Not all businesses are well-suited for online marketing campaigns which often run alongside traditional marketing effort such as TV ads, print magazine inserts, postal mailings, or sponsorship of live events. Awareness of marketing techniques and traditional marketing resources can create an effect that works in both realms.

Businesses have traditionally reached out to their customers to sell their products, using a range of options from free to very high cost.

Free marketing

Word of mouth. A satisfied customer can often be the best advertising.

Favourable mention in a community bulletin, such as church or school newsletter – possibly in relation to a charitable or joint project with those institutions

Community of users  – such as a book club, motorcycle or car club.

Favourable mention in a newspaper or on television and radio as the product is talked about in the news, or the founder of the company is interviewed by the press

Paid marketing

Paid advertisement in a newspaper, radio ad, or television

Paid endorsement by a celebrity or person of status in one of the media channels

Presence in a physical location – a stall at a community Sunday market, space in a consignment shop all the way up to an on-going shop in an expensive location

Transferring these into the online marketplace can vary in success. Sometimes the cost is much less, sometimes there is a lot more work for the digital marketer to do. Theoretically there are no physical limits  online – apart from the user’s attention span.

Online marketing  – Free

Word of mouth. A new customer can hear about your product or service from their friends through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat. This recommendation, can be very effective as the speaker on your behalf already has the potential customer’s trust.

Favourable mention in a community publication. This could be an online forum where like-minded people gather Users are familiar with each other,  trust is high because it is embedded in a topic that the users already care about.

Online community of users can arise around your product or service itself. Fans of your line of gadgetry will be discussing your product with each other. This kind of community lets you offer previews, discounts, and announcements of new products or services they will want to purchase.

Earned media. Sometimes there is a story around a product or service that makes the mention in a media channel fortunate for the business. This can work against the company, if a flaw in a product is discovered, but it is marketing that the company does not have to pay for directly.

Online marketing – Paid

Paid advertising raises awareness, acquires customers, or convert people to a sale. Money has to be spent here, but you can plan your spend ahead of time. Careful planning and monitoring can assist with this.

Paid endorsement or paid influencer recommendations. These require cash, careful management of the relationship, and early assessment of whether the celebrity is the right fit for the target audience for your product.

Digital presence. This can be as simple as ensuring your massage therapy business has a Facebook page and a twitter account or it could be paying a web design firm to create a complex and lush company web site for you, with shopping cart so people can pay for your product. Your digital presence translates to digital channels and locations where your customers can be immersed in your brand and message

The digital marketer needs to take on the challenge of mixing and matching these techniques in a way that best supports their business and gets them more sales. You will need to create your strategy and set goals, consider creating a digital marketing framework and choosing the best channels for effective reach.