Online marketing

Essentially there are 3 primary platforms in Non Advertising based Online Marketing: Search Engine Optimization, Social network marketing, and Reputation Management. It is important to note that while these strategies involve different tactics, they are often interlinked and rely on each other for enhanced results.

The following explains each service, and a service outline is detailed at the end:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

SEO remains the cornerstone of any online marketing strategy as it is highly targeted. That's because potential buyers who find your offerings through search engines are looking for your products and services on their own, so they are predisposed to hear your marketing message. You can’t find a more qualified prospect than that. Here’s what distinguishes search engine marketing from other types of advertising:

Non-Intrusive: Search marketing is a non-intrusive marketing tool. Most advertising, both online and offline, interrupts consumer behavior. If a user goes to a web site for info, up pops an intrusive ad. Reading a newspaper? Ads dominate and force articles to be continued on another page. With search engine marketing, the user is actively seeking your products, services, and information. They are delighted to be driven to your site.

Voluntary: Search marketing is the result of user-originated behavior. Visitors from search engines and directories have voluntarily clicked on a business listing rather than any competitors, thus they are motivated to explore that business’s offerings.

This has enormous importance for company’s, as their target market typically has a growing online presence, and will be searching for products and services regularly. Equally, an optimized site that has good web presence will gain substantial credibility within the industry community, therefore generating more potential leads for other company activities.

Social Network Marketing
First - the difference between traditional search engine marketing (SEO above) and social marketing:

The main goal of any online marketer is to drive more traffic to their site. The best way to do that is to optimize your website (including the process of link building) for your target keywords, hence why SEO is part of our suggested strategy.

Online social networks present an efficient platform for you to use in the spread of your marketing message. In addition, it is also a great tool for getting high visitor numbers and thousands of page views to your site, especially given the popularity of your subject matter – entertainment.

The success of social networks marks a dynamic shift in how people are using the Internet. We’ve evolved from just searching for information to creating and participating in social spaces with other individuals through the Internet. This model is based upon the hive mentality where people identify themselves as part of a group with similar likes and interests that draw them together. This is easy to do online because the traditional communication barriers of physical locations no longer exist.

Social networks make viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing much easier than before. The best use out of social networks is not to make money ‘directly’ off them, but to harness their marketing potential and to use them to promote a business or brand. Essentially this is the primary strategy that will generate interest in most businesses, and provides them with the best platform to talk to its customers.

Social Networking can be harnessed to execute on the following:
1. Creation of networks of interlinked communities that begin to chatter and spread the word about brands and products
2. Creation of Groups that act as information centers and reservoirs of related material.
3. Establishment of online individuals that develop large followings, and then launch word-of-mouth epidemics.

Tactically this means that a great deal of time is spent at the beginning to establish the networks and groups. However as time progresses, and providing the information flow is pertinent and engaging, these networks will take on a life of their own and generate enormous returns for a business, in both enhanced interest and brand awareness.

Once the networks are in place the marketing power becomes substantial – as an example: A July 2009 Starbucks promotion, distributed coupons for a free pastry via Face book and other social outlets. The chain was soon one of the top trending topics on Twitter and the top brand on Face book, with more than 3.7 million fans. With this in mind, you can only imagine what we could do with concert tickets and such like.

Reputation Management
Reputation management is the process of tracking an entity's actions and other entities' opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop. All entities involved are generally people, but that need not always be the case. Other examples of entities include animals, businesses, or even locations or materials. The tracking and reporting may range from word-of-mouth to statistical analysis of thousands of data points.

Reputation management has come into wide use with the advent of widespread computing, and in simple terms generally refers to the comments that the public at large says about a business or service. Restaurants, for example, and relying more and more on online postings about their restaurant, and negative postings can substantially impact their future sales.

The Next Idea’s Technology division has an entire department dedicated to online marketing and social media. We have grown follower numbers by over 3000% for our key clients and have generated very impressive SEO results in search rankings.

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