Due to the extensive use of the internet these days, many companies are marketing their products and services through it. Online marketing has become quite powerful and is having a great impact on society.
Consumers are spending more time and resources on websites, social media, mobile apps, etc. searching for products, reviewing brands, reading reviews, watching videos, and purchasing online.
Brands and businesses are tapping into this potential by marketing their products and services online. In this blog, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing in a detailed manner. But before that, let’s get into the basics.
What is Online Marketing?
Online marketing, also known as digital marketing, refers to the use of various internet-based techniques to reach a target audience.
Some of these techniques are content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), video marketing, influencer marketing, display advertising, e-commerce marketing, and paid search marketing.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of online marketing. Read the following sections to know them.
What are the Advantages of Online Marketing?
Here are 11 advantages that brands and businesses would enjoy by marketing online.
1. Online marketing is affordable
One of the most important merits of online marketing is its affordability. Businesses need not spend much money and resources to market themselves online.
A study by HubSpot says that it costs 61% less than conventional offline marketing. This significant cost reduction is brought about by the elimination of expenses related to traveling, printing, etc.
2. Online marketing has a global reach
While traditional offline marketing is limited by geography, online marketing is not. This opens ups opportunities for easily and affordably creating global marketing campaigns.
Even a small business can reach an international audience by opening an e-store. So, with a little innovativeness, businesses can gain global visibility and reach.
3. Better local reach
Online marketing also improves local visibility, which is particularly crucial important if your business depends on customers in your locality. You can bring more customers to your doors with local SEO and locally targeted ads. This would cost you just a fraction of the cost and effort required for offline marketing.
Further, you can also focus on the local links by targeting colleges or universities, city-specific sites and directories, and local news. For this, you can check with the firms or companies that can help you in creating backlinks that can help you to improve your local reach and target the local audience.
4. Brand development
Developing a brand involves taking different kinds of efforts to make its customers consider it trustable and reliable.
Online marketing simplifies this as you can carry out direct campaigning in a personalized manner to engage customers and give them an experience of your brand. Conveying your brand’s value and unique selling proposition positively influences them.
5. Online marketing helps brands demonstrate and build expertise
The most challenging thing for businesses offering professional services is projecting your expertise. The ways to demonstrate and build expertise are limited in traditional marketing.
But in online marketing, there are so many ways to do so. You can post impressive content through different marketing channels to get your message across and demonstrate expertise in your niche. This will attract your target audience and widen your reach.
6. Online marketing allows you to reach prospects where they are
Today, people use different channels on the internet to look for different products and services. This makes it critical for you to reach them where they’re looking for offerings in your niche.
Online marketing allows you to establish a robust and variegated online presence. You can use your website, review sites, search engines, social media, video marketing sites, webinars, and more. To serve various types of content online, you can make a video online, blogs, images, podcasts, infographics, online brochures, eBooks, and so on.
7. Online marketing facilitates personalization
Unlike conventional marketing, where personalizing all of your marketing messages is almost impossible, online marketing not only enables it but also simplifies it.
For instance, with artificial intelligence companies, you can greet your website visitors with their names, send well-tailored promotional emails, begin a chat from where a customer previously left, and more with marketing automation software. These can enhance your customer experience.
8. Online marketing improves conversion rates
Conventional marketing requires consumers to perform various interruptive tasks such as traveling to a shop, making a phone call, etc. On the other hand, online marketing is coherent and seamless.
You can reach people within a few clicks of their mouse, and you can even automate this process. They can also take immediate action. This improves conversions.
9. With online marketing the results are trackable and measurable
Web analytics and other digital metric tools enable businesses to track and analyze the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns online. These give you detailed information about how customers respond to your advertising, visitors interact with your website, and more.
Thus, you can identify what works and what doesn’t. You can thereby hone your marketing skills and market effectively online.
10. Online marketing allows you to target specific audiences
Online marketing empowers you to target specific audiences in an easy and inexpensive way. You can do this in several ways. For instance, participating in group discussions on forums, using hashtags on social media, effectively using targeted keywords in educational blog posts, etc. These increase your conversion rates.
11. Online marketing generates higher profit.
Studies have found that businesses that generate lead online grow at a faster rate. Besides, since they’re able to reach consumers at the right time at the right place, with the right message, they’re able to convert consumers better. All of these enable businesses to generate higher profits with online marketing.
Disadvantages of Online Marketing
Now that we’ve seen the merits of online marketing, here are its disadvantages.
1. Time consumption
The biggest demerit of online marketing is its time-consuming nature. Over time, you’ll understand what works for your brand and what doesn’t. Then you can organize your strategies and use the right techniques to lower time consumption. So, before you enter online marketing, you should have a proper plan with strategies that work.
2. Security and privacy issues
Security and privacy are major concerns when it comes to digital marketing. It is crucial for businesses to safeguard customer data. When customers aren’t confident that a brand or business doesn’t care about their data security, they won’t engage with it. One effective approach is to utilize vulnerability scanners to find security issues.
Although online marketing gives brands a global reach, not all regions or people of the world are reachable through it. For instance, in rural areas where internet service providers aren’t available or internet connection is poor. Further, illiterates and elderly people who do not use the internet aren’t reachable through digital marketing.
4. Reliance on technology
Online marketing entirely relies on modern gadgets, internet technology, and technological devices. So, you need to invest in these to do online marketing. Further, you can’t reach those people who aren’t adept at using these devices.
5. Technological issues
When you face technological issues such as a crude website design, slow page loading speed, website downtime, poor site navigability, poor search engine optimization, and more, you tend to lose web traffic. When such issues are faced, people go to your competitors who are technically sound and offer a seamless experience online.
6. Global competition
Online marketing gives every business a global reach. This also means that you’d have to face global competition. You’ll have to find and apply tactics to fight numerous competitors who are also targeting the same audience. For you need to stand out from the crowd to attract the attention of your consumers.
7. Maintenance Cost
Although online marketing helps cut off many expenses, it can also increase your expenses. For, you need to bear expenses related to investment (in technological gadgets) and maintenance. Besides, you also need to hire web developers and technical specialists to manage your website and online marketing channels.
8. Facing negative feedback and reviews
Unlike conventional marketing, online marketing faces the risk of instant spread of a bad reputation. For, any negative comment, review, feedback, or criticism about your brand can go viral quickly, damaging your brand’s image. So, your customer service team has to be quick in effectively handling customer issues.
9. Anti-brand activities
Also known as cybersquatting, the possibility of anti-brand activities is another demerit of online marketing. In such cases, an individual or a group of individuals can affect a brand’s reputation by falsely spreading rumors about your brand with the intent of spoiling it.
10. Internet Fraudulence
Established brands face the risk of internet fraudulence, where an unauthenticated party can use unethical and fraudulent practices such as using a brand’s trademarks and logos in their marketing. This can defame the concerned established brand. Besides, it can also lead to some financial loss. Such occurrences can also take things out of your control.
11. Likelihood of your promotional strategies being copied
When an online business does well by coming up with innovative tactics, its competitors tend to copy those. This kind of piracy of a brand’s promotional techniques and strategies is another disadvantage of online marketing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Marketing Infographic
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As we’ve seen in this blog, both advantages and disadvantages of online marketing exist. However, in these days of extensive internet usage, the merits always subdue the demerits. Businesses that go online are at a competitive edge.
Besides, there are technological tactics to combat the issues faced online and adopt digital marketing trends. So, do promote your brand online with technical help.
1. What is online marketing?
Online marketing refers to the use of various internet-based techniques to reach a target audience.
2. What are some types of online marketing?
Some types of online marketing include content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), video marketing, influencer marketing, display advertising, e-commerce marketing, and paid search marketing.
3. What is an online marketing strategy?
An online marketing strategy is a set of predetermined actions performed online to achieve certain business objectives.