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eBusiness Channels - Successful Channels for Better Marketing Solutions

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eBusiness Channels - Successful Channels for Better Marketing Solutions Powered By Docstoc
					?One of the great things that eMarketing has done is level the playing fields. The
barriers to entry for online marketing are far lower than more traditional marketing
channels. eBusiness channels mean that small start-ups with scant resources can put
their products and services in front of the same audiences as Fortune 500 companies.

Many people perceive eMarketing to be a complex and difficult discipline, but in
reality getting started is relatively easy. Regardless of the size of your business, you
can start simply and grow as you learn more and your requirements develop.

Online marketing is more dynamic, interconnected, potentially immediate and lower
risk than traditional marketing. You can measure activity and performance far more
accurately and easily when you market online. Internet marketing is also far more
human - this channel allows people to interact and comment. It is more
communicative and a far cry from traditional 'interrupt and repeat' models.

Effective and Marketable Websites
There are many eMarketing channels within the online space. At the core of any
successful internet marketing strategy is an effective and marketable website. Three
elements that should work together to create a satisfying user experience as well as
synergy with your business are the site's design, usability and functionality.

Once the site is operational, it's important to put tools into place that will collect and
analyse your site's data. This is the easiest way to gain empirical insights into your
sites' performance and the ways in which your customers are interacting with it. A
classic mistake is leaving your website and expecting it to perform well over time.
The key is to give it constant attention and improvement and to ensure that you update
it regularly with quality content.

What eMarketing Channels are there?
There are a number of channels available for marketing online. These include search
engine marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing and online media
placement to name but a few. Which of these channels you chose to incorporate into
your internet marketing strategy really depends on your audience and desired
outcomes.

Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing comprises Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per
Click (PPC). In both of these cases, users type keywords into the query bar of a search
engine's website (like Google.com) and the search engine returns results which show
the web pages that it deems most relevant to that search.

In the PPC model, you bid on keywords and this bid in conjunction with the quality of
your ad, determine its placement. The ad will only be shown for searches that match
the keywords you've specified or, in the case of the content network, next to
contextually relevant content.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take time to achieve results and careful
keyword planning and optimisation, content development, website structure, linking
and analysis are all important elements in a robust SEO strategy. If this is carried out
properly, a site can enjoy high rankings and longevity in the SERPs. PPC on the other
hand is immediate, and can be targeted more specifically. Not only to specific
keywords and sites but you can also determine which page on your site users will
click through to. The difference here is that you pay for each 'click'.

Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another way to market online. It's the online equivalent of
having a sales agent or distribution partner. Affiliate marketing has massive potential
as people with websites, email lists, and traffic promote your product or service.
Normally, you pay a set cost per acquisition or a pre-determined percentage of the
sale to the affiliate partner who referred the customer as a commission. Because this
commission is results based, there is very little risk or cost involved for the advertiser.

It's quite easy to get going with affiliate marketing, especially through the more
established networks like LinkShare.com and Commission Junction (cj.com). These
companies can help smaller businesses drive sales by recruiting and managing
affiliates.

Email Marketing
When managed in the appropriate manner, email marketing is cheap, has great
customer relationship management (CRM) potential and can be amazingly profitable.
Good email marketing will build a strong personal relationship with the recipient and
allow you to learn more about your customer's likes and dislikes.

The most acceptable way to do email marketing in through permission-based emails.
Here you would use a list of subscribers who have opted into receiving information
via email from you. In terms of CRM, and achieving top results from your email
marketing campaign, segmentation is key. Segmentation will allow you to cross-sell
and up-sell appropriately, as well as target your emails appropriately so that you
achieve maximum open and click-through rates.

Social Media Marketing
Web 2.0 is more collective and collaborative than what the internet was previously.
Web 2.0 is characterised by user generated content (UGC), a large 'social' element,
sharing and open source. This means that everybody can contribute, share and
communicate more seamlessly and effectively.

Social media falls into the category of Web 2.0. Social media includes social
networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, LinkedIn and so forth, but also
includes sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, blogs, wikis, podcasting and
micro-blogging services such as Twitter. Any site that has an element of community,
UGC and sharing could be considered as social media.

To leverage these communities as part of your internet marketing strategy is very
powerful. Peer-referrals are far more highly valued than anonymous messages, and
there is potential to have your brand and marketing message spread virally through
pre-existing social networks.

You need to keep up to date with new developments and social media trends and sites
to succeed in social media marketing. Also remember that social media is about
conversations, not one way messages. This means that these interactions need to be
managed, monitored and engaged with regularly. Simply throwing up a Facebook
page is not a social media strategy - it is only a start.

eMarketing channels are most effective when they are implemented together as
complementary strategies. eMarketing isn't all that different from traditional
marketing in that it's still about getting your message out to the world. The main
difference is that online you have to innovate more rapidly as everything changes so
quickly.

About the Author:
Shoulders of Giants is an online business resource featuring various business gurus
exploring a range of business topics such as Vinny Lingham who is an eMarketing
thought leader.

				
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