Directing consumers to your Web site has become the definitive call to action. Not only can a company provide an overview of its capabilities with its Web site, it can feasibly complete a sales transaction.
Whether traditional media outlets are willing to admit it, the Internet is proving itself as a credible, measurable advertising medium that reaches targets and gets results.
According to TNS Marketing Intelligence, online advertising for the first half of 2005 is up 9.4 percent over the first half of last year. While most categories continue to grow, the Internet has become the fifth-leading vehicle in terms of overall spending—ahead of local radio and business-to-business magazines. With new measurement tools and more message options, businesses are finding it easier than ever to reach customers over the Web.
Web Site Tracking
Directing consumers to your Web site has become the definitive call to action. Not only can a company provide an overview of its capabilities with its Web site, it can feasibly complete a sales transaction. Today’s companies also benefit from a variety of Web-based programs to track and analyze site visits and create custom reports. The current focus is on measuring behavior instead of clicks. Companies can easily track which parts of their sites attract the most attention.
Direct E-mail Campaigns
Despite the many challenges presented by spammers, virus attacks and rigid company firewalls, direct e-mail campaigns continue to serve as a leading marketing technique.
Many businesses have discovered the secret to creating an effective e-mail campaign lies in communicating a relevant message with a known customer base. One of the most popular techniques is to provide a regular on-line newsletter that offers information the customer can use. The “e-zine” can be e-mailed to current or prospective customers; the companies can quickly and easily measure the customer’s interest.
Public Relations on the Web
Journalism is as active on the Web as in any other medium. In-depth features and by-lined articles are prominent components of online publications.
Many believe the future of Web journalism lies with weblogs or “blogs,” which serve as personal and professional journals on a variety of subjects. As they grow in popularity, many blogs have developed enormous readership and a large sphere of influence.
Technorati.com, a real-time search engine that tracks what is going on in the “blogosphere,” is currently following 16.5 million sites and 1.4 billion links. According to David Sifry, founder and C.E.O., over 80,000 blogs are created each day.
While use of blogs as a marketing tool is in its infancy, many marketers see value in their ability to offer informative product information—in effect, working as a component of online public relations.
Whichever forms of online communication you choose, be certain they make a good match for your company and your message. Keeping your message on target with relevant, useful information will benefit you and your customers and help you get the most out of the Web.