For both established organizations and startup businesses, the only way to win over clients is to put your brand in front of your target market.
The good news is that there are many ways to do that. You might want to follow traditional marketing practices like leafleting and newspaper advertisements. You could even sponsor an event and attend an exhibition. But more often than not, you’ll turn to online marketing and online PR. Why? Both options are where your customers are at. In the United States, the average consumer will spend three hours a day staring at their phone. And that doesn’t take into account the time spent on their PCs.
Simply put, more and more of what we do is done online. Whether we’re shopping for a new outfit, buying a house, or making a meal. We turn to the internet for everything. So by taking the time to invest in a strong digital presence for your brand, you’ll be there when customers look for you. Nail online marketing and online PR, and you’ll be the first choice: you’ll rank ahead of your competition and be remembered for the right reasons by your target market.
But what are the differences between online PR and online marketing? And which will prove to be more effective for your business? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know…
What is online PR?
Let’s start with online PR: the marketing strategy that’s used by businesses to increase their online presence.
Online PR agencies spend time working with bloggers, journalists, website owners, and influencers. They’ll send out dozens of press releases and write guest posts to gain quality backlinks to their clients’ website – all of which will improve their search engine optimization. A florist in Florida, for example, might instruct an online PR company to create content on wedding blogs, linking back to their website with the keyword “wedding florists in Florida”. Then, when brides-to-be in Florida begin planning their big day and want to hire a florist, they’ll spot their business on Google organically, and likely convert into a customer.
Online PR is about developing your digital brand, creating engaging, quality, SEO-optimized content that converts. The ultimate aim is to reach both targeted and global audiences, by increasing your digital exposure in different markets through industry-related media. Aside from increasing your ranks, online PR demonstrates that you’re a market leader. If you’re appearing in relevant blogs – like Forbes and Entrepreneur – and you’re ranking on the first page for important search terms, you’ll naturally start to win over new clients without effort.
What is online marketing?
Online PR is solely centered around positioning your brand as an authority. Online marketing is about shouting from the rooftops that you exist.
Everything from video content to blogging to social media management to paid advertising to email marketing comes under online marketing. And as the industry continues to evolve, entrepreneurs are increasingly upping their budgets to maximize sales and revenue. Some online marketing techniques deliver instantaneous results.
Social media advertising and pay-per-click ads on search engines, for example, are “instant wins”. You pay to be featured on timelines and at the top of search engine pages, and targeted users visit your website. Other techniques, like social media, take time. You might start a Twitter account and it could take three months to start gaining followers and traction. The key is to put in the effort and be consistent with your online marketing strategy. A haphazard approach won’t work.
Although the return on investment varies from industry to industry, a good ROI for marketing is around 5:1.
For every $1 you invest in social, content, infographics, or email marketing, you should earn $5 back in sales. Some techniques offer a higher ROI than others, and some take time to deliver a return. Make sure you choose an online marketing agency that is accountable. They should report any successes and failures back to you.
The benefits of online PR
Now back to online PR. Online marketing is about getting your brand heard, but online PR is about ensuring that you’re instantly remembered and respected.
- Rank higher on search engines: The number-one result in Google’s organic search results has an average click-through rate of 31.7%. Your online PR company will help you climb the ranks and increase your search engine presence. Let’s face it: very few of us scroll to the second or third pages when we’re searching for a business. We just trust Google to show us the top businesses that will serve our needs properly.
- Position your business as an authority: If your brand name appears on reputable news websites and you rank for competitive search terms, you’ll be considered a real market leader. A good online PR company will be able to manufacture your success and ensure that you’re recognized as an authority, outmaneuvering your competitors.
- Increased traffic: Through guest post placements, press releases, and increased search engine rankings, you’ll attract more organic traffic to your website. And as you are putting your business in front of an engaged target audience, most will be leads.
- Brand awareness: If you offer business coaching and an entrepreneur sees your brand on Forbes, Business.com, and Fox News, they’ll know that you have a strong reputation. Online PR does exactly that – increases brand presence and awareness.
The benefits of online marketing
When used in tandem with online PR, online marketing can also offer a number of significant benefits for both established and early-years businesses. Here are some of the biggest:
- Global reach: Unlike offline marketing, online marketing allows you to target people not only in your home town but around the world. This is great for businesses offering services – you can maximize sales and gobble market share from global competitors.
- Build lasting relationships: Though content and social media, an online marketing agency will develop a strong brand voice for your business. People will remember your brand and come to you with questions, eventually converting into a customer.
- Personalize your marketing: As online marketing becomes more sophisticated, it’s now possible to personalize your campaigns to reach the right people at the right time. For example, you can segment your audiences to send email campaigns that are genuinely relevant. You can also remarket to “follow customers around the web”.
- Affordable: Online marketing (and online PR, for that matter) are considerably more affordable than radio advertisements and billboards. Entrepreneurs can do some of the work themselves and outsource tasks to the experts when they need support.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or new to the business world, combining online PR and online marketing will be the key to your success. At Biz Online Marketing, we are on hand to assist with your digital marketing activities. Reach out today for a friendly chat.
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