There are various online marketing strategies in existence, and new approaches are introduced at an ever increasing rate. Some of these tactics are more effective than others, but there are a handful of strategies that have stood the test of time. Your chosen online promotional methods will be influenced to a great degree by the type of online business you pursue, the demographic of your audience, and your marketing budget.
Let us look at the most widely used promotional strategies and their respective advantages and disadvantages:
1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a strategy that involves the placement of ads on search engines to drive targeted traffic to your site. Google Adwords is the most commonly used form of PPC advertising.
• Results can be achieved in mere seconds
• New sites can build email lists and increase awareness fairly rapidly
• Costs are incurred only when someone clicks on your ad
• Costs-per-click are high in competitive industries
• Campaigns that are not optimized can result in high costs without many conversions
2. Organic Search Engine Marketing
Organic search engine marketing is an approach that involves ranking your website in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s) to gain traffic directly from the search engines.
• There are no costs associated to traffic that is received from the search engines
• Traffic is laser targeted
• Can provide a form of residual income
• Ranking your site is time sensitive, and it can become a costly affair
• Results are relative to the industry and ranking on the first page is not guaranteed
3. Article Marketing
Article Marketing involves submitting articles relevant to your niche to popular article directories that are traffic intensive.
• You receive targeted traffic from within the article directories and the search engines
• Articles are often syndicated which brings you an increased amount of traffic from diverse sources
• You get backlinks to your site which aids in off-page search engine optimization
• Writing articles, researching topics, and submitting to the directories can become time-consuming
• Outsourcing this task can also become expensive over the long-term
4. Affiliate Marketing
This method involves using specialist internet marketers to help sell your product and in return you pay the marketer a commission for every sale or lead that is generated.
• You only pay the affiliate marketer for confirmed sales
• Affiliate Marketers assume the costs of promoting your product
• Unscrupulous marketers can use underhanded tactics to promote your product which can damage your company’s image
• The amount of sales you generate is dependent on the skill of the affiliate marketer
• Setting-up an affiliate marketing program and supporting your affiliates requires a large investment
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a strategy that involves the use of emails that are sent directly to the client who opted-in to your email list to promote your company and your products.
• Automation software has significantly reduced the time and costs associated with email marketing
• Email communication provides the platform for you to build a lasting relationship with your client
• Conspicuous sales copy within an email can offend clients
• It can become time-consuming to respond to clients who have replied to the emails you send out
Formulating a specific marketing strategy that is suitable to your online business is critical in order to extract the highest ROI. Weighing-up the advantages and disadvantages of each method and choosing the methods with the least risk is a good starting point. However you must realize that the progressive nature of the internet calls for diverse sources of traffic.
[This is a guest post by Alex Papa of Business Opportunities Expo!]