For many businesses, the internet is a necessity. Filling orders, emailing customers, and obtaining research and information are just a few of the things businesses will use the internet for.
Internet marketing is another task businesses utilize to help them run their businesses. An established online presence gives businesses an advantage over those who have not yet taken their business online, and it also helps companies reach a wider audience.
But before you take your marketing strategies online, consider the following pros and cons of internet marketing.
- Cost. Unlike many other promotional strategies, internet marketing is comparatively low cost and does not require a large amount of capital to start up.
- - Further reaching. Internet marketing reaches a larger, more global audience than other forms of marketing, and it does so immediately.
- - Expectations. Most businesses use some form of internet marketing, so in many ways it is expected.
- Lack of human interaction and trust. Because internet marketing is done via the internet exclusively, there is no way for your potential customers to actually see your products or interact with people from your company.
- - Competition. Internet marketing is a saturated market, so it's important to have tools that help you stand out from the competition.
Tips for success
Now that you know the pros and cons of internet marketing, the following tips will help you to have success when marketing online.
- Get a website. One of the first things a business should do is obtain a website. All reputable companies have websites as they know consumers and the general public spend an average of 2 hours online each day. Also, if an event is being publicized, it's a good idea to get a website in order to make registration or obtaining information easier. There are a variety of internet hosting services, such as Yahoo, Hurricane Electric, and Pair Networks. Businesses can set up a domain (or website) through these services for a nominal monthly fee, usually around $20 for a basic set-up. Make your URL as simple as possible. Ideally, it should be the name of the company or event being publicized.
- - Promote the website. The internet is a great promotional tool. The company or event's URL should be found on all company or event literature. PR directors who are interviewing or writing press releases should mention the URL or use it as a reference point within a press release.
- - Use meta tags. Meta tags help those browsing the internet to find the website. For example, the keywords meta tags for a tutoring business could include school help, tutoring, math tutors, or anything that has to do with tutoring or after-school help. Such keywords lead people to websites they may or may not have been looking for and are an effective marketing tool.
- - Keep the site updated. In order for a website to garner positive publicity, it should not have outdated information, broken links, or mistakes. The website should be as professional and up to date as possible.
- - Ask for email addresses of those who visit your site. This way, you can continually market product information to them. Always include a link with the option to unsubscribe.
The internet can be a great tool for marketing. However, just as there are many positive aspects, there are also some downsides. Make sure you know the pros and cons before beginning.