Online marketing is an evolving and challenging marketing technique that no business can ignore. Whether small or big, enterprises have woken up to the importance of online marketing fueled by the ever increasing penetration and popularity of the internet.
There was a time, not so long ago, when people did not know about search engines. Today, we depend heavily on them. Not surprisingly, searches for local businesses ranging from car rentals to bakeries have become extremely popular. All we need to do, is whip out our personal mobile devices and enter what we require and voila!
The Importance of Online Marketing
What businesses understand is how important it is to figure on the list thrown by a search engine, and preferably at the top. Luring potential customers is just the beginning. Getting them to perform an action including, registering, downloading materials, etc is what results in the actual business.
The internet media is different from other more tangible arenas of marketing. The internet is infinite. While traditional marketing can demarcate the potential buyers according to regions, topographies and demography, internet marketing cannot use any of these concepts. The pool of customers is worldwide, of all ages and potentially anyone who has access to the internet.
Online marketing has slowly and surely gained popularity in the past decade so much so that the once doubtful chief executive officer does not hesitate to allocate funds for online marketing anymore. With more and more businesses recognizing the importance and advantages of Online Marketing, it has become more challenging and competitive than ever before.
Online Marketing Success
Like in every other marketing domain, success does not come easy. With increased competition, technological advances, the challenges to sell a product or service online have multiplied. Number of clicks on a page is not enough. It is the number of visits that actually convert to business is what makes the difference between success and failure.
Unlike offline or traditional marketing, online marketing is measureable. Every cent spent and earned can be accounted for. Businesses have begun to make models to calculate and measure the exact return on investment from online marketing. They are more focused on developing serious marketing strategies and innovations to increase their competitiveness. With larger enterprises now willing to spend a significant portion of their advertising budgets on online marketing and advertising, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Online marketing like traditional marketing is influenced by the global economy. With a downturn in the global economy, businesses worldwide are affected and may incur losses. As a preparation to brace for the worst, companies devise strategies and measures to counter the effects of a bad or slow economic growth.
Austerity drives and cost-cuttings play a definitive role during difficult times for any firm, big or small. It is therefore only a matter of time before the management of an enterprise decides to slash the allocated budgets for online marketing.
During tough economic times, companies have to work smartly to remain competitive in the market. Quite obviously, when the economy is poised for a downturn, almost all companies would cut down on the spending. This leaves room for smart companies to capture the market of a competitor who is not forceful in its advertising anymore.
Smart companies follow the rule to make more out of every dollar they have the privilege to spend. Not only do companies with smart online marketing strategies survive the economic downturn, they thrive when the economic curve goes up. With staying ahead as the mantra, online marketing has become extremely competitive, especially during the hard times. Click here to read good news for online marketers.
Competitive Online Marketing Strategies
Without a doubt, online marketing continues to become more competitive with each passing day. With businesses, small or big, global or local, vying for customers and profits, online marketing has been evolving with leaps and bounds. Businesses now employ online marketing strategies such as Search Engine Optimization techniques, Link-building, PayPerClick and Social Media Marketing to promote their business on the web.
1) Search Engine Optimization Techniques:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO techniques can improve the visibility of a website in a search engine. SEO techniques help to increase the rankings of a website during a search.
2) Link Building:
By way of link analysis, search engines find out relevant information like how websites are related to others, etc. Building links is important for a website as it is imperative to increase the traffic and improve the search engine rankings.
3) Pay-Per-Click or PPC:
Pay per click ads is another way of directing web traffic to a website. Owners have to bid on advertisements that are placed among the search engine results for a specific set of keywords. PPC campaigns require a considerable amount of time and investment to promote a website.
4) Social Media Marketing:
This entails using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc to promote your website and get traffic. Social Media Marketing centers its efforts to focus on creating excellent and high quality content for sharing in social networking sites. A message in a social networking site is passed on as word of mouth and is trusted as it comes from a known source.
Internet Marketing Experts
While the internet marketing strategies may seem easy in theory, they are not so straight-forward to implement in the real world scenario. As a business owner, you may be doing everything right and yet not get the results you aimed for. With new search engine algorithm updates, (Google just released the Penguin Update) all that you may have known in the past may not work anymore. It may not be easy to manage your business offline and online at the same time.
To help businesses with technical know-how and business strategies, internet marketing companies offering their consultancy and services have mushroomed all over the world. These firms can help you device strategies and revamp your website to generate more traffic and business for you. You can even learn from many internet experts who have created a name for themselves as domain experts.
Staying Ahead in a Competitive Online Market
We have established that online marketing is getting more competitive each day. In addition, it is essential to emphasize on the need to stay ahead in a competitive market. Click to read more on staying ahead with Internet Marketing.
The important question here is how? Stay ahead using the following:
- Measure the results:
As mentioned above, online marketing is more measureable than offline traditional marketing. Measuring the traffic flowing to your website is not enough. Devise performance indicators that can prove the return on investment to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
- New Avenues:
With the internet permeating to mobile devices, you need to explore the newer possibilities. You may have to make changes to your website to make it friendly for the mobile device. Arriving first in a new domain will keep you ahead of competition.
- Local Searches:
Even if you are a local business, do not take internet marketing lightly. More and more people are taking to searching the internet for local businesses. If you do not figure in the top results, you are compromising your business.
- Video Content:
While static content has ruled the internet, video content is becoming increasing popular with web getting more interactive. Statistics reveal that video content can boost the traffic to your site by about 400 per cent.
- Protect your reputation:
Disgruntled customers writing angry reviews about your business can cause irreparable damage to your reputation and business. Avoid such a situation as much as possible. Communicate with unsatisfied customers to find a solution to the problem.
- Social Media Marketing:
Develop strategies to harness the power of social networks and the business that can come your way through the various social network sites.
Is there a secret potion?
We all know the basics of internet marketing. We have all employed certain strategies or a combination to get the best out of our business. Yet, some of us have not attained the growth or results anticipated.
Is there are secret to effective online marketing? What is an absolute no-no when it comes to online marketing?
Do let me know your comments.