What are the most effective eMarketing tools?
by Scott Frangos, Managing Partner - WebFadds.com, a modern web development company focused on eCommerce, Content Management Systems, and Blogs.
Even after a decade of eCommerce, people are still asking, "what's the best way to advertise on the web?" First, eMarketing is not a
fad. Second, after a number of years, you can now rest confident that some online tools work well, while others do not. Hmmmm. Which ones do
work best? Well, because we are all using computers online, your answer
is — the ones you can easily track and see how what you spend leads
directly to sales.
The Most Effective eMarketing Tools
Here are some important bottom line facts and trends:
- Online advertising spending is in the billions, & growing
- Banners have faded as effective ads
- The rise of Content Management Systems provides "syndicating" opportunities
- Spamming is now illegal — with consequences
- It's tougher and tougher to get to the top of search engines using SEO (search engine optimization)
Focus on successful eMarketing methods — Pay Per Click Search engine
listings, eNewsletters, and Affiliate programs. Add to this an emerging
method of advertising/journalism that we think is also not a Fad --
"RSS" feeds, which is a simple way to syndicate stories and ads online
(RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication).
One component of successful Content Management Systems (CMS — see our packages),
is... you guessed it, the ability to create your own RSS feeds. Now you
see why we're strong advocates of CMS based websites. So we currently
offer services to review your current website strentghts and
weaknesses, and develop a strategic eMarketing plan based on the
methods we know (and use ourselves) to be most effective. You will see
that we recommend solutions for you that are based on successful
principles: pay for results — not just "placement", extend your reach
"virally", when possible, and use smart systems to get the economic
advantage in your marketing.
Now let's concentrate on some proven online marketing tools...
[ ] Search Engine Marketing: If you only did used one advertising tool, my recommendation would be to bid on key search terms at Google, and also Overture.com (owned by Yahoo, and provides search ads on Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and others). It works like this: you get open an account and deposit a minimum budget of say, $50. Then you "bid" on keywords related to your website content (ie. "Gift Baskets", if that's what you're selling, etc.). The bid is for how much you are willing to pay per click — when someone who is actively searching (meaning they want what you have!) for an item by entering those search words, then clicking on the listings
that come up. You might pay anywhere from .15 cents to .99 cents a click, depending on how many other advertisers are bidding on the same terms. But, you know that people clicking on your terms want what you have and are motivated enough to be searching for it. And, you can easily track the sales that result and do a simple calculation of advertising cost to resulting sales.
An emerging method of advertising/journalism that we think is also not a Fad — "RSS" feeds, which is a simple way to syndicate stories and ads online.
What about simply getting your site to rank high — on the first page — of search returns? This effort is called "SEO", standing for Search Engine Optimization, and I have seen a number of smart business people pay companies thousands of dollars to SEO services who (take note) cannot guarantee when your site will increase ranking (within 6 months, they say in the fine print), and how high (within the top 20 they "project", which puts you off the front page if you are not within the top 10), your site will attain. My opinion? It's a waste of time and money to only focus on this. DO make sure that your keywords and copy on at least your front page is optimized for search engines. DON'T spend countless hours and expense banking on that effort bringing you to the front page of search engines.