Internet or online marketing consists of any sort of marketing conducted via the internet. Internet marketing incorporates forms equivalent to virtually any aspect of traditional marketing: e-commerce sites, for example, sell products directly to consumers or businesses, while “print” and “broadcast” advertising have rough online equivalents in the forms of text and multimedia advertising respectively. Furthermore, the internet provides for countless unique marketing opportunities.
Internet marketing online has a number of obvious advantages over conventional marketing. As a fast-growing, global institution, the internet allows businesses to reach out to wider, more varied audiences. At the same time, online marketing can be comparatively more cost-effective than other forms of marketing. Through e-mail marketing, for example, newsletters or catalogues can be distributed at a significantly lower cost than their print equivalents, while placement advertisements like banners and contextual ads afford a greater scope of effectiveness compared to print or television ads. Additionally, while traditional advertising provides no guarantee of return, it is common for online advertising space to be offered on a cost-per-sale or cost-per-action basis, thus guaranteeing a successful ad.
Internet marketing online also offers dimensions which are not present in any other sector. Social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook constitute a new frontier for marketers, with the possibility for businesses to get involved with consumers on a more personal level, and for publicity to flow through the connections which form the basis of these online communities. Search engine marketing allows marketers to respond directly to the queries of the consumer; a baker, for example, can take steps to assure that her business is featured prominently whenever someone in the area searches for “cake.”
Highly detailed data collection is another aspect of internet marketing online which is made simpler by the internet. Web analytics software enables operators of websites to learn about who and where their visitors are, how and why they came to the website, and how effective the site is at maintaining their interest. Website content can then be optimized for on a viewer-by-viewer basis using this information. Affiliate marketing, an online marketing strategy involving the direction of visitors from one website to another, is another thing to consider. Amazon and eBay, among other e-commerce heavyweights, are known for their affiliate marketing programs.
The internet is only becoming more a part of everyday life for people worldwide. Internet marketing online, with its inherent advantages and unique possibilities, is worth considering for businesses of any size.