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16th January 2010
By Andy

Opportunities in online marketing have never been so great or so diverse. In June 2008, 70% of UK population was online, according to Internetworldstats.com, and while we are there, the UK population is now spending more than ever online.

The figures say it all – in July 2008, 17p in every £1 was spent online in the UK, and growth in UK online spending for November 2008 saw an increase of 26% on October 2008, according to IMRG. It is therefore in an advertiser’s best interests to approach this vast online audience from every possible angle.

It is hugely important to be aware of how differently people are now using the internet. Social media sites are booming and online competition from competitors in all industries is rocketing. Advertisers must make the effort to interact with users at all stages of their purchase, whether they began by asking a question on a forum or by searching for product-related information and reviews, as well as making the effort to learn from their feedback where possible.

Businesses need to look further afield than paid ads.

Many people think online marketing is virtually synonymous with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search advertising. However, more and more companies are now discovering that an integrated online marketing strategy be far more rewarding than only using PPC ads in terms of increasing revenue and acquiring new business.

The range of online marketing opportunities most businesses should now be looking into include PPC search as well as other areas of online advertising, email marketing, SEO, social, content marketing and usability testing.

It almost goes without saying that, once set up, every one of these areas must regularly tracked and analysed, as it is the findings gleaned from this analysis which should be used to inform the entire online advertising strategy.

How you can benefit from an integrated online marketing strategy

Not every potential marketing field will be appropriate for every business. However, a good online marketing company will pick and choose a number of avenues, and use the information from tracking each one to improve the performance of the entire campaign.

Different areas will contribute in different ways to building and refining the overall structure of an integrated online marketing strategy, and the more methods you employ to attract and convert visitors, the more effective each one will become.

Here are some examples:

1) PPC Search can inform your language and terminology

Analysing which keywords lead to conversions in your PPC campaign can be a useful way to inform your thinking on the type of keywords you use in your content and anchor text links. It can also give you an idea of where to target online ad placements and email campaigns.

2) Forums and Blogs can aid Communication and Product development

Comments left on social forums and blogs about your company or your competitors could give you an idea about ways you could improve what you are offering to people on your site, and how you could improve its usability. These forums allow for a unique insight into your target market, and arguably reflect some of the most honest and passionate feedback a company can receive.

3) Analytics Packages can aid web design

Tracking goal funnels effectively in your Analytics package can inform you as to what needs to be altered on your website by telling you at what point your customers are dropping off in significant numbers.

4) PR can help your SEO

By including anchor text links on your own online press releases and articles, you can help your own search engine optimisation at the same time as boosting awareness about your products or services.
There are many more possible examples, but the top-line take out is that an integrated approach is worth more than the sum of its parts.

You will also be widening your reach…

In addition to the benefits of making use of all the information available to you to create an integrated online marketing strategy, you will also be reaching a far wider section of your intended audience by branching into so many different areas, leading to a greater potential for acquiring new business.

In conclusion, you’ll enjoy better results from a balanced, holistic online marketing strategy than by focusing all your attention on just one area – or by viewing the increasingly disparate divisions of the online world as isolated units.

Andy

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