Ongoing sales and promotions of products and services to the online – Web – and/or offline – brick & mortar – market.

Web Marketing & Your Business

WM methods

In mid-year 2020 the question no longer relates to whether or not you’re marketing your business online, but rather, how you’re marketing your business online. What do I mean by, how? In order to answer this question I will make the assumption that you’re not a Web marketer, but a business owner seeking information, which suggests you may be interested in learning about some of the many ways businesses can be marketed on the Web today.

Hope I’m making the right assumption but, be that as it may, let’s take a look at a few of the specialized ways you can market your business on the Web:

  • Email & Newsletter Campaigns
  • Articles & Ebooks
  • Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Websites
  • Blogs
  • Trafic Exchanges
  • Message Boards & Forums
  • Social Media Networks
  • Hiring a Web Marketing Guru

Emails & articles

An Email Marketing Campaign[1] is a coordinated set of individual email messages that are deployed across a specific period of time with one specific purpose, such as download a white paper, sign up for a webinar, or make a purchase with a provided coupon. In some instances those emails come in the form of newsletters.

An Article Directory[2] is a website with collections of articles written about different subjects. Sometimes article directories are referred to as content farms, which are websites created to produce mass content, where some are based on churnalism. An eBook is literature made available in digital form only, and is usually offered as a free gift containing information that is of interest to website visitors or email recipients in exchange for subscription to a particular email list.

SEO and blogs

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process by which website and some modern-day blog owners create content that is specifically meant to attract search engine robots (algorithms) by inserting popular keywords and key-phrases throughout the articles and posts in a way that the content still makes sense to human readers.

A Blog[3] “(a truncation of “weblog”) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.”

Traffic exchanges & forums

Traffic Exchanges are a group of websites (portals) created specifically for members who agree to click on each others links and visit their websites and blogs – many containing product offers – for a period of time ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute. In return of clicks and visits members are awarded points that help to defray the cost of credits required for visits to multiple sites.

“An Internet Forum[4], or Message Board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. Forums act as centralized locations for topical discussion. The Forum format is derived from BBS and Usenet. The most notable and significant Internet forums communities have converged around topics ranging from medicine to technology, and vocations and hobbies.”

Social media & WM gurus

Perhaps the most popular Social Media Network on the Web is Facebook based on membership numbers alone, but there are other Web destinations that serve the same purpose of interaction and sharing of ideas, opinions and other such information, the proverbial public square. Sites like Flickr, tumblr, Linked-In, Reddit, Pinterest, MySpace and Delicious, just to name a few, serve a particular social media demographic.

Hiring a Web Marketing Guru (Web Services Consultant) may be the easiest way for the business who only casually utilize the Web to get his/her business marketed on the Web, even though this method tends to be more expensive in the short term.

Value and benefits

Of course, If you are not already marketing your business online it is probably about time to start, especially in view of the current environment (Covid-19 Pandemic) in which we’re all forced to the Web anyway. Although there are a few exceptions, just about every business can benefit from online marketing. There are just so many advantages to this type of marketing.

First and foremost is the economic value. It is extremely affordable to market your business online, but other advantages to to doing so may reach the same level in value beginning with the ability to reach a large target audience, as well as the ability to reach potential customers globally and the option to customize marketing campaigns for different sectors of the target audience.

The cost of creating and maintaining the website is insignificant in comparison to the number of potential clients you could reach through that site’s content. Additionally, the costs associated with posting links to your website are incidental. You could consider the cost of having access to the Web as part of the cost but you most likely require Web access for other reasons as well so it is a completely worthwhile venture.

Reaching a large target audience is arguable the primary reason for marketing your business online. You may have to spent a great deal of time and energy doing market research and determine who your target audience is; but you may also have to spend time trying to figure out the best way to reach that audience. despited the time spent this is a very sound marketing principle, as oppose to advertising on local television, radio and print media where you audience may be very limited by comparison.

keeping in mind that the Web is available 24 hours a day the potential for your products/services to be available any hour of day or night that is convenient to those who need them is definitely to your benefit as a business owner. Shopping for products and services in person can at times be very difficult, especially for individuals who work long hours or those who work unusual hours; and in a pandemic the difficulty is increased ten-fold. These individuals would not have the same problems obtaining their household needs from a business on the Web.

If you are a business owner who is reading this article and you do not already have a strong online presence, you need to immediately start learning more about the world of Web marketing. This is so important because if your competitors are marketing online, you may find they are gaining a steady advantage and are becoming more appealing to potential customers. Before too many of your potential customers become loyal customers of the competition you need to start figuring out how you can market your business online and keep pace with the competition.

 
 

References:

  • “Email Campaign.” Campaign Monitor. https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/glossary/email-campaign/. Accessed 19 Jun. 2020.
  • “Article Directory.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_directory. Accessed 19 Jun. 2020.
  • “Blogs.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
  • “Message Boards & Forums.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_forums. Accessed 19 Jun. 2020.

 

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.