Archive for June, 2011
The future of online marketing is likely to be e-commerce – at least that is what online retail giant Amazon and social networking phenomenon Facebook seem to think.
Facebook has already pioneered the use of “virtual shopfronts,” whereby businesses and entrepeneurs set up their own fan pages with links to their online shops. However, the website is also at the forefront of the move towards working closely with off-network stores, presenting even more opportunities for smart online marketing and internet advertising initiatives.
Amazon and Facebook have worked in partnership for a while now, and the beta version is showing great promise and popularity. What makes this of particular interest to online marketing professionals is the enhanced capacity for recommendations. Already very important for online businesses, adding Facebook’s social and consumer information to another business’s internet marketing strategy helps fine-tune recommendations and boosts sales and conversions.
The social information also creates more reasons for customers to buy goods and services, thanks to integration of information about birthdays, weddings and other celebrations into a customer’s profile. Amazon and Facebook are leading the way, where smart online marketing professionals are only bound to follow.
A new report has predicted that online marketing is set to make the internet advertising soar over the next few years – with the market in Britain alone being worth an impressive £17.7 billion by 2015.
The study, by accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said that the rapid growth in the number of digital channels devoted to online marketing was responsible for the rise and rise of the sector, with internet advertising on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter plus classified advertising online fast catching up with the more established form of online marketing – search marketing on platforms such as Google and Yahoo.
PwC also said that the only sector of the UK economy likely to achieve double digit growth by 2015 would be internet advertising, making it the wisest bet for companies hoping to combine marketing efficiency with value for money.
PwC head of entertainment and media Phil Stokes commented: “Product placement, sophisticated social media campaigns and internet advertising are all becoming part of truly multimedia campaigns for advertisers who are themselves increasingly involved in a dynamic conversation with their customers.”
Online marketing professionals need to be aware of the latest innovation from micro-blogging site Twitter – Prompted Tweets.
These are a unique form of internet advertising that only Twitter can boast. Whereas previously commercial enterprises needed Twitter users to follow their account, Promoted Tweets allow messages to reach a far wider audience.
Firstly a Tweet is sent to a brand’s followers, and when it is paid for as a Promoted Tweet it appears as content in search results, rather than alongside the results.
As Promoted Tweets are only paid for via Cost-per-Engagement (CPE), a company will only pay when Twitter users Retweet, replies to, select or adds the Tweet to their favourites. A Retweet of the Promoted Tweet is free of charge, thus potentially adding great reach and power to any Twitter-based online marketing campaign.
Skilled internet marketing professionals should have no problem devising Promoted Tweets that are memorable and witty enough to be seen by many, many different users.
Online marketing professionals have long been urged to adapt to the rise of the mobile device – not least of all by this blog! – and the latest research from the travel industry only serves to underline this.
Travel website TripAdvisor surveyed holidaymakers across Europe, and found that more of them are using their iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices than ever before, to check out restaurants, hotels and holiday resorts – as well as to book flights and other travel arrangements.
Nowadays, some 27 per cent of mainland Europeans and 22 per cent of Britons choose and organise holidays on their mobile devices, making it even more imperative that online marketing strategies and website designs bear this growing demographic in mind.
TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma O’Boyle said: “Whether travellers are looking for the nearest attractions or top-rated restaurant, these findings show that smartphones and tablets are an increasingly important travel companion.”
Hot on the heels of reports that Britain’s supermarket giants are reaping the rewards of online marketing campaigns, comes the news that popular high street clothing retailer Topshop has launched its own internet marketing crusade, aimed at users of the social networking phenomenon Facebook.
The campaign encourages shoppers in Topshop’s London, New York, Dublin, Manchester and Liverpool stores to use an in-store iPad 2 to create a special tailor-made e-postcard.
The shoppers are able to select one of a choice of pretty backgrounds before posing for the card and uploading it to their own Facebook profile and the Topshop website’s special gallery. The best entries stand to win a £1,000 shopping spree at the store.
The online marketing campaign kicked off at the start of this month, and ends tomorrow for the London, Dublin and Liverpool stores, while the Manchester and New York stores will run their campaigns between 8-11 June.
UK supermarket giants such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Iceland have started seeing a marked increase in sales through their various online marketing ventures, with many customers opting for online order-and-delivery services rather than visiting the supermarkets themselves.
So successful have the online marketing campaigns of these companies become that Nielsen recently released statistics showing that a figure of $12 billion was accrued from CPG (Consumer Packed Goods) sales alone last year in the USA, with the popularity of online marketing and shopping predicted to reach figures in the region of $25 billion by 2014.
The online marketing angle, boasting a quick, easy and time saving shopping experience, is becoming more and more popular – with customers opting to purchase CPGs over the internet rather than endure the traditional drudgery of navigating an over-filled shopping trolley around overcrowded aisles.
With these figures in mind, it is obvious that the once impossible notion of incorporating a real-life marketplace into the realm of online marketing has become a reality and will continue to grow in popularity for years to come.