Direct Mail vs. Internet Marketing Part 2: Defining Internet Marketing
By Rama Beerfas
June 18, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Last column, we defined “direct mail.” This time, we will touch on the various avenues available for marketing through the internet, both paid and free.
The primary form of internet marketing is having your company’s own website. This can be a virtual storefront or simply informational/educational material about your company, products and services. For many people, your website may be the first impression of your company; in other cases, it is a method for people to find out more about a company they may already have heard about. For some business owners, their website is something they use to give them more credibility and visibility; for others, it is their primary (or even sole) source of business.
The web also offers paid advertising options: Google AdWords, banner ads, online search directories (e.g. Superpages.com), ad placement on strategic websites, and more. These are generally meant to drive business to your website by giving viewers the option to click on the ad to take them to your landing page. Once they’ve clicked, you have the opportunity to show the viewer more about your company, product, service, or promotion. In some cases, the fees for these ads are a straight placement fee; in other instances, you pay per every click that takes someone to your landing page.
Then, there are the myriad of free outlets available including social networking sites (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…), online classifieds (e.g. Craig’s List), links on friends’/business associates’ websites and more. These sites give you the opportunity to communicate with people on a more personal level by delivering short messages and telling a bit about yourself. Although some people see this as an opportunity to tell everyone about the minutiae in their lives, on a professional level they can be used to educate about your products and brand your business.
And, of course, there are the blogs, those web-based journal entries that, when used in a professional manner, can showcase your expertise on a particular subject matter.
Make no mistake, the availability of marketing outlets via the internet are mind-boggling. You could spend your entire day tweeting, blogging, updating your social media profiles, tweaking online ads, searching out keywords that will ensnare potential customers and more. But, when all is said and done, are you getting business, or just getting hits (or hit hard by online advertising fees)?
Next month, we’ll look at tracking how effective your internet marketing truly is.
Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering marketing consulting, promotional products and more. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.