Internet marketing is like digging a gold mine. 97% people focus on 99% dirt and keep complaining. 3% people focus on 1% gold and keep it collecting.
− Sanja Budin, Owner, smartbizprofits.com
Marketing is carried out with the intent of reaching out to a maximum number of people in exchange of minimum cost. When Internet was still in its formative years, marketing people used to depend on traditional media such as television, radio, handbills, billboards, newspapers, and magazines.
Today, the Internet is premium source for promoting your business. There has been a rapid rise in the number of internet users since last few years. Thus Internet is the lucrative place to promote the business.
As defined by the American Marketing Association, “marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offers that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”.
Marketing changes the perspective of a person. There are two approaches of marketing −
Online marketing is advertising and marketing the products or services of a business over Internet.
Online marketing relies upon websites or emails to reach to the users and it is combined with e-commerce to facilitate the business transactions. In online marketing, you can promote the products and services via websites, blogs, email, social media, forums, and mobile Apps.
Online marketing is also termed as Internet marketing, Web marketing, or simply, OLM.
The goal of traditional marketing and online marketing are same − To attract and drive visitors of advertise to buy the product thereby increasing the business profit. Let us see the difference between two approaches now −
|Traditional Marketing||Online Marketing|
|It is difficult to measure. You cannot know how many people read your advertise and how many took favorable action upon viewing it.||It is measurable. You can know the number of people who viewed the online advertise, and the number of ones who purchased the product.|
|It is not cost-effective.||It is more cost-effective.|
|It is not so good for brand building.||It is fast and efficient for brand building.|
|In some way, it interrupts regular activities of users such as television advertises interrupt the program you are watching, billboards divert focus of the driver, etc.||It is not interrupting. The user can attend online advertises as per his/her convenience and preferences.|
|It may leave users’ queries unanswered as printing or narrating complete information about the product or service may not be always feasible.||It can provide maximum information about the product or service, offers, and transactions.|
Online marketing is widely practiced strategy of advertising or promoting sales and name of the business. Wise use of the online marketing strategies can take the business to unprecedented levels of success.
Online marketing has various components as shown in the illustration below −
Here in this tutorial, we will provide an insight into each of these components one by one in detail.
Business organizations need to set clear objectives and strong market understanding. To research the market, you can −
Review your website traffic.
Review the Ad conversion rates.
Review the queries asked by your existing customers.
Identify the customers’ pain points that they post on various platforms such as yahoo answers, blogs, social media, and other sites.
Anticipate and compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with their clear answers and align them to customers’ pain points.
Include the fact sheet about product if required.
Choosing a correct and relevant set of keywords can help design a crisp and persuasive advertise for online marketing. Before accessing any keyword research tool, ask yourself −
Mapping the right keywords around the users’ pain points in a hierarchical manner makes an effective website. You need to categorize the keywords in a thematic order and then link the respective articles to the keywords. This makes the website easy maintain.
The ultimate goal of analytics is to identify actionable insights on monthly basis which can help to make favorable changes to the website gradually. This in turn ultimately leads to strong profits in long term.
It is placing crisp, simple, and tempting Ads on the websites to attract the viewers’ attention and developing viewers’ interest in the product or service.
It is creating awareness about the business and promoting it on smart phones that people carry with them inseparably.
It is the activity of optimizing web pages or complete website in order to make them search engine friendly, thus getting higher position in the search results. It contributes to overall rankings of the keywords through influencing factors such as appropriate titles, meta descriptions, website speed, links, etc.
It includes creating profiles of your brand on social media platforms such as Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It assures that you remain connected to the existing or potential customers, build awareness about the products and services, create interest in and desire to buy your product, and interact with the customers on their own terms and convenience.
You can interact with the customers to answer their queries using automatic responders and enhance the customer experience with your website.
You can offer the options such as signing-in to subscribe to your newsletter. You can make the emails catchy and crisp, so that they don’t make recipients annoyed. Also, you can use selected best words in the subject line to boost the open rate.
It includes creation and sharing of media and publishing the content in order to acquire and retain customers.
Blogs are web pages created by an individual or a group of individuals. They are updated on a regular basis. You can write blogs for business promotion.
Banners are long strips of cloth with a slogan or design. They are carried for demonstration, procession, or hung in a public place. There are internet banners in parallel to tangible banners for advertising.
They are nothing but message boards of online discussion websites, where people posts messages and engage into conversation.
Here is a list of the standard terms used in the domain of online marketing −
It is a person or an organization that places advertisements to drive sale or lead through it.
It is an online advertisement in the form of a graphic image that appears on a web page.
It is the maximum amount an advertiser is ready to pay for a click.
They both are the tactics of online marketing. There is no color significance about being good or bad.
Black Hat Tactics are less pure and farther from search engine’s terms of service.
White Hat Tactics of online marketing are closely bound to a search engine’s terms of service.
It is a navigation scheme that reveals user’s location on the website or application. It offers a way to trace the path back to the user’s original landing point.
It is a series of operations performed to achieve a desired goal in a particular area.
Click Through Rate = Clicks / Impressions %
A visitor when completes a target action.
It is the cost the advertiser pays only when a desired action is achieved.
It refers to the amount the advertiser pays when his Ad is clicked on, giving him a visitor to his website − typically from a search engine in PPC marketing.
It is the amount paid for every 1000 impressions of an advertisement.
They are annoying, frustrating, and difficult to solve things or situations for the customer, which the customers may not have anticipated or cannot verbalize. They need urgent addressing.
It is a web-based service with which the users can create chain of primitive conditional statements, called recipes. The recipes are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
It is a hyperlink on a third-party web page that points to a web page on your website.
It is a metric that shows whether an objective of the business is achieved.
It is the total number of people or households exposed at least once to a medium of Advertising in given span of time.
It refers to paid advertising on search engines, sometimes called PPC advertising. The advertiser pays only for each click on the Ad.
It provides the advertisers a required amount of space on its website to publish the advertisement.
It is a variable that influences ranking of a website.
It is process of elevating website ranking in the unpaid results of search engine.
It is measuring the effectiveness of an online advertise by collecting and evaluating statistics.
It is the method of indexing the contents of the website or the internet as a whole.
“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It is only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.”
- Jill Whalen, SEO Practitioner for last 20 years.
In today’s age of information and marketing, the website of the business is the key to the entire business. It is crucial for a business to make its website listed at higher position. A high-position website increases the visibility of the website to as many people as possible.
You can make your business website catchy and engaging, by maintaining a simple and aesthetically pleasant design. You can add relevant texts and images at appropriate places, use pleasant color schemes, etc. But while competing with the other parallel online businesses, making a pleasant and well-organized website is not sufficient to acquire higher rank. You need to make it search-engine friendly too.
Wendy Piersall, the Blogger and Speaker, says, Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. A search engine should notice your website and enlist it at high rank.
To make it effective in terms of Search Engine Optimization, you need to add description about the content used on the web pages and use appropriate keywords.
The search engine such as Google sends crawlers (also called spiders or bots) to harvest the content on your website. Crawlers are nothing but programs which systematically browse the Internet for the purpose of web indexing. They cannot comprehend images or animations but can read their tags.
The crawler adds your web pages into the search engine’s database. You need people to find your website for the content they search for. To materialize this, you need to serve the content to the crawler in such format that it can interpret, analyze, and identify its relevance with users’ search query.
The crawler compares the information on the web page with the information it finds by itself. It executes various algorithms to check if the page is indeed relevant and ensure that you are not trying to fool the system using Black Hat SEO tactics to make your page rank higher.
In order to acquire high rank and make your website search-engine-friendly, you need to follow the given guidelines −
Build a website that search engine can read and understand. Use the technology such as CSS.
Create a sitemap to make search engine help discover every page of the website.
Get links from trusted sources.
Use Accurate keywords to get your page captured.
Add Meta tags and text to your images.
Make sure that your HTML code is error-free.
Check and act upon for broken links. For example, 404 errors.
Remove any hidden text.
Do not plagiarize content from other websites. Keep original content.
Keep the content up-to-date.
Discuss website specifications with the web design and development team. Get a clear idea on content, organization of information, etc.
Group and organize the content by relevance. Use menu items to help users find the information easily.
Place logo, taglines, and primary descriptions on the page to create the best possible first impression of the user.
Avoid providing horizontal scroll bar.
Use text links in footer. They support navigation and are very useful for both users and search engines.
Use breadcrumb navigation to facilitate users to track their location within your website. It helps search engines to understand the structure of your website.
Consider each page as a landing page providing all the information to the user. Guide the user for next appropriate actions
Keep eyes on page loading time. A longer page loading time increases bounce rate and leads to lower ranking.
Use appealing and relevant images in gif, jpg, or png formats that allow alt text support.
Avoid pop-ups. They are annoying.
Create an unavoidable, catchy, and informative landing page.
Use html heading elements (H1 to H6) to include descriptive headlines and take advantage of their importance for the search engines.
Use the Keyword Analyzer tool. Using long text and/or excessive keywords is not a good practice.
If you want the text to be indexed, do not add it in images or animations.
Use clear Call to Action to ask users to proceed for conversion.
Keep the process of conversion as clear, simple, and unambiguous as possible so that user understands and converts.
Use user interaction where required such as asking to comment or share.
Incorporate social media buttons suit.
For multilingual websites, the menu may require more space than it does for English.
Reserve some space for advertise banners. You can use the standard sizes for banner Ads.
An attractive and user friendly design of website is more likely to attract the links, better ranking, reducing bounce rate, and increasing the average time on site.
Do not use flash for navigation.
Ensure your website design fits to the standard screen resolution, typically 1024×768 pixels. Take the help of Google Analytics to know widely used screen resolutions.
Test the website on various browsers to ensure it renders properly.
Deactivate flash and other plugins to see the content as a search spider does. Alternatively you can use the Spider View feature of the Web SEO Analysis tool.
“Think like a publisher, not like a marketer.”
− David Meerman Scott, Online marketing strategist.
In the era of Internet, people can get a lot of information online, which increases their awareness about lifestyles, products, and services. For them, the Internet serves as a channel for not only communication but also for transaction and distribution. People can visit the website and can pay online for what they purchase.
You can increase the business profit in multifold by online advertises of your products and services.
Online advertising is a type of business promotion which uses Internet to deliver marketing messages to attract customers.
With the rapid growth of Internet users and Internet technology, a number of businesses started to advertise their products and services online.
Publishing an online Ad is a sequential process. The following diagram shows the basic steps an Ad publisher takes to create and post the Ad online −
The marketing team conducts analysis of various domains.
Based on the analysis results, the advertiser decides on −
Ad space list is created to record Ad space availability status, space profile, location, presentation, scheduling method, frequency, etc.
Advertisers and Publishers interact to determine online Ad space. There are three types of Ad space trading −
Buy and Sell − Publishers sell the Ad space schedule to Advertisers on first-come-first-serve basis.
Space Auction − Ad space bidding is conducted to settle the trade.
Space Exchange − Multiple publishers interact with each other to sell the space schedules available with them, which have not been sold.
The online publishers create and maintain advertising schedules for the online Ad space. They help the advertisers for booking, purchasing, and confirming various schedules for online advertisements.
The online publishers collect advertisement from the advertiser and materialize the specified ad spaces by displaying the advertisement as per the specified schedules.
All active Ad spaces in the publishing websites are monitored and measured. After the Ad is actually visible and accessible online, it is evaluated regularly for performance. The analyzers collect data and evaluate the effectiveness on the viewers, its popularity, Ad space management, etc.
The advertisers pay the publishers by pre-decided terms of payment for the published online Ad.
The performance of an online Ad is measured to enable the marketing team to analyze the readings of measurement.
The performance measurement can uncover the following facts −
Effectiveness of the Ad on views.
Problems related to the Ad such as inappropriate content, incorrect targeting of people, Ad place, and timing for publishing.
Estimation and prediction of sales in short and long terms.
The performance metrics of Online Ad are as follows −
Clicks − It is the number of times viewer clicks the Ad. It can be taken as viewer’s acknowledgement to your Ad. It suggests that the viewer has seen the Ad and wants further information.
Impressions − It is the number of times your Ad is displayed on the web page.
Click Through Rate (CTR) − It is the ratio of Ad clicks to Ad impressions. The higher the CTR, the more relevant your Ad is.
Cost Per Click (CPC) − It is the amount advertiser pays for each click on the Ad. The number of clicks determines the amount of payment. The lower CPC is better.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions or Cost Per Mille (CPM) − It is the amount the advertiser pays for thousand clicks.
Return On Investment (ROI) − It is (Return – Investment) X 100. The higher ROI is better.
Online advertising is beneficial over conventional advertising in many ways.
Internet access is easy and affordable. Today, the number of global internet users is almost 3 billion. No other conventional advertising medium can bring such huge audience for your products or services.
Internet is capable of serving multimedia substance such as audio and video content apart from text and graphics. Multimedia advertisements are highly persuasive.
Internet by nature is interactive. It can provide a reliable platform for smooth shopping experience for people. The conversion rate is high for compelling advertises.
No time or demographic constraints on delivering the online advertise.
Online advertising is promotional as well as informational.
It brings speedy outcomes.
It provides effective performance tracking.
“Smartphones are reinventing the connection between companies and their customers.”
− Rich Miner, Partner at Google Ventures and Co-Founder, Android
Use of web-enabled smartphones in last decade has increased exponentially. The people use mobile devices to communicate with their family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. They stay connected to the society on various social networks, keep themselves updated on current affairs and lifestyle. Apart from accessing E-Mails, browsing, and messaging, people spend a huge amount of time on mobile apps for their utility and entertainment quotient.
Today, the mobile devices such as smartphones, e-books, and tablets are inseparable parts of their daily lives. Mobile advertising takes the advantage of this thereby reaching out to the hands, pockets, and bags of the people.
It is a form of business promotion on Internet-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones, e-books, and tablets to deliver marketing Advertises.
Increasing the brand awareness.
Promoting business with good Ads across all mobile phone models, network technologies, and data bandwidths.
Providing support for specific engagements.
Driving sales of the product or service.
Mobile advertising comes with the following advantages −
Mobile advertising provides an opportunity to connect with the people on-the-go and at a personal level.
It helps to achieve your objective of winning new customers and earning conversions.
It helps to fulfill your business branding goals.
It can deliver intended impact by posting engaging and interactive Ads on the mobile Internet and Apps.
The Mobile Advertising can be done in the following ways −
It is a universal colored graphics Ad unit displayed on a Mobile website. It is a still image or an animation intended for use in mass-market campaigns. It must be allowed to click by the viewers and can be placed in any location on a mobile-friendly website.
The recommended formats for these Ads are − GIF, PNG, or JPEG formats for still images and GIF format for animated images.
It is a supplement Ad unit defined by the two-stages − display and activation. In display, an RMMA Ad resides in a usual Ad space of an application or website and calls for action in form of a banner or similar Ad unit. The RMMA features are activated only when the viewer clicks or swipes on the displayed banner.
It is a supplement monochrome, still graphics Ad unit for Ads that target older mobile phones which do not support graphics. It can be followed by a Text Tagline Ad to emphasize the clickable character in the Ad unit.
It is an Ad unit that displays only text. Text links may be used below a Mobile Web Banner Ad. It also can be used for older mobile phones which do not provide support for graphics. At times the publishers also prefer to use them over graphical ads on mobile websites. Mobile screen width has no effect on text tagline sizes.
The Short Message Service (SMS) allows communication between mobile phones by exchanging short text messages limited to 160 characters. Short Messages can be exchanged among all operating networks on every mobile phone in the world. Thus it creates a vast market for SMS-based advertising.
SMS supports messages exchanged among mobile users as well as among mobile users and machines, such as a PC, application, or server.
It is a text-only medium. The font size is entirely controlled by the mobile phone and is not under the control of advertiser or publisher.
Length of Ad lies between 20 to 90 characters.
Ad is inserted by publisher only at the end of the SMS content.
The advertising opportunity using MMS is significant. MMS is a rich media messaging service that allows mobile users to exchange the messages or media with images, audio, video, and text. MMS Ads can be of various types such as Short Text Ads, Audio Ads, Video Ads, Banner Ads, etc.
This media resides on the user’s mobile phone once received, hence Wi-Fi or data connection is not required to access the Ad content again.
The MMS image Ads come in JPEG and PNG formats for still images and in GIF format for animated ones. They come in varied sizes such as Small, Medium, Large, extra Large, double extra Large.
The recommended video formats are 3GP and 3G2.
They must not exceed 100KB file size.
These Ads are played as video on the mobile. The advertisers need to follow the recommendation for Mobile Video content as given −
Landscape aspect Ratios should be 4:3, 16:9, and 11:9.
File formats should be − WMV, AVI, MOV, MPEG2, .3GP
Audio quality should be − 16bit 44Khz stereo.
Video quality should be − 250kbps, 20-30 frames per second.
Avoid using fast-moving videos.
Avoid rapid scene changes.
Avoid using small font for advertising messages.
Avoid dark shots.
These Ads are launched by the publishers alongside the host mobile application. To minimize user’s frustration about loading the App, publishers should display these Ads before launching or after exiting of the application. It is recommended that −
Mobile users are notified that they will be leaving App environment to experience the Ad.
If Ads need to be displayed during the use of App, they publishers should use banners to avoid switching the user away from the application domain.
Publishers need to prevent the user’s right to cancel the Ad and return to the App.
The problem with the conventional Ads such as banners was they were designed for personal computers. They are translated to mobile version with a great effort. They are so small that the mobile users prone to click on them unintentionally and regret for doing so. Also, with the conventional mobile Ads, the users have to click through to another website where they find the product and proceed for purchasing.
Experts are developing sensor-based motion Ads to enhance users’ experience with the mobile Ads.
Most state-of-the-art smartphones have a number of tiny sensors. There is an accelerometer to detect movement and orientation of the mobile phone, the gyroscope for measuring device rotation around X, Y, and Z axes, a compass to detect North direction, etc. Together, these sensors are extremely useful for mobile advertising.
For example, an Ad can be created for making your own cocktail which requires shaking the phone after selecting a few ingredients. Thus, it would be very engaging and interactive in a realistic manner.
Creating such Ads require machine learning algorithms that can understand different motions and take action on them. A challenge with these Ads is, they need to respond to the users’ action in real time.
“In 2004, good SEO made you remarkable on the net.
In 2014, good SEO is a result of being remarkable.”
− Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining market online by purchasing Ads on search engines, say Google, Yahoo, or Bing. SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
The search engines use algorithms to provide the most relevant results to every user. For producing best suggestions to the users’ queries, they consider not only the search keywords entered by users but also users’ location, type of device and operating system they are working on, users’ preferences, and their identities.
The better the search algorithm is, the happier the user is with its results.
Search marketing works with two approaches −
In the first type of search marketing where advertisers earn traffic through unpaid listings, there are two popular methods − organic and non-organic search.
|Organic SEO||Non-organic SEO|
|It takes more time to create as more concentrated towards content creation, building hyperlinks, meta-tag optimization, keyword enhancement, etc.||It is speedy.|
|It yields late effect.||It brings immediate effect.|
|It focuses on long term results.||It focuses on short term results.|
|It is inexpensive.||It is very expensive.|
They cannot be affected financially.
Once the design of the website and its content is good, it requires less management.
They can get affected financially.
It required high degree of management.
|Organic SEO is called White Hat search tactic.||Inorganic search is Black Hat search tactic.|
Organic results can be achieved by Search Engine Optimization. You need to invest time and expertise in creating an appealing yet efficient website that can work to build long lasting trust in your business.
You need to build your business website according to SEO techniques which use White Hat Tactics for rank improvement. The SEO techniques are described in chapter SEO Friendly Website.
They can be improved in two ways −
Inorganic results are instantly reflected. Here is a checklist for inorganic search optimization −
It is better and safer to start with Organic SEO in case of small business because it requires low-cost investment. In addition, it builds your internet presence gradually and creates a solid foundation for your business. It is found that the organic search results are very much likely to get attention of the viewers.
Inorganic SEO is good for customer targeting. For example, PPC advertising. While opting for this, you need to make sure you are investing in the appropriate advertise. You need huge funds to hire a management or your own dedicated expertise, which can take care of your paid searches.
Though organic and inorganic results are independent of each other’s performance, yet you need to perform well in both to boost up your business. Paid Ads boost your business and website ranking. Organic results marks trust on your business.
These are the general steps involved in search engine marketing −
Define your target audience.
Identify their needs and motivations.
Highlight how your product is best to serve their needs.
Review your business position in the marketplace.
Identify your competitors.
Identify your specific goals and benchmarks, such as search ranking, sales, website traffic, and other ROI metrics.
Select most important phrases relevant to your business.
Also select the phrases that are frequently searched by your target customers.
Conduct brainstorm sessions for potential terms your customers use when thinking about your products and capabilities.
Interact with your sales and customer service teams, and best customers to know the frequently used phrases.
Employ a keyword research tools to compile a list of highly searched terms.
Focus on your website structure. Keep it simple.
The search engines looks for the underlying code of your website when they visit your website.
Create crisp, clear, and correct content that can retain users’ attention.
Use your keyword phrases relevantly in pages title tags, heading tags, directory names, file names, alt tags and meta tags.
Pay attention to meta description. It is shown in the search results below your link, providing a great opportunity for you to bring visitors to your Website.
To be visible online to the customers, ensure that all the pages of your website are completely indexed by the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
For speedy process of getting indexed by the other engines, submit your website to the DMOZ.org, an Open Directory Project. Once DMOZ accepts your website, Yahoo and other search engines have no problem indexing your website.
Build links to your website from valued links of other websites that are frequented by your targeted visitors.
The more quality inbound links you have, the more popular your website is with Google and other engines.
Make your website content is link-worthy. Create interesting and informative content on your website such as a library of best practices articles, blog trends in your industry, etc.
You can also garner links from vendors, customers, business partners, and trade associations.
Distribute press releases and articles online.
Bid on the most relevant keywords. Do not pick them based on only popularity.
Make sure your product offer is interesting to the potential customer.
Tie the bidding strategy to business results. In many cases a lower Ad position will produce a higher ROI.
Finally, include a compelling ‘call to action’ in the Ad and send traffic to a relevant landing page tied to the Ad.
“Never forget social media is for reach but email is for revenue.”
− Bryan Eisenberg, Online marketing expert, Professional speaker.
E-Mail marketing is promoting your business by sending overt E-Mails and newsletters. It uses promotional letter clubbed with product and service details to deliver the business message to audience. It is cost effective method to convey your message to highly targeted visitors. Results of E-Mail marketing are quantifiable and measureable.
There are following types of Emails used for E-Mail marketing −
You get these mails after you are done with any transaction such as buying a product. They confirm the business transaction with information such as cost per unit, number of units bought, total cost, mode of payment, shipping details, delivery time, etc.
They include information to keep customers involved. They foster relationship with customer.
They carry details of any promotional activity such as sale, new offers, etc.
E-Mail marketing being cost-efficient and measurable, needs strategic planning and creative execution of campaign. You need to personalize message, deploy it, and analyze the results.
These are the general steps taken to set up an E-Mail marketing campaign.
Create a database of customers. You can buy it or can generate from your website backend. Embed the customer details such as contact information, client status, lead source, etc.
Create a newsletter. Put in the relevant information they may need. Set the subject line timings and frequency. Add discounts and bonus you offer.
Make it look eye-catchy, informational, and useful.
Mention deal expiry date and time.
Drop a link in email if necessary.
Buy servers capable enough to bear the load.
Test you email before you send it. Check all details, images, and links.
Deploy your newsletter.
Analyze the performance of E-mail advertise. For example, E-mail delivery rate, email opening rate, conversions etc.
Make sure you comply with anti-spam laws of that particular country.
The essential metrics you should be tracking for E-Mail campaign are −
Click Through Rate − It gives you clear view of how many people engage with your mail and are interested in what you offer.
Conversion Rate − It helps you know, to what extent you are able to achieve your goals.
Bounce Rate − It lets you know how many consider you as a spammer of worth time wasting.
Subscribers’ Growth Rate − It lets you decide how much you are able to extend your reach.
Email Forwarding Rate − The more is the rate the more interested are your customers.
Overall ROI − The gist of tracking is how many leads you are able to generate through your campaigns.
You can also keep a track of open rate and unsubscribed rate. This may even help you to predict audience behavior.
“Affiliate Marketing Has Made Businesses Millions And Ordinary People Millionaires.”
− Larry Bussey, CEO of Action, Printing & Paper.
Affiliates are the extended sales force of your business. Affiliate marketing employs one or more third parties to drive sales to the business. It is performance based marketing where an advertiser pays one or more affiliates when they bring viewers or customers with their own efforts.
It is unlike PPC in which advertiser needs to pay the publisher for every visitor it brings to your website.
Once you opt for affiliate marketing, you get access to control panel. Here you can generate a unique URL link to the advertisers’ web pages. When the customer parses that link, he is taken as referrals through that particular affiliate program.
The advertisers may place conversion pixel on thank you page to track sale.
There are two payment modules −
Pay for Sales Lead − The payment is made when customer raises an enquiry, irrespective of the purchases incurred by him.
Pay for Product Sale − The advertiser has to pay a percentage or an amount on sale of every product or services. For example, you are charged 10% on a product sale or Rs. 100 per sale.
Cloak links − These are the short and pretty links for long URLs of affiliates. These links look good and help in increasing the CTR.
Write reviews that sell. Add unique selling points to them.
Include affiliate links to your post.
Use banners of all affiliate products to reach higher CTR.
There is one more type of marketing called Referral Marketing. As both forms of marketing are based on business associations and employ third parties for increasing sales, they can be confusing.
The main difference between affiliate marketing and referral marketing is that affiliate marketing depends purely on financial motivations to drive sales whereas referral marketing relies on personal relationships and trust among businessmen to drive sales.
“Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.”
− Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
Social media offers a great opportunity to discover new information, connect and interact with others, and share their perspectives. The inseparable presence of social media in the daily lives provides a great boost to market the business.
Social media marketing is a sound way to gain the website traffic via social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. The content posted on these channels captivates people to go through it, thus advertising your business. Social media marketing helps you build quality links, thus supporting your SEO efforts.
Social media is important for the following reasons −
Social media platforms vary by different factors. Over 50% of social media users use 2+ platforms and they do so for different interest. Different platforms serve different purpose.
You may not have ample time to spend on every platform daily but you may use maximum of every single one.
Facebook is the largest social networking site these days. This makes it prominent business gainer. You can post images, videos, and anything related to your industry. Simultaneously, you may indulge in conversation with your audience by posting and commenting.
To make maximum use of Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page in an appealing layout. Make efforts to attract people to like and share it. You can post what you have to offer on the page. Include visuals for better results.
Google+ lets you upload and share visuals. Take advantage of +1 and Google+ circles. This lets you segment the customers accordingly and refrain those who may not be useful to your business. Follow others to learn the contemporary trends.
Pinterest is an emerging social media platform that allows you to showcase what you have to offer. You can create pinboards for your products and services and invite others to follow you. The pins on pinboards include link to your website. Post attractive images of your products with specification and let people follow you freely.
It lets you broadcast any update on internet. Follow people or companies related to your business and gain followers in return. Use hashtag to capture audience who are not your followers. Tweet with an embedded link of your site to get traffic onto it.
It is the largest professional social marketing site to let you contact the other professionals related to your field. You can hire or get hired on Linkedin. You can explore all categories and follow people. Invite others to see what they are up to. You can build a strong business profile to shine on it. You can encourage customers for recommendation. It makes you appear more credible and trustworthy.
Instagram has devoted users. It lets you share pictures and videos with family and friends. It makes your business look interesting and innovative. On Instagram, you can post your content in the form of images.
YouTube is a video sharing website. You can upload and view a video. You can also comment on it. YouTube can help you immensely in building brand awareness in a quick span of time.
Here are some social media marketing tips −
Plan − Build a plan to attract your targeted audience.
Content − Ensure you are offering valuable, correct, and up-to-date information to the audience.
Blog − Develop a blog to post social media content, contests, and events.
Links − Add great and worthy links that your audience may enjoy and learn from.
Quantify Results − Measure results to trace your efforts. Analyze which strategies you need to follow and which to turn off.
Track Your Competitors − It provides you marketing insights. You can also refine strategies and keywords which are working for them and can work for you as well.
Keep Patience − Apply all efforts and keep patience. Social media results take time to reap the fruits.
“It takes many good deeds to build the reputation, and only one bad to lose it.”
− Benjamin Franklin, Founding father of United States of America.
Reputation has prime importance in business. Reputation management helps you in building brand. You put a lot of efforts in shaping our business. You structure your online reputation and struggle to improve its visibility. At times you feel that you have put in your 100% efforts. Yet, there are dissatisfied customers not pleased with your products or services.
On the contrast, the negative reviews of the customers on the Internet reach to large number of people, far and wide. The negative reviews can impact your brand adversely and give a cut-off to efforts and time you spent on building your reputation. Hence it is important to gain customers’ trust, and experience with your business to keep the reputation high.
Online Reputation management is monitoring the status of your business on internet by managing the negative content that is destroying the reputation and using customer feedback solutions to give them satisfactory results. Here is what happens in practice −
Unresolved customer issue → bad experience for customer → loss of reputation → loss in business revenue.
If you provide a great experience to your customers, they share it with their friends and the good words spread. If your business has good reputation, it grows to generate more revenue.
You should know what others are saying about you. Monitor the web by activating Google alerts and If This Then That (IFTTT). See the negative content, react on it and manage searches for your name such as site links and business details on maps. Use customers’ feedbacks and reviews to mind the difference in how you identify yourself and how customers view it.
There are so many companies that failed in digital world due to negative reviews of customers.
Nestle receives negative reviews about their environmental practices. They paid no heed to it. People started becoming hostile and posted against the company, thus forcing the company to shut their public page.
They responded coldly to some a negative tweet against their inability to provide electrical outlets for laptops. This was termed in negative public relation case.
You should take it seriously if you encounter the following things against you −
Negative Reviews − It may lead to loss in sale.
Hate Sites − These sites address businesses with insult and false information.
Negative Media Coverage − Bad publicity adversely impacts your brand name.
This is what you need to be ready for at any given point of time −
Here are some tips on managing online reputation −
Improve tagging and SEO.
Strive to build links from strong and reliable sources.
Use authentic customers’ testimonials to rule out negative content.
Do not impose invalid reviews in order to push customers’ testimonials.
Publish original posts with valuable information.
Do not copy or post vague articles.
Submit press releases to mark your presence. This lets other know your brand.
Get mentioned by third party to show your credibility. Make sure you ask a prominent name for this.
Respond to negative reviews politely. Do not use harsh words. Also, do take care to address your customer immediately.
Offer great products and services to satisfy your customers.
Motivate all your clients to give you reviews. Better reviews help in better sales.
“Marketing is telling the world you are a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
− Robert Rose, Content Marketing Strategist, Author & Speaker.
Advertising uses the content to describe the business, brand, and business reputation. The content can be in various forms such as news, webpages, videos, white papers, infographics, podcasts, blogs, case studies, and photographs.
Content is what is sold or accessed on the Internet. Content developers create the content to provide the information to the viewers. It can be in the form of text, graphics, and animation.
Content marketing refers to the approach of creating and sharing of informative, relevant, valuable, and consistent content to convert a group of audience into customers and retain them. Content marketing is non-interruptive way of marketing.
Good content helps customers become more knowledgeable about the product or service and make better buying judgment.
The goals of content marketing are as follows −
Brand Awareness − It marks the presence of your brand.
Sale − It boosts lead generation at quicker pace.
Customer-Vendor Relationship Building − It helps in creating engagement between buyer and the company.
Customer Retention − Pleasing content attracts customers and helps one in retaining him.
Let us see what each type of content gives −
They contain news about new product release, updates on products, etc. For example, news of releasing new mobile handset on website of NDTV gadgets.
SEO webpages can hold the content in the best possible way and sell the content.
They say, video is the second best thing to pursue a viewer in person. Creating crisp and compact videos can bring good market at doorstep. Promote your business videos across multiple channels, and ensure that your videos are optimized for mobile viewing, as an increasing number of users view them from their mobile devices.
These are long, vertical graphics or columns that include graphs, charts, statistics, and other information. Infographics makes use of the fact that 90% information transmitted to human brain is visual, which makes people perceive it faster than text.
They are digital files available in the form of episodes, which can be downloaded on the PC. They can come in various formats such as audio, video, e-Pub, and pdf. It allows people to subscribe and it can prove as a powerful medium to communicate a range of ideas, products, and information to audience. The businesses engaged in podcasting are − IBM, Oracle, Yarn Craft, etc.
Business blogs deliver excellent content marketing. Blogs are required for a business to survive in the race of content marketing.
Case studies are detailed studies pertaining to a particular problem, action, individual, organization, event, or action, existing at a specific place at a given time. They encourage content marketing to build trust in the product and in turn business.
A picture speaks a thousand words. Pleasant and relevant pictures can stand as a good content for content marketing and boosts the business.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
− Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft Inc
Blogs, banners, and forums are yet influencing domains of online marketing. They can make your business stand out from the crowd. They are capable of building a good impression among viewers.
A blog for marketing your products and services can give your business an identity and a voice to gain visibility on the Internet. Blogs being interactive, the others can share their opinions on the blogs. By authoring a blog, your business can get an expert position in the industry. In today’s world on online marketing, blogs contribute a huge share.
Each time you write a blog post, one indexed page is created on your website. It intimates Google and other search engines that your website is active. This intimation makes the search engines check your website frequently to see the new content you published that they should surface.
Thus, every blog post is an opportunity for your business to be prominently visible to the search engines and increase the website traffic.
Use simple language. Write clearly.
Use relevant images.
If you use quotes or extracts written by someone, give them due credit.
Do not use bad language.
Do not write to hurt people belonging to any ethnicity, race, color, gender, etc.
Do not use copyrighted content.
Do not plagiarize content.
Do not hesitate to open your blog to access others’ comments on your blog.
Online banners are nothing but small stripes of graphics containing links which take the visitor to explore information about offers, product releases, etc.
Banners can appear on website, mobile Apps, blogs, or forums. You can use the following banners to attract and retain user’s attention to your website −
Static − They display still text/images that are hyperlinked to your website.
Animated − They play GIFs or Flash files.
Interactive − They involve user interaction. For example, interactive map.
Expanding − They expand in in terms of display size and information when users hover the mouse pointer on them.
Research shows that viewers engage with banner Ads more than TV Ads or outdoor Ads. The banner Ads are capable of targeting by gender, age, lifestyle, and geography better than most other media. They allow to reach huge number of consumers at low cost.
They are the message boards where people can put their viewpoints, opinions, ideas, etc. Like-minded people can form communities to improve their online presence, and share their knowledge, experiences, tips, and tricks. Similarly, people can discuss and recommend products on forums. For example, the Internet marketing forum named Webmaster Sun, affiliate marketing forum Wicked Fire, etc.
When people discuss a single topic, it is called as a thread. Forums provide a vast platform for online marketing. They help find new customers.
Contact the Admin. Post private messages explaining your products/services and ask about paid sponsorship. Ask how advertising works on that forum.
Register yourself for advertising your products/services.
Contribute on forum. Ask questions, answer others’ questions, and overall, be a valued contributor.
Take the criticism positively, do not ignore it either.
Do not post messages with sole commercial interest.
Do not post marketing messages without getting to know about forum’s policies.
Avoid forums engaged by direct competitors.
Do not be offensive. Do not feel offended either when other members write against your products or policies.
Look for forums with at least 1000 users and at least 5000 posts.
“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”
− Dan Zarella, Social Media Scientist at HubSpot.
A business needs it to collect the data about ongoing activities, results, and effects of policies and strategies, etc., when it comes to online marketing. Web analytics comes to help to do this.
Web analytics is used to determine the performance of investments assigned in terms of online advertises, customers, and business profitability. Web analytics plays an important role in calculating ROI of your business.
Web Analytics or Online Analytics refers to the analysis of quantifiable and measureable data of your website with the aim of understanding and optimizing the web usage.
Web analytics focuses on various issues. For example,
Web analytics improves online experience for your customers and elevates your business prospects. There are various Web Analytics tools available in the market. For example, Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, etc.
There are two types of web analytics −
On-site − It measures the users’ behaviour once it is on the website. For example, measurement of your website performance.
Off-site − It is the measurement and analysis irrespective of whether you own or maintain a website. For example, measurement of visibility, comments, potential audience, etc.
There are three basic metrics of web analytics −
It is most basic metric of measurement. It is represented as a whole number or a fraction. For example,
It is typically a count divided by some other count. For example, Page views per visit.
It depends upon the business type and strategy. KPI varies from one business to another.
Google Analytics gives you more insight data accurately. You can understand the data at two levels micro level and macro level.
It pertains to an individual or a small group of individuals. For example, number of times job application submitted, number of times print this page was clicked, etc.
It is concerned with the primary business objectives with huge groups of people such as communities, nation, etc. For example, number of conversions in a particular demographic.
These are the few measurements conducted in web analytics −
It shows how long a person stays on your web page. What all pages he surf. To make your web pages more engaging, include informative content, visuals, fonts and bullets.
If a person leaves your website within a span of 30 sec, it is considered as a bounce. The rate at which users spin back is called the bounce rate.
To minimize bounce rate include related posts, clear call-to-action and backlinks in your webpages.
Dashboard is single page view of information important to user. You can create your own dashboards keeping in mind your requirements. You may keep only frequently viewed data on dashboard.
Event tracking allows you to track other activities on your website. For example, you can track downloads and sign-ups through event tracking.
You can overview traffic sources. You can even filter it further. Figuring out the key areas can help you learn about the area of improvement.
It allows you to view a traffic report for past time. You can click on graph and type in to save it for future study.
It gives you a clear picture of pages visited and the sequence of the same. Understanding users’ path may help you in re-navigation in order to give customer a hassle-free navigation.
It gives you insight about website’s content section. You can see how each page is doing, website loading speed, etc.
Analytics lets you track goals and path used to achieve these goals. You can get details regarding, product performances, purchase amount, and mode of billing.
Web Analytics offer you more than this. All you need is to analyze things minutely and keep patience.
More is the load time, the more is bounce rate. Tracking page load time is equally important.
Behavior lets you know page views and time spent on website. You can find out how customer behaves once he is on your website.
As a famous proverb says, “what gets measured, gets managed”. Measuring online marketing efforts results in properly managed website and boosting business.
Properly measured metrics give you the insight of data and enables you to predict the revenue better. The following metrics measure your online marketing efforts −
Total visits is the swarming traffic on you website. It gives you enough idea of how well your campaigns are driving. If it seems to fall, you need to investigate the marketing channels. The total number of visits should keep rising in order to state your website a healthy one.
This lets you figure out new and recurring visitors on your website. If they are on rise means your website is compelling and informative enough to catch the attention of the customers and sticky enough to encourage the previous visitors.
It shows how many visitors leave your website without further exploring it. A higher bounce rate is a matter of concern. It should decrease as low as it can.
It gives you source of origin of traffic. This helps a lot in deciding which channels are performing well over others.
The number of conversions measures the overall productivity of an online Ad. It tells success story of your overall marketing efforts. Lower conversion rate may be due to poor products/services or irrelevant visitors.
It gives you clear picture of how much you are spending over earnings. It lets you decide what you should be investing in further.
ROI reveals profitability. A positive ROI means a successful and well implemented Ad campaign laid on plans and strategies whereas negative ROI is a result of bad offering and bouncing visitors. It is a matter of concern.
You must check these metrics on a regular basis. This will help you examine your website well and decide which metrics work best. On the basis of these metrics, you can work using right strategy to cover enough leads.
Online marketing provides distributes information about the business faster, anywhere, and anytime. You need to take wise steps to market your products and services for −
Online business has grown immensely. There are millions of website on internet trying to reach prospective customers. Internet has reached every corner of the world. Nearly 80% of world population seek Internet for information. The market reach has expanded. Number of e-commerce websites have risen in a short span. Online shopping has become a trend. With online marketing, both business and buyers are getting benefitted.
The impact can be judged by rising numbers of tools and technologies to provide assistance to customers and measure the results. Billion dollars are spend on advertising on Internet. It shows the clear picture of effect of internet marketing on business. The impact of business promotion is overt as millions of marketers are making huge profits.
Online marketing delivers better results and revenues than the traditional marketing channels.
Wider reach to the customers. The online business is not confined to the limitations of physical place. You can sell the products in any part of the country without actually opening outlets.
Immediate quantifiable results. Online marketing delivers quantifiable results immediately. You can measure every action from clicks, visits, sign-ups, and purchases.
Less business overheads. As the business is online, there are less overheads to deal with as compared to investing in offline stores.
Ability to track customer’s preferences. You can keep a track of the customer’s past purchases and preferences. This is very helpful to personalize the offers for the customer.
Customer Relationship. It helps in building strong relationship with customers in real time. You can maintain on-going relationship with customers by sending follow-up emails about offers, new products and services.
Customers’ Convenience. You can run online business round the clock without having to worry about work timings. On the other hand, the customers also can buy the products of their choice at any time throughout a day, without having to physically visit the shops.
In spite of so many benefits, online marketing carries negative aspects too.
Internet Fraud. You may experience unethical and fraudulent practices in internet marketing. Fake trademarks and logos can be used unchecked. This may defame your reputation.
Ads Placement. It may clutter on a web page and this may turn the customer down.
Requires Special Expertise. Along with the fundamental marketing, it needs understanding of search engine technology, advertising techniques, content creation, and logics to master the internet marketing.
Inaccessible. It may not be available for rural areas. Also, elderly and illiterates rarely relish the benefits of shopping online.
Negative feedbacks about Products. They can turn your business down drastically.
The world of online marketing continues to evolve as advertisers, publishers, and technology vendors find innovative ways to handle online advertising in a way that is beneficial to viewers, advertisers, vendors, and publishers.
There are several marketers who rose to fame due to their prominent share in online marketing. They are experts in their domain and are great speakers too. Few of them are listed below −
Brian Clark is a renowned playwright and screenwriter, famous for his play Whose Life is it Anyway?. He is the owner of Copyblogger, a prominent platform for learning content marketing, blogging, and social media.
Matt Cutts is a top SEO expert who is not a marketer himself. He rather fights against those practising black hat SEO techniques to influence SERP rankings. He is currently associated with Google and leads their web spam team.
Rand Fishkin is the co-founder and former CEO of MOZ. His company provides tools and services to marketers. He speaks insightful commentary on internet marketing. He is the co-author of a pair of books on SEO.
Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He speaks on how to set blogs and websites in a correct manner and make a bang appearance on web. He also has a popular podcast called “This Is Your Life.”
Avinash Kaushik is an Analytics Evangelist in Google. Kaushik has co-founded Market Motive Inc., which provides online education and certification in Internet disciplines such as Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Advertising, Social Media, Web Analytics, Conversion & Public Relations.
Neil Patel is an analytics expert and one of the top online marketers based in Seattle. He is best known for his work in digital marketing, and as the co-founder of the analytics companies KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.
Danny is a co-founder of Search Engine Land, an industry publication that covers news and information about search engines and search marketing. He is widely regarded as an authority on search engines and search marketing issues.