Internet Marketing has grown phenomenally over the last few years but the shift has quite clearly moved to a market that is driven by the consumer and that is no longer dictated by journalists and corporates.
Online consumers are responding more favourably to non-intrusive, relevant and socially attractive campaigns and have quite frankly had enough of intrusive, forced online advertising campaigns.
The top 10 internet marketing tips for 2008 are:
1. Optimise your website's content
2. Create a content development strategy for your website
3. Invest in a paid search (pay-per-click) campaign
4. Publicise your website through article marketing
5. Develop a social media marketing strategy
6. Create a Company Blog
7. Experiment with video marketing
8. Engage your audiences with web widget marketing
9. Discover the benefits of mobile marketing
10. Create an effective email marketing strategy
Let's look at each of these in more detail:-
1. Optimise Your Website's Content:
First and foremost, get your website content right. Make sure it is easily read by both humans and search engines. An essential variable applied by Search Engines in the way in which they rank websites is based on the relevancy of the content that the search engine is indexing.
2. Create a Content Development Strategy for Your Website:
In addition to optimizing the existing content on your website, it is essential that you develop a strategy to continuously increase your website's content on an ongoing basis. All new content should be written specifically with the web reader in mind and should also be optimized for the search engines.
3. Invest in a Paid Search (Pay-Per-Click) Campaign:
When you pay for traffic (visitors) that click on your advertisements that are being advertised on search engines, this is called pay-per-click or search engine advertising. Paid search allows you to quickly leverage search engine traffic by bidding for keywords that are related to the products or services that you promote and sell on your website. Paid search advertising is particularly beneficial to companies who are not yet well ranked on search engines through natural search.
4. Publicise Your Website Through Article Marketing:
Article marketing is regarded by Internet marketing experts as one of the most effective promotional methods to publicize your website and to increase the number of back links (incoming links) to your website content. To ensure ongoing awareness, articles should be submitted to suitable article directories, content publishers, article announcement lists and content syndication (RSS feeds). Each article should be published on your own website first and should include a bookmark button to encourage social bookmarking.
5. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy:
Studies show that by the end of 2007 more than 60% of top global companies will have had some form of social media marketing strategy in place. Corporates and small business owners should create a clear social media marketing strategy as part of an integrated communications and marketing strategy. Social Media has become an essential component of online marketing and search engines are adjusting their rankings to include search personalisation. One of the effects of the social media revolution is an exponential increase in the amount of content online.
6. Create a Company Blog:
In the past, corporates have focused marketing and communications efforts on becoming faceless. This has changed significantly. Where the online consumer has become very much in control, companies will no longer be able to connect with their customers in a meaningful and emotional way without having a personality. More and more companies are starting to realize the significance of establishing a company personality and we are starting to see more Corporate Blogs coming alive. Business Blogging will continue to become more lucrative as more and more people look to new media such as Blogs and social websites for insight.
7. Experiment With Video Marketing:
There is tremendous power and revenue-generating potential in Video Marketing. With the rapid ongoing growth of YouTube's traffic in addition to the emergence of Internet Television websites, streaming video is dominating the international web and marketers are quickly scrambling to capitalize on this exciting channel. As companies seek to simplify video sharing, video marketing will become more interactive which could have huge implications for Affiliate marketing.
8. Engage Your Audiences With Web Widget Marketing:
Widgets have made significant strides as an accepted marketing technique in recent months. Many new Blog oriented services are launching Widgets providing businesses with the opportunity to quickly introduce their services and new products to audiences.
Web Widgets are small applets that live in HTML and provide miniature versions of a specific piece of content outside of the primary web site. Web Widget Marketing is not only an exciting new marketing technique; it is fast becoming one of the leading brand-building marketing strategies for businesses advertising online.
9. Discover the Benefits of Mobile Media Marketing:
Mobile media marketing has continued to grow at a meteoric pace as many web companies recognize the huge potential in mobile marketing. As new technologies emerge and standard websites are converted to ones that can easily be accessed by mobile devices, companies will need to ensure that their websites are mobile-friendly. This leads the way for new and innovative opportunities to provide the consumer with improved brand and marketing experiences.
10. Create an Effective Email Marketing Strategy:
Introduce an effective Email communications strategy as part of your marketing strategy to grow your existing customer base and to expand your client base significantly through permission marketing and regular targeted communications. Engaging your customers with relevant, targeted information when, where, and how they want it is crucial to marketing success. By combining technological advances with tried-and-tested best practices, the future still looks bright for email marketers.
To conquer commercial combat, a significantly powerful Internet presence, supported by a brilliant E-Marketing Strategy, is paramount to ensuring that you remain competitive, increase revenue and magnetise your customers!
By Gillian Meier, Blue Magnet, an Internet Marketing Training & Consulting company in South Africa.
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