Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Internet Advertisement Explained : Part 1 - Channels of Internet Advertisement - A Primer

Building a professional web-site is just the first step in your Net marketing program. The next step is to attract customers from all over the world through various advertisement and promotional efforts. Without conscious promotional effort - your perfectly designed and content-rich web-site has as much visibility among millions of web-sites in the World Wide Web as a grain of sand in a sea beach.

Like advertisement in print and television media - Net Advertisement has truly arrived and the sooner you take notice of it, better is your chances of success.

In this article series - we shall identify and explain various channels of Internet advertisement, their comparative merits and demerits, relative cost implication and finally, how to make their best use at minimum budget.

Why Numbers are So Important in Web Marketing

In a retail shop or shopping mall - success depends on three key factors
  1. How Many People Visit the establishment daily
  2. Out of total daily visitors - how many actually purchase something (i.e. Visitor to Customer conversion ratio)
  3. What is the average customer-spending per visit

A web-site - whether selling to bulk buyers or consumers, functions more or less in same way. Its success depends a great deal on the ability to attract interested visitors in large numbers from all over the world and then convert a sizeable percentage of them into paying customers.

While converting a visitor into customer depends a great deal of various on-site and off-site factors - many of which may not be within your control, number of web-site visitors can certainly be increased by reaching out to large sections through various advertisement and promotional channels. That way - one can be assured of good return even at modest conversion ratio.

Search Engine Rank is Important - But Not Everything

Search engines play a critical role in attracting visitors to a web-site. Higher the ranking of a web-site in search engines, better is its prospect of attracting visitors. As a result - there is a mad rush among web-site owners to get higher and higher ranking in search engines. In technical jargon - the act required to get to the top of search engine result without paying any kind of fee to the search engine is called 'organic placement'.

Smart marketing guys would like you to believe that their organic placement skill is so good that they can place any web-site at the top of leading search engines like Yahoo! and Google under popular keywords within days ! My advice to you - take such claims with a pinch of salt (and while you are at it, make that 'pinch' really hefty with lots of pepper thrown in ! )

In reality - your newly created web-site stands almost zero chance of getting to the top of a leading search engine through organic placement within weeks or even months ! We shall discuss the reasons in a separate section.

However, high rank in search engines through organic route is not the only way of attracting visitors - there are many other ways of doing the same.
What are Various Internet Advertising Channels ?

I have compiled below broad categories of Net advertising channels. Some of these are free - others require payment. We shall discuss each of them in subsequent issues
  • Search Engine Marketing
    • Organic Placement
    • Paid Advertisement
    • Paid Inclusion
  • Site Specific Marketing
    • Banner Advertisement
      (Fixed, Pop-Ups and Rotating)
      • Performance Oriented
        • Impression Based
        • Click based
      • Time Oriented

  • E-mail Marketing
    • E-Zine Publishing
    • Targeted e-mails

  • Discussion Boards
    (Networking with peers, helping others)

  • Bulletin Boards
    (To post your message - seeking help,
    posting buy, sell and biz ads)

  • Ad Swap
  • Link Exchange

Conclusion

A mix of free and paid-for advertisements is ideal solution for best result within short time frame. Over reliance on one, at the expense of other, may not get best possible result, specially for newly created web-sites.

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