What is internet marketing?
Internet marketing (also known as Internet advertising, online advertising, or online marketing) refers to the form of advertising and marketing that serves consumers promotional marketing messages via the Internet.
It often takes place between an advertiser (who provides advertisements), a publisher (who embeds the advertisements into their website), often accompanied by advertising agencies (in charge of generating and placing the ad copies), an ad server (responsible for the technological delivery of the ads and the tracking of statistics), and advertising affiliates (who independently promote the advertisements against a commission).
Internet marketing and online advertising techniques are often used in association with offline (traditional) means of advertising like newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.
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Delivery methods of internet marketing
Internet marketing messages are delivered through:
1. Adware: This is a software which automatically displays advertisements on a user’s computer. Installed without the user’s permission, it becomes a malware.
2. Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing, also sometimes referred to as lead generation, is when advertisers sign up third parties to generate potential customers for them.
3. Chat advertising: The operating personnel behind the live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites drops real time adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites.
4. Content Marketing: Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content in order to acquire and retain customers.
5. Display advertising: Display advertising uses text, logos, animations, videos, photographs, or other graphics to convey the advertising message.
6. Ecommerce: Selling on a website exclusively dedicated to business offers many advantages over traditional business models, the most obvious being lower overheads and the possibility to reach wider audiences.
7. Email advertising: Email advertising is ad copy delivered as an entire email message or just a part of it to present and potential customers.
8. Expanding ad: A rich media frame ad, an expanding ad changes size in accordance with a predefined condition, which could be a preset amount of time a visitor spends on a webpage, a click on the ad, or moving the mouse over the ad.
9. Floating ad: Also called an overlay ad, this rich media advertisement is displayed over the requested website’s content. It is often found to be obtrusive.
10. Frame ad: Website publishers incorporate this first form of web banners on a dedicated space on their web page. The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Ad Unit Guidelines proposes standardized pixel dimensions for ad units.
11. Interstitial: If you request a content and an ad shows up before your content or while you are waiting for the content to load, then you are being served an interstitial ad.
13. News Feed Ads: “News Feed Ads” are also called “Sponsored Stories” or “Boosted Posts”. They are usually advertisements inserted into normal, ordinary news that the users are reading through on Social Media Sites that offer a steady stream of information updates (“news feed”) in regulated formats (i.e. in similar sized small boxes with a uniform style).
14. Online classified advertising: This is advertising posted online in a categorical listing of specific products or services. We can cite online job boards, online real estate listings, automotive listings, online yellow pages, and online auction-based listings. Craigslist and eBay are two classical examples of online classified listings.
15. Online marketing platform: An online marketing platform (OMP) is an integrated web-based platform that combines the best of a business directory, local search engine, search engine optimisation (SEO) tool, customer relationship management (CRM) package and content management system (CMS).
16. Pop-ups/pop-unders: While a pop-up ad shows in a new web browser window that opens above a website visitor’s initial browser window, a pop-under ad on the other hand opens a new browser window under a website visitor’s initial browser window.
17. Search engine marketing (SEM): Search engine marketing, or SEM, includes all of an advertiser’s actions to make a website’s listing feature more prominent for topical keywords on search engines.
18. Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a technique used to improve a website’s organic search rankings in SERPs by improving the website’s content’s relevance to search terms. SEO services can be obtained from many vendors.
20. Sponsored search: Sponsored search also known as sponsored links, search ads, or paid search, includes advertisers in the sponsored results of a search for certain keywords.
21. Text ads: A text ad displays text-based hyperlinks. They may display independently of a web page’s primary content, or you may embed them into a websites by hyperlinking each word or phrase. You may also use email marketing or text message marketing to deliver them.
22. Trick banners: Trick banners are a form of bait-and-switch since the ad’s copy imitates some common screen element like an operating system message or a popular application message to entice people to click on the ad.
24. Website marketing: For instance, you can tell visitors about your product or service and promote special offers to them. You can also improve customer relations by providing customers with useful information and enabling them to offer feedback.
Compensation methods of internet marketing
Advertisers and publishers resort to a wide range of payment calculation methods in internet marketing. Some of them are:
2. CPE (cost per engagement): Cost per engagement goes further to track not just that an ad loaded on the page (i.e., an impression
was served), but also that the viewer actually saw and/or interacted with the ad.
3. CPM (cost per mille): Mille is the Latin word for thousand. So CPM (Cost per mille) signifies that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers. Such displays are usually called “impressions” in the online context. Some impressions which don’t represent a new exposure to an actual customer may not be charged.
4. CPV (cost per view): This is for video advertising. Since Google and TubeMogul endorsed this standardized CPV metric to the IAB’s (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Digital Video Committee, it’s gaining increased support in the industry.
5. CPA (Cost Per Action): CPA (Cost Per Action) also known as Cost Per Acquisition or PPP (Pay Per Performance) advertising is when the advertiser pays for the number of users who carry out a suggested activity, for example, completing a purchase or filling out a registration form.
6. Fixed cost: In fixed cost compensation advertisers pay a harmonized amount for the delivery of ads online, usually over a specified time period, whether the ad was visible or users responded to it or not. In CPD (cost per day) for example, advertisers pay a fixed cost for publishing an ad for a day irrespective of impressions served or clicks recorded.
The secrets of online marketing success
There are four ingredients to follow to have marketing success online. They are:
1. Creating valuable relationships with your visitors: Have consummate respect for your audience and your market. Focus almost obsessively on their needs. If you satisfy their needs, readers and customers will patronise your content and products and finally you’ll get what you want.
2. Sticking to traditional copywriting techniques: Stay abreast of the latest social media trends but don’t forget solid copywriting techniques (start with a killer headline, move strategically through the copy and end with a stirring call to action). This can make all the difference between a business or blog that drags along and one that really flies.
3. Content marketing: Begin with delivering great content. Continue doing it, but in a strategic and focused manner. From time to time, make your readers a great offer that benefits them and helps you make some money.
4. Offering your readers something of value: Whatever you’re selling, be it a product, a service, a download, an idea, or a worthy cause, let it be worth more to your buyers than the money they will give in return.
Advantages of online marketing
Advertising online has many advantages, among which:
1. Low cost: Online advertising, and especially one done on social media, enables advertisers to engage with large established communities at a minimal cost. Not only are the costs low but also an advertiser obtains better returns online than offline.
2. Vast coverage: Not only does online advertising reach nearly every global market, but also online advertising can help offline sales.
3. Divers formats: In online advertising, advertisers have a wide variety of ways to deliver their promotional messages, such as images, video, audio, and links. Online ads can also be interactive.
4. Measurable data: Online advertising easily permits the collection of data such as the size of the potential audience, how a visitor reached their advertisement, whether an ad actually loaded within a visitor’s view, how the audience reacted, whether the advertisement resulted in a sale or not.
5. Speed: Since the delivery of an online ad is not linked to the publisher’s publication schedule, once designed, it can be deployed immediately. Also if an online ad is found to be totally unsatisfactory or lacking in some aspect, the ad copy can be replaced or modified more rapidly than an offline one.
6. Targeted advertising: Publishers can enable advertisers reach customizable and narrow market segments for targeted advertising. Through geo-targeting, relevant ads can be displayed to a user’s geographical location. Advertisers can customize an ad to match particular user’s preferences. Tracking ads already seen by a viewer, the advertiser can reduce unwanted repetitious exposures and provide adequate time gaps between exposures.
7. Others: One can view ads anywhere on one’s mobile phone, and interact with the ad and even sign up to it. An ad viewer can buy a product or service right on the ad. They can also reply to an ad or even opt out of it. The viewer can furthermore decide what to see, when to see it and how to see it.
Concerns of online marketing
Internet marketing is not without its problems. Prominent among them are:
1. Banner blindness: Eye-tracking studies have demonstrated that Internet users are subject to a phenomenon sometimes called “banner blindness”. This means that they are susceptible to miss web page zones where ads are typically displayed.
2. Fraud on the advertiser: There are numerous ways that advertisers can be overcharged for their advertising. Some of them are:
a. Click fraud: click fraud can occur when:
- a publisher or other parties use manual or automated means to click on a CPC ad
without any intention whatsoever to fulfil the ad’s objective
- publishers attempt to produce revenue
- an advertiser clicks on a competitor’s ads just to run down their advertising budget
- websites launch dozens of hidden pages on a visitor’s computer, making the visitor’s
computer click on hundreds of paid links without the visitor’s knowledge
b. Online impression fraud: Online impression fraud can occur when publishers inflate the number of ad impressions they have delivered to their advertisers.
Difficulties of online marketing
Certain circumstances can be a hindrance to the delivery of online marketing or even interrupt it altogether, such as:
1. Ad-blocking: Ad-blocking, or ad filtering, occurs when people resort to technology to screen out ads and thus prevent them from appearing.
2. Anti-targeting technologies: Some web browsers come with privacy modes allowing users to hide their information from publishers and advertisers. Also, advertisers are thwarted from using cookies to serve targeted ads to people using private browsers. Thirdly, most major browsers have Do Not Track options inserted into their browser headers, but the regulations currently are only enforced by the honor system.
3. Miscellaneous devices: The differences in operating systems, web browsers, computer hardware, mobile devices, and screen sizes may make online ads appear to users differently from the way the advertiser conceived them. Worse, the ads may not display properly at all.
4. Danger of falling foul of the law: Advertisers may encounter legal problems if legally required information doesn’t display to users, even if that failure is due to sundry equipment used by the viewers.
Collateral effects of online marketing
Damages not thought or wished by advertisers sometimes accompany online marketing:
1. Privacy concerns: Advertisers often resort to technology, such as web bugs and re-spawning cookies, to better track consumers. But according to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, many Internet users did not appreciate online behavioural advertising, and a lesser number suspected that their personally-identifiable information had been sold to advertisers without their consent. Consumers especially abhor advertisers targeting them based on their sensitive information, such as financial or health status.
2. Weakening of confidence in advertisers: Scammers can resort to artifices like phishing (which are scam emails but look as if coming from a well-known brand owner) and confidence schemes like the Nigerian “419” scam. This can make receivers wary of business email, even from a credible source.
Malware risks, i.e. malvertising, are also some of the problems consumers face when interacting with online advertising.
3. Spam: The low cost of delivering online marketing message on the Internet has been a boon for spam, enabling large-scale spammers to have a field day. Unfortunately, efforts to fight against spam, such as blacklists, regulatory-required labelling, and content filters, have only led to adverse collateral effects, such as mistaken filtering.
Regulation of online marketing
1. Privacy and data collection: Privacy concerns can require a user’s consent before an advertiser can track or communicate with them. Unfortunately, affirmative consent (“opt in”) can be difficult and expensive to obtain.
Meanwhile, if you want to add your voice to the discussion or suggest a facet of internet marketing you would like to know more about, just tell me in the comment box below. I will be more than happy to serve you.
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