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A Student’s Guide to Online Marketing

| April 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

Online marketing is the process of getting products or brands noticed and driving traffic to a website.  A good online marketing strategy consists of using a variety of methods designed to achieve specific business goals, depending on the type of business the website is promoting, to maximise its online presence and attract traffic.

Blogging as a way to market brands and businesses has increased hugely in popularity, to the point where it is becoming almost an essential item.  It has two main benefits: providing fresh content for search engine crawlers to see and providing readers with valuable information.  Good blogs have regular new posts which are consistently of high quality and relevant to the reader.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is the most popular form of paid-for marketing. A business will select the keywords or phrases that are likely to be searched by its target market.  Each time a search is made by a user that contains the keyword(s), the advertisement will appear in their search results.

E-mail marketing can be an effective form of marketing when it is used ethically and with careful thought.  Due to the huge amounts of spam that everyone receives, sending ‘cold’ e-mails or buying lists of e-mail addresses is not recommended.  E-mail marketing has the most effect when it is personalised, used in a targeted way and contains information the recipient will find useful.

Press releases and product releases can be used sporadically and can prove beneficial to certain types of online businesses.  There are limitations as to how often they can be used but if released via reputable news release services they can considerably increase website traffic during their lifespan.

QR (Quick Response) codes are relatively new in the UK.  They look a little like a crossword puzzle and can be read by most smartphone cameras using a small unobtrusive application. Once read, the information embedded in the code is available to the user and can be used as a link to a web page which can contain something of use to the visitor. They can be placed or printed almost anywhere and can be created and used free of charge.

Giveaways of all types are popular with users because they are getting ‘something for nothing’.  There are numerous ways to leverage this form of marketing and the free item can be anything from an e-book to a physical item such as a CD.  In return, the business gets contact details to target for future marketing.

This list is by no means exhaustive, businesses are thinking of new and innovative ways to market online almost on a daily basis.  It is important to keep up with current and changing trends by subscribing to industry-specific newsfeeds or e-mail updates.


Recommended Reading:

‘E-Business – Principles and Practice’ by Jennifer Rowley

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Category: Articles & Advice, Marketing Essay Examples

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