The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of all times. Through websites and email we are able to operate a business, network, advertise and keep in touch with our customers. If you do not have funds for a large marketing campaign, you may want to try internet marketing. It is less costly than TV, radio or printed ads, but many products do sell through Internet marketing.
Internet Marketing differs from print advertising and person-to-person marketing, but there are quite a few strategies to reach customers and get them to buy online. Here are a few of the more popular and effective online marketing techniques:
1. The more traffic your Website receives, the more sales you are likely to close. One way to increase traffic to your site is through SEO (search engine optimization). This means your Website is clear of any obstacles that would deflect traffic and has plenty of keywords and metatags to attract search engines. I suggest you hire someone who knows how to write in code language and create style sheets rather than set up your own website through one of the templates offered by email providers.
2. Another way to bring more traffic to your site is by using pay per click programs where you create ads and link them to keywords. Both Yahoo and Google have these programs available. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The rate may be from two cents to hundreds of dollars per click. The more you pay per click the higher your ad appears in the search engines.
3. Google AdSense is a program that allows you to generate revenue by placing other people’s text or image ads on your website and in turn have your ad appear on the pages of sites related to your product or service. You can filter out your competitor’s ad so it does not appear on your Website. AdSense puts your ad all over the Web and creates links back to your site which increases your ranking in the search engines. These are not pop up ads that open a box or new screen while you are trying to read the text of a Website. Web page, the hyped up ad remains and may be hard to close. Pop up ads are annoying and along with spamming, they are the worst marketing schemes available.
4. Banner Ads are usually animated, colorful graphics that go horizontally across the top of a Web page. Sky-scraper Ads are similar but they run vertically on the left or right side of a page. Both ads link to another Website (yours) and entice the visitor to leave the page they are on to see what the other site has to offer. These are losing popularity because people don’t enjoy being distracted by the movement. Ads that don’t move or talk are more effective.
5. E-commerce newsletters allow us to develop relationships with our clients and let them know when we invent something they may be interested in. You may start with just a few names and email addresses asking those folks to forward your newsletter (it should have a link to a permission-based sign up form) to their friends and urge them to sign up. Before long you have a new client base to market your product. You will not be spamming since everyone on your list has given you permission to email them.
6. Online magazines offer ad space for a fee (depending upon the magazine’s popularity and traffic) and may appear for the duration of the current issue of the magazine. By selecting a magazine that relates to your product you are able to direct your ad to your target market rather than to a generic audience.
7. Online city guides or industry directories such as Hellometro.com and CitySearch.com are Yellow Pages on the Internet instead of in print. They feature businesses in a particular area. For example, if someone in Atlanta is looking for a toy store, they may use the search engine to browse the online guide and find all the toy stores within a 10 mile radius of their zip code. In addition to the general listing which are many times free, you may purchase an ad for a related page.
8. Website Lead Generation provides you with qualified leads at a set price per lead. These are generated by telemarketing companies who do cold calling to find potential clients for you. Lead Generation Services guarantee a particular level of ROI (return on investment) and frees your staff of marketing efforts.
There are other types of internet marketing, but one thing they all lack is personal interaction with the potential client. You must convey your message with words and pictures to sell your product. Therefore, your website needs to have a call to action. Ask the customer to buy your product or hire you. At the very least ask the visitor to click on a link and get more information. Make sure you have an easy payment system in place to handle credit card purchases. A frustrated customer will take their online business elsewhere.
No matter what online marketing strategy you use, make sure it produces enough sales to cover the ad costs and make a profit. I wish you well in your business.