Online marketing is the basic part of business life today. It is in fact key skill for everyone in business .You need to have an appreciation of it, and what can be achieved, if only so you can effectively brief the department or agency that undertakes this activity for you. It is a fast evolving activity and new aspects are launched almost daily. By definition as soon as something like this is written it is almost out of date, so learn the basics.
All business people today need to have an appreciation of online marketing. If any, then there could be just few businesses operating that do not need to be involved with this rapidly developing science –or is it an art?
It is a fast evolving activity and new aspects are launched almost daily. Today, almost all consumers searching for a product or information now do it from the internet. It has almost completely replaced all hard copy reference books we have been using over the past.
The term online marketing covers online advertising, internet marketing, or e-marketing.
What is the market size for online marketing?
Today, advertisers spend a lot in the internet advertising compared to what is spent on the newspaper and magazine ad globally. Consequently there is a growing appetite from marketers and advertisers to reach this online audience of over 2 billion internet users worldwide.
One of the most exciting developments in the online marketing field is the roll-out of new advertising formats for mobile platforms. There are also advances of technologies which give businesses better tools for online targeting, as well as the introduction of ‘rich media’ and interactive adverts which are effective in attracting higher levels of engagement from consumers.
Types of online advertisements
Online advertising is widely used on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. A significant number of these are delivered by an ad server. They include banner, keyword advertising, blogs, social network advertising, advertising networks, cross-platform ads and e-mail marketing among others out there.
The aggressive advantages of online advertising over traditional advertising are immediacy, efficiency, and customization.
Information and content that is not limited by geography or time can be published immediately. The emerging area of interactive advertising presents fresh challenges for advertisers.
The advertiser’s investment can be targeted and be efficient.
Advertisements can be customized. This allows for effective targeting of clients by interest or geography. For example, Ads can be delivered to a person’s phone, promoting restaurants, shops and cinemas in close proximity to them.
Ad Words, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Ad Sense enable ads to be publicized on relevant web pages or beside search results.
A surprising number of business executives don’t appreciate and exploit the internet’s usefulness. Many could benefit from learning the basics of Online marketing, how to use PPC ads, SEO, social media and blogs, to reach a wide audience for their products and services.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How do I use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook?
Social media platforms will give you an excellent opportunity to connect and engage with people, ask questions, listen and respond to what they say. You can also join discussions, and remember to be yourself! With all social media, the secret is consistency.
Be careful of “buying” followers-known as “social seeding”. This will eventually backfire, as Twitter improves its ability to judge users by the quality of those who follow them. You don’t want to lose credibility with your real followers by having fake ones.
But you may need to use a small amount of “social seeding” to get you over the Twitter hurdles as you build your own initial following. Twitter rules prevent you from following more than 2,000 people until the ratio of people also following you has risen “enough.”
With Twitter, without a little bit of social seeding help, it can take a long time and a lot of effort to reach that number.
But be careful – a share of “purchased” followers will eventually fall away so you need to do all you can to keep it real.
On Twitter, use hash tags (#online marketing, for example) to track conversations on a particular topic and invite others to join.
On Facebook, post on relevant people’s and companies’ walls.
Build networks of relevant friends and offer promotional materials and useful content.
How and when should I blog? What can I blog about?
This is a great chance to talk directly to your clients on a regular basis. Think of it as a short, frequent newsletter. It’s a good idea to keep posts short and to the point, to encourage people to read your blog – they won’t bother if you are boring!! Post often, maybe not every day, but be consistent. Blog about ideas relevant to your business, or issues that have arisen with customers that you think others may benefit from sharing, or a new product launch. Keep your content relevant to your target audience.
You can flag up anything else you think would be helpful to your followers, for example a news item, a website, or an industry event. Share the link to the resource.
- Make an announcement,
- Run a regular contest –e.g. If you own a restaurant you can select a winner for a free meal and announce the names only on your blog.
- Although the main focus should be your business, sharing something personal, like your birthday or holiday, or what you are doing at the weekend, makes you real, connects people to you and builds trust.
- Canvass opinion – Use social media to crowd-source your research.
- Offer a discount
- Reply to a question a customer asked you.
- Mention what you are doing now or tomorrow
- Offer congratulations or thanks
- Wish someone well or happy birthday
Don’t restrict yourself to pitching your products. Blend it up and pick subjects that increase the value of your readers. If you do this well they will return to read future posts.
What about YouTube?
In today’s marketing world, Video is the king of content. There are many different online video platforms, but YouTube has the largest audience and is very popular.
Most people prefer to watch video rather than reading text on a page. The best length for a video is 2 or 3 minutes (the shorter the better).The video must be relevant and engaging, or people won’t watch through to the end.
If your video is effective, it will motivate potential clients to read your copy to learn more.
You can use YouTube analytics, to learn what’s most effective for you and then build on it.
You can create your own YouTube channel, customized it to include your branding.
The usual marketing principles apply. Videos should have a “call to action” and a link back to a relevant landing page on your site where people can learn more, and ideally buy your products or services.
Taking them to a landing page means that your link takes them straight to a page where they can buy the product, not to your home page.
How to get your site listed on search engines?
Ten years ago companies would charge to submit your website to all the major search engines but that isn’t necessary now.
You don’t need to contact search engines to get your site “listed” in their results, it will happen automatically.
Google spiders crawl new websites within hours of their creation. The key to getting a good listing is to have great content, relevant to the topics your potential clients are searching for.
Do I need to buy links to improve my search engine ranking?
Opinions are always divided on this. Some advocate for them while others not.
Others say No, because Google can tell which links are relevant to a specific topic , so paid links can be a waste of money, and may even negatively impact your online marketing as Google may penalize you by lowering your website rankings.
There are lots of ways to get links from relevant sites without purchasing them…cool!!!
Good content will bring people to your site. This can include articles, information, maps, blog posts, videos, etc.
Use social media to promote your site by inviting people to visit to see what you’ve created. Comment on other people’s blogs. As you produce and share relevant and useful content, people will link back to it.
What is the difference between Pay per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up above and to the right hand side of organic search results. These ads search engine results are based on how much companies are willing to pay to put them there, and each time someone clicks their links, they pay the search engine a fee.
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves getting Web pages to rank high on search engines through links from other websites, quality content on those pages, and other factors that do not cost money, but do need an investment of time.
How do I measure my campaign’s success?
Many tools such as Google Analytics will help you track which pages are the most effective at turning visitors into leads, the keywords and links people use to find your site, and how they interact with your content and tools.
A key performance indicator is a page’s conversion rate. This is the percentage of visitors who turn into leads by taking whatever action you want them to while on that page–filling out a form, downloading a free trial, calling a phone number.
By tracking this number, you can test what works and what doesn’t to see how to engage visitors and inspire them to make a purchase