Web marketing is replacing the traditional methods of marketing at a very alarming rate. We see more and more people wanting to market on the web and are willing to divert a larger part of the marketing budget for online presence of their business.
The options of creating an online presence are many and what will be the optimum fit for your business type shall solely depend on the nature of your business, the online advertising budget, the willingness and the knowledge of your marketing team.
There are various platforms available on the internet , for advertising on the web. Some of them are as follows:
• Search Engines
• Email Campaigns
• Advertising Networks And Affiliates
• Web Directories And Portals
• Press Releases
• Social Media Sites
For building a web presence on the search engines the website has to be made SEO friendly and optimized so as to rank high for the targeted keywords. This can also be achieved by enrolling for a PPC program and pay the bid amount in order to get a ranking under the sponsored listings list on the search engines.
The footprints can be created on the search engines even if you do not have a website . You can add the details about your business on the Google maps or Bing maps and get a local listing for your business.
Now a days search engines have many options on which your business can have a presence on. For eg. Videos, blogs, discussions, news, books, shopping, images, maps, updates.
Email campaigns are conducted by sending details and information about your company products and policies via a newsletter or well designed emails. In order to gain success via this method one needs to collect a long list of email ids or develop a subscriber base through your existing website. There are many professional marketing companies offering this service and there are many bulk emailing softwares also available in the market.
But there are certain factors to be borne in mind when you have email campaigns:
- You should have a web server which follows the standard norms for sending bulk emails (i.e the no. of emails sent per hour should not increase the limit else it will result your domain being enlisted in the spam list.)
- The email should have an unsubscribe link in it so that people who are no longer interested in receiving the newsletters can opt out of it.
- The email should have a complete email signature with all your contact details and links to your social media accounts and website.
- The email should not be sent very frequently.
- You should not expect everyone to reply to you or contact you as the conversion ratio for email campaigns is very very low.
Advertising Networks And Affiliates
An online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. Increasingly, ad networks are companies that pay software developers as well as web sites money for allowing their ads to be shown when people use their software or visit their sites. The best example is Google Adsense where the website which displays the Ad. gets a certain percentage of the Adwords amount bid as per the bid for those keywords and Ad.
Affiliate marketing means using one website to drive traffic to another it is a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers.
In both these types of advertising it is obvious one needs a very strong targeted network to drive traffic and achieve conversions.
Web Directories And Portals
A web directory also indexes the web and lists websites but unlike the search engines the directories are classified into categories and the websites are listed under the relevant categories and are human edited.
The listing in the web directories can be free or at a price depending on the policies of the web directories.
A web portal, also known as a links page, presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. Apart from the standard search engine feature, web portals offer other services such as e-mail, news, stock prices, information, databases and entertainment.
Portals provide a way for enterprises to provide a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications and databases, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether.
Getting the website on directories and portals may or may not result in traffic to the site but surely adds to the web presence and if the portal or directory is of some repute and standing on the web then it is a valuable inbound link which in return helps in affecting the rankings of the site in the search engines.
A press release, news release, media release, or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Commercial press release distribution services, such as PR Newswire, PR NewsChannel and Business Wire, distribute them on the web and this in turn results in a multifold web presence for the website.
Social Media Sites
According to Wikipedia Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.
The most frequented social media sites by the netizens are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, wikis, myspace, etc. these social media sites are conversational platforms hence these sites help you to develop business relations and also can be used to interact with customers and to be customers using strong Public Relations.
Being a socially responsible netizen and keep in mind the theories of inter-personal relations, etiquette, ethics and develop a social reputation which will by itself give a boost to the business objectives you have.
One cannot create an identity on the social media by just tweeting quotes or retweeting famous top tweets or by following the herd mentality. Carve a niche for yourself by being unique and by sharing knowledge and information.
Sales and conversions no doubt are the business objectives but social media is not a market or a mall for displaying goods and services but a platform for interacting with each other and developing the goodwill and a genuine online reputation for your company which surely will result in recommendations and a good WOM and needless to say that in return the realization of the business objective cannot be far behind.
Just like in the real world there are many options for advertising – Newspapers, Magazines, TV, Radio, etc. similarly, you have options for online advertising also . As all these forms of advertising are in one or the other way connected to each other.
The best option is to have a healthy balance of the marketing mix online so that your website gets the maximum value for money spent and the maximum web presence for all the effort put in.
Next time you think for an online marketing strategy , please discuss with your online marketing team regarding what would be the best option and the right mix and prepare a priority list because online strategies take time in churning out results and sending you targeted traffic.
As this targeted traffic has the potential for getting converted to the online business that you are aiming for.
Once the web presence has been achieved and your website starts getting targeted traffic , analyzing the data and taking corrective and decisive actions is the only way to future proof your online presence.
Hence, It is the complete holistic approach to online marketing which will spell SUCCESS for your business online.
You must have surely read in many offices and shops – We cannot spell Success without ‘u’
On the web ‘U’ stands for the ‘USER’ & ‘USER EXPERIENCE’
It goes without saying that right from the time the website is designed or the domain name is decided till it acheives the world wide web presence it is the user who has to be the focus around which all decisions have to be taken.