The pros and cons of Online Marketing

If you own a small business, online marketing cannot be ignored. As consumer habits change, shoppers are more likely to go online to research it prior to buying. In fact, many consumers are likely to research a product online while shopping in store.

All businesses should consider online marketing in some way, shape, or form, or they might risk missing out on key business.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing is the process of using web-based channels to reach a wider audience for your brand, products, or services. A variety of techniques can be used such as email, SEO, and social media (as well as more). Its main objective is to reach new and potential customers through the internet.

To put it briefly, if a marketing campaign involves communication via the internet, it’s online marketing.

Why does your business need an online marketing strategy?

Online marketing has become increasingly important in recent times because of how many people are using the internet (5 billion in 2022). From social media to email newsletters, there are many ways to reach your target audience which is why it’s so popular. Additionally, digital marketing is relatively cost-effective making it the perfect way for small businesses to do some promotion.

As with every type of marketing, there are always some pros and cons to consider. In this post, we look at the pros and cons so that you can decide whether online marketing is right for your business.

Pros of online marketing

Cost-effective solution

When compared to traditional marketing techniques, a properly planned and well executed digital marketing campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost. Digital marketing allows businesses to track pretty much everything through reporting tools and make adjustments where necessary so that they can shift away efforts from something that isn’t working to something that is.

Global reach

Traditional forms of marketing are restricted by geography and curating a global marketing campaign can be costly and time consuming. Digital marketing on the other hand, happens online, which means that the reach you can achieve is incredible. A small local business can reach a global audience if they have an online shop. This wouldn’t be possible with traditional marketing without spending hundreds of thousands of pounds. The great thing about online is that it allows businesses to find new markets, new consumers, and new business globally with minimal up-front investment.

Higher ROI than traditional marketing

If you take the time to properly invest in a digital marketing plan, you will get a higher ROI. This is because digital marketing allows you to target your ideal audience, and this increases the chances of the audience turning into paying customers.

One way this can be done is by implementing a robust SEO strategy. By targeting keywords and search intent, your business can utilise their resources and budget effectively.

Allows you to target your key audience

The great thing about online marketing is that it allows you to target the audience you want to buy your products and services. There are a variety of ways this can be done however SEO is one that pays dividends over time. An freelance SEO consultant can help you to implement an SEO strategy that works for your business and inform you where to adjust when necessary, so that you can continue to drive organic traffic and stand the best chance of converting visitors into customers.

Brand Development

If you’re a new business, it’s incredibly important that you establish yourself as trustworthy and reliable and online marketing can help you do just that. By using a variety of online marketing techniques, digital marketing can help customers engage with your brand and allows them to experience it fully. This can help to foster a positive connection and put your brand at the forefront of consumer’s minds next time they decide to make a purchase.

Cons of online marketing

Time consuming

It takes businesses a lot of time to plan, implement and review online marketing campaigns and with many small business owners already wearing many hats, it can become difficult to devote time to campaigns. This can lead to negative results.

Global competition

A wider reach can be great, but it can also mean that your business faces competition. It can be difficult to establish your brand against other well-established competitors and to grab attention of target users, which is why brands must understand their consumer first and respond to their needs quickly.

Skills requirement

The person in charge of your online campaign should understand the digital skills they need to be able to create an engaging campaign that yields results. With regular advancements in technology and updates to Google algorithms, it’s important that a digital marketer stays on top of this otherwise your campaign could fail before it’s even begun.


Although everything comes with pros and cons, online marketing can be one of the best ways for you to get your brand out there and compete with the big dogs. If you have little experience or are unsure where to start, a freelance SEO specialist could just be the tool you need to help get you started.