Online Marketing Strategy – Which gives the best return?

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The success of a online marketing strategy is dependent on its execution. There really is no one size fits all formula as each business is different therefore affecting how effective the different marketing strategies will be.

Let us address the three main types of online marketing, namely, Paid Advertising, Content Marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and Email Marketing.


Paid Advertising

The price per click on a Google search Ad can vary considerably depending on what industry you are in.  And perhaps the biggest drawback lies in that once you cut spending on the paid ads they instantly turn off. The only lasting value one can derive from the Google Ads are the sales you made while the Ad was active. Whether there is any real return on investment (ROI) using this method is solely dependent on whether the business is able to convert the leads into real sales.  The advantage however to this marketing method is you only really attract the attention of individuals or businesses looking specifically for your product or service.  Using this method the business can attract some real leads.

Content Marketing and SEO

A website without SEO is like a shop in the desert. It doesn’t matter what the store sells, if no one knows about it, it’s not going to earn any business – Reference Donna Duncan

Although SEO and Content Marketing could be done with little to no monetary investment in order to be most effective it will take significant time and or money. The true power of Content Marketing and SEO is their ability to scale exponentially over time rather than giving linear results as with Paid Advertising. To put it simply every blog, article etc you place out there creates a little footprint that creates referral traffic for your business leading straight back to you. It’s really about visibility and making yourself relevant to the consumer. Again making it hard to work out the ROI however the more people know about your business and what you have to offer the more likely they are to pick you over your competitors.  Any articles, information, video, infographics or stuff people can read watch or look at that tells them about your product or service will attract users and position you and your business as an expert in your field. This can also be achieved via Facebook, Twitter and or Instagram etc.

Email Lists

This is by far the most economical albeit slowest method of marketing.  The ROI here is solely based on how many consumers you can get to sign up.  It is key not to send spam.  Use opt in email marketing to talk to your best customers. Deliver relevant information to their inboxes, this can drive sales and cut other costs. The idea is to inform and engage your customers such that they are compelled to tell others about your offerings and thus increasing your customer base. This approach will take time however it will create a more loyal customer base.


Clearly the online marketing strategy which gives the best return is purely based on the needs of the business.  If the desire is to create an instant cash flow and clients perhaps paid advertisements is best.  However, if the requirement is a steady online presence and continuously influx of customers over time Content and SEO is the way to go.  Ultimately a business should look to implement all three of the above mentioned strategies.

For an Online Marketing Strategy that will work for your business contact us.

Timo van Deventer is a SEO Expert in Johannesburg. He owns major ecommerce websites and businesses across the world in various industries. In 2016 TImo helped over 200 business rank on the first page of Google.

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