Because people search for products and services online everyday, you need a web presence that can be found easily via search engines. Though Online Marketing is not easy and competition is tough, you need to start making smart choices and right decisions by choosing the right strategies to compete for millions of potential buyers found on the internet. The most popular ways of advertising are Pay Per Click (PPC), Blogging, joining Forums and Groups, Video Advertising, and Social Media.
Pay Per Clicks (PPC)
The concept of pay per click is very simple: you post an ad, someone clicks it, and you pay a fee for every time someone clicks. Where it gets complex is in the management of those ads, keywords and budgeting.
PPC is a great way to get a spot for your website on the front page of search results and to get in front of people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer. If you’re working on organic search engine rankings but just aren’t there yet, pay per click is just one of the resources you should consider using for getting your message to an interested audience.
The top PPC networks are Bing & Yahoo, Google and Miva.
- Bing who merged with Yahoo also place ads on Ask Jeeves, MSN,and a few other search engines. They have a team that prove ads manually so there is a waiting period before your ad goes live.
- Google, who is considered the “Big Boy” in PPC terms, ads go live in 15 minutes and it’s still considered the world’s most popular search engine, so maximum exposure is almost guaranteed.
- Miva is smaller than Google or Bing, and advertises on smaller search engines, like WebCrawler and MetaCrawler. There advertising rates are cheaper and start at $.05 per click.
Blogging is used to create online content called posts which can benefit you in the following ways:
- It’s free
- Leads with high value content before a sale
- Helps make you an authority online
- builds a following and relationship with readers
- builds a list from the call to action
- Helps you make money
Forums are industry-specific web-based discussion boards. They provide a wealth of information among like-minded entrepreneurs. You can find out what questions people are asking about your industry. The most popular topics and discussions in forums will help you identify most popular needs and therefore, the most probable categories of people who will be visiting your website.
Join groups relevant to your niche. The focus with these groups is to establish relationships. Concentrate on adding value by answering questions which could result in them visiting your web site. Warning; Never go in groups with a sales attitude; you must come across that you are there to help them.
Social media allows visitors to watch videos, read articles, write comments, or see some other content. A visitor can somehow indicate the he agrees or disagrees with that content by leaving a comment, posting a bookmark, selecting an I’m a fan check box, or doing something else.
Facebook offers a wide range of paid advertising options that you can use to build your audience. You can buy Facebook ads on a PPC basis. The click-through rates on Facebook tend to be very low. So PPC is far less expensive, but it will effectively get you free display ads.
Google+ is a relative newcomer on the social networking scene. Like Facebook, Google+ lets you post photos, videos, and text and it also has a couple of unique features:
- Circles: You can create and share circles, which are groups of similar people that you follow.
- Search results: Google displays Google+ results from folks you follow right in Google search results, and displays relevant pages and people in the upper-right corner of some search results pages. This is important because Google+ can give you a boost in SEO
You Tube works a lot like Flickr,but only for video. You upload a video to the site, give it a description, and tag it with keywords, and then the rest of the community gets to take a look. A popular video on YouTube can get tens of thousands of views.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, trailing only Google. There are over two billion YouTube videos streamed every day, and advertisers want a piece of this viewership pie. YouTube advertisers pay per view of their ad, with an average cost-per-view ranging between $.10 – $.30.