The UK has the largest e-commerce market in Europe. Its consumers are tempted online by lower costs, more choice and greater convenience. The events of recent months have made public health a vital addition to this list, as digital technologies play a crucial part in supporting individuals and business through the COVID-19 crisis. With e-commerce forecasted to grow a further 34% by 2023, online marketing has never been more essential to business success, and even survival. Here, we guide you through some of the key methods of online marketing to help you choose the right strategy for your business.

1. Establish a social media presence

Social media is the by far the most cost-effective and accessible digital marketing tool at our disposal, making it an ideal option for sole traders and start-ups. With an estimated 42 million users in the UK alone, consider using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to promote your events, showcase your products and advertise promotions to a wider client base. Content must be short, engaging and visual for maximum impact and shareability.

2. Optimise your website content

A strong website remains key to online marketing success. While this may seem obvious, there are a number of things you can do to ensure your website delivers the results you need. Use your knowledge of your target audience to tailor website content and set yourself apart from competitors. Empower your customers with a user-friendly design that is compatible across mobile devices, enabling them to access your site wherever and however they choose. Adopt an organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy by identifying key search words and phrases and integrating them within your copy. SEO tools such as Moz can also help increase the visibility of your site.

3. Consider using PPC advertising

In addition to SEO, you may want to consider pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to increase traffic. PPC is powered by keywords and search algorithms, and you pay a fee each time your advert is clicked. PPC helps drive users to your site and is particularly suited to websites with inbuilt e-commerce facilities, where ‘clicks’ can be directly converted into sales. This strategy is an investment, so be mindful of your margins and ensure you have online content that converts. For help deciding whether PPC is right for you, see the Digital Marketing Institute’s beginner’s guide.

4. Ensure brand consistency across platforms

Even in an increasingly digital world, physical marketing methods still have their place, but consistency is essential. Marketing continuity and a unified business message help build brand recognition and establish consumer trust. Ensure your voice, tone and visuals remain consistent across platforms and reflect the core aims and values your business. In terms of design, keep your language, colour palette and images harmonious to aid brand recognition on- and offline. Your marketing methods should also interact across platforms. A billboard, for example, can direct customers to your website for additional information, or introduce campaign-specific hashtags for them to interact with on social media.

5. Ask the experts!

Online marketing can be a cost-effective way to widen your business reach, improve brand legitimacy and increase customer engagement. And with the digital sphere only growing in influence, staying offline is a huge risk. At Creative Quills, we provide marketing training and bespoke written content tailored to your objectives. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you on your online marketing journey, visit our campaigns page.