Online Marketing has constantly evolved since its inception. Now with cellular phone network becoming a part of online medium, the definition of online marketing has seen a shift too; extension would be a more appropriate word.
According to the new definition, online marketing is the science of selling information, products, or services on the internet and various mediums used for accessing the internet, the latest addition to it being cell phones.
Online marketing is considered science, because it involves collecting market information related to the product, potential audience; and competitors; thereafter analyzing this data to arrive at the right marketing strategies; and post its implantation, evaluating effectiveness of those strategies.
On the other hand online marketing is considered an art, because after building several strategies to promote the product or website on the net, the marketer has to apply his experience and market knowledge to select, mix and match the strategies in the right manner to ensure that the final results are most effective and website or product registers sales or conversions. This is the art part of online marketing.
Products, information, and services can be marketed online in several ways. They are all effective vehicles. Make sure they are well understood and applied properly:
Answers to Have Before Choosing Online Marketing Vehicle:
Before you start your online marketing campaign, it is important that you have answers to some important questions regarding your potential audience which will help you devise an effective strategy to promote and market your product or concept amongst your internet audience.
You have to know the gender of your target audience, if any; how much should be his total family income; what should be his educational background; Does your target costumer have to work from home, or, are you targeting people with a traditional 9-5 job; in what capacity should your potential client work (in his own business or office – his/her career profile), the spending power your target customer is supposed to have; are you expecting your costumer to be very, moderate; or not really net savvy? Where is your target customer most likely to look for the product he wishes to buy (and you wish to sell to him) – on the net or off it?
Depending on the answers to the above questions, you will be able to arrive at the profile or your target audience, based on which you can develop an effective online marketing strategy. Your online marketing plan will be in writing, each strategy will broken into tasks or steps in a chronological sequence; will have a time-frame attached to each task or phase, budget will be set aside, clearly laid out steps and schedule to execute each task; monitoring, evaluation and amendment of strategies from time to time.
Following are some of the online marketing vehicles and strategies that can be devised and implemented:
Ecommerce is the first way to market and sell your product on the internet. For this, sometimes e-commerce websites are set up with the help of special shopping software, which facilitate visitor to shop online just like they shop the standard way.
They look around for products on the site, which are placed in appropriate categories with price tags, special offers, details about courier, return and refund policy and so on. Ecommerce also facilitates payments to be made online via direct bank transfer, credit cards etc through secured servers.
2. Online Advertising
Online Advertising is another way of reaching closer to your target audience who are on the net looking for the products and services you are selling. Online advertising can happen in several ways, people choose as per their requirements.
Depending on whether you are selling your product or service via a website, or through affiliate programs or some other medium, you will choose an online advertising vehicle. Online advertising as the name suggest will basically involve use of internet in reaching your product wide and far.
3. Search Engine Marketing
Then there is search engine marketing, which is used by people who are doing business through their websites and blogs. For them ranking high on various search engines for their chosen search keywords and phrase is what will get them closer to their target audience.
Search engine marketing is about building and identifying strategies and applying them on the websites and blogs, which will help these online entrepreneurs to come up in the organic searches, when people type main keywords related to their products and services in the search engines. A big part of internet marketing that happens on the net is SEM.
4. Email Marketing
The next type of online marketing is email marketing where people are sent newsletters and announcements regarding their sale and new offerings etc via email. Email marketing is also considered very effective for a select set of products and audience in a typical market set up.
Here the seller gets in touch with the end user directly and briefs the client about his new offerings. Genuine companies ensure seeking permissions before sending out such emails to their costumers. This type of marketing can be very effectively combined with social media marketing provided you have the knowledge to do it.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is the most recent entrant in the field of online marketing. It’s all about creating a buzz about your business and developing interpersonal relations with your existing as well as potential clients. It’s one of the best ways of reaching a wide array and profiles of audience on one platform.
The number of members that some of the leading social media sites have, it is impossible to find a gathering so large anywhere else. The secret lies in networking with them. Also, social media marketing is not about setting huge budgets aside for promotional campaigns. Plus results and outputs from your social media marketing efforts are clearly visible without having to go through any time consuming research and studying of data etc.
6. Article Marketing
The last type of online marketing is called Article Marketing. It’s been around for a while now and is very popular amongst a large section of online marketers. It’s a way to generate free leads for your business, product or website by way of writing articles. People using article marketing strategy to promote their business, write and publish articles highlighting various features, and advantages in various article directories and libraries.
People either read the articles and click on the live link of their website at the bottom or if they like the article they publish it on their website and give a live link to the write at the bottom. Thus, increasing the exposure of the article, and the website’s link serves the purpose of back link along with increasing its chances of being seen my more people.
Importance of online marketing is increasing at a fast pace; and more and more people are realizing the effectiveness of this strategy. Even the small businesses owners are realizing that it’s not something that is only suitable for medium or large business houses; and that even local business can be promoted with the help of article marketing.
In a Nutshell
An ideal Internet Marketing plan will include an SEO compliant web design and development strategy; practicing white hat, ethical SEO strategies; email marketing; increase market penetration by getting associated with reseller and affiliate programs; marketing via publishing articles and press releases; find ways to interact with your clients by way of creating blogs, contests, via social media networks etc.
If you have read the above post and understood the underlying message you will agree with by inculcating and implementing the above strategies in your business you’ll be able to successfully create a solid internet marketing plan to give a much desired boost your business.