Models Of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing or online marketing is a term used to refer promotion/advertising of products or services using the internet. It is a sub-set of digital marketing. There is not a single definition of this term. Some define it in terms of tools used. Others in terms of its benefits while others in terms of the models, which begs the question: what are the major models of online marketing?

E-commerce.

This is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. In this model, one can decide to take their existing business online or decide to take set up a new business online altogether.

From the goods side, take an example of the biggest online supermarket today is Amazon. I call it a supermarket because today Amazon sells almost everything including, but not limited to, selection of books, magazines, music, DVDs, videos, electronics, computers, software, apparel & accessories, shoes. In fact its biggest addition is the Amazon Web Services (AWS).

From the services side, the most notable are the payment gateways such as Paypal, Google Checkout, Yo payment gateway etc. Online services can also take the shape of remote desktop support in the computer sector e.g., general maintenance, virus scans, clean up and server re-starts can be done outside office and online. Front desk services through the use of IVR. Basically here your imagination is the limit

Lead-based websites

As Wikipedia puts it, in marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Ideally, a lead-based website connects people who want a particular service (leads) to those who provide the service (service providers). Usually the negotiation is between the website owner and the service provider – they agree when to pay, how much to pay when a certain goal (number of leads) is reached. Once leads are converted, you can keep in touch using email marketing and other communication channels.

There are so many websites on the internet which allow do lead generation e.g., restaurant leads, CRM etc. The life cycle of lead generation is; capture the leads (this can be a form which the users fill), distribute leads (in which leads are assigned to specific sales personnel), lead conversion (here leads are converted into real customers/client through the works of the sales persons).

Affiliate marketing

This is the process of promoting other people’s, business’, company’s or organization’s products or services in order to earn a commission. Basically, you keep on looking for clients of behalf of the company, to which you are affiliated, and once such a client buys, you earn a commission off the sale.

Most domain registrars and hosting providers offer affiliate programs. For example, with Hostmoster, you earn $65 per referral (the customer you bring to Hostmonster). Hostgator’s affiliate program is based on the number of months a customer subscribes for their hosting services e.g., you earn $125 for a customer who stays for 20 months or more.

Don’t quote me wrong, affiliate program is not for hosting providers only; Google has an affiliate program called AdSense Network. Even Amazon has an affiliate program. You too can start one for your company to extend your advertisement need

Once you decide to take on the Affiliate marketing program, now your business is to look for customers where you place ads on Google, or on Facebook or in newspapers too, it is up to you! Basically, you have to plan and lay out your advertisement strategy.

Local Search

Local has to do with location – geographical area. To search is to look for something. I have started with this break down so that I can give you a definition of this term. There is not a concise (or agreed upon) definition for the term.

When I combine the two words now, I can define Local Search as search aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area. For example when I search for “Best hotels in Uganda”, I am aiming at finding hotels, not anywhere around the world, but specifically in Uganda. The locality of my interest is Uganda. If I search for “Best university in Kampala”, the locality of my interest is Kampala, not any place in Uganda.

Local search is critical because some business is location specific e.g., hotels, hospitals, schools. Optimizing websites for such business is so important if conversion rates are to be improved. Search engines, especially Google, are committed to returning the most relevant results for every user query. Google is continually laboring, like a woman, to interpret local intent. This is most evident in its Google maps

Mainly these are the major online marketing models. Stay tuned for the in-depth analysis of each, with its advantages, disadvantages and cost effectiveness.