ahref to determine keywords related to your business, intent and difficulty.

Off-page SEO: As the name implies are search optimization effort that takes place off the page such as building backlinks. For new and existing websites backlinks help you build trust and credibility. If you want to get to the top of Google take links seriously and create quality content that people want to share.

Types of links

Backlinks are a vote of trust, it helps Google trust and rank you.

Internal links

External links

Sources of Backlinks; Guest posts, business profiles, editorial backlinks, comments backlinks, PR backlinks and badge backlinks.

Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves codes and the back end of your website such as image compression structured data and CSS files.

3. Influencer marketing: The influencer marketing industry is on the rise and businesses are tapping into the power of an engaged community.

 Influencer marketing is the process of employing influencers to achieve your business goals this could be sales, traffic, or sign-ups.

An influencer is a person who has a large following, who trusts them and they are capable of making those people make decisions. To maximize your marketing budget it is advisable to hire niche influencers.


Marco influencers

Micro influencer

Nano influencers

4. Content marketing: Content marketing is the technique behind the promotion of written content to close prospects, attract prospects, build brand awareness, and retain customers.

The key to content marketing is giving without asking you will be amazed at how much trust people will have in you and since people buy from those they know, like and trust. Well, I smell the coins

5. Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing involves selling other people’s products for a commission, individuals who do this are called affiliates.

Affiliate marketers are business owners as they have to explore possible means to sell a product and that could involve SMM, IM, and CM.

6. Email marketing: For every $1 spent on emails $42 is earned, call it an unrestricted interaction system, email marketing is easy to measure and manage. There is no algorithm to measure. It is easy to build relationship with your audience by sending relevant emails.

Tools like Aweber and Active campaign makes audience segregation easy and saves you time.

The most important aspect of email marketing is a list, a list comprises of email addresses that have subscribed to receive your email this could be through gated or ungated content.

Types of Email

  • Transactional emails
  • Re-engagement email
  • Lead nurturing emails
  • Promotional emails

7. Social media marketing: This is the use of social media to attract prospects, generate leads and close sales.

Social media channels for marketing

  • Linkedln
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Social media can be paid or organic, remember how I mentioned earlier that paid advertising can be done on social channels.

 While paid traffic on social media might happen fast, it is not sustainable in the long run, as a new business you want to ensure you have a community, a system that trust and know your brand-and that happens when you focus on building your audience organically.

 It costs 5X more to acquire a new customer- with a community you have a group of evangelists who would refer your business without thinking twice.

Three parameters of social media

  • Electronic word of mouth
  • Connection
  • Interaction

Advantages of online marketing

  1. Relationship building
  2. Adequate targeting
  3. Foster customer loyalty
  4. Lower cost per customer acquisition
  5. Great positioning
  6. Universal reach
  7. You can refine strategies and this makes your business better
  8. Easy access to data
  9. Easy to track and measure

Online marketing tools

Online marketing tools
  • SEO
  • SEMrush
  • Ahref
  • Serpstat
  • Aweber
  • Mailerlite
  • Beehiv
  • Planly
  • Tapilo
  • Tailwind
  • Buffer
  • SpyFu
  • GoogleAds
  • Facebook Ads
  • WordPress
  • Google Docs
  • Buzzsumo
  • Clickfunnel
  • ShareAsale
  • Flippa


Online marketing examples

Online marketing examples

Lululemon: Lululemon differentiated itself by creating a new category in a saturated market “yoga active wears”. The brand used Facebook Ads and online marketing program to target its audience and retarget individuals who have engaged with competitor brands.

Apple: Apple created a campaign #ShotonIPhone to show their superior camera quality against competitor brands. The company compiled 77 photo entries from 75 iPhone users across 25 countries. The campaign generated over 6.5 billion media impressions all over the world, and 231 million iPhone were sold the same year leading to a 62 million sales increase from the previous year.

ABTA: ABTA launched the “travel with confidence” campaign to increase brand awareness, engage existing customers and increase sales of their services to their target market- individuals between the ages of 18-35.

The company created a video across its social media channel, the idea was to double on the most receptive platform using paid advertising.

The video was divided into three categories

  • Pre-holiday
  • Post-holiday
  • Holiday.

The campaign realized 738, 218 unique users on Facebook and a 3215% increase in impressions.

Envelopes: used online marketing to stop people from exiting at check-out. To solve this cart abandonment issue, the company implemented personalized emails and targeted SMS. This led to an increased open rate of 38%, a click-through rate of 25%, and a conversion rate of 40%.

Superdrug: Superdrug wanted its existing customers and prospect to know the brand’s perception of perfection, so it created a campaign to create awareness on body image. To execute this campaign the brand sent a woman’s image to 18 graphic designers in different countries, the instruction was for them to Photoshop the woman so she could look beautiful. Each graphic designer edited the woman based on their understanding of beauty standards and societal norms: some were slim, fat, curvy, tall and short than the initial image.

The image got over 1,000,000 reposts, 700,000 organic page views, and a 238% increase in organic search traffic in sixteen months.

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