The question asked in the title of this article has become more important over the last few years. With the economic downturn of 08, and the slow recovery, marketing and advertising budgets have become far thinner. Not to mention the options for spending your all-important marketing dollars. After all, a lot has changed, not just because of the economy, but because of technology too. There was a time when getting an ad in the yellow pages was vital. Now, however, it’s often a waste of money.
One marketing and advertising option that has really grown in popularity and power is the internet. The term “internet marketing” is a pretty well-known term now, although often not well understood.
So let’s begin by answering the question. Should you hire an internet marketer? The answer is a resounding yes. Now, it may be that you have the resources to hire them in house, or perhaps the time to do the marketing yourself. But in most cases, this is not so. For smaller entrepreneurs, there is neither the budget nor the need for a full time employee. In also in these cases, there is rarely enough time in the day to do the work. If there is anything that can be said about internet marketing, it is that it takes time. Lots of time if you want it to be effective.
So if you are in this middle ground, the hiring of an independent internet marketing and advertising consultant can be a great boom for your company. They will have the time and the know how to get the work done and get you the attention you need. And what’s also nice about a marketing company, is that you will contract only for work to be done. There is no extra cost associated with an employee.
Now, you may be wondering if you need this form of promotion. After all, perhaps you don’t have an online store or something that will generate income directly online. Well, think of it this way, it has been established that more than 97% of all customers go online to research, find and and decide on companies where they will spend their money. The mobile web surfing apps make this even more powerful. So whether or not you sell online, you want to send people to your website. You want that website to actively promote you and guide the visitor toward the point where they will make a purchase of your product or service. And this is what internet marketing does.
As for the second part of the question, does it really work? The answer again is a resounding yes. It’s a timely process, and should be thought of as long term, but internet marketing builds awareness of you and helps to solidify your brand, or even build it. And there is another reason: your competitors are doing it. And the reality of business is, if your competition is engaging in something and getting results, you have to also.
Before we close this article, let’s briefly look at just what internet marketing is. Because it’s not enough to know why you should do it, but what it is you’re doing. Let’s begin this with dispelling a common misconception. Internet marketing is not search engine optimization. Or at least, this is not the entire picture.
Perhaps the briefest explanation of what internet marketing is is that it is the placement of related content online that links back to you. This can take the form of articles like this one, videos on YouTube, posts on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, answering questions on discussion forums that relate to your business, posting free ads, subscribing to link directories, blogging, and of course utilizing paid advertising such as Google AdWords, ads on other websites and affiliate programs.
Of course, while online marketing is not SEO, search engine optimization is important, and not just on your website. You want to optimize everything you post, your site, your ads, your articles your descriptions of content, etc.
The concept of internet marketing is as broad as the internet itself. The options available to you are virtually limitless. But keep in mind that your end goal should be results and sales. And more often than not, like the old saying goes, it takes money to make money. Or time to make money. And a good internet marketing firm can make the most of these resources. They will and should actively care about you, your business, your goals and your success. If nothing else, it never hurts to have a consultation with someone who can answer your questions and give you some guidance. Good luck and good marketing!
by Scott W Cook