Online marketing is defined as marketing and promoting your product or service using the internet. Online marketing is definitely the way forward in the marketing world. This is because people have more reliance on the internet today than ever before.
Businesses cannot survive without email as a means of communication, and the web for research and solutions. Consumers rely on the internet for information, email, and to find companies offering the services and products they seek. In addition to this, the majority of people go online every single day. This article serves as a mini online marketing course, designed to help you understand the basics and help you get started.
Online Marketing Terms
Before you decide to start marketing online, you need to be familiar with the various online marketing terms. Below are some of the main ones to get you started:
* Viral Marketing: This refers to creating content, for example videos, games or emails, that are related to your business but also cause a stir. This could be that they are innovative, enjoyable, funny or anything that gets people’s attention. As a result of getting people’s attention, they tell their friends about it, or pass on the email, and your marketing message spreads very fast, like a virus. This is an effective form of online marketing, and if you get it right, people will go looking for your marketing message rather than having to push it in their faces.
* Niche Marketing: This refers to marketing to a specific group of people with specific needs. It is easier to target niches on the internet than any other marketing means.
* Pay Per Click (PPC): A popular way of advertising online using online marketing services and search engines. Your ad is placed on the search results page of relevant keyword searches (search network), or on websites (content network), and every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a set amount to the search engine. Click on the links to read about pay per click advertising and a PPC advertising campaign.
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A way of optimising your website to appear in higher rankings of search results for a particular keyword. Click on the link to read about search engine optimisation and how people search.
* Affiliate Marketing: A pre-determined arrangement which involves advertising and promoting another business, and receiving payment for every person, or group of people, who is directed to their website or takes some form of action on their website.
A Look At Online Marketing Trends
It’s important to know the trends in the online marketing industry, in order to know what your competitors are doing. Below are three of the most popular online marketing trends in 2010.
* Search Engine Optimisation: This is becoming a very popular trend as more and more people and businesses are seeing the benefits of SEO and how important it is. The fact that it is becoming more and more popular means that it is more important than ever to ensure you are using SEO too, in order to compete.
* Paid Search: Many businesses are using paid search and Pay Per Click, which means you may need to bid higher to gain top spots. It also means that it is essential to have your ads amongst your competitor’s ads, or else your brand will probably not even come to people’s minds.
* E-mail Marketing: Marketing through email is becoming increasingly popular, however you must be careful in using it. If you haven’t received full permission to email your customers, they will become irritated with you and may block your email as spam email, giving you a bad reputation.
Advantages Of Online Marketing
There are various reasons as to why you should be using online marketing to market your business. In fact, in this age, online marketing is essential for a business’ survival and growth. Below are some of the main advantages to consider.
* Your business is open all day, every day.
* Customers are able to find out what you are about, make enquiries, browse your product or service offerings, request quotes and make purchases at any time of the day, week or year. They are not restricted by your business hours, which means more business for you.
* Your brand receives high levels of exposure and customer awareness.
* It is inexpensive to inform customers on your subscriber list of your offerings, specials, new products etc, via email. You can also personalise the emails with their names and interests.
Online Marketing Tools
There are many online marketing tools available, designed to make your online marketing strategy easier to monitor and manage. Below are a few that may be of use to you.
* Autoresponders: Designed to make your email marketing strategies easier, autoresponders send an automated response to your customers’ emails. Be weary of using autoresponders, as they can make a customer feel unimportant. If you use them, use them to tell the customer that their enquiry has been received and when they will receive a response.
* Social Media Marketing Tools: Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are very important online marketing tools as that’s where a lot of your customers spend their time. They also make it possible to target specific customers. Click on the link to find out whether or not social media marketing is worth the effort.
* Blogging: Creating blogs about your business is easy, free and builds crediblity.
What You Can Expect From Online Marketing
Overall, running an effective online marketing campaign for your business is definitely the way forward. Online marketing is a technique that offers endless opportunities of growth for your business. It is essential that you make sure your website is developed and up-to-date at all times, so as to not lose any potential customers that are directed to your website. Be prepared for the experience of the extra attention and traffic your website will receive from online marketing.