Online Marketing

What is Online Marketing?

The World Wide Web has provided a great vehicle for marketing for many companies. More and more, businesses are taking advantage of web’s speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness to deliver return on investment from advertising and promotional campaigns not available to traditional media.

Online Marketing encompasses many forms of interactive activity including banner/button advertisements and links on websites, email marketing and newsletters, affiliate marketing, online classifieds listing and search engine marketing. It can contribute to an organisation’s overall marketing mix by driving more users to a website, the online shop front and lead to increased website visitation and sales.

What are the Online Marketing business benefits?

The key advantage Online Marketing has over various other forms of marketing is that the activity you undertake such as email, advertising banners and search engine marketing is in the same medium as where the user will find and or buy your product – online! Online Marketing has a number of other benefits including:

Branding – An organisation’s products, services, offers and logos can be displayed visually and sometimes with streaming video and audio, on the Internet.

Direct Response –
Online Marketing is very fast; users can respond to marketing instantly. This allows business to receive more immediate results from promotional and advertising efforts via the Internet.

Targeting – Technologies – such as personalisation and geo-coding where users are visiting from – can help marketers target very niche audiences, quite often speaking to a very hard to reach group. This allows businesses to tailor different promotional and advertising messages and offers to each group.

Tracking – The strongest element of Online Marketing is that everything is track-able and results can be seen almost instantly. This means if something is not working, you can stop it. If it is working, you can do more of it!

Return on Investment – Because tracking Online Marketing is so strong, you can ensure that you can always stay on top of your return on investment. Being able to determine how many people clicked on a banner advertisement or email link allows business owners to calculate their return on investment quite easily and provide accountability often not associated with other forms of marketing.

Inexpensive –
Online Marketing, particularly email and buying keywords on Internet search engines can be very inexpensive. Email costs are usually incorporated into the connection fee to an Internet Service Provider by including unlimited emails as part of the service whereas purchasing keywords on a search engine such as Google or Yahoo can cost as little as 1 cent per word per click.

What types of Online Marketing can I use?

Online marketing can be broadly categorised as any or all of the elements below. Each method is purpose specific and has its particular strengths and weaknesses. Before you invest in any Online Marketing, make sure you are using the appropriate element that will deliver the outcome you need.

Banner Advertisements
A graphical file (usually 468 x 60 pixels) that can be hypertext linked for potential customers to ‘click’ directly to an advertiser’s website. Banner advertising is mostly used for driving awareness of your product or offer with your target market. It can also drive response if you have a call to action such as – “Like the house you saw on the weekend? Click here now to see if you can afford it!”
Banners advertisements are a popular form of advertising and come in different shapes and sizes as you can see on large portal websites such as www.ninemsn.com.au or www.theage.com.au .

Sponsorship
Closely associates content with the advertiser and is suitable for corporate branding and creating awareness. When you sponsor a web site online, your brand takes on the attributes of that site. For example, if a bank sponsors a real estate site, then one could say that the user has come to that site to find a house, and they could then go to the bank’s site to seek finance. Examples of sponsorships can be best seen on websites such as www.afl.com.au and www.ninemsn.com.au.

Classifieds Listings
Like newspaper classifieds, online classifieds are a powerful way to place your business in front of people who are ready to buy. The strength of online classifieds over offline classifieds is that users can search for exactly what they want very quickly through clever indexing technology (product, price, location, etc)., Also, because of the technology advantage, online classifieds extend not just to traditional classifieds but also online auctions which offer a whole new way of selling products and services. Examples of online classifieds include www.tradingpost.com.au and www.yellowpages.com.au .

Email Marketing
Email marketing can be done in two ways. The first is to place advertising or a message in someone else’s email newsletter. For example, when you receive a newsletter from The Age online, it will contain advertiser messages and usually a small display banner advertisement. This is a great way to neatly target your audience. All you have to do is find a newsletter that is sent to a target market similar to yours and you can market to that group very effectively!

The second form of email marketing is by actually publishing an email marketing communication or newsletter yourself to your customers. This is a great way to keep top of mind with your customers. When undertaking this type of Online Marketing, be careful not to just push products and specials. It is also good to provide information about your products so your customers can make a more informed decision about their purchases.

Email Marketing Tracking:
If you are looking for technologies for email marketing that provide the tracking and data management beyond Microsoft Outlook then try the following websites:
www.edmpublisher.com.au
www2.doubleclick.com/apac/
www.citrusengage.com.au

Partnership or affiliate marketing
Advertisers selling goods online can develop networks of ‘affiliates’ that put up banner advertisements or other links on their own websites in return for a proportion of the business generated. This is a great way to limit the risk of advertising by only paying for successful sales.

Examples of affiliate marketing are available at:
www.commissionmonster.com.au
www.amazon.com
www.chaosmusic.com/affiliates

Search Engine Marketing

Apart from email, more people search the Internet using search engines such as Google and Yahoo more than any other application. Most people who don’t know where to find what they are looking for on the World Wide Web start at a search engine. Therefore, if your business is not known by everyone, and even if you are, a great way to get noticed is to get your website listed on a search engine.

It is important to make sure your site is registered with all the major search engines. Some of these are free, others cost money. If you have a little more money you can actually buy keywords. For example, if you are a plumber and you buy the word ‘plumbing’, your website will be returned to the results page following someone typing in the word ‘plumbing’ into the Search engine.
Popular Search engines include: www.google.com.au , www.yahoo.com.au , www.sensis.com.au and search.ninemsn.com.au

What does Online Marketing cost?

Online Marketing can cost very little or can cost a lot, depending on the impact you want to make. On the sites listed in the section above, all have costs clearly articulated on their sites. The below listed online advertising and rates serve only as an indication and up to date prices should be requested from online advertising suppliers.

Online Advertising
Many websites accept paid advertising, on any of a flat, ‘per impression’ (view) or ‘per click’ basis. Advertisements can be plain text, banners, buttons or ‘pop-ups’.

Cost per Thousand (CPM)

Cost per Thousand (Roman M) impressions (views) is the price paid by advertisers to a website to display a banner advertisement one thousand times. The average CPM is approximately $15 to $35.

Cost per Click (CPC)
The price paid by advertisers to acquire a single customer and occurs when a user clicks on an
advertisement and is transferred to the organisation’s website. The average CPC is approximately $1 to $3.

Cost per lead or sale
New technology allows a click on an advertisement to be traced back to the originating website. Instead of earnings based on the impression or click, advertising hosts are paid if that referral results in an appointment or sale.

Sponsorship
Flat fee – approximately $100 to $10,000 per month, depending on the type and popularity of website or email.

Email Marketing
Costs for permission email marketing vary depending on the email format and size, the quantity of recipients, the level of reporting and additional services required. From $10 to $100 per month set-up fee or cost per month fee. Set up fees: approximately $250 to $500. Price per email From approximately $0.04 to $0.25 for a list of up to 1,000 subscribers. Price per email: Approximately $0.01 to $0.15 for a list of up to 40,000 subscribers Email software programs can be downloaded from the Internet from approximately $100.

Search Engine Marketing
Search engines charge for keyword advertising and employ a range of techniques to ensure your website is found ahead of your competitors’. Prices vary depending on the traffic to a website, agencies commissions and positioning of the advertisements. Please note that some websites require a minimum monthly spend. From $0.01 cent per word upwards $60 per hour or a flat fee for bulk listings to search engines for $200.

Questions to ask about Online Marketing?

What should I do first?
The first thing to do is invest in a search engine marketing program. This involves making sure that your website can be found on search engines in two ways. Firstly, you need to be found when a user searches under your business name. Secondly, and more importantly, you need to be found when people are searching specifically under your products and services. For example, if you sell pets, you should make sure you come up on search results under such things as ‘goldfish’, ‘kittens’ and ‘puppies’.

Should I email my customers regularly?
Yes! Your existing customers will continue to be your best source of revenue. By talking to them monthly on email, you can inform them of specials you have available but also add value with deeper information about your products. By emailing your customers regularly, you keep your product or service top of mind with your customers and ensure they continue to shop with you, rather than go to your competitors.

What about Spam, will I be Spamming my customers if I email them?
In Australia, email is not Spam if the recipient of the email has consented to receiving the email from you. Email consent is the pillar of the Spam laws in Australia. To read more about ensuring you don’t breach the Spam Act 2003, visit the Australian Communications Authority website at www.spam.aca.gov.au .

What are some other online Marketing tips?
Online Marketing is the most measurable form of marketing available. With any form of online advertising and promotion, you will be able to see if it has worked or not. Make sure you stay on top of all the data that tells you how your online Marketing is performing. This way you can see what has worked and what has not.

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