Both new and old businesses are trying to increase profits by using online marketing to increase sales, while also hoping to raise brand awareness.
While online marketing has its advantages, there are also some disadvantages too. Let’s look at both the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing.
Advantages of Online Marketing
- It can be a low-cost promotion strategy. While Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are an option, it is certainly possible to promote your website, business and offers online without spending a penny. It will take time and effort, but it is possible.
- You can reach a global market. With online marketing, you aren’t stuck in your own neighbourhood. A wider audience may give you a greater chance of running a successful business.
- Reach your target audience quickly and easily. Paid advertisements are an option, and your results can be immediate. With time and an optimised website, you can reach new prospects continuously by ranking at the top of the search engines.
- Collect payments easily. If you enable e-commerce on your website, you’ll be able to collect payments from your customers quickly and easily.
- Market your offers 24/7. If you’ve created a website or established a social media presence, this will be available at all times. It won’t close like a physical store would.
- Trackable, measurable results. You can sign up for analytics tools that allow you to track your campaigns, so you can see how effective they’ve been. For each online ad, you can track both the number of clicks sent to your website and the number of sales acquired too.
- Build customer loyalty. When you engage with your online audience on social media or your website, answer questions, and be open with them about what you can offer, then you’ll build trust. This will increase your sales.
- Build your influence or social currency. When you share content online that resonates with your audience, they are likely to share it. With each share, you increase the reach of your campaign, which increases your audience and potential customers.
- Better conversion rates. With a website, you are only a click or two away from making a sale. Offline, a customer would have to make a phone call or physically go to a store to purchase.
So, as you can see, online marketing is generally easier, quicker, and more efficient than offline marketing. Plus, you can advertise online for free.
Disadvantages of Online Marketing
- It can be time-consuming. Creating content and optimising your website to rank highly can take time. It’s important to measure your results to ensure a profitable return on investment (ROI).
- Potentially lots of competition. Depending on your niche, if you want to reach a global audience, you’re going to meet a lot of competition from those trying to do the same. What can you do to stand out from your competitors?
- Customer complaints and feedback are visible. Even if a customer issue is resolved, the customer complaint will likely stay visible online forever. If you fail to resolve these issues, then your brand reputation can be damaged irreparably.
- Security and privacy issues. If you are collecting data from your users, perhaps with an email list, then it’s important to comply with any laws regarding privacy and data protection.
Online marketing can be lucrative if done effectively. However, if you don’t use effective techniques, then you may not see the return on investment that you hope for.
Regardless, in today’s world, having an online presence is incredibly important. It’s up to you to make it work for your business.