Internet Marketing Online – Is it Needed?
The terms "internet" and "online marketing" refer to any type of marketing conducted via the internet. Online marketing can incorporate virtually any aspect of conventional marketing. For example, e-commerce sites conduct direct sales to consumers or businesses via the internet, while there are extensive and varied methods of advertising online. In short, any type of marketing carried out in the "real" world can also be done on the internet.
Internet marketing online provides numerous advantages over traditional marketing. The global nature of the internet means that online marketers can reach audiences larger and wider than previously thought possible. At the same time, the various forms of internet marketing are generally more affordable than their conventional equivalents; through e-mail marketing, for example, businesses can distribute their newsletters or catalogues at a cost greatly reduced compared to print, internet and website advertising, despite potentially having a much greater reach, are not subject to the exorbitant rates of some television advert slots. Additionally, while print and television adverts provide no guarantee of return for the advertiser, it is possible to acquire online banner advertisements on a cost-per-lead basis, thus assuring that the advertiser receives a return on its marketing investment.
Furthermore, internet marketing online offers many unique opportunities. Marketing via online social media or social networking sites, such as MySpace or Facebook, allows businesses to connect directly with consumers, and for publicity to travel through the community links established on these sites. Through search engine marketing, marketers can literally respond to the queries of the consumer; a bookseller, for example, can assure that his or her business is featured prominently when someone searches for "novels."
Internet marketing online is also aided by simpler, more detailed data collection. The use of web analytics software can enable website operators to gain insight into who their viewers are, where they are, how and why they arrived at the site, and their level of interest. Internet marketers can even optimise advertising content based on the location or interests of website visitors. Businesses may also consider affiliate marketing, a branch of internet marketing in which one website refers visitors to another. Many of the most prominent online retailers and e-commerce sites, including Amazon and eBay, make extensive use of affiliate marketing.
The increasing prominence of the internet worldwide means that online marketing, already a force in the world of business, is set to become even more important. The inherent advantages of internet marketing online, particularly its efficiency of cost and use, make it worth considering for any business regardless of size.
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