The emergence of the Internet has provided business owners with a wide range of marketing and promotional opportunities. In fact, when it comes to ideas for marketing your business online, there is more than enough options to choose from. There is nothing to stop a business from utilising all of the available online options but it may be best to focus on one or two and then build it strongly before worrying about the other channels.
The main digital marketing opportunities for a business are:
• Affiliate Marketing
• Display Advertising
• Email marketing
• Search Marketing
• Social Media
• Social Networking
Affiliate marketing sees your product or service being promoted on other websites. A website owner helps to send traffic to your site in order for a share of profits or a commission for their effort. There are three main ways in which an affiliate can earn an income:
• Pay Per Click (PPC)
• Pay Per Sale
• Pay Per Lead
As the names suggest, a website owner can receive an income when a visitor clicks through to another business page, when they make a purchase or for when a lead (such as email address or phone number) is provided. For businesses, affiliate marketing is an effective way to promote as you only pay for results. It can be used to target the audience or market you are looking for.
Display advertising features on websites and it can be very helpful in raising brand awareness or creating an identity around your brand. This mode of advertising is not always the best for some firms because you are pushing the adverts. This means that it will be seen by people who have shown no interest in your product or service, or who may not fit your demographic. However, for a business looking to expand their customer bases, this could be a very good option.
Email marketing is now viewed as a traditional form of marketing
Email marketing remains a very effective way to reach out to customers and prospects who have expressed an interest in your product or services. Email marketing should be conducted after obtaining email addresses in a legal and responsible manner. Reaching out to businesses or clients who have expressed an interest in your product is likely to be more successful than cold calling.
Search marketing revolves around using the power of search engines to promote your business. This can be carried out by buying advertisement links on search engines or it can be carried out by using SEO tactics to ensure that your website and business is found on search engine pages. All of these options are of value but creating strong content is likely to be a more cost effective way of advertising than PPC; but PPC may be the more effective in the short term. Clearly, PPC is a viable option for many firms given the huge popularity of this form of search marketing.
Social media is the platform where so many people can be found these days. This means that it makes sense to have a social media presence. However, it is important for firms to engage in social media marketing in an effective and productive way. It cannot be just about promoting and aiming to sell products or services. Social media users are looking to engage and interact, which means that businesses have to operate in this manner as well. Anyone looking for online marketing ideas that are removed from the traditional will find that social media marketing opportunities are of great value.
Social networking is a modern term and it can be interchanged with social media marketing purposes. However, the networking notion impresses the need to engage and interact with others. It is often necessary for a business to offer something up or to provide something of value to the client or customer.
Digital marketing has transformed the way that businesses can promote themselves reaping the benefits from the new digital era.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.