A practical truth
Generally, a practical answer to the title question is, always; but the true answer is much more in depth. Of course Web marketing is worthwhile but as with any type of marketing it is only worthwhile if it is done well. For example, you can spend thousands of dollars on a television marketing campaign but if no one sees your commercials or those commercials do not reach your target audience and generate sales, the advertising will have been worthless.
So perhaps a more appropriate answer to this question would be that Web marketing is worthwhile when it works. This is kind of a more nuanced answer, but in this article we will take a closer look at the issue and do our best to remove any vagueness in the answer, as well as explain how you can make Web marketing work for your business.
One of the most basic principles of marketing is to make sure your ads reach the target audience you intend them to reach. This is so important because your target audience is the people who will likely have some interest in purchasing your products or services. It is much easier to sell your products/services to those who already have an interest in what you have to offer than it is to convince those who are not interested in those products/services at all.
As an example, consider a business that sells fishing rods. The owner(s) will want to market products to those who enjoy fishing, either competitively or as a leisure activity, because among this audience you are likely to find people who may be interested in purchasing a new fishing rod. It would also make sense to place an advertisement for your business on a website marketing bait and tackle or a website which organizes fishing trips in exotic locations.
Conversely it would not make sense to place your advertisement on a website selling telescopes because you are not likely to reach a large target audience here. There may be some stargazers with an interest in fishing but your advertising dollars and efforts would be better spent placing advertisements with websites more closely related to your business.
Another factor to consider when purchasing advertising space on other websites is traffic; meaning the amount of traffic the other websites receive. This is significant because you want to place your advertisement on those websites that are closely related to your own and likely to attract a similar audience, but you also want your advertisement to receive a large portion of attention.
For this reason it is important that your advertisement appear on a website which receives a great amount of traffic each month because this will help to ensure that your business is getting a great deal of exposure through this advertising.
When it comes to Web advertising, there is a fine line between great advertising and spam. Some business owners get carried away trying to get as much exposure as possible and can sometimes go overboard and wind up being considered spammers.
Web users who see your advertisement in a couple of key locations will likely notice the advertisement and may be compelled to visit your website immediately or may keep your website in mind for future use. However, Web users who see your advertisement everywhere they look are likely to view your advertisement as spam. This can be harmful because they are not likely to visit your website because they expect it to not be worthwhile.
In any Web marketing campaign it is important to carefully monitor the results of your marketing efforts and make changes to your campaign as necessary. This is important because you want to make sure your marketing efforts are paying off and the best way to do this is to evaluate the results of your advertising carefully.
One way to do this is to place special coding in each one of your advertisements so you will know which advertisements are generating business for you and which ones are not. You can use this information to decide whether you should modify the ineffective website or stop running these advertisements. If you decide to modify them you will want to continue to monitor the results to determine whether or not the changes made the advertisements more effective.