What Is the Most Effective Online Marketing Strategy

The new decade has been tough so far for many businesses. Some are still struggling to pick up from where they left off at the end of 2010+. The current economic uncertainties make it even harder for companies to sustain themselves.

However, things are quite different for others, especially those in the online sector. This is because more people have resorted to online shopping in the past year or two. For context, Australian e-commerce sales reached AUD$76 billion in 2021, a AUD$17 billion-increase from the previous year.

Unfortunately, though, not every online business has enjoyed the upturn reflected in these sales. If your company is one of them, then maybe you might want to adjust your online marketing strategies. Remember, marketing is the backbone of any online company’s success, which explains why businesses are investing more in this department.

According to a marketing budgets report by The Wall Street Journal’s Megah Graham, the average marketing spend in 2022 was 9.5%. Of course, this varies with the industry and the total revenue generated by a company. Here is an excerpt of the report:

The available budget is a key factor in your marketing plan. But even with enough resources at your disposal, you’ll still need to choose an approach that fits your business.
So, which online marketing strategy is the most effective? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on the nature of your business, competitors, and – most importantly – your budget.
That said, this article will discuss some of the best options you might want to try. But first, the basics:

What is Online Marketing?

Online or digital marketing refers to any advertising technique that uses electronic devices to reach the target consumers. The most common devices employed today are computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Digital marketing is often regarded as the modern version of traditional methods like magazine ads and billboards. It can take the following forms, depending on the campaign and platform:

  • Video clips
  • Display ads
  • Social ads
  • Paid search engine ads

This new-age marketing has rapidly grown over the past few years due to advances in technology. For instance, social media is one of the many online platforms that have become quite popular in the modern world. Businesses are targeting such avenues because they’re highly likely to find their prospects on those platforms.

The changing consumer preferences have also contributed to the shift from traditional advertising. Many people nowadays prefer shopping online to visiting the store physically. As such, it makes sense for businesses to market their products and services online instead of offline methods.

This explains the increase in global annual digital marketing spend over the last decade. The total amount spent on this department was AUD$813 billion in 2021, up from AUD$512 billion the previous year. It’s expected to hit as high as over AUD$1.3 trillion by 2026. Here are the projections between 2022 and 2026:

Benefits of Online Marketing

As you can see, online marketing is now taking up a significant portion of the annual marketing budget. So, why are businesses investing heavily in this area?

  • Increased brand awareness: The total number of global internet users is at least 4.9 billion, which represents 69% of the world’s population. Since the average user spends between 17 to 24 hours online every week, you have a better chance of interacting with potential customers across the globe when you go online. Whether you post your products on social media or create a business website, you’ll still meet your customers. However, you have to use strategies that suit your business. For instance, video platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, would be ideal if you’re into interior design, art, or other visual-related ventures.
  • Cheaper marketing options: Digital marketing also has a variety of cheaper options compared to traditional advertising. Publishing a poster on your website or social media handle is cheaper than putting it on a billboard. Spending less money on effective marketing techniques means more profits for your business.
  • Effective targeting: Digital marketing comes with an array of advertising options. Hence, it’s easier for you to reach your specific prospects. For example, when creating a paid social advertisement, you’ll be prompted to specify your preferred demographics. So, if you’d like to target young women, you can put the gender and age brackets. This can increase the conversion rate of your marketing tactics.

The Best Online Marketing Strategies

As mentioned earlier, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to online marketing strategies. But there’s always one that works best in a given business industry. What works for an entertainment firm may not bring the desired results for your food business. This makes your decision-making even more difficult, as you may not know where to focus your resources.

Nevertheless, here are some of the most popular universal game plans that you can either combine or use independently:

  1. Pay per click (PPC) advertisingPay per click, widely known as PPC, is an advertising strategy whereby marketers pay every time someone clicks their ads. The advantage is that you only pay for the number of clicks your ad gets. PPC is among the most commonly used generators for inorganic traffic.
    Perhaps one of the most effective forms of PPC is search engine advertising. Here, your ad appears on top of organic search engine results. The user will see it before scrolling down to check out the rest of the search engine results page (SERP).
    The following are some of the benefits of using PPC to amplify your brand:

        • It’s cost-effective since you only pay for the clicks.
        • It enhances your brand visibility and exposure, as the ad appears at the top of the first SERP.
        • You get instant traffic to your website.
        • It allows you to launch multiple campaigns for every keyword.
        • It has high click-through rates, hence increased sales.

    This marketing technique is ideal for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because of its effective budget management features. As an advertiser, you decide how much you’re willing to spend per click and the number of days your ad will be displayed. The algorithm will stop the campaign when you exhaust the set budget.

  2. Email marketingEmail marketing is one of the oldest strategies used by advertisers. Although many people today employ other channels like social media, email marketing is still one of the most effective styles. In fact, it has an average return on investment (ROI) of AUD$66 per dollar spent, which is the highest. Thus, it remains a key pillar of any digital marketing strategy even for those who’ve invested in other means.How does it work and why is it still effective 50 years after its inception? Email marketing involves sharing new products and service updates with a list of customers. Of course, the first thing you’ll need to do is create a contact list. Here are some tried-and-tested ways of building a list of subscribers:
        • Use sign-up forms on your website.
        • Entice your prospects using freebies
        • Ask customers to subscribe to email updates when they make their purchase.
        • Offer exclusive first-come-first-serve discount deals.
        • Ask your loyal subscribers to share with their friends.

    Email marketing remains relevant in the modern world of business because it’s cost-effective. You can reach thousands of people without spending a fortune on your campaign. Furthermore, this strategy streamlines other marketing channels, which is the main reason why it’s still in use today.

  3. Social media marketingIf you’re targeting modern generations, especially generation Z, then social media should be among your main marketing channels. According to recent statistics, there are more than 3.29 billion people active on social media. That represents at least 42.3% of the global population and is more than half of the internet users.Because of this, many international businesses are investing more resources in social media marketing. The budget could increase even further if the future imminence predictions are anything to go by. Experts suggest that online and offline social media efforts will be completely integrated in the far future since consumers respond better to such interactions.

    What does this mean? Take, for example, the use of augmented reality (AR) in some social media platforms like Snapchat. This technology combines online and real-world environments to enhance the user’s experience. Many brands have already started using this innovative feature to take their marketing campaigns to the next level.

    There are already a few apps that allow you to measure the exact size of a space just by taking photos. For instance, if you want to purchase furniture and you’re not sure if it fits in your room, you can simply take a photo of the room and the app will do the calculations and give the results. This possible integration of online and offline elements is what has pushed many companies to invest more in social media marketing.

    But what about the existing social media marketing platforms? How can you use them to your advantage? You have a high chance of winning more clients on these sites provided you choose the right platform for your business. For instance, businesses like interior décor or event planning require a lot of photos to enhance your marketing. So, the best platform would be Instagram, YouTube, or any other social site designed for photos and videos.

    That said, social media isn’t just useful for today’s marketing but the future as well. It’ll probably get better and more effective in the coming years. Therefore, the sooner you start focusing part of your energy on this marketing channel, the better.

  4. Search engine optimizationNo digital marketing discussion is complete without the mention of search engine optimization (SEO), which refers to the practice of positioning your website to rank among the top search engine results. You’d want your website to appear on the first SERP whenever a user searches for a specific set of keywords.But how do you achieve that? SEO basically focuses on optimizing your site’s content and design to make it as relevant as possible. So, apart from building a nice website, you’ll need to do thorough keyword research and build your backlink profile. In addition, you need to develop engaging content, which can take different forms, such as blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics, e-books, or even animations.

    SEO is as much about knowing your audience’s needs as it is about the technical configuration of your website.
    Here’s an overview of its benefits:

    • It doesn’t necessarily need to cost you anything aside from your time.
    • It builds your online credibility and domain authority.
    • It can maximize your PPC campaigns.
    • It gives you quantifiable results since you can track changes using analytic tools


Each social media strategy discussed above has its advantages. However, how it fits into your business entirely depends on what you’re selling and how you want to reach your clients. The target audience is another important factor to keep in mind. For instance, what works best with generation Z may not suit older generations.

There are some strategies that are universal, though, so you should prioritize them when building your marketing campaigns. Pay per click (PPC), for example, could be one of your best options because it targets anyone who uses the search engine. Additionally, the fact that your ads appear on top of organic search makes it a good web traffic generation plan. And unlike SEO, PPC generates inorganic traffic since you’re technically ‘buying’ clicks.

Email marketing, on the other hand, is quite old but is still quite effective today, but you’ll need a huge list of email contacts for you to get substantial sales from this strategy. If you decide to go with social media, make sure you choose a platform that matches the type of business you’re running.

All of these marketing strategies can bring the desired results if you use them correctly. But it’d be a good idea to combine at least two of them to make your brand more competitive. In fact, many companies have invested in all of these channels. So, if you have enough resources, you could go that route too.