The role of the internet, and selling online, has developed exponentially over the years and is not something that cannot be ignored by businesses. With this course, you will get up to date with many different aspects of marketing which can help to make your business more successful. This includes:
Today's marketplace is global so you need to know how to tailor your advertising for different markets.
Enrol today and see how your business can improve their sales with more effective marketing options.
Internet marketing is relatively recent in the history of marketing. Many people were initially reluctant to advertise their businesses or products in this way, however, as time has gone by more and more people rely on the internet to advertise their products. Even small-town businesses (such as tradespeople for example) now advertise on the internet. This is mainly due to customer demand; customers like the ease in which they can (usually) find what they are looking for when they use the internet. So if the local plumber realises this (and advertises on the internet); they may be the first person the customer contacts. The internet has in many respects, replaced phone books. The customer may not want to look any further than what they find on the internet e.g. the plumber’s website, or phone number, or reviews about their services are all at the click of a button. This type of quick and easy access is what most customers are looking for today, therefore Internet marketing is a good way to capture new business. It may not be the ONLY way, but it is definitely an important way.
Internet marketing may involve promoting or selling anything via the internet, including:
- Advertisements – placed on anything viewed over the internet from websites to newsletters, games and blogs etc.
- Social media accounts
- Online shops
- Direct communication (talking with someone) or messaging (e.g. phone, WhatsApp, skype, texting)
- Video conferencing
- Broadcasting –TV, radio, video, podcasts (e.g. You Tube), corporate TV programs etc.
- Directory listings (Free or Paid)
- Subscription services
- Email – e.g. direct emailing mail lists of targeted customers, media releases
- Review sites
The term “Internet Marketing” is sometimes referred to as “Digital Marketing” by some specialist e-marketing agencies. But regardless of its name, internet marketing requires an online channel - which relies on a range of communication tools and access platforms that allow e-marketers to build relationships with new customers, as well as develop their relationships with existing customers. The access platforms range from mobile phones, computers, laptops, PDA’s to digital televisions. These hardware platforms are used by internet marketers (e-marketers) to deliver marketing content and allow for some form of interaction with the customers via various communication tools such as websites, blogs, newsletters, electronic mail (e-mail), instant messaging, etc.
The internet is a massive resource. There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites out there. Some of them may be old websites, obsolete, but never deleted. Some may be very small, set up by someone and never looked at again, but still be current. People can (fairly easily) gather information at the touch of a few buttons. If a person wants to find out about a particular service or location and it takes time too much time to find it, they may give up. So businesses need to ensure their services and products are easy to find.
Businesses, both large and small, advertise online - but how? They may use a combination of online advertising sites through search engines like Google or social media, which we will discuss shortly. Many businesses now have their own website, or even more than one website. On that website, they will usually advertise their products or services, give the potential customer a bit of information about their business offerings and so on. A lot of information can be placed on a website. If you look at the internet for anything, you can find hundreds and thousands of websites - some offering similar or services products to you and this is where it becomes important to stand out. Imagine, you own a holiday home by the sea, you set up your website, but no one looks at it. If we do a search for “holiday home, ABC Town”, probably hundreds of websites will come up – the one that is highest up the search list and has the most visual appeal will be the one that the customer will look at (in depth) first. If your website for your holiday home lacks visual appeal – they may never read further, irrelevant of the fact that your house may be a lot better than the one with the glitzy website!
Businesses sometimes also use other sites to advertise or list their products. There are many websites out there which allow people to do this, some may be free, but others will require that you pay to advertise. So the holiday home in ABC Town might also advertise on a holiday homes website, or a website about ABC Town. Or perhaps they offer special services, such as they accept dogs or encourage cyclists or are close to a golf course. Consequently they might also advertise their holiday home on websites for golfing holidays, selling golfing equipment, on sites selling pet products and so on; they can ‘piggy-back’ their advert for their holiday home on the back of associated sites – this can broaden business potential astronomically, if done well. Some businesses (say for example the pet supply business) may do a ‘contra’ deal with you – they advertise free on your website in return for you advertising free on theirs. The opportunity to broaden advertising scope is therefore much more available than it once was. The holiday home owner is not simply relying on word of mouth or paid advertising any more, but can generate huge interest with potentially hundreds and thousands of interested people viewing their website.
Today a website is often the starting point for a new business – it is the first thing that is done. Everyone will expect you to have a website if you have a business. Everywhere you look you are being directed to a website - for example even print media and poster advertising will often refer the customer to a website (in fact more often than not these days); if you watch adverts on television now, you will often be told to go to the firm’s website for more information or even their facebook page. So you can see how important a website can be to generate interest and hopefully generate business.
A website alone is often not enough though; most businesses will conduct marketing via their website, but often also through print media, posters, TV and radio, or simply a card in the local post office or shop, word of mouth, advertising on listings, websites and so on. Some will also write blogs, newsletters, ezines or even produce an internet style TV program to broaden their marketing. It really depends on the individual business and how much marketing they wish to do or can afford to do. Larger businesses will employ people (and even teams of people) to do their marketing including internet marketing. A smaller business may rely on their website, perhaps a blog, social media and other advertising. This course will concentrate on how to market your services and products via the internet.
Social media is a more recent phenomenon - more recent than the internet. Social media is basically an electronic communication method which focuses on the connection between people; people can join a particular website then communicate with each other online. There are many social media websites on the internet. Some may be specific for particular groups for example social media groups for teachers or psychology students, gardeners, anglers, musicians, music fans and so on. There are also large social media sites that can be accessed by most people (subject to age limitations in most cases). Social media allows people to communicate with friends and colleagues easily. Simple examples are when a group of friends are planning to go out on a Saturday night, messages can be sent to those friends using social media. Or if people have had a good day out, they may put photographs on to the social media site to inform people (that they know) of what they did that day. People utilise this to varying degrees; some people will share a great deal about their lives on social media, whilst others will be more private.
HOWEVER social media has also become a platform for businesses to advertise their products to customers or their services to clients and to inform them of new developments i.e. of what is going on in their business as well as special offers and so on. Social media has become more and more important as a way of marketing products and services to customers/clients and potential customers/clients.