Why do so many individuals and businesses go for online marketing? Well, what if you could advertise your business to millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people worldwide for a low cost? What if you could easily target your advertising by demographic, whether it be age, geographic region, or interest? Would you jump at the chance to reach so many potential customers?
Prior to the Internet and online marketing, the only way to reach a large number of people was by producing a television commercial and paying to have it air on a popular channel. Not only is it prohibitively expensive to create a commercial when you have a small, local business, but it costs a lot to air it on one channel, let alone several. And if you’re an individual who sells products or services, there is no way a television spot is in your budget.
That’s why many people turn to online marketing. With the power of the internet, advertising is cheap, yet reaches more people than ever before. In some cases, internet marketing can even be free—like if you create an SEO optimized blog to advertise your product or service, or when you create a Facebook page for your product or tweet about it.
It’s easy to network on the internet. Many bloggers are willing to advertise your products or services for free if they agree that your product is high quality and in line with the interests they blog about. Other bloggers will “plug” you if you do the same for them in return on your blog. Another way to do online marketing for free is to find chat rooms and communities that revolve around an interest related to your product—for example; if you create hand-crafted stuffed animals, you could join an online community for new mothers—and see if the rules allow you to post an ad. Even if they don’t, there is usually nothing wrong with joining the community and contributing, then mentioning off-hand that you run a business that is related to the community’s interest.
As online marketing becomes more and more popular, there are more paid options as well. These options are still cheaper than traditional advertising, but reach a lot more people. Google Adwords is a way to use the power of the world’s most famous search engine to reach new customers, and many sites sell banner space in sidebars around the main text. This lets you target your audience by advertising on sites related to your business, where more people are likely to be interested in your services.
It’s obvious that the online marketing phenomenon is only going to grow. Many companies have jumped on the bandwagon by offering incentives to customers who ‘like’ them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. These incentives prompt customers to join e-mailing lists, which allows companies to market to them directly using the internet to promote new products.
All in all, online marketing is no longer a niche that any business, large or small, can afford to ignore.