The internet has created a whole new world of possibilities to everyone who uses it. The marketing uses of the internet alone are mind boggling. Anyone from corporate bosses, small business owners, bands and anyone else who depend on marketing to promote themselves has an invaluable resource at their hands in the internet. Online marketing brings with it several benefits that are not available by using the traditional advertising methods from the ‘good old days’.
Easy Adjustment of Campaign
Just because an entity has a website promoting themselves does not mean the website is going to pay off in the end. There are online marketing campaigns that just flat out do not work. Luckily with online marketing this is not a huge problem. Traditional failed campaigns would usually bring with them the necessity of dropping a large amount of money into creating a new campaign. Information on websites or online advertisements can often be changed with just a click of the mouse. When other marketing techniques fail (ie. TV and newspaper ads) there is no easy way to make adjustments. This benefit alone is worth investing in online marketing.
Traditional media advertising can end up costing companies large amounts of money that they may never see a return on. A full page black and white ad in the New York Times in 2007 cost nearly $150,000. While most business owners don’t need this type of advertising the point is that traditional media can be expensive. Online marketing offers many benefits in the area of cost reduction, but the best is probably the fact that it can be done for free to some extent. Creating social media pages provides a free form of marketing, and even for people who pay for ads on social media the returns are greater than paid traditional advertising.
Internet marketing also provides what many companies will never get with traditional advertising methods: targeted ads. Placing an ad in a newspaper is basically like throwing a hand full of rocks at a bottle. There might be a few direct hits but most of them are going to fly off and have no effect. Ads on websites such as Google and Facebook can target specific demographics such as age, location, interests and hobbies. Having an ad for an upcoming Star Wars convention in a newspaper being read by a Star Trek fan isn’t going to pay off for anyone.
The introduction of the internet basically destroyed distance barriers between people. This works out well for entities with marketing campaigns. Business owners can literally sell to anyone in a country without setting up a single local office in any of the areas. A company in Georgia with its own niche can reach a customer in Hawaii who may have no local distributors of a product that they want. Traditional methods of advertising usually only target certain areas, but internet marketing widens a company’s potential market to millions.
Internet marketing provides the ability to gain a long term return on an investment. Websites are usually permanent. A middle school student who created an online website ten years ago for a project is still likely able to type in the web address and find the project that was the bane of their existence for three weeks in eighth grade. To gain a long term return, however, it is necessary to conduct a successful online campaign. Using search engine optimisation (SEO) methods to create more traffic on a website is going to continuously create that traffic. Algorithms that search engines use can often change, but when this occurs it is simple and cheap to restructure a website to meet the algorithm’s demands.
One downfall of traditional marketing is the fact that its success is hard to measure. If an ad came out on a Friday and a business was busy on Saturday it may have been due to the ad or to the fact that Saturday started Memorial Day weekend. Traffic to websites can literally be tracked to see if marketing techniques are proving successful. Leads and sales conversions are also easily tracked. Simply having an analytics tool can track all of these statistics in real time, and allow a business owner to have the information he needs to decide whether a campaign needs to be revised or not.
Online marketing via social media sites brings with it another advantage: fans can become living advertisements. Fans of a specific social media page are going to see all updates coming out of that page. If the fan likes what they see they can easily share that information with the click of a button. Marketers can even hold contests involving the people on their social media site who share a specific update. This is a quick and free way to get customers to advertise a product without being inconvenienced. The amazing thing with real-time updates is that potential customers who see a friend share a post to enter a contest may want to enter the contest as well. The average person on Facebook has 190 friends. This means that if only five customers share a post then the potential exists for nearly 1,000 prospective customers to see that information.
Online marketing is a fairly new way of getting a company’s message out to the masses. Gone are the days when marketing meant placing an ad and hoping that the right people saw it. Marketing on the internet has several advantages that cannot be denied nor matched by traditional methods. Every person who has a reason to market something should invest in online marketing. If they don’t they are missing out on an almost never ending pool of potential customers.