Using the Internet for marketing has gathered momentum in the recent years. A business can market its products by advertising online. However, not all products can be marketed effectively on the Internet. There are many myths associated with Internet marketing. These range from the kind of products that can be marketed to the kind of marketing that yields results. It is also believed that high web traffic will ensure a high revenue. This, in turn, has made web traffic generation a source of consternation for enterprises, who often forget that generating relevant web traffic is more important than just increasing the number of people visiting the website.
Affiliate Marketing is Easy and Always Successful
Affiliate marketing is the process by which a business drives traffic to its website by placing an advertisement in a high traffic website. The website which acts as the host for the business is compensated by the business in the form of commission. The business provides compensation only for actual conversions. The commission on the actual conversion is known as cost per action (CPA). The reason affiliate marketing has gained importance is because a business is required to pay only if marketing actually results in driving traffic to its website.
It is widely believed that affiliate marketing results in higher revenues, both for the host and the business. However, revenue generation for the business (affiliate) is subject to the following constraints:
The advertisements should be placed on a website that sells products, which are complementary to the products sold by the business. Many a time, a business markets its products on sites that sell substitutes or unrelated products. For example, a teddy bear manufacturer who tries marketing his products on a website that provides information about the toy industry might face stiff competition, if the website is already populated with soft toys, including teddy bears. Although the website is relevant to the business, the other products act as substitutes for the teddy bear. It might behoove the teddy bear manufacturer to advertise on a site dedicated to selling gifts for women. A teddy bear is an ideal gift for most women, and will complement gift items like perfumes, jewelry, clothes, chocolates, and mementos.
Banner Advertisements: Graphic Links or Text Links?: From the point of view of ensuring visibility of the host, the business (affiliate) should provide text links rather than graphic links. This is because, search engines rank text links higher than graphic links. If visibility of the host improves, the affiliate also has a better chance of getting noticed. Despite this, many businessman prefer using graphic links, since they feel that effective marketing of their product hinges on visual appeal.
It is Easy to Market Professional Services
Marketing professional services is very different from marketing retail products. Most professionals do not realize the subtle difference between marketing goods and marketing services. In case of a tangible product, the buyer can provide pictures along with a detailed description. However, in case of intangibles like services, communicating the quality and the availability of the service is of utmost importance.
The common pitfalls of marketing professional services can be summarized as follows:
Website Lacks Visibility: Most professionals do not spend the time and energy required to improve the visibility of their website.
Lack of Differentiation: Many a time, professionals just provide the gist of the services without going into the details of the specialized services provided by them. A professional should try and differentiate himself from other members of his profession, by going into the details of the benefits of associating with him.
Lack of Effective Communication: Communication should make an impact on prospective clients. Professionals might consider providing a video clip that introduces them. This might make the advertisement less impersonal and somewhat endearing. Without effective communication, a professional cannot hope to capture the interest of a possible client.
Direct Marketing via E-mail is Ineffective
According to the research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, the return on investment in case of email marketing for the year 2009 was around $43.52 for every dollar spent. In fact, in 2007 and 2008, email marketing generated the maximum return on investment, as compared to the other modes of direct marketing. Despite this, most people consider email advertisements a nuisance, since often, marketing enthusiasts obtain email IDs of people from various unrelated mailing lists. The point here is to ensure that the product information is supplied to people who are looking for similar products. For example, if people are looking for laboratories in their area in order to undergo medical tests, it might be advisable to send them information about health care products.
The Internet is an effective marketing platform for any business, provided the businessman does his research on online marketing. He should seek professional guidance when necessary, in order to campaign for the success of his business, which in turn can be witnessed in the form of higher revenues and profits.