Online marketing is an exciting venue that offers a wide range of opportunities to build brand awareness and customer relations. The possibilities for sharing product information and advertising messages are unlimited. However, it is important to understand which strategies are best suited for your brand and how to implement and track each strategy.
The key to online marketing success is to conduct adequate research and carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy. Afterward, it is crucial to develop a business marketing plan that outlines the requirements for implementing each method.
Conducting sufficient market research is instrumental in developing marketing plans. Business owners need to understand the needs and wants of their demographic market; how they access information; and the types of advertisements they respond to.
Another important aspect of online marketing is determining how consumers access information. Most companies spend marketing dollars to advertise on the Internet. While the majority of consumers access the Internet via computers to conduct research, product comparison, and product reviews, many are now using cell phones and mobile devices.
Companies should spend time learning how to embrace mobile marketing strategies to reach the ever-growing market of cell phone users. It is estimated nearly 20-percent of consumers use handheld devices. Those who do not engage in mobile marketing strategies will lose out on a large percentage of prospective clients.
Prior to implementing mobile marketing it is crucial to become familiar with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines. Internet marketers must be cautious about sending mobile ads to individuals who have not requested advertisements, as well as those between the ages of 13 and 21. They must also be cautious about making claims; particularly when selling health products. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and costly legal expenses.
Another popular online marketing strategy is that of podcasting. Audio podcasts can be used as product infomercials; as Internet radio shows; to present interviews with company executives or industry experts; or share insights about the business.
Podcast marketing is an affordable option that can provide powerful results. Those who engage in this form of online marketing should develop a plan that allows them to consistently offer new podcasts. Doing so allows businesses to develop a loyal following of subscribers who are eager to share podcasts with colleagues, friends, and family as well as promote the information via social media outlets.
Producing online videos is an excellent way to develop brand awareness and build customer relations. This marketing strategy requires business owners to understand the viewing habits of their target market so they can deliver videos in preferred formats.
As mentioned earlier, many consumers use mobile phones to view videos. Therefore, it is smart to learn how to format videos for ease of viewing on small screens, as well as limiting bandwidth requirements.
One of the biggest advantages of engaging in online video marketing is the potential for having videos shared around the globe. Marketing videos can be uploaded to various video directories such as YouTube; published on company websites and blogs; and shared through social media outlets such as Facebook.
Last, but not least, companies can reap multiple benefits by engaging in article marketing. This strategy lets companies earn a reputation as an industry expert by providing sought-after information. Article marketing is an exceptional brand building tool and when performed on a consistent basis can improve search engine placement.
Business owners often neglect this marketing strategy because it is time-consuming and requires a fulltime writer. One cost-reduction solution is to hire freelance writers that specialize in SEO strategies.
Not only does article marketing help build consumer trust and provide additional exposure to your company, it is very effective in providing inbound links. Search engines rank websites based on multiple factors. One of which is the number of quality inbound links.
Prior to engaging in article marketing it is important to determine which article directories are best suited for your needs. Some of the more popular article publishing sites include Ezine Articles, iSnare, ArticlesBase, GO Articles, and Scribd. It is imperative to adhere to each directories terms of service to avoid having articles rejected or accounts terminated.
It can be beneficial to enlist the help of an online marketing company to determine which strategies yield the highest return on investment. Working with professionals eliminates the need for ongoing marketing training; reduces cost of required production equipment; and decreases the amount of time to produce effective advertising campaigns.
Matt Cutts: Director of Google Webspam Team