Online marketing or online advertisement is a form of marketing that can be done only over the internet. Some examples of online marketing are banner ads, keyword related ads on search engine result pages (SERPs), dynamic ads, online classified ads, blogging, email marketing, social media ads etc.

Online marketing is also known as internet marketing or e-marketing.

Online Marketing Tools

What are the advantages?

  • Marketers can publish promotional content anytime, anywhere. All you need is an internet enabled computer to promote your business.
  • Quite cheaper compared to print/TV ads.
  • Marketers can measure the success of online marketing campaign easily using Google Analytics.
  • Brand marketing gurus can engage with a specific segment of audience. For example- A sports equipments company can target 15-30 age group consumers using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign.
  • Using keyword research tools it’s easier to know what your target customers want and then you can place the ads on proper search engine result pages. Print media and television don’t provide such flexibility.

Types of internet/online marketing and their respective methods of utilization

Internet Marketing Techniques

  • Display ad- You can post banner ads/dynamic ads on third party websites/blogs to attract their visitors towards your website and increase business.
  • SEM (search engine marketing)- It’s a form of marketing that tries to promote websites by escalating their visibility on SERPs. It can be done using non paid SEO techniques and paid contextual advertisement. For instance, you can insert important keywords in your website to help Google find it quickly and publish articles on reputed blogs to acquire quality links.
  • SMM (social media marketing)- It’s the process of gaining consumers’ attention via social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. For instance, you can create a fan page and publish regular updates about your company to increase sales.
  • Email marketing- Directly sending a promotional mail to mass audience. For example, when you launch a new service, you can send a customized mail to all your loyal and potential customers informing them about the benefits of your service and pricing details.
  • Referral marketing- It’s the process of promoting a product/service to new consumers through referrals. For instance, if you are launching a new ecommerce site, give an ad like this in your site “refer 5 of your friends to join our site and get $2 gift coupon for each successful referral.” Since people trust their dear ones’ suggestions, your site will immediately get some positive response.
  • Affiliate marketing- It’s a marketing strategy where you must take help from one or more affiliates and give them rewards for their efforts to bring new customers to your site.
  • Inbound marketing- For inbound marketing, you have to create informative content and share it freely over internet to convert prospective customers into regular buyers. For instance, if you run a web design company, share latest web design and development related news in your blog to establish your expertise and encourage readers to check the services you offer.
  • Video marketing- For video marketing, you need to create engaging videos that will encourage buyers to visit your site to get more information/purchase option. For instance, if you have developed a game, you can create a demo video and upload it on YouTube to create a buzz in the market. You can also upload the video on your website’s homepage for customer interaction.

If I am starting an online marketing campaign, what are the payment models?

Generally, advertisements can be purchased in three ways- CPM, CPC and CPA.

  • CPM stands for Cost per ‘mille’, alternatively known as CPT or cost per thousand. ‘Mille’ is in fact a Latin word meaning thousand. CPM is a common parameter in advertising and it is the result obtained by dividing the price paid for placing an ad by the count of the impressions generated. Impression means estimated views of the ad which is expressed in thousands.
  • CPC or Cost Per Click, alternatively known as PPC or Pay Per Click. In this online marketing payment model advertisers are required to pay the ad publisher (mostly the particular website owner) once the viewer clicks on the keyword targeted advertisement. The ads are placed on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and websites.
  • CPA or Cost Per Action, alternatively known as Pay Per Action. This performance based pricing model is used by the affiliate marketers when they are ‘selling’ a product/service of a third party through publishing ads in their (the affiliates’) websites. The advertiser pays the ad publisher or the affiliate marketer when an action such as purchase or form submission is completed. For instance, if your affiliate is running an ad of your site “Buy iPod at 20% discount from” then you have to pay him for every customer coming to your website clicking on that ad and actually buying something.

Is there any disadvantage?

  • The competition in the market is extremely high. By the time people notice your banner ad or PPC; they may have gone through several other ads and taken a buying decision.
  • Since prices of your products/services are often revealed through ads, your competitors can start offering lower rates.
  • Distributing timely information is very important and to do that you need a dedicated online marketing team. For instance, some companies send “24 hour sales” promotional e-mails to the consumers to boost revenue overnight.
  • Online marketing is completely dependent on technology. If your server is down, you may lose thousands of potential buyers.
  • As you already know, online marketing is powered by internet. If your target consumers are not very internet savvy, they will never notice your marketing campaign.

Online marketing might have some disadvantages, but it is worth a try due to its tremendous reach, given the increasingly tech savvy consumer base. People are spending a lot of time browsing the net to search for relevant information, suitable products/services, or simply to get connected through social networking. So it’s indeed wise to leverage the internet for boosting your visibility factor. This strategy pays off in the long run for small, medium and even large businesses. However, to get the most out of your online marketing strategies, hire professional online marketers to maximize return on investment.

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