Affordable Online Marketing Services for SMEs

In the present day and age there are many avenues through which people can market their product or service. However, since the advent of internet, computer has become the one of the biggest source of information. Studies reveal that more and more customer preferences are becoming based on internet reviews, opinions and searches. This means that if you want to market a product or service, you need to spend a lot of your energies on marketing online as well.

Online marketing is an aspect that can help you market for your product or service on the web. It helps you easily tie together the creative and technical aspects of the Internet. It helps you combine creative design, development, advertising, and sales and help market the product that you wish to sell. Additionally, it can also use media to deal with different stages of the marketing cycle to help engage customers through the entire service.

Some of the online marketing services include search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, email marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.

The needs of companies are different and the internet marketing services therefore would have to be tailor made for each company. However, more often than not, most exclusive and tailor made solutions come at a cost. Nevertheless, a host of affordable online marketing services are available.

Email Marketing: Newsletters and other such emails to a listed database can help a great deal in marketing. They give you an opportunity to communicate with your customers and let them know all the latest news, trends and tips. Customers realize that you value them as a customer.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): It is a method to improve the traffic to your website and articles and other information that is posted on other sites. Increasing the traffic means more viewership, thereby more potential customers to visit the site.

Social Media Marketing: You will be amazed how important social media is becoming. Information available on social media is becoming an important space. However, the rule with social media is sustain it. This is not an option that you can start and not keep at.

Affiliate Marketing: This type of marketing is when you sub-let the marketing to another company. The other company displays different information and logos. When a user clicked on the affiliated site, your website will be displayed. However, this also means payment to the affiliated company to post your information.

Article Marketing: This is a way to write articles for your own site, or post them on other popular sites to ensure that people see it and get more information on your product or service. Then you can direct people to another landing page where your products and services are displayed.

Today, there are many companies that provide online marketing options in the form of services. The services include, SEO marketing services or SEO internet marketing, SEM marketing service or SEM internet marketing, and so on. The marketing specialists focus only on the marketing of the product or service, while the owner of the product or service is relieved from that aspect and focus on just improving the product or service.

Online Marketing and Reputation Management: Why It Is Important

With access to the World Wide Web, information about companies and individuals is readily available. People who want to know more about someone or something will inevitably conduct a search under a name or a company brand online. With any type of information gathered from digital and print media publishing, the question is whether or not the information acquired is actually accurate.

With the advent of social media and blogging platforms such as blogger.com and WordPress.com, real time, in-the-moment commentary about companies and individuals is now possible. When positive comments appear about a company or person, there are often no issues. However, when negative commentaries are posted under a person’s name or brand’s name — this information can linger online and cause loss of income, distrust, lack of respect and unexpected challenges.

Online Reputation Management is Born
Before social media and online marketing even existed, reputation management was a professional skill. Establishing a reputation for a person, company or organization was the domain of public relations specialists. If someone’s name or company endured a scandal that negatively tied their brand or name to a media event, lawsuit, affair, or other type of happening, a public relations firm was hired to proactively combat the information released and correct inaccuracies. Nowadays, PR specialists are still hired in this capacity. Public relations professionals are usually employed by celebrities, politicians, religious and corporate leaders and other professionals who can afford to pay large monthly retainers. To be most effective at reaching wider audiences additional print, radio and television advertising budgets are also necessary.

The Difference Between Web Based Reputation Management & Traditional PR
Many online marketing companies offer reputation management services that apply directly to Web media. The specialists who oversee Web based reputation management for a company or organization usually have professional public relations backgrounds. But these are not the only types of skill sets needed. In the world of online marketing, a person who monitors an individual or company’s reputation needs to know how to utilize social media and blogging platforms to gain visibility under search engine results pages (SERPs). As time passes, social media and blogging platforms change, incorporating new programming and functionality for members. Professionals involved in online reputation management will keep abreast of these changes and know exactly how to implement them in strategies for their clients.

The Impact of Social Media on an Online Reputation
Good or bad, right or wrong, everyday people are feeling free to post their views and opinions everywhere online. People who populate the web with this type of information may have an ax to grind or perhaps a legitimate concern. These could include dissatisfied customers, vendors, or former or current employees. In the field of reputation management, ‘scrubbing’ or eliminating negative comments is not a strategy – it is a reaction. Facebook currently allows members to remove comments that are unacceptable. But the impact of aggressive or negative responses may have already been felt.

Other social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn do not allow members to remove comments. Online review-based websites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle or Google are other places where people can ‘vent.’ If a blog or website which is owned and maintained by another individual or company contains offensive or inaccurate information about a company or person – the text cannot simply be removed. In fact, these types of comments can remain for quite some time. If no response is crafted and posted, the person or company can experience decreases in lead generation, customer retention, or damage to a brand or name.

As Warrant Buffett once remarked, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”

How to Evaluate A Company Selling These Online Services
Any legitimate company selling reputation management services will not simply recommend removal of comments. Instead, one can expect online marketing agencies offering this service to step into play and craft appropriate responses that put a new ‘spin’ on the problem. Similar to their counterparts in the world of traditional public relations, online reputation management providers will offer their clients options and approaches that neutralize the negative commentary or offer their customers, vendors, or employees a solution to the problem.

If unseemly comments appear high in search engine rankings under a company’s brand name or an individual’s name, online marketing and public relations strategies will be recommended and implemented to push damaging pages from the first several pages of search engine results to subsequent pages.

According to The Media Audit conducted in October 2010, “US Internet users spend 3X more minutes on blogs and social networks than in answering and writing emails.” This means that the average consumer is listening to the chatter online. People do often consider this information very seriously before hiring or purchasing from a company or individual. As the information highway becomes more crowded with tidbits that turn off prospects, customers and clients, the skill of reputation management is more in demand than it ever was.

Do not make the mistake of hiring a traditional PR firm to handle online reputation management. Make certain that the agency or firm employed to do this job is well qualified in the field of Internet marketing and public relations.

For more information on reputation repair or management visit http://www.conversionpipeline.com.

Courses In Online Marketing – 3 Questions To Ask In Order To Find The Best Programs Online

On the internet you will find a huge buffet of courses in online marketing. When you’re starting out with any of the web marketing programs that are available, it’s an understatement to suggest that your experience can be overwhelming.

There are so many different tactics to learn, from video marketing, to auto-responders, to search engine optimization, to social media, etc. It’s easy to get lost without some sort of guidance and directions.

Usually, the best guidance, teaching, coaching and mentoring comes in the form of an online marketing course with both live and archived training access.

Doing a Google search for either ‘marketing course online’, or ‘web marketing courses’, or ‘digital marketing courses online’, etc. will pop up dozens of options for you to choose from. But the question is: how do you know which one is the best?

There are 3 key factors you should consider. Be sure to ask these questions:

  • Does your chosen online marketing course give you access to current information? Internet marketing changes on a constant basis, and any course that you choose should keep itself up-to-date. If the course is constantly updating its information or if it gives you access to live webinar sessions where you can get up-to-the-minute training and ask questions about internet marketing topics, then you’re likely on the right track.
  • Does the course cover a wide variety of topics, or does it just focus on one or two topics? It’s sometimes difficult to find a course that will cover the whole range of online marketing tactics & strategies, but once you understand online marketing and realize that the search engines will rank your internet assets higher for using multiple marketing strategies in concert with each other – then it becomes clear why you absolutely need a course that covers the spectrum of all the primary & proven marketing methods.

    Many internet marketing courses online will focus on one particular topic, such as search engine optimization or video marketing. Trying to get the full range of education one subject at a time can therefore be expensive. For example, if you wanted to get an SEO course, it might cost you $10 per day. That may not seem like much on the surface, but over the course of a single month, that’s $300 for a single topic. When you understand that there are dozens of core proven marketing methods, then taking just 10 would be a whopping $3,000, and that is if you completed your study on each one within 30 days.

    The problem with many less expensive options, such as buying single-topic e-books or tutorial videos, is that the information is often outdated or incomplete. As a result, even though you may spend only $30 or $40 on each of those items, you may not get the proper education you need to market your product or service. Here again, when you add each topic up, the cost starts to climb.

    The other option is to take an internet marketing training course from one of the well-established online universities. Yes, you will get a good education, but issue with this is that unless you have up to $50,000 dollars and the willingness to sit through six semesters of schooling, the training is likely to be out of your reach financially.

    It’s better to find & then select a program that is both affordable, but also contains information on a variety of topics. This will not only save you both money and time, but if you can find an all-inclusive program, then you’ll get most if not all marketing topics under one roof.

  • Does the course give you access to mentors who will assist you when you have questions? Many online courses just give you a heap of information and then leave you to sort it out all by yourself. A good online marketing course will not only cover both basic and advanced tactics, but it will also make available to you avenues by which you can ask questions and request assistance.

    What’s really important here is to ensure that the course you enrol in has either live telephone access or ‘live chats’ access. The last predicament you want to find yourself in is one where it takes you up to a week to get a single question answered because the only form of support is via emails where you submit your question or ticket one day and then wait the prescribed 24, to 48, to 72 hours or more for a reply. Gosh, having a single conversation could last up to a month with this kind of restrictive communication environment!

If you keep these three essential questions in mind when you are searching for your online marketing course, you are more likely to get the best value for your dollar, and you will be able to start marketing your business and driving traffic to your website more quickly and efficiently.