Nowadays, businesses use internet marketing in promoting their product brands or services to reach a wider audience. As part of reaching a wider audience, these businesses must be able to identify a particular number of target customers from that audience and determine their needs.
Businesses or companies should keep in mind that knowing potential customers from the target audience is not a complex thing to do. It’s simple yet extremely important. Typically, it enables companies to gather more information about the target customers. By having all the necessary information, companies will have higher chances of converting those potential customers into actual customers for the business.
What is the different internet marketing demographics used by companies in targeting their potential clients? Here are some of them:
1. Customers’ basic profiles. Start the research by checking out the target region’s demographics. Age, gender, education, occupation, income level, civil status (single, married, married with children or retired), are all helpful in determining the potential clients. Online research is required in finding that information. Do Google searches to look for the latest edition of “Country and City Data Book”, which was published by the United States Department of Commerce. This will help in giving the latest census data on the targeted area.
2. Geographic location and lifestyle. Consider where and how these customers live. Do they live in cities where people usually walk everywhere? Or do they live in suburban areas where people typically spend their time in driving cars? What’s the current weather situation there? Do people like to spend more time doing outdoor activities than indoor ones in that area? Do they tend to splurge instead of saving their hard-earned money? These questions will help in determining the target customers and what type of products or services can be sold to them.
3. Social media networks. With the rising users of various social media platforms, it’s easier to deliver online campaigns to the right audience at the right timing. Align the brand’s efforts by digging deep into each social media platforms’ demographics. Create meaningfully and long-lasting connections with the customers and brand loyalists.
Explore each possibility of online marketing through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media sites. That way, the brand will establish it’s presence into each and every social media network available.
4. The needs of the customers. Consider every reason people should purchase the product and service. When promoting a newly-established health club online, make sure to consider the different priorities of the clients. Do they prefer taking exercise classes, working out with an accomplished trainer or playing tennis with their friends? Is there a need to open the club early just to accommodate individuals who are about to go work? Find out every possible information by asking friends who frequently go to fitness clubs and by having discussions with people who are experts in the fitness industry.
After determining all the necessary internet marketing demographics, a business can now begin to create online campaigns based on the target market details.
The dominance of Internet marketing has become a commonplace phenomenon. The balance has shifted from tri-media to New Media as customers – and, therefore, marketers – have flocked to the Web in the hopes of tapping the wide and markets that online communication can provide.
However, with the surge of online marketing comes the rise of the same ethical issues that earlier generations of marketers have struggled to overcome. Although the medium has changed – from letters to emails, from storefront signs to website banners – the same temptation remains throughout the marketing industry: the question and possibility of resorting to any technique to get ahead.
Today, internet marketing ethics issues are a critical problem not just for customers at risk of losing their hard-earned cash and their well-valued personal information, but also for marketers who strive to be decent and yet are lumped with their less ethically-upright counterparts. Below are some of the core internet marketing ethics issues that onlinemarketers should consider:
The impulse to slightly boost a product or service’s merits through advertising copy is very strong. But bear in mind that by exaggerating your product, you increase the chance of customer dissatisfaction, which in turn will discourage them from return purchases out of fear of being let down again. Be honest with your customers: let what you sell attract them through its own merits.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is the temptation to bury the competition with several choice comments and a handful of terrible reviews. Today’s online businesses allow for free and uncontrolled expression of opinions from unsatisfied customers – or, sometimes, competitors posing as unsatisfied customers. Avoid this example, and spend time on improving your product instead of trying to defame those of others.
Security and Privacy
Personal information is a valuable asset that several marketers have tried claim using methods both honest and underhanded. This entails everything from requiring customers to sign up to a website or tricking them into giving up personal data by way of false account confirmation warnings. Although customers’ personal and financial information are important to create sound marketing decisions, it should not come at the cost of a marketer’s ethical purity or the violation of customers’ privacy.
Forced Additional Payments
Say you’ve earned a customer, and they’ve bought a product or service for you. What if they suddenly discover that they’ve been buying additional products or making additional payments? This surprise subscription model disguises long-term payment plans as one-time payment offers, in the assumption that customers neglect to read the terms properly. Although subscription and service-oriented models do exist in the business, it’s important for sellers to make the terms of payment clear to customers, without burying it under flashy ads or fine print. Social media spamming
Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent ways to promote a product or service online. However, some marketers take advantage of this in ways not approved by most social media networks, such as auto-follow software that targets a specific customer before spamming them with offers. This may turn off said customer from becoming interested in your product/service.
It is true that the above internet marketing issues stem from the need to earn no matter what the cost, something that sellers always have to struggle against. But just as these same marketing dilemmas stem from the old itch to make a quick buck, the same time-honored values of marketing integrity, passion for value production and good customer relations will render better and well-earned results, no matter what the platform.
Internet Marketing is currently the most inexpensive yet the most powerful and most effective kind of marketing that most businesses – may be small enterprises or huge corporations – use in promoting their products and enhancing their brand reputation. Carefully laid out Internet marketing strategies will result in a substantial increase in sales, a rapid surge in the brand’s popularity, and a continuous increase in the number of customers. If you are a newbie on Internet marketing, and you are planning to use it for your business, read on for the top seven effective Internet marketing strategies that you can do:
1. Study your market. You need to choose who your ideal consumers are instead of targeting all Internet users. Once you have decided, you need to focus on your ideal demographic for it will then be easier for you create your Internet marketing strategies based on them.
2. Study your competitor. The competition is tough on Internet marketing. You need to know who your competitors are and their Internet marketing strategies for you to be able to adapt easily to the competition. You can do this by simply checking their websites and social media platforms.
3. Get ideas from your competitors. When you know how your competitors operate, you would be able to get an idea of how the competition or the market works. You need to research the campaigns they use why they have a massive following on Facebook, a strong audience engagement, and a high sales volume for this will help you formulate your strategies and campaigns.
4. Create a digital marketing plan. It is highly important that you carefully layout your digital content and follow a set timeline by designing a digital marketing plan. If you are planning to maximize the use of your website and other social media platforms, you need to decide what you would put on these sites and when you would post them. This will enable you to increase your brand recognition.
5. Learn to maximize Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is used to increase the number of visitors to a specific website by ensuring that the site appears high on the results list returned by a search engine. You can pay someone to write SEO articles that mention popular keywords related to your business or product. In that way, your site will always appear on the high list when customers are searching these keywords.
6. Effectively optimize e-mail marketing. To be able to maximize this, you need first to create a strong e-mailing list, and then update them by sending them e-newsletters, campaign follow-ups, and even individual e-mails about your products and your business itself.
7. Get an Internet marketing analyst or consultant if needed. Hire an experienced Internet analyst to help you know what you have been doing right and what you can do more to improve your Internet marketing strategies.
Once you have started using Internet marketing, you will surely reap the good returns of this kind of marketing.
People tend to go to a brick and mortar store to shop and conduct other businesses in the old times. This has changed when the internet came in. Internet provided a new platform, allowing businesses to connect with their customers through the web. However, this model is again undergoing a change brought by mobile technology.
The reasons on why is a mobile website important basically root from the need to adapt to the changes brought by mobile technology. Internet is now one of the basic foundations of business functions like marketing, sales, and customer service. Having a mobile-friendly website is equivalent to bringing your business closer to the modern consumer.
Here are some of the reasons on why is a mobile website important.
Introduce your business to a wider audience through higher internet traffic
Mobile devices are now aplenty across the globe. It is estimated that by 2015, there will be 7.4 billion 802.11n mobile devices. Similarly, the time spent on the browsing internet through mobile went higher than the time spent on desktop computers during the early part of 2014. These data show that the mobile technology is transforming the landscape of consumer behavior, and further affects the business models needed to tap the potential on these consumers. Having a mobile-friendly website allows businesses to penetrate deeper in the market through a large number of mobile users.
Improve customer engagement and sales
A common misconception is that people who use mobile devices are limited to connecting to social media, searching, and checking emails. This can be true, but a significant number of mobile users are also doing online business transactions. Research shows that an average of 51% of customers tend to conduct business with a retailer if it has a mobile-friendly website. Real time mobile information boosts engagement and sales with a customer.
About 88% of customers agreed that real-time information available through mobile makes them more spontaneous and open to discovering new things. It also serves as an invitation to customers to visit a physical store and be engaged with the business. 51% of shoppers search online and purchase from the store while 32% do their search online, visit the store to try the product, then purchase online. On the other hand, businesses with minimal to no mobile website support tend to lose a customer due to poor mobile experience.
Compensate for low sale returns through the ‘always-on-shopping’ trend
Mobile shopping introduces an interesting trend. Computer-based customers usually peak during weekdays and trail off during weekends. However, mobile traffic behaves in the opposite; it peaks during weekends and trails off during weekdays. Research also shows that customers from computer websites tend to be pickier and formulate a more informed decision before buying online. On the contrary, mobile customers are more spontaneous and impulsive. Combining the models from computer-based and mobile-based businesses will result to a minimal down spike in sales from online customers.
Getting ahead with competitors through better SEO placement and ranking
Google has announced that companies with mobile-friendly websites will have a higher priority on searches done with mobile devices. Higher priority means that it will have a higher SEO ranking and a higher chance of appearing first in a Google search. From a business sense, higher SEO ranking is important as it can drive in more customers from people searching in Google.
Provides new outlet for advertising and marketing
Mobile-friendly websites prepare businesses for digital advertising and marketing. Social media and streaming sites are now offering advertising spots that can be linked to mobile websites. There are also technologies that can be utilized to market certain products through mobile. One example is the QR code where customers can scan a barcode-like image using their mobile device. The customers will then be directed to a mobile website containing more information about the product.
Mobile technology continues to change the way businesses behave. This change is also evident outside retail and shopping. Corporations and enterprises also benefit and are changing because of the mobile technology. An example of this is the bring your own device or BYOD practice. With this practice, employees can bring and connect their own mobile devices to the network system of their company instead of using desktop computers and laptops. This is to promote mobility among employees, especially for those who communicate directly with clients.
Some organizations continue to view mobile websites as an optional offering. The mobile technology is already here and is projected to continuously increase in popularity in the coming years. Thus, businesses need to adapt as soon as possible to the shifts in consumer behavior and business models brought by mobile technology.
What is SEM? Search Engine Marketing is an internet marketing method used to promote websites by enhancing their visibility in search engine results pages or SERPs. SEM was initially used to describe various practices employed to market a website, including SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (Pay per Click). The term has evolved in recent years to refer mainly to paid search.
SEM is otherwise known as paid search advertising and paid search marketing. It is most closely associated with pay per click (PPC), cost per click (CPC), and cost per thousand or milli impressions (CPM).
Pay per click means that an advertiser will pay the search engine for each web user’s click on the ad displayed on a SERP. Cost per click refers to the amount that an advertiser will pay for every click-through.
Cost per Thousand Impressions means that an advertiser will pay the search engine an agreed fee for every 1,000 times that an ad appears on the SERP.
Presently, Google Adwords is the dominant paid search platform handling 2/3 of all queries. The other 1/3 is handled mostly by Yahoo Bing Network (YBN). Because of its superior impressions and high click-through rate (CTR), Google Adwords is the preferred ad network for many paid search advertisers.
What is SEM? Search Engine Marketing and How Does It Work
A paid search ad is displayed on the SERP whenever a web user enters a query that is relevant to the keyword or set of keywords selected by the advertiser for the ad placement. Audience targeting is enhanced with the use of filters such as location, language, and viewing time.
If there are competitors for a keyword, an automated bidding occurs to determine which ad will get priority placement on the results page. Bid amount and quality score are factored in to determine a web page’s ad rank and the final cost per click.
Quality score is the rating given by ad networks on the relevance of the ad content and the landing page generated by the keyword. Here is where SEO practices may be applied.
Why Paid Search is Good for Your Business
The most important role of search engine marketing is getting the company on top of the results page at the fastest possible time. Paid search is easier to set up and run, and with the use of the right keywords and content optimization, your ad can appear on the results page instantly. This is hardly possible if you rely on organic search to raise your visibility and traffic. SEO campaigns take time to work, and this can be a huge disadvantage for new companies introducing products or services to the market.
Ad network systems allow you to track every penny spent on an ad that makes it more convenient to measure the return on your marketing investment and make timely adjustments. A paid search campaign can be conveniently adjusted or revised in response to market sentiment or a shift in advertising focus.
Paid search advertising offers a unique opportunity for a company to dominate a results page when both the organic results and paid ads are displayed on the same page, enhancing the webpage’s click-through rate (CTR).
SEM provides advertisers with audience targeting options that limit the ads appearance to viewers who are most likely to purchase or convert.
In pay per click, advertising fees are charged by ad networks only on actual click-throughs but the advertiser reaps the advantage of increased presence every time an advert is displayed.
Changes in search engine algorithms can hurt or crash the marketing campaign of a website that relies on SEO campaign alone but it has little effect on paid search ads.
SEM allows businesses to tap a wider audience at a fraction of a cost of traditional advertising methods. It can be run on a small scale basis, or based on a set daily budget, allowing cost savings for advertisers.
The Downside of Paid Search Advertising
Paid search marketing requires frequent optimization of ad content to increase site traffic. Keywords require constant review and testing to ensure their effectiveness in bringing more visitors to a web page.
Click frauds may impact the results of a paid search campaign by returning inaccurate and unreliable results. Clicks that have no chance of being converted are money wasters for PPC advertisers.
Competitive keywords bidding can cause PPC budget to go beyond control.
Running a Successful Search Engine Marketing Campaign
The goal of every marketing campaign is to achieve high conversion rates. Conversions are often sales-related but can refer to other targeted actions such as completion of a sales form, phone inquiry, or membership listing.
A paid search campaign is focused on the use of the most effective keywords, creation of good titles and description, drafting of relevant content on the ads and in the landing pages, and the creative use of ad extensions.
Successful search engine marketing campaigns starts with a keyword research to determine the most effective keyword or set of keywords for the ad. Finding the right keyword facilitates excellent targeting that is the main point of launching a paid search campaign. Keywords should be regularly reviewed to ascertain their effectiveness.
Ad copies need optimization, and this means putting in creative and technical work to come up with a strong and relevant content that will be read and clicked by its target viewers. A good ad copy uses compelling titles, highlights the important benefits of a product or a web site, uses a language that appeals to its target viewer, and provides assurance of a beneficial experience once the ad is clicked.
A user-friendly landing page turns a simple search into a pleasant viewing experience for the site visitor. Dead links and slow-loading sites turn viewers away and waste precious click-throughs.
The landing page content should be regularly evaluated for relevance and aligned with search queries. It should end with a strong call to action that will convince the visitor to take the desired action.
If provided by ad networks, ad extensions should be used creatively to provide useful details that add to the value of the ad copy.
To see how the campaign is doing, advertisers need to periodically analyze click-through rates, impression share, quality score, conversion rates, ad optimization, and other analytics and tools provided by the ad network.
Paid search campaign may be undertaken by a firm on its own, but it is most often outsourced to a digital marketing company with technical and marketing capabilities.
The success of search engine marketing lies on the way the whole campaign is set up, run, reviewed, tested, and continuously improved to produce the desired market response.
The cyber world offers a lot of opportunities for people to learn more and even grow financially. Some people choose to do their business online, because of the wide reach, easy entry and low costs involved.
Starting your own online home business can be quite challenging at first, but the logistics will work without a hitch once you have established your own venture. With the wide range of online home businesses that work, you can choose to start your own, in line with your passion. This is ideal if you have the skills in managing, budgeting and handling transactions well. This could begin out of a preferred hobby or interest. For instance, your inclination to baking and cooking could lead you to an online pastry shop where people can pre-order your goods. You can start with simple cookies and easy to bake cakes, and word of mouth would spread like wildfire in the online world if your customers like your finished goods.
If you are into fashion, why not look for local wholesale sellers with the cheapest offer, and start your own business? Reselling is a usual type of business online, with the advantage of easier production and fast transactions. Moreover, if you can design your own clothes, you can even work on sewing your own designs and come up with an online MTO shop. You can name your price for your design and labor.
Other popular online home businesses that work are reselling of make-up and cosmetic products. Although most women prefer buying in physical stores to test and see the actual product, you can still get a fair share of your market in women who are busy and simply turn to online sites for their make-up shopping.
The main advantage of online business is that it wouldn’t require too much capital for start-ups. Unlike putting up a physical store, you wouldn’t even have to work on permits and documents to secure your shop. Online selling sites just have to pay a certain amount to host sites, if products are to be posted on sites like Ebay and Amazon.
If you are just starting, you can turn to low-cost online promotions. You can use social media as an avenue to promote your products. For instance, you can create a free Facebook page, make use of a Twitter account and even sell on Instagram. An advantage of this would be convenience, real-time and fast transactions done with your clients.
If you can’t start your own selling business, why not offer your services? This is one of the most convenient ways to earn extra income at home. You can apply as an English tutor since the demand for English teachers has been increasing over the past few years. You can also offer specialized lessons like a one on one guitar or piano lessons.
Freelance writing is another example of rendering your services while earning at home. It’s a good alternative if you want to work on specific times only. If there’s something very flexible and legitimate on the internet, it’s definitely freelance writing. A lot of international firms are recruiting online writers, normally for web content writing. The internet requires constant updates of sites, so well-written articles are crucial to web development. This job post usually doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, for as long as the applicant is good in written English. The good thing about being a freelance writer is the freedom to work anywhere, at any time of the day. The compensation is also done per output, so there is an incentive to write more, high-quality articles for higher income.
Another online business option would be events planning. The money that can be earned in this industry is very appealing, and most successful coordinators tend to be very affluent once the business is established. Since most of the transactions done in coordinating and carrying out big events would be through e-mails and phone calls, this can be easily done online. However, you should be ready to meet clients, talk to suppliers and do regular ocular visits when planning to be an events planner. Whether it’s for a wedding, birthday, baptism or corporate event, this type of business won’t require you to attend a 9-hour desk job, but may demand some of your time.
Given these online business alternatives, you can deliberate and decide how to carry out your plans. The key to a successful online business is perseverance because most online start-ups tend to fail at first. But by tapping the right market and selling the right products, you can be another success story with a runaway hit.
What is SEO? Search engine optimization is a marketing discipline focused on increasing a website’s visibility in the organic or natural search results of search engines. SEO covers all technical and creative strategies and techniques designed to improve a website’s ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), increase the frequency of a site’s appearance in the search list, and drive targeted traffic to the website.
SEO works on the premise that the more exposure a website has, the bigger its potential to attract site visitors. SEO may be directed at one or more kinds of unpaid search, including video search, image search, academic search, local search, news search, and specialty search.
As more site owners recognize the significance of having priority placement in the natural search page results on their success, and as search engines refine their technical and search parameters to meet internet users’ needs, search engine optimization has evolved from its simple beginnings to a highly specialized field of marketing.
The initial versions of search algorithms were fully dependent on data provided by webmasters to describe a web page’s content. Search engines relied mainly on keyword density and meta keywords tags to determine site placement on the search list, and shrewd webmasters were quick in capitalizing on the weakness of the search system by clever manipulation of keywords. As a result, search engines often returned irrelevant results to users.
A search engine’s success is measured by how well it can provide its users the link to the top websites relevant to search terms used. To provide more value to their users’ web searches and internet experience, search engines rolled more complex algorithms that were designed to make manipulations more difficult and the search results more useful to internet users.
Current search engine parameters set excellent content as the primary criteria in determining page ranking. It is, however, too surreal to expect that strong content alone can drive a website to the top of the SERP. Hence, SEO strategies, tricks, and tips are still very much the order of the day for webmasters.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
Search engine optimization techniques are designed to work around search engines’ rules. Some use legitimate strategies that comply with established guidelines while others use techniques that are exploitative, deceptive, and risky.
SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories, white hat SEO, and black hat SEO.
White Hat SEO Techniques
White hat SEO, also known as ethical SEO, refers to optimization strategies and tactics that comply with search engines’ guidelines and policies and focused on creating accessible content for internet users. Examples of white hat SEO techniques are using keywords, doing keyword analysis, backlinking, link building, and content writing for human viewers.
Search engines classify web pages based on keywords or terms that are relevant to the page content. Computer programs called crawlers or spiders are typically used to browse the web and to index each page based on the terms that appear more frequently and on their appearance in the vital sections of the web page. SEO experts recommend placing the keywords in the title, headers, and the top section of a page.
Keyword research is the practice of researching and finding search terms or niche keywords commonly used by people when doing a search. It is done to find the appropriate keywords to obtain better search engine ranking.
Most search engines use link analysis to determine the quality, importance, or popularity of a web page. In analyzing links from other web pages to the page being ranked, search engines consider the quality of links based on the rank of the linking pages. High ranking sites that link to a web page can boost its page rank. The task of getting relevant backlinks starts with creating a page that people will be pleased to link to. Exchanging links with websites that have related content is an effective way to place relevant links on the website.
Optimizing content for viewers refers to the preparation of useful, informative, and timely content. Search engines are progressively refining their parameters to recognize content quality and are giving higher page ranks to web pages with highly relevant content.
White hat SEO tends to produce long-lasting benefits for the website and is more often used when the site owner has long-term business goals.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO, also known as unethical SEO or spamdexing, refers to the use of strategies and tactics that do not conform to search engine guidelines and is focused on creating content for search engines. Examples of blackhat techniques include invisible text, keyword stuffing, inserting irrelevant keywords, page swapping, and link farming. Sites that use black hat SEO may enjoy temporary success in terms of attracting unwitting site visitors but face the risk of being banned permanently or penalized with low search rankings by search engines.
Keyword stuffing is the practice of overloading keywords or unrelated numbers on a web page to manipulate a website’s search rankings. Keyword stuffing may include inserting list of phone numbers without value or repeating the same words or phrases unnaturally.
Some webmasters include the most popular through irrelevant keywords and insert them on the page to trick the search engines into ranking the content based on the keyword used.
Black hat practitioners may use invisible text or fonts with a color that match the webpage’s background and can’t be seen by viewers yet visible to search engine spiders.
Page swapping involves tricking visitors to visit a web page with a good page ranking only to be diverted or redirected to another website that has no relevance to the original search.
Taking advantage of the value given by search engines to links in determining a webpage’s importance, black hat SEO webmasters have taken to selling and farming links to increase a page’s SERP rank. A link farm is a pool of interlinked web pages for the purpose of boosting each page’s rank.
Black hat SEO is more often used by investors who are into quick return internet business models and have no long-term investment plans on their website.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization as a marketing strategy may help a business achieve its targeted return on investment, but it is a model that is fully dependent on search engines that are periodically changing their algorithms, and may at one point cease sending traffic and crash long drawn out marketing plans.
Search engine optimization must be taken in its proper perspective as a marketing tool to increase company, website, and product awareness, but a business based on search engine traffic alone might not be a good proposition.