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What is Online Marketing?

| December 10, 2013

Reaching out to consumers and establishing a brand is an important part of succeeding in business. Without marketing solutions, a business has a very high chance of failure. Online marketing is a strategy that helps build up a company’s reputation and exposure online by using a variety of internet tools and solutions.

Definition of Online Marketing

Online Marketing MatrixBefore it is possible to understand the different strategies and marketing tools that are available, it is important to identify what online marketing is and how it promotes a business.

Online marketing, which is also called internet marketing or online advertising, is any tool, strategy or method of getting the company name out to the public. The advertisements can take many different forms and some strategies focus on subtle messages rather than clear-cut advertisements.

But, the way that it promotes a business is simple: it builds up the company reputation by increasing its ability to be found online. A large number of potential customers browse the internet, look for information or simply enjoy their favorite pastimes with an internet connection. By taking advantage of the online tools and resources, it is possible to get the company name out to the public and encourage potential customers to look further for information.

Website Development

When it comes to online marketing strategies, website development plays a crucial role in your ability to reach your target audience. The reason is simple: potential customers look for information, products or services that you provide on your website.

A website provides an online presence that allows customers to find out more about your company, your services and the type of products that you sell. Putting a website together these days is fairly simple, cost effective and absolutely essential to having a business these days. Free website services exist, but come with a number of limitations.

Template websites offer the luxury of getting a professional website up and running at a reduced cost and turn-around time. Business owners choose a template and then create content and color schemes that match their business.

For those with the budget, custom websites are a great option. Depending on the needs of the company, a complete custom solution, from the design to the functionality of the site, is created. This process requires more time but has almost no limitations to what can be provided. Custom websites can range from approximately $5k to more than $100k.

USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE offers premium website solutions to fit almost any budget.

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Search Engine Marketing

After a website is built for your company, you must promote it. Search engine marketing, or SEM for short, is one of the  best ways that you can promote your company, services and website. SEM is the process and strategy of getting website exposure online with keywords related to your business. SEM includes pay per click ads (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO).

PPC:

Pay per click, or PPC, is an ad that displays on search engine result pages. The advertiser pays when the ad is clicked by the user and is directed to their website or landing page. PPC allows for nearly immediate exposure online and can provide a high-level cost transparency.

SEO:

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing website content online to increase exposure in the organic search results for desired keywords. This is a long-term strategy that has many factors contributing to its success. These include site architecture, on-site content, internal and external links, keyword research and competition analysis to name a few.

While being found online is probably the most important part of an online marketing strategy, there are other types of internet marketing that supplement those efforts.

Update: SEM in the past was widely accepted to be Search Engine Marketing which fully encompassed SEO and SEM. However over time many have adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to paid search. (source: searchengineland.com)

Making Use of Social Networks

Social networking websites are a powerful marketing tool. They provide the opportunity to develop a solid and professional reputation. You can also advertise your company, website and services through your social networking pages.

A major reason that advertisements and content on a social networking websites help develop your company is word-of-mouth. It allows you to employ reputation management strategies, engage with customers and answer questions. By engaging with your customers, you encourage them to share their experiences with those in their network.

Email Marketing

Online marketing strategies may also include email marketing.  Businesses use this tool to reach out to current customers by sending out newsletters, coupons or informational emails. You can also encourage new customers to sign up for your newsletter or mailing list to learn more information about the products or services that you provide.

While email marketing is not new, a fairly unknown concept is marketing to a rented list. This process allows you to target individuals who have opted-in to receive promotional emails and have typically provided some information about who they are and their interests. Check out our previous blog post  on effective email marketing for more in-depth information.

Online Display Ads

Take advantage of online display ads by putting up advertisements on search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google. Rich media ads, which are advertisements that allow potential customers to interact with the ad, create more engagement with consumers than your run-of-the-mill text ads.

Not only does a display network allow you to place advertisements, but you can learn about your customers through rich media ads, such as the amount of time that they spend interacting with your advertisement. This tool helps measure interest in your products and provides a visual that encourages potential customers to learn more about your products or services.

Online marketing is an essential part of running a successful business in today’s digital world. The USA TODAY NETWORK is located in downtown Nashville, Tennessee and has solutions to fit every type of business and budget. Contact us today to schedule your free comprehensive analysis to see how the USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE can help you meet your business goals.

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