The advent of the Internet has necessitated
a great many changes in the way people advertise their products and services. While the web offers an astounding ‘reach’
compared to traditional advertising media, it also requires that advertisers and their agencies utilise a brace of entirely
new techniques that are strange new territory for the uninitiated.
Internet advertising eliminates the need
to waste circulation. National and international publications with huge circulations were costly, because page rates were
based upon total readership. Thus, advertisers paid dearly to reach that smaller percentage of their ‘publics’.
The Internet, on the other hand, eliminates scarcity. There are almost as many web pages available as there are different
‘keywords’ that are used by search engines like Google, Yahoo! or AOL to search for information in the blink of
an eye. Advertisers, therefore, find it much easier to ‘target’ the audiences who really have the potential to
become their customers. And there are numerous ways to get advertising messages across to millions of people with acceptable
budget expenditures. As a result, advertising is now a variable production expense that produces more profit. (Economist.com
Internet Advertising Options
For small and mid-sized business organisations,
there are several options when considering Internet advertising. Just as with traditional advertising’s media selection,
the proper Internet choices depend upon the customer base being targeted, what you want to achieve and the budget you can
allot. These typically include:
Ø Pay-Per-Inclusion Listings available from the large search
engines. Yahoo! in particular utilises the pay-per-inclusion method for their directory listings. The very wide ‘reach’
of this directory somewhat justifies the high cost of a listing.
Ø Pay-Per-Performance is what shopping sites such as Shopping.com,
Bizrate.com and others use as a method of selling your products. They offer a directory of products where consumers can search
or comparison shop for what they need. Merchants pay when customers click-through to their website from a directory listing.
Ø Pay-Per-Click is available from Google, Yahoo!. Your
advertising campaign is built and displayed on pages when specific ‘keywords’ are utilised by someone searching.
Ø E-Mail Marketing can be an effective selling technique
when properly done and targeted to the proper prospects with the right mailing list. This method is not quite as effective
today as it once was due to the onslaught of spam that inundates every computer.
Ø Blogging or using a web blog (editorial) to deliver timely
information of interest to customers and prospects is one of the most effective tools today for Internet advertising. Blogs
utilise RSS or Atom ‘feeds’ to format information and feed it to directories for syndication. Blogs reach many
new sources. This is a wonderful way to route current information of wide interest to the public as these ‘blogs’
have high readership and many links to additional websites.
Ø Pay-per-performance directories use Product Feeds generated by
merchants to develop traffic.
Merchants are offered free directory listings for products listed in the directories. All major search engine directories
utilise a pay-per-performance platform.
Ø Banner Advertising is strategically placed on specific industry-related
websites. While this method has lost a lot of favor in recent times, it can sill be effective for both ‘branding and
sales if correctly situated.
Ø Yellow Page Internet Listings are a major growth area for the
large search engines. Each company has now released is own new technology to the best server advertisers and browsers in local
A combination of these methods, properly
used, can make Internet advertising both effective and profitable. (SureSolutions 2004).
Economist.com (2006) “The ultimate marketing machine”
http://www.economist.com/business/ PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=the_ ultimate_marketing_machine.html
SureSolutions,com (2004) “Internet
Marketing & Advertising Methods”