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Posts Tagged ‘small business internet marketing’

Using Online Courses for Internet Marketing

Online courses, or email courses are becoming an increasingly popular way for savvy Internet marketers to promote their products and services. Online courses or email courses essentially include short online presentations or emails which include insightful information on a particular niche subject. These courses are usually offered in multiple, short segments to keep the students interested in the topic. This type of advertising serves a useful purpose and many of the participants do not even realize they are being subjected to a marketing campaign. This article will discuss creating and distributing an online or email course for the purposes of advertising your business.

The creation of an online course of an email course should begin with a solid idea for a series of educational articles which pertain to your business and will be of interest to your potential customers. Educational email courses can sometimes be sold for profit themselves but if you are interested in using the courses as marketing tools you will most likely be offering these courses free of charge in an effort to entice potential customers to purchase your products or services.

Determining the topic of your courses is very important because it can dictate the success of your marketing effort. Consider an online retailer of running shoes. This business owner may want to develop a series of email courses on subjects such as training for a marathon, preventing injuries, increasing speed and running for fun. Each of these courses may contain a few segments which offer different perspectives on the subject. These courses are ideal for this business because they are subjects which are likely to be of interest to the customers of the business. Likewise a real estate agent may opt to offer email courses on subjects such as understanding mortgage options, finding a lender or house hunting. Again these are all subjects which are likely to be of interest to the real estate agents clients.

The distribution list for your online or email courses should mostly include members of your target audience. This can be achieved by either offering the course as a download online where only interested Internet users will partake in the course or only emailing the course to recipients who have specifically expressed an interest in receiving more information about your products and services and have submitted their email address for this purpose.

Once you decide on a subject for your online or email course, seek out a qualified writer to create the content for your online or email course. This will help to give your copy a more professional appearance. The writer can assist you by creating copy which is informative and useful to your readers but is also well written, clear, concise and easy to understand. If your niche topic is highly specialized you might have to provide the writer with product information as well as research materials to ensure the content is informative and accurate. Additionally, you should review the content once it is completed to verify the accuracy.

When distributing your email course or launching your online course, it is helpful to request feedback from the users as the conclusion of the course. This is completely voluntary but when users respond they can provide you with useful feedback which will be extremely helpful if you intend to launch a similar marketing campaign in the future.

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Internet Marketing For Small Business

Internet marketing for small business is a tremendous tool for promoting business growth and retaining existing clients — if it is done correctly. The issue is that you need a lot more than just a pretty website. In fact, many small business owners make the mistake of assumiing that they just need a good looking website and the traffic to the site (and the sales) will take care of themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

If you spend thousands of dollars to get a flashy website (i.e., one with beautiful flash images), your potential clients may be on a slow older computer and leave your site before it even loads. And flash does not translate into easy navigation. You are better off with a less beautiful website if your navigation and search engine optimization (on and off the page) are optimized for ease of being found and ease of use.

Yes, you will want to be listed fully on your local Google maps/placement listing (which is free and shows up at the top of searches). Yes, you will want to have a free information or coupon or similar offer to entice website visitors to give you their email address (i.e., optin) in order for you to establish a longer term positive relationship with them. This allows you to spend the money to acquire the prospect once — but then keep marketing to them in the long term.

Small business marketing on the internet involves online advertising to reach out to potential customers. It requires creativity like designing, development and technical aspects like marketing and advertising. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and interactive advertising are all different facets of Internet marketing. It also includes sales, public relations, information management and customer service. Ever since the advent of Internet, it is widely used for all kind of purposes. Among the advantages of Internet, some helps in doing business, shopping, etc, from the comfort of the house. According to a research, a quarter of the Internet users shop online. It has also helped grow electronic commerce and Internet marketing is a part of electronic commerce.

Direct marketing techniques like radio and television commercials, mails, and newsletters are the inspirations for Internet marketing, which involves direct response marketing strategies and is rapidly growing. Business-to-business, also known as B2B, and business-to-consumer, also known as B2C, are the two business models to which Internet marketing can be linked. B2C companies were the first to start when Internet marketing originated. They are companies that sell directly to the customers. B2B companies are meant to do business with each other.

Websites built for Internet marketing are slightly different than others. There are peer-to-peer modeled websites which are used to exchange products and services between each other. Other is name-your-price, where the customers have to specify their price range that they can spend and select products that fall in that price range. Priceline.com is an example of such a website. Amazon.com is a website which is based on find-the-best-price model, where customers can find the lowest prices. Last are online auctions sites, where items are bid. Ebay.com is an example.

The companies who use Internet marketing are at an advantage. They don’t need to put in huge amounts of energy and time in Internet Marketing like other traditional methods. With the help of only few resources national and international markets can be reached. Because of very low investment, even small businesses are turning to online marketing. Websites and blogs have been developed for this purpose. Internet marketing is advantageous in the sense that the data is easily available on the Internet. Newsletters can be directly sent to customers and if it doesn’t contain the information they are looking for, they can search for information about the product online, make a decision and purchase it online itself.

One of the factors that hinder the growth of online marketing is delayed loading of the page. The web pages that take a lot of time to download test the patience of the consumer. To add to that, if the businesses design complex web pages with lots of graphics and animations, it will slow down the speed even more. Another minus point of online marketing is that the customers cannot feel, taste, smell or try products in order to make a good decision. To over come this, some of the online stores have created liberal return policies with the help of which the customer satisfaction is guaranteed.

Another biggest threat of online shopping is identity theft. Paying online using credit cards, e-checks are susceptible to hackers and information can be stolen and used. Many hackers and websites have been caught who were involved in buying and selling of personal information. Most of the websites have taken measures and incorporated good security on their websites. One of the best methods is encryption. When the data is being transferred between two computers; there is a possibility of a hacker intercepting it. So the data is changed by applying some encryption algorithm and is sent through the network and upon receiving, the decryption algorithm is applied to bring back the data to its original form.

Online selling is influencing all kinds of businesses like banking, advertising, music, etc. Instead of going to a store for buying cassettes and CDs, music can be bought online. Bank transactions like depositing, withdrawing, transferring funds, and paying bills are all performed online. Billions of dollars are invested every year in online advertising alone.

So, in the end, it is well worth learning more about internet marketing for small business. For the immediate future, your business stands to gain tremendously for a comparative smaller investment of time and money than it costs you to do off-lline marketing approaches.

Evaluating the Response to Your Internet Marketing

Starting an Internet marketing campaign is only the first step in the battle. Sure it is a good idea to start an Internet marketing campaign if members of your target audience are likely to use the Internet to research or purchase the products you sell or the services you offer but these marketing efforts may turn out to be a complete waste of time if you are not diligent about evaluating the response to your Internet marketing. This means each time you implement a change to your marketing strategy; you should evaluate the results of the change to determine whether or not it generated a greater profit for you. This is important because it can help you determine what is working and what is not working for you.

Evaluating the response of your Internet marketing can be done in a number of different ways. Customer surveys and embedded HTML code are two of the most popular methods of evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet marketing campaign. Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like depending on the amount of feedback you would like to receive. However, one of the most effective ways to find out how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking the consumer where they first learned about your products or services. This is important because if you find a great deal of your customers are learning about your products or services through a particular venue, it is a good indication this method of advertising is working quite well for you.

Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so the business owner receives feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is useful for letting the business owner know which of his advertisements are attracting the most attention. If the business owner is using two different designs for his advertisements he may discover one design is attracting more attention than others and may make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style. Similarly a business owner who is running the same advertisement on several different websites may discover he is receiving more traffic from one website than others. He may also discover some websites are not attracting much attention at all. This would give the business owner an indication of which advertisements to cancel and which ones to keep running.

Finally, the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be evaluated by carefully reviewing website traffic statistics after implementing changes to the marketing strategy. This information is useful because an unusual spike in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a stage of the marketing campaign can provide positive feedback that the change was well received by potential customers. While this method of evaluating the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be effective it is important to note implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore if you plan to use website traffic as feedback for how well your marketing strategy is working it is important to only implement one major change at a time so they can each be evaluated separately.

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