Does Web Marketing Work for You?

Know if…

Determining whether or not your Web marketing campaign is working for you is a very important part of the advertising process. The reason it’s considered so important is because while there is a great deal of Web marketing which can be done without the customary excessive costs that accompany traditional methods of advertising or other types of Web marketing that have similar high costs associated with them. Also, in both cases there is a time and energy cost factor that goes along with orchestrating your Web marketing campaigns.

For these reasons it is important for you and fellow business owners to continuously evaluate your marketing techniques and strategies for the purpose of determining what is working and what is not. Doing so will also help you focus your efforts on marketing strategies that are providing positive results as opposed to those which are either not providing results at all or providing only lackluster results.

This article will examine proven methods and other steps business owners can take to evaluate the effectiveness of their Web marketing campaigns.

Method 1

Affiliate marketing is certainly one of the most cost-effective Web marketing strategies available, because it is a marketing strategy that involves having other website owners (publishers) known as affiliates post one or more product-specific or merchant-specific advertisement(s) on their websites to direct Web traffic to particular merchants’ websites. This marketing strategy is cost-effective because in most cases the affiliate is only paid when he produces a desired result such as enticing a Web user to click through the advertisement or to purchase a product or service once they click through the ad.

However, pursuant to the merchant-affiliate agreement(s), while the business owner is only paying for advertisement when it produces a desired effect, it is still worthwhile to evaluate the effectiveness of these ads to determine whether or not they are working well, or working better than alternative advertising methods or strategies. Fortunately affiliate marketing ads have a natural feedback mechanism which makes it easy to evaluate how well the ad is working. This feedback is provided in the form of unique code embedded in the advertisement that specifies which affiliate generated the website visitors.

Method 1 findings

Information recieved via embedded code is provided for the purposes of issuing payment to affiliates but it can also provide the business owner (merchant) with useful information on which affiliate ads are the most effective. This information is especially useful when the affiliates are posting various different ads. The business owner may conclude that ads posted by the more successful affiliates are more appealing to potential customers and may opt to use this style of ad for all of their affiliates.

Method 2

Business owners who use Web marketing strategies such as posting on message boards to promote their business might want to consider asking customers to complete a short survey when making a purchase. This survey can include useful demographic information which is always helpful for marketing as well as information regarding where the customer learned of specific products or services offered by such merchants.

Customers including a message board web address as one of the responses will provide you a useful indication of whether or not the message boards are helping to drive customers to the merchant’s website. You, as a business owner may also have some unofficial feedback in terms of the response to your postings on a given message board. If the general consensus is in support of your posts, you may infer that some interest in your business or website have been generated through the use of this strategy.

Evaluation

Finally, a Web marketing strategy can be evaluated by studying website traffic results as well as sales receipts; and anytime you implement a new Web marketing strategy or technique it is a worthwhile task to the time and study your website traffic reports and sales receipts carefully to determine whether or not there is a spike in traffic or sales immediately after the marketing effort.

For example, if you send out an e-newsletter to those who have requested additional information about your products or services, you may notice there is an increase in traffic or sales soon afterwards. This is a good indication that the e-newsletter was well received and is an effective strategy. However, if there is not a marked increase in traffic or sales subsequent to the e-newsletter it indicates the marketing effort was not effective.

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Hiring a Web Marketing Consultant

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Pay for success

If you are thinking about getting into the world of Web marketing but lack necessary experience or formal training in this type of promotion, it is definitely worthwhile to consider hiring a consultant to help you establish yourself and/or business online and guide you through the many tasks involved in Web marketing. Hiring a consultant is important because s/he can do a great deal to ensure that your marketing effort is a success.

You may pay more for their services than you would to handle your Web marketing activities on your own but the results you will get from his/her involvement would likely be significantly better. Hiring a consultant to help you jumpstart a Web marketing campaign is a worthwhile investment even if you have some experience in this vocation, because if you are competing in a niche that proves to be one of the more competitive you’re really going to need professional help to accomplish marketing goals, if not objectives.

 
 

Hiring options

The key to hiring a consultant to help you navigate any Web marketing campaigns you want to start is to make sure you hire the right consultant because, if you haven’t already, you will find there are many different options available to you since Web marketing has become a huge and very specialized industry; and not all consultants are created equal. You may also find that some consultants can create significantly better results than other consultants, but this is true in just about any industry in which you do business.

There are however a few characteristics to look for when looking to hire a qualified Web marketing consultant and, surprisingly, cost is not among the most important considerations. Experience and past performance are much more important and since you can compare costs among consultants who are similarly qualified, using cost as a primary method of evaluation is not recommended.

The experience factor

Experience may be one of the top two qualifications to consider when selecting a consultant to assist you in a Web marketing campaign. In fact it is critical because consultants who have a great deal of experience is expected to have an excellent to superior knowledge of which techniques are most effective and those that are not as effective or simply get poor results. This can save you a lot of time and money due because the need to experiment in order to determine what works will be greatly reduced or eliminated, unlike the case with a consultant of less experience.

More experienced consultants will also be more skilled in dealing with clients and will likely answer your questions more quickly and keep you better informed about the progress of your Web marketing campaign(s). These are all important factors which must be considered and since you are paying for this service you’re probably going to be very interested in receiving progress reports and staying up to date on everything that is going on with your Web marketing campaign(s).

The resume

Searching for and finding a consultant in the Web marketing industry with an excellent resume and great reputation is most important because consultants who have had a great deal of success in the past will likely have a great deal of success while assisting you as well. Needless to say, past performance is considered one of the best indications of future performance.

This does not to say that new consultants are necessarily going to perform poorly, but there is some risk involved in selecting a consultant who does not have a great deal of experience or who has not performed well in the past. You can feel much more confident putting your Web marketing campaign(s) in the hands of a consultant who typically generates the type of results you are looking for; results that will be more in line with the goals and objectives you wish to accomplish.

Pricing

Once you have evaluated consultants on the basis of experience and past performance, it is time to start thinking about price. Considering price early in the process of seeking a consultant may cause you to be influenced by price over performance. Some consultants may be incredibly affordable but if they are not capable of producing the desired results, it may end up being a complete waste of money.

However, once you have narrowed your list of potential consultants down to a few qualified candidates, it is definitely time to start comparing prices. Once you are confident each of the candidates on your list is well qualified, choosing the least expensive candidate from among them is an easy decision. However it is important to note all of the fees involved to ensure you are making an accurate cost comparison.

Evaluating the Response to Your Internet Marketing

Starting an Internet marketing campaign is only the first step in the battle. Sure it is a good idea to start an Internet marketing campaign if members of your target audience are likely to use the Internet to research or purchase the products you sell or the services you offer but these marketing efforts may turn out to be a complete waste of time if you are not diligent about evaluating the response to your Internet marketing. This means that each time you implement a change to your marketing strategy you should evaluate the results of that change to determine whether or not it generated a greater profit for you. This is important because it can help you determine what is working and what is not working for you.

Evaluating the response of your Internet marketing campaign(s) can be done in a number of different ways. Customer surveys and embedded HTML code are two of the most popular methods of evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet marketing campaign. Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like depending on the amount of feedback you would like to receive.

However, one of the most effective ways to find out how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking the consumer where they first learned about your products or services. This is important because if you find a great deal of your customers are learning about your products or services through a particular venue, it is a good indication this method of advertising is working quite well for you.

Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so the business owner receives feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is useful for letting the business owner know which of his advertisements are attracting the most attention.

If the business owner is using two different designs for his advertisements he may discover one design is attracting more attention than others and may make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style. Similarly a business owner who is running the same advertisement on several different websites may discover he is receiving more traffic from one website than others. He may also discover some websites are not attracting much attention at all. This would give the business owner an indication of which advertisements to cancel and which ones to keep running.

Finally, the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be evaluated by carefully reviewing website traffic statistics after implementing changes to the marketing strategy. This information is useful because an unusual spike in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a stage of the marketing campaign can provide positive feedback that the change was well received by potential customers.

While this method of evaluating the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be effective it is important to note implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore if you plan to use website traffic as feedback for how well your marketing strategy is working it is important to only implement one major change at a time so they can each be evaluated separately.