Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2017
Mobile Marketing – The Next Frontier in Digital Marketing
Digital vs. Traditional Marketing
Does PR Really Matter for SEO?
5 Tips for Creating a Better Landing Page
An Overview of Digital Marketing Channels
The Significance of Ethics in Internet Marketing
Tips for Launching Your Product on Social Media
The Changing Face of Internet Marketing

Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2017

The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Over the past few years, there has been more of a shift toward inbound techniques, while many outbound tactics have become antiquated. More businesses are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content, because of the additional benefits these tactics offer, such as branding and audience growth.

  1. Content Marketing will be Bigger than Ever

One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.

By using one or more of these channels, businesses are able to build a positive reputation within their industry. This trend suggests that marketing to the masses through techniques like television ads and radio ads are becoming less effective. Instead, it’s better to concentrate on inbound marketing, by producing valuable, engaging content designed for a specific audience.

  1. Social Media Marketing Will Require More Diversity

It seems like new social media sites are appearing all the time and have surged in popularity. These sites have provided businesses with a plethora of new options that allow them to produce engaging content in a variety of media forms and build their audiences across more channels than ever before.

Consequently, it has become common for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks with the aim of reaching the maximum amount of consumers. This diversification seems to prove fruitful for many companies because it often builds brand equity by making it easier for consumers to recognize a particular brand.

  1. Mobile-Friendly Content Will Be Necessary

Due to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users. According to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.” Whether it’s creating an alternate mobile version of a website or utilizing responsive web design, it’s important to provide a positive experience to users that are browsing via a mobile device.

Otherwise, it’s easy to lose customers to competitors who have adapted to this trend. As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.

  1. Ad Retargeting Will Grow in Effectiveness

This is a marketing strategy that has really caught on recently. In a nutshell, it works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit. Once they leave a certain site, the products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in advertisements across different websites.

It’s fairly obvious as to why this technique can be so effective. With only two percent of web traffic converting on the first visit, ad retargeting works to increase the overall conversion rate by reminding consumers of the product or service they viewed. This keeps the brand and the product at the top of the consumer’s mind. There are even psychological studies that have shown that simple exposure to brand names and logos creates familiarity, which builds brand recall and makes consumers more likely to make a purchase.

Even if there’s no immediate purchase, this can really pay off in the long run. Due to the success that many marketers have had with ad retargeting, there’s a good chance that it will become more mainstream in 2015.

  1. SEO and Social Signals Will Become Even More Intertwined

Although social signals still don’t typically carry the same weight as traditional inbound links, it’s pretty undeniable that they play a role in organic search rankings these days. After all, they’re one of the three pillars of SEO. Since the goal of Google and other search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality content possible, it makes sense why they would factor in the number of social shares that a blog post, article or product page receives.

The more people that are sharing a piece of content, the higher quality it’s likely to be, and therefore its position should increase within the search engine results pages. It’s no coincidence that the top-ranking search results tends to have lots of social shares, while those ranked lower have fewer.

Besides this, social shares can serve as a stamp of approval (i.e., a trust signal) for visitors landing on a page. If they see that it has hundreds or thousands of shares, it’s likely that there’s something of value. That’s a big reason why so many businesses are installing social share plugins and encouraging consumers to share as much as possible.

Small businesses are planning to increase the time spent on digital media

After understanding the benefits of digital media marketing, many small businesses have increased the time and investment spent on these activities. Businesses that are active on digital media and share useful content have seen improvement in their business. According to Socialmediatoday, 21% of small businesses’ marketers are spending an hour or more on social media per day and 58% of small businesses spend at least 10 minutes per day on social media. According to Swiftpage, 50% of businesses said that they have increased their time spent on social media and gained new customers.

Social media marketing is an excellent way to build your small business’ brand and increase your customer base. If you have not yet started using social media marketing for your small business, get started and make the most of it – from a business perspective.

Mobile Marketing – The Next Frontier in Digital Marketing

With the innovations that have been introduced in recent years, some of the most relevant are seen in mobile phones, which are reflective of a wide array of features making it possible to do the things you have thought of being impossible in the past. Ask people how they are using their mobile phones, and you will surely have a variety of responses. Some use it simply for making calls and sending text messages. In most cases, however, it is an extension of one’s self, making it useful for school, business and entertainment, among others. With its many uses, mobile phones present a new opportunity for digital marketing, making it possible for businesses to have a more extensive reach of their audience.

Mobile is in

Because of the popularity of mobile phones, it has already replaced desktop computers as a way by which people access the internet. This makes sense as mobile phones offer the benefit of convenience, allowing you to go online regardless of your location. According to data released by eMarketer, 43.6% of overall media time will be spent on digital this year, with 19.4% of which spent on mobile phones and 19.2% on both laptop and desktop computers. This shift from desktop to mobile is notable not only on different activities, such as social networking and viewing videos, among others.

Implications on Marketing

Because of the growing popularity of mobile phones all over the world, marketers have been quick to think of different ways by which it can affect business activities, specifically with regards to promoting different products and services. For instance, you can now develop mobile apps to bring your business closer to your target market. It also makes the use of social media more relevant, given the fact that most users access social media websites from their mobile phones. It has also presented opportunities for mobile commerce, allowing businesses to sell their products and services in a mobile platform.

Nonetheless, even with the increase in the popularity of smartphones in recent years, it does not mean that businesses should forget about desktops and laptop computers. Especially for those who think smartphone screens are too small, they still rely on their traditional desktops, which is why it is critical to maintaining a balance of advertising activities on both mediums. For website creators, this would mean paying attention to responsive design. With the latter, the website can be viewed without obstruction; whether it is accessed with the use of computers or smartphones. They instantly adapt to the screen size of the gadget being used, making it possible to offer an unrivalled user experience.

In fact, you do not need to allocate a huge budget towards mobile marketing. The cost factors of both the mediums is now converging with more brands getting onto the mobile bandwagon. This rise is definitely going to show businesses new and exciting opportunities for this medium.

What do you think about mobile media? What are your inputs for setting up a successful campaign? Do let me know in the comments below.

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

In this modern civilization that we are living in, digital marketing has easily emerged as the new norm when it comes to marketing. Companies that initially used traditional marketing have now seen the benefits of digital marketing, and so they have made the switch. What have these companies seen and realized? What are the differences between digital and traditional marketing? Let’s discuss each type of marketing one by one and see the factors that made digital marketing an obvious winner.

Traditional Marketing

When talking about the cost, traditional marketing such as the use of hoardings, newspaper and television advertisements may be very expensive. As a matter of fact, a front page ad in a newspaper can be pricey because of the priority given to it. However, while it is easy to see the investment part of the process, you really do not have a measurable gauge as to the number of people who have actually seen the ad and have converted. Therefore, at this point, it is quite challenging to calculate your return on investment.

For example, in the case of a banner ad, only people who live or pass by in the area in which it is used can see it. It does not have the capability to allow others who are far from it to see it. As in the example of a newspaper ad, only people in a specific city can see the ad unless the newspaper is brought to a different place. At the same time, there is often a time constraint because of the availability of a physical store.

Digital Marketing

On the other hand, with the new digital marketing techniques, you can expect a significant reduction of overall cost and expenditures. As a matter of fact, the only paid strategy of digital marketing is pay per click (PPC) which is not that expensive at all. No other costs can be expected. Strategies such as social media and search engine optimization or SEO are almost free.

On the other hand, you can also expect a very good return on your initial investment. As already mentioned, every amount that you have invested will offer a specific amount of return. Also, unlike traditional marketing wherein a measurable gauge is absent, digital marketing presents several tools that can measure all aspects of your strategy. And because of these free tools, the ads can focus on targeting a particular group of people who may be interested in your products and services. This is quite impossible with traditional marketing.

The Verdict

With the obvious benefits that digital marketing has to offer as compared to traditional marketing, it is easy to conclude that digital marketing, in its different forms, is the best type of marketing, especially in dealing with the modern marketplace.

Does PR Really Matter for SEO?

Every SEO expert worth his salt knows about page rank and the metrics that accompany it, however, the point where the SEO experts differ is in the significance of PR in ranking of a webpage in the SERPs. Before we proceed further, let’s first know a bit about PR.

What is Page Rank?

Page Rank is a score assigned by Google to every web page depending on the quality and quantity of the link. The Page rank ranges from 0 – 10 where a low quality or brand new page gets a 0 while a page with quality content and trustworthy backlinks will be pegged at 10. If your page is a recent entrant to the ranking you will be getting a ‘not available ‘on the score card until the time you begin to post quality links.

Good Old Days of PR and SEO

The idea of Page Rank was conceived by Google’s owners Sergey Brin and Larry page. The quality metric values of 0 – 10 were assigned to define a page’s reliability, authority and authenticity on the web.

A web site with Page Rank 2 could be found in the first page returned by search results while a site with Page Rank 8 or 9 could be relegated to back pages indicating that Page Rank had no significance bearing on Search Engine ranking.

At its inception Page Rank was considered to be a vital parameter in Google’s ranking algorithm and that it helped in ascertaining the site’s authenticity too. However the increasing number of spammers has led to a decrease in the significance of Page rank as Google has introduced a new set of parameters to hunt down the spammers and to bring the authentic and best sites for the users.

Page Rank Now: Relevant or Irrelevant?

The world of web masters is split on this one. Some webmasters seem to think that Page Rank is not relevant under the present revamped Page ranking algorithm since it has become just one of the many factors that determine the ranking of a particular page rather than being ‘the ’only criterion for judging its worth.

Many experts also feel that the ranking is biased. Under the present guidelines released by Google, the revamped search algorithm gives greater importance to user generated content and social signals leaving Page rank far behind.

Another factor that has led to the assumption of the decreasing importance of Page Rank is that Google has removed Page Rank from its webmaster tool.

But the advocates of Page rank point out that it is still one of the ranking tools used by Google.

If two sites with same content, inbound-outbound links exist, but are differentiated by Page rank – it is obvious that the site with higher Page Rank will appear higher in the search results giving the site an edge over the competitors.

Although the caffeine update by Google ensures that fresh content (sometimes with no page rank) ranks higher, the ranking will dip in search result in due course of time for want of Page Rank.

High Page rank matters as guest bloggers are concerned since most of them favor to write for those websites which have a good Page rank.

The world backs a winner, in the same vein a higher page rank will want other people to link to your page. This increases the popularity of your site, thereby indirectly helping you in the search engine ranking.

5 Tips for Creating a Better Landing Page

Landing pages are an extremely important part of a successful strategy for marketing. They are the core for generation of leads. Today, companies are ensuring that for every campaign they run, there is a separate and customized landing page instead of just having a single home page which may end up in the increase in visitor drop-out rates.

Let us look at a few best practices when it comes to creation of landing pages having a high conversion rate.

1) Get to the point

Considering that people, who are browsing, have extremely short attention spans, it is always better to get straight to the point. As people are coming to your page with a specific objective in mind, you need to make sure that you are forthcoming and clear in your offering for them. Use clear headers and sub-headers. Use clear, easy-to-read fonts. Emphasize important points by making them bold or using italics or a separate color. Tell the visitors what they will get on your page, without mincing words.

2) Keep contrasting colors

Ensure that your main call-to-action really stands out on your landing page by using colours that contrast with the background, for it, so that it immediately catches the attention of the viewer and ensures that the attention goes exactly where it is required.

3) Put your logo clearly

It is important to keep your brand at the top of the mind of the visitor and hence it is vital that your brand logo is placed at strategic locations on all your landing pages. This is extremely important for those visitors who are coming to your landing page from a generic search or through non-branded sources which are external. These may include social media platforms as well. Also, try and maintain consistency in the placement of your logo across all landing pages so that it aids in brand recognition and recall.

4) Do not underestimate the power of formatting

Formatting is a mandate for creation of good looking landing pages. Well done formatting results in a neatly laid out landing page. It also makes the page pleasant to look at. Clearly laying out your photos, titles, response oriented forms etc. ensures that the page is user friendly. A landing page that is aesthetically formatted will increase the chances of your visitors getting converted to leads.

5) Add proof to build trust

Add case studies as well as some social proof, which supports your claims/offerings, to your landing page. Try putting up some testimonials, quotes from happy customers etc. Look through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc and try embedding the tweets/updates of where people have said good things about you. If there is data about how many people have bought your product etc, that too can be added as proof on your landing page. These proofs work on adding credibility to your page and offering.

If you follow all the above tips and also ensure that you are consistent in using them across pages, then your landing page is sure to get you high rates of conversion.

If you have any other tips to share with your fellow marketers, please let me know in the comments section.

An Overview of Digital Marketing Channels

Digital Marketing uses electronic media to create awareness and/or promote a brand or a product or services of a business. With enormous, ever-growing climb in the number of people using smart phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets, and even bigger rise in the Internet usage, advertising in these media has become a necessity as well as a priority for the companies, online advertising becoming the most important business strategy for them.

While the Internet is the prominent area that can be used to engage the consumer base with online ads, the other media include IMs, Emails, Mobile apps, online videos, game ads, digital billboards etc.

Digital Marketing, unlike traditional marketing is not restricted arena. You can take your products and services to people who are on the go, who play games, who watch videos, all those who stay connected to the web via social media, discussion forum, instant messaging, emails, etc.

Moreover, it is not that only you talk about your brand as it happens with traditional methods. With digital media winning over other media as a source of entertainment, shopping, news etc, there are viable chances that you have different people talk about your business differently all over the web, with their peers, partners, friends or in their blogs. And those opinions make a lot of difference than what you have go to say. Creating online content, in any form, text, video or ads that can engage and that can be valued, trusted by your potential customers is very important in digital marketing.

Content Marketing:

Content Marketing often called as ‘Search Engine Optimization’ is the heart of digital marketing. Relevant, informative and meaningful content in websites, news media about your product can do magical wonders in bringing your website up in the search engine ranking and drive traffic to the website.

Useful documentations, help manuals and guides can be made available online for making heads turn to your business.

Email marketing:

This method ensures a direct connect with your potential and existing customers. Sending out emails on the latest events, announcements now and then and emails those solicit sales, request business can help create a nice business-customer relationship.

Also, sending well-designed e-newsletters periodically keeping the clients and clients-to-be informed of various things about the organization, products, services etc.

Social Media Marketing:

One of the best ways to reach targeted audience. Social networking has grown quite impressively over the years and more and more people making their presence here on a daily basis.

Picking the right set of audience who could be your potential customers and targeting them with campaigns of your products and services, in a non-intrusive yet striking manner can help you achieve your business goals.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising:

Setting up a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) account on search engines to bring your business URLS on the pages of the search results, which can grab attention of the consumers. It’s a win-win for both search engines and the business clients, search engines get revenue for each click from the consumer whereas the business gets a direct click to their website from who could be its potential customer.

Managing, understanding the customer requirements and establishing relevant communications with them lies at the heart of digital marketing. Both can be achieved through online channels – web, social media, mobile apps, emails, etc. Ultimately, all these marketing strategies aim at converting the customer’s engaging experience on the online advertising platform to sales.

The Significance of Ethics in Internet Marketing

When it comes to internet marketing and how you present your online business, it’s not just about what you are trying to sell, but selling your business as well. While it may seem that business ethics have diminished over the years based on a number of approaches that reflect the greed of some people, the truth is that having good business ethics is just as important today as it ever has been.

To apply a standard of practices directed toward your customers, clients and employees that reflect the best standards of ethics is far from a detriment. In fact, it is an advantage to your overall marketing efforts to sell not only your products, but your business to the public as well.

How Integrity is Vital to Internet Marketing Efforts

Projecting the integrity of your business and the ethics that infuses your approach is a vital aspect when it comes to marketing your services across the internet. Remember that most people discover online businesses through search engines which means that most of them have never seen any advertisements, talked to other customers or have even been aware of your business before discovering it themselves.

In these situations, practicing high standards of ethics is crucial to gaining their confidence. This means that you may risk not making the sale, but in truth you have secured your business in being trustworthy and dealing above the board when it comes to the many different issues of customer interaction.

As many people were taught as school children, the unethical road is actually easier, but leads to disaster and failure. Taking the path of establishing good ethical practices means having to do more work, but the end result is one that will benefit your efforts in the long run.

The Advantages of Ethics in Online Businesses

Setting good ethical standards for how you treat your customer, clients and employees in every phase of your online business starts with writing out these practices for all to see. In this manner, you are holding yourself accountable along with everyone in your business to uphold good ethical practices.

Uniformed Approach: Your business brand is built in large part by how customers perceive your company. Quite often, the bad experiences that customers have with a particular business are because of the different treatment that they receive in comparison to others. Such incidents get reported on customer review sites and your brand suffers in the process.

By practicing good ethical standards that all of your employees are aware, you create a standard which all customers are treated the same. While this will not fully end bad experiences, it will put them in a different light and they will also be resolved more in a manner that builds up your image.

Business to Business (B2B): When working with other companies, having a set of ethics that is followed builds trust and creates a better environment for outsourcing, selling and even partnerships that may develop with clients. While each business will have its own standards and practices, working with a company that has the same basic ethical rules creates a more open and honest relationship.

Here, everything is above board and misunderstandings are fewer in nature. While it doesn’t mean that potential conflicts or troubling issues are complete avoided, it does mean that when any controversy comes up it can be handled quickly and honestly. As a result, your overall image improves and the ability to work with more businesses is increased as well.

Problem Solving: When there are uniform standards, all but the most unusual of circumstances becomes easier to handle and solve. Take for example the business that does not always practice the best of standards in how they sell to the consumer. When faced with a situation with another business that they work with or a valued employee who may have crossed ethical lines in their efforts, it is much harder to justify any action taken because they themselves are just as guilty as well.

Long Term Success: The companies that have lasted for a very long time share at least one thing in common, a history of good ethical practices. There may have been times during their history when that was not true and some may have managed to get away with being less than honest. However, such situations rarely last for very long because the resulting scandal will either bring down the company or cause a major correction to take place. History is full of businesses that have endured major scandals only to survive because they started engaging in good ethical practices afterwards.

By practicing standards across the board with all aspects of the business, it becomes much easier to handle situation in which a policy or approach is not considered proper.

Social Media Efforts are augmented by Good Ethical Conduct

One of the most interesting new marketing channel of the past decade is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like have provided a new platform for businesses to reach out to customers in a more personal manner.

However, social media is also a place where the “hard sell” is seen as unsuitable for the nature of the environment. Here, a more direct interaction with potential customers is preferred and having good ethical standards will pay off in this field as well. When interacting with those on social media sites, the practice of good ethics is respected especially if it is applied in an even manner.

Social media offers a unique platform in which these practices can be explained, discussed, debated and even augmented. While general ethics are an unshakeable platform, you may be surprised to find approaches within your standards that otherwise would be undiscovered without the interaction with your customers. Therefore, social media can work to your advantage when it comes to expressing your good business practices and finding new customers as well.

Employing good, professional practices that are clear to your employees, businesses and customers helps tremendously with your internet marketing efforts. Far from being dead, the online businesses that succeed in the long run are those who place a very high emphasis on good ethical practices.

Tips for Launching Your Product on Social Media

Social media is a great place to get the word out about your new product. Whether it is a new iPhone app or a new kind of mascara, you can be sure to reach your target customer via social media, and with all of the tools that most social media platforms provide to brands and businesses, you have lots of flexibility when it comes to how, when, and even where your social media launch takes place. Knowing just how to launch your product, however, can be difficult. That is why we have come up with this simple guide to get you started.

  1. Figure out which social media to use. While you might want to use all of them to cast the widest possible net, you find a more effective strategy in figuring out which social media has the highest level of engagement with your customers and focusing your launch on that specific social media. Look over the last few months of data you have from your social media strategy—which media is most active? Where do most of your customers hang out? When it comes to a product launch, you only want to be investing your time and money in the platforms that will really bring good returns.
  1. Pick out a theme or hashtag. It gives your customers, followers, or fans an easy way to be a part of the conversation and gives you an easy way to track that conversation. You’re likely going to be encouraging user participation as much as possible, so make sure that hashtag is heavily publicized. Encourage users to post pictures of themselves going to get the product, picking it up, or using it for the first time (depending on what it is) with that hashtag and be sure to use that hashtag in all of your marketing and update efforts during the launch. The right hashtag will be short, easy to remember, and make sense with the name of your new product.
  1. Campaign before the campaign. Start engaging your fans or followers on your chosen social media channel about the new product well before it launches. Build hype for your launch by making your new product mysterious and asking your fans/followers to guess what it is. Highlight customers or run a special promotion like a giveaway to draw in more followers and really extend the reach of your product launch.
  1. Make videos. You can utilize Vine for your product videos or just upload them to YouTube or Vimeo and then embedded them in an update. Making-of and production update videos can help build interest and hype in your upcoming product. Get those involved in the project to talk about their part in the production, how it fits into your brand, and even how and why the new product was conceived. Tell the story of the product before it launches, and after it launches, make videos about the launch itself to create a better brand recall.
  1. Give out rewards for brand loyalty. Pick what your loyalty threshold is (do they just have to like you on Facebook or do they have to be subscribed to your company newsletter?), and come up with some sort of bonus content or sneak peak for those who are classified as loyal customers. You can even set up a very special program for those who want to get the product early and write reviews or post videos about the product on the day of the launch.
  1. Get your fans/followers to publicize for you. A simple contest that pits consumer against consumer, either to refer the largest number of friends to your brand or to produce the best creative project with your product and then post the pictures to their social media pages with your hashtag is a great way to get your fans/followers to act as your publicists. Those already loyal to your brand will be more than willing to do something creative, as long as the prize is worth the time. A great prize to offer those that participate in your social media launch is the new product itself!
  1. Utilize social media tools and trends. Facebooks quizzes are super popular right now. Is there a way to come up with a quiz that relates to your upcoming product? A quiz app or game is a great way to reach out to both your current fans and followers, and to get them to spread your name around their own newsfeeds, as well as earn you more fans, as the promotion continues. Facebook especially has plenty of tools that can make your launch more effective, but think creatively about how you can use Twitter and Instagram to make your launch more “fun.”

Do you have your own twists on the above methods? Please let me know in the comments section below.

The Changing Face of Internet Marketing

When the Internet was first created, few people saw it as a means for advertising or marketing. The Internet was designed as a means to exchange messages in the form of electronic mail (email), and then to exchange information by means of web pages that were mostly text, with a few charts, tables, and graphs thrown in. There was almost no money at all spent on marketing via the Internet, compared to the more than $200 billion spent each year on Internet marketing today.

By the late 80s and early 90s, however, marketers began to see the Internet as a great way of advancing their marketing business, with millions of web surfers logging on every day to look for valuable and relevant information. Marketing pioneers conceived of ways to leverage the Internet to market businesses to consumers. When the first flashy banner ads showed up in the early 90s, they were at first seen as a cool, new way to advertise, but they quickly became a source of annoyance.

Marketing efforts for businesses were typically limited to web pages and email marketing campaigns. Companies that had previously spent large chunks of their marketing budgets on offline list building came to realize that they could accomplish much the same thing via email for much less than they were paying for their offline mail campaigns. While it’s difficult to believe in having an organization without some sort of online presence today, in the early days such presences were limited mainly to larger businesses and electronic-based businesses.

Email marketing followed the same general timeline as web marketing, beginning to be used en masse for marketing efforts in the early 90s. As with the flashy banner ads, advertorial email quickly became a nuisance, and began to be labeled as “spam.” With the CANSPAM Act of 2003, online marketers were forced to offer a way for consumers to “opt out” of email marketing campaigns, and many consumers took advantage of that ability.

Web browsers started offering a means to turn off the advertisements, too, by allowing users to disable popups and hide banner ads. Consumers took advantage of this method of blocking out advertisements, and the marketing bust of the Internet happened in around 2000, and marketers once again had to find ways to reach their Internet-based consumers.

Also in 2000, Google released its AdWords offering to 350 customers, providing a means for those customers to have keyword-matching advertisements showing up in Google search engine results. This prompted the first wave of what would become a more elegant, refined means of advertising to customers, since it allowed advertisers to target those customers who would actually be the most interested in whatever product they were marketing.

Google AdWords began to prove, after the marketing bubble burst in 2000, that there were still possibilities for Internet marketing. Marketers simply had to be smarter about their targeting and their advertising, and Google helped them realize that goal. Within 5-6 years, keyword-based marketing was becoming very popular and profitable.

With this success certainly in mind, Facebook launched an advertising program in August of 2006. This allowed businesses to purchase advertising space on Facebook that would cater to Facebook users with likes and interests similar to what was being advertised. Within a year, Facebook was able to turn on the ability for advertisers to target specific demographics of users, allowing even more targeted marketing efforts.

In 2009, Google joined the social media marketing frenzy by launching interest-based advertising on partner sites and on YouTube. This eventually turned into a means for YouTube uploaders to monetize their videos, thus providing even more ways for advertisers to attract their marketing base.

The following year, in 2010, Twitter launched promotional trend and promotional tweets. While some Internet advertising had already been happening via the short message based social media site, Twitter’s launch of promotional tweets enabled digital marketers to end out advertisements to people even if the Tweeple were not following the particular Twitter handle sending out the Tweets.

In 2012, Facebook upped the ante for its marketers once again, by putting ads into news feeds. This allowed for promotional ads and posts to show up right where Facebook users were already reading, making the advertisements more prevalent and more likely to be seen and clicked on.

Today, social media is an essential tool for any digital marketer’s toolbox. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are important tools to properly leverage, and any digital marketer is expected to be a proficient social media manager in addition to an excellent marketer. Through careful management of social media profiles, businesses can reach more consumers than ever before, increasing their profitability and even drawing non-local customers to local brick and mortar storefronts, restaurants, and so forth.

Businesses that combine social media marketing with their traditional banner ads tend to fare better than those who ignore social media marketing. Businesses that wage effective social media campaigns are better able to keep their consumer base aware of happenings in their market, including product news and promotions.

Another important aspect of Internet marketing is reputation management. Businesses and their marketing agencies now need to pay close attention to reviews posted online at sites like Yelp, Google Local, and other online directories. Through careful management of these resources and attention to the reviews, marketers and business owners can discover problems their business might be experiencing, and address those problems. This has also opened up a growing business for online reputation repair experts, a more specialized form of digital marketing that focuses on repairing the damage done by poor online reviews and a subpar online presence.

Banner bars, today, are not as effective as they once were, so digital marketers must continually refine their offerings to achieve the best results. Who knows what the future of Internet marketing holds, with all of the twists and turns it has taken over the years, but right now it is important that social media marketing is one of the most influential means of reaching the marketplace.

Copyright © 2018. Amol Gopale.