Archive for July, 2011
The computer giant Microsoft urged companies this week to make search engine optimisation (SEO) just one aspect of an integrated and varied online marketing campaign.
Microsoft group search manager Colm Bracken said that a good SEO element can extend all other internet marketing campaigns and other forms of online marketing – for instance, consumers may well see a product or service advertised on television and then look for it online to discover more details before going to a shop to buy it. This is even more likely if they first saw the product advertised online using a mobile device.
Mr Bracken noted that a recent Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey found that 40 per cent of consumers made internet searches after watching TV adverts, adding: “So search amplifies the overall marketing strategy and curiously, in terms of complementing other media too, we know that search drives offline sales.”
Another part of last year’s IAB Search Barometer was the revelation that 99 per cent of brands believe that there is room for more SEO integration with their online marketing campaigns.
Virgin Media Business urged retailers and other commercial companies to up their game and focus more online marketing efforts on Twitter.
Research carried out by Virgin found that too many businesses are failing to capitalise on the unique internet advertising potential of micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, and their close relatives – social networks such as Facebook. According to researchers, just 9 per cent of firms used Twitter for online marketing and only a third used social media.
“Since its founding, Twitter has changed the way we shop and engage with brands and, as such, has become a fantastic tool for customer engagement,” Virgin Media Business customer service director Phil Stewart commented.
The Centre for Retail Research director Joshua Bamfield admitted that “it is probably true that the smaller stores have not got on this bandwagon yet,” but added that this “may simply reflect the fact that they’re very busy, they don’t have the skills and they don’t see why they should bother.”
Sales figures seem to show, however, that those who do “bother” will ultimately reap the online marketing rewards.
The UK Parliament is turning its scrutiny on internet advertising, following concerns about personal privacy sparked by the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
MPs want to investigate the data security and privacy issues surrounding online marketing efforts which identify appropriate individuals for advertising via their web surfing habits, such as their searches on Google or their activities on social networking sites like Facebook.
Some 13 MPs are calling for a so-called “internet bill of rights,” giving users more safeguards over their online privacy.
The difficulty for the politicians is that while users would like to see less personal information held by third parties, they also enjoy the benefits that personally tailored online marketing can bring, according to online advertising industry journal Campaignlive.
Online marketing professionals are now likely to lobby MPs, pointing out that internet advertising already gives users the choice of opting out of various kinds of adverts and pay per click initiatives.
Creative online marketing strategies can act as a powerful engine for growth in the women’s clothing sector, according to a new report.
The study by market researchers Mintel said that online clothing retail has mushroomed in the past decade, as high street and boutique sales of womenswear have fallen. Researchers found that nearly half of all mothers in the UK did not like store shopping for clothes, due to a lack of choice and flattering designs.
A significant 43 per cent of all women admitted to disliking trying on clothes instore, and 49 per cent accused retailers of only marketing to young people.
Mintel suggested that innovative online marketing and internet advertising campaigns have the potential to make the online clothing retail industry highly important in reviving the sector.
The company’s senior consumer analyst Michelle Strutton suggested one online marketing approach, saying: “More retailers can drive last-minute clothes purchases online by offering a service that if consumers order a garment via their websites before 9pm they will be guaranteed delivery the next day.”
Until now, there have been two very distinct strands to online marketing, informed by the two giants of their fields – Google and Facebook.
The search engine giant has always been the undisputed ruler of the SEO marketing world, with Yahoo and Bing coming a clear second, while Facebook – along with Twitter – have been instrumental in pushing social media to the forefront of all successful online marketing strategies.
Now everything is likely to change again as the two strands come together, thanks to the launch of Google’s very own social network, Google+.
Google+ has already been the victim of its own success, going over capacity within two days of its launch and necessitating a temporary halt until it could recalibrate its systems.
Experts are saying that Google+ could herald a new dawn for online marketing, bridging the gap between such business-orientated networks, such as LinkedIn, and the more casual friends networks like Facebook.
The end of last month saw online concerns mark Social Media Day, with a great many companies taking a fresh look at how the juggernaut that is social media impacts on their internet advertising and online marketing strategies.
It has been a truism of the past two years that social media such as Facebook and Twitter is the place to be when it comes to the future of online marketing, and there is no sign that the engine is slowing down, with Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter advertising more important than ever. It is no longer a happy luxury, it is an essential part of any internet marketing drive.
The inclusion of social media in such a strategy should never be an addition, or an afterthought. It should be integrated into the overall plan and complement other aspects of online marketing, such as mail outs, SEO marketing and Google Analytics.
With almost half of all businesses using social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy, the lessons for the future are clear.