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Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Online Marketing Methods

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Taylor Watkins
Advertising Manager
Hockessin Athletic Club

If you’ve got a great product or service and you’re not currently harnessing the power of the Internet to help market it, chances are you’re leaving money on the table. In 2018, some 1.8 billion people made purchases online—over 20 percent of the world’s population—and Nasdaq predicts that by 2040, 95 percent of all purchase will happen through e-commerce. While we can’t ignore the importance of online marketing in general, many businesses simply don’t understand how to do it effectively. There are many different ways to market online, and not every tool is right for every business. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular online marketing methods today, and some of the pros and cons of each.

Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click Advertising (SEM/PPC)

This online strategy basically involves purchasing advertising on search engines (e.g., Google Ads) to drive more traffic to your website. This strategy effectively bumps you to the “head of the line” for people who are searching online for your type of product.

The pros: This type of marketing can work much faster than organic search engine optimization (SEO), and when done correctly, it can be quite effective.

The cons: Most business don’t do SEM/PPC correctly. It’s a meticulous science to find the right keywords and target the right audience while beating out the competition who are also buying ads. The end result: Google makes more money on Google Ads than most companies who use it.

Social Media Marketing

With more people than ever before utilizing social media (and making buying decisions based on it), it makes sense for most companies to have some sort of social media presence (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Social media marketing can take a variety of forms. For example:

  • Building a following organically by posting on social media consistently
  • Buying ads on social media (e.g., Facebook ads)
  • “Influencer marketing”—getting a social media influencer, someone with lots of followers, to brag about your product

The pros: Social media is indeed a wide open world for marketing right now, and when you find the right followers, you can generate not only more sales, but raging fans who will buy repeatedly and spread the word about you.

The cons: Social media is so big that it’s challenging to find your niche market without help. You can end up wasting marketing dollars by reaching too few people. Additionally, fewer users are responding to paid ads because they’re starting to view it more like mass advertising.

Email Marketing

Most companies today maintain some sort of email list, which provides a way to market directly to people who have already expressed an interest in their product or service.

The pros: You can personalize your message and control your brand awareness more directly with email—which can prove very effective.

The cons: People are getting so inundated with email nowadays that fewer and fewer people are actually opening them. (Many email programs also employ spam filters that may stop recipients from even seeing your emails.)

Content Marketing

Unlike the other forms of online marketing which focus on one type of outlet, content marketing involves providing quality written and/or visual content across all available channels (both online and offline), from books and e-books to guest blogs, video blogs and more. You basically act as a content provider who creates useful, helpful information about topics related to your vertical.

The pros: Content marketing establishes you as an authority in your vertical, building both trust and brand awareness over time so when people need your product, they think of you first.

The cons: Content marketing requires a lot of time, effort and money up front before you generally see results.

Whatever online marketing strategies you decide to utilize, Hockessin Athletic Club affords a number of opportunities to reach a local health-conscious demographic with both online and offline outlets. Give us a call to learn more. 

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