This blog is updated. The original post was published 15.01.2013.
Internet marketing volumes have increased year by year and the sales capacity of digital marketing in Estonia has reached the second position. Although internet marketing grows rapidly much thanks to the advantages over traditional media channels, internet marketing is still a quite vague area. Business owners don’t exactly know the tools and opportunities of internet marketing nor do they understand its potential and advantages. Actually, it’s a big mistake not to use internet marketing nowadays!
Marketing: internet vs. offline
Marketing is roughly divided into two: traditional marketing and digital marketing.
|Radio||Search engine optimization|
Traditional marketing is well-known, as the name applies, thanks to its long history. Every day we see television ads, hear radio commercials or see newspaper ads. But the fact is that traditional marketing channels will lose market share to internet marketing thanks to the advantages of the internet.
Internet marketing is no longer a foreign word but still, many business owners stay far from understanding the true essence of internet marketing nor do they know how to use the opportunities that the field has to offer. Too many entrepreneurs still think that internet marketing is limited by banner ads on commercial sites and email spam campaigns. In reality, internet marketing is a much more extensive area – to start from website structure, content and optimization and to end with Google ads and analytics.
Advantages of internet marketing
1. Reduced Cost
The reason why many businesses have chosen online marketing instead of offline marketing is reduced cost. Internet marketing offers cost effective, flexible and better-managed budget control. Search engine optimization is free of charge, all that is required is a good web page and knowledge. The cost-effective is relatively high compared to newspapers or outdoor. Pay-Per-Click is also a great way to save money and keep an eye on costs as payment is based on real clicks your ads get. The cost of TV ads is enormous and you cannot even tell how many people actually paid attention.
Internet marketing is easily measurable through analytical tools like Google Analytics, unlike ads in newspapers or magazines, this will show you indirect impact on your business sales. SEO, AdWords, social media, email marketing give you accurate information about clicks, visits, sales. Conversion is easy to measure and you can calculate the exact ROI. Offline marketing is more like estimations and supposition. You cannot tell how many people that heard your commercial on the radio actually came to make the purchase.
3. Real-Time Results
Although internet marketing is a long process it is possible to see the results right after implementation of a new strategy. If you buy for example AdWords you can measure directly the clicks and afterward analyze the impact with Google Analytics. This way the efficiency of your strategy can be measured and changes in real-time implemented if necessary. Compared to, for example, Yellow Pages that is printed once a year, internet marketing offers considerably more opportunities as a website can be updated every minute.
4. Demographic Targeting
Compared to offline marketing, determining your target group is much more precise online. Online sites like Facebook can target your ads directly to a chosen target group and display how many people you reached. Traditional marketing channels allow you to direct ads to some extent like you can place home appliance ads into the magazine that has a specific target group who are more likely to buy your products. But segmentation is far from the internet marketing opportunities.
5. Long-Term Exposure
The average life span of a traditional marketing campaign is 1- 4 weeks, but internet marketing is a continuous process that will bring results evenly. If you have reached the first pages of search engines you can stay visible for potential clients for a long period. Updates are of course necessary to hold this position and maintain regular low-cost of your strategy. Content marketing will help to create and maintain the image of an opinion leader and a professional that will increase your reputation and reliability that in turn spreads as word-of-mouth advertising.
The trend of traditional marketing is on the decline, some forms have even been replaced by new media. Marketing opportunities on the web are affordable for any company and the development of new marketing channels are in progress. Therefore the growth of internet marketing sales volume is justified.
The main advantages that internet marketing has over offline marketing are reduced costs, measurability, real-time results and campaign management, better targeting and long term exposure. Using the advantages and opportunities of internet marketing skill you can create cost-effective campaigns to increase your competitive advantage.
WSI professionals help to create personal internet marketing strategy for your business. Get free internet business analysis and find out what marketing channels are right for you.