The internet is one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your business these days as you have access to a wider audience than was previously possible as well as a range of different ways in which you can promote your business. Regardless of whether you’re running an internet business or a high street shop, the internet will be able to play a large role in the expansion of your marketing program to allow you to grow your business and to obtain a larger customers base, perhaps one that spans the globe. Internet marketing is a topic that can include various other forms of promotion such as search engine optimisation and email marketing; to an extent you could say that internet marketing is a term that can be collectively applied to a range of methods of promotion that will allow you to target a wider audience. Internet marketing can be fairly low cost when conducted efficiently, although for larger scale campaigns you may find yourself spending large amounts of money – particularly if you are going to be using specialist advertising agencies; however, making use of specialists will give you the best return on your expenditure and will benefit your business more in the long term.
The audiences that you will be able to reach through the use of internet marketing are probably going to be the main benefit on offer. As most people in developed countries have access to the internet in one form or another, you are able to target any audience you feel will be interested in your business and your goods/services. As the internet is an international network of interconnected computers, people from all countries are able to access websites, allowing you to target your business at an international audience rather than being restricted to targeting your target audience in your home country. Internet marketing campaigns can also be changed based on the following factors:
- Age – with the rise of social networking websites such as Facebook, you are able to create advertising campaigns that can be targeted at specific age groups as such websites usually have a wide variety of information on their members held which in turn allows them to offer adverts that are more suiting to their interests
- Page content – if created properly, your adverts are likely to be displayed on pages and websites that are related to your own in one way or another as advertising services automatically detect keywords within web pages to select the most appropriate adverts for that web page or website.
The cost of internet marketing when compared to more practical forms of promotion can also be of benefit to most businesses, especially smaller businesses that require good value for money from their marketing efforts. Although most online advertising services are commercial, the benefit here is that they are relatively low cost and offer a bigger return on what you lay down initially. Search engine optimisation is a good example of how internet marketing can be free as securing a top place in some of the main search engines for the keywords that are relevant to your internet business or website is a very effective way of driving large volumes of traffic to your business; however, in order for search engine optimisation to be successful you need to have a strict criteria that you wish to meet so that you can be sure you have succeeded.
Internet marketing can also provide you with a way of offering various other forms of communication to your target audience which will allow them to contact you if they have seen your business using different means, preferably the one that suits them best. One of the most popular forms of internet communication that some businesses have failed to embrace properly is email and you will find that if customers have an enquiry about your products or services then they’re more likely to send an email to you rather than phone you or visit you in your store, simply because its more practical and takes less time for both themselves and you. Depending on your type of business, you may also wish to offer live chat facilities on your website so that you are able to have real-time text conversations with your website visitors; such systems function very similarly to instant messaging platforms such as AIM and Windows Live Messenger meaning that the experience will be very familiar to yourself and your website visitors.
With the internet you also have a large array of ways in which you can market your business, products or services as the web isn’t just text based – multimedia can be used in any situation whether it be video or audio. Video advertising anywhere apart from the internet is only available on the TV and audio advertising only via the radio, both these forms of marketing can be costly and don’t always offer you the returns that you would like to see when you consider the amount that you have paid. With multimedia advertising on the internet you won’t have to pay so much and you are also offered the option of targeting your multimedia adverts at specific target audiences with ease. Other forms of animation include flash animations that are common place with most websites these days; the benefit of flash adverts is that users can interact with them within web pages which allows you to insert a number of different features.
As a conclusion, we can say that for cost effective advertising, the internet is certainly the place to be if you wish to achieve this. Although more practical forms of advertising such as radio and TV advertising may previously have taken a more front seat role, the internet is now playing an even bigger role in people’s lives than ever before and websites such as Facebook are what people are spending a good amount of their time on. Compared to practical advertising, internet marketing provides you with a way of getting your business and products in front of your main audience.