An online marketing specialist assists companies and individuals in their Internet and email-based marketing efforts. The online marketing specialist evaluates the products and services offered by their employer and typically recommends a mix of Web-based, email and social media strategies for raising positive online awareness of his employer's offerings. In many cases, the marketing specialist also tracks and monitors his employers efforts to make adjustments as necessary to boost his employer's business. He may also take a hands-on role in managing online marketing efforts, such as administering his employer's affiliate program, writing promotional emails, or managing a blog.
Many businesses begin an online presence with a website. While there are many people who are capable of setting up a website, some business owners find that doing so in consultation with an online marketing expert is a wise move. The online marketing consultant can help ensure the site not only looks good, but also that it makes it easy for current and potential customers to get the information they need and, if appropriate, make a purchase online. The marketing specialist may also monitor or even participate in interactive aspects of a company's website, such as a blog, photo gallery, open product ratings system or forum.
Online marketing specialists also work to drive traffic to company websites. A significant aspect of developing website traffic is ensuring a high ranking in search engines so that when Internet users type in a keyword germane to a business, its website appears on the first page of listings. These specialists work to develop a website's search engine optimization (SEO) so that search engines "take notice" and place it high on a list of offerings. Other ways of developing traffic is the use of both print and online advertising as well as targeted email campaigns and affiliate programs.
One advantage of online marketing strategies over traditional media is that it is possible to track marketing efforts and make near-instant changes in direction. An online marketing specialist usually pays particular attention to website statistics, observing consumer behavior on the site. For example, the marketing specialist may notice that customers are often finding his employer's website through the use of a specific set of keywords or keyphrases. When this happens, he can work to emphasize those areas of the website with additional content. He can also observe how long a website visitor spends on particular areas of the website and make changes that make low-traffic areas on which visitors spend little time more appealing.
Social media has also become a significant part of Internet marketing efforts. By using these social networks to bring interesting, fun, and valuable content to potential and current customers, an online marketing specialist can provide his employer with significant, targeted traffic. Social media marketing, however, can be both tricky and time consuming, which is why some online marketing consultants either specialize only in social media or may recommend that their employer hire a social networking specialist to work that aspect of the company's online marketing plan.