Search Engine Marketing, for a long time, has been one of the best forms of digital marketing. When search engine marketing first started, it was hailed as a revolution in the marketing industry. People search the internet and Google when they are looking for information or products more often than they use the yellow pages or the newspaper. As a matter of fact, the word “google” becomes synonymous to looking for information online.
However, the impact of this new revolution did not stop there. Advertising revenue for major newspapers took a hit because fewer businesses are using them to advertise their products. To a lesser extent, online advertising is also affecting revenues for television and radio.
There are several reasons why traditional marketing is beginning to lose its appeal. In marketing, it is very important that advertisements are targeted to your specific audience; any more than that would be a waste of effort and money. Next, a way to measure the success of each of your marketing campaigns is critical. Why? From the data that you receive from the marketing campaigns, you are able to refine the different aspects of your campaign.
In online advertising, there are tools that will help you narrow your advertising effort to your intended audience. For example, on Google Adwords, you are able to run campaigns with key phrases that are relevant to your advertisements. For example, if you are selling a used washing machine, your advertisement will only appear if someone enters the relevant words like “used washing machine”, “cheap washing machines” or “budget washing machines”. With Google Adwords, you can see which advertisement has more CTR or “click through rate” that will actually end with a sale. For example, people who are looking for a “budget washing machines” may actually be looking for a new washing machine at a low price. With online marketing, you can remove the key phrase and run the campaign again. You can fine tune your campaign until you get the result that you want then scale accordingly.
Online advertising is also very effective on the social media. On Facebook, members willingly provide personal information on their profile, their likes and dislikes, where they are staying, their hobbies, personalities that they admire, the movies that they like and so on. All this information is a gold mine to a marketer. A marketer will be able laser target their advertisements exactly to their target market. A marketer can put forward a product right in front of people who are actually interested and will likely purchase the product. Similar to search marketing, you have access to data that measures the success of each of your campaigns.
On the other hand, it is difficult to narrow your audience and measure the success of your marketing campaign when using the more traditional advertising such as newspaper, magazine, television and radio. Very often, the advertisements are presented to a large number of people in which the majority of them are not even interested in the product that you are selling. Once you have run the campaign, you are able to measure the success only after a few months when you review your sales figures.
That said, what is the future for online marketing? If you ask me, mobile marketing is likely the next big thing in marketing. These are the why I say this:
- The ownership of mobile devices has increased over the years largely due to a reduction in price.
- As the name implies, mobility is the reason why people carry their mobile device everywhere they go. This is very conducive for time sensitive offers. Your advertisement is likely to reach your audience almost immediately.
- Technology like iBeacon on mobile devices is a great enabler for location sensitive offers. This technology is currently underutilized but this will likely change in future.
- Search engines and social media platforms are increasingly using location information of mobile device users to further refine the search results that they serve to the users.
- Mobile apps are very popular to mobile device users; even more popular than the browser to the extent that the users prefer to use their mobile devices over their PC to look for certain information simply because it is more convenient and offer instant gratification. For example, they will use Yelp to find restaurants on their mobile device.
So, what does this mean to you? It means that your presence on the online world must be optimized for mobile devices. Smart businesses will create mobile apps as mobile extensions of their website for their customers using the mobile device.