Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3321
, Published on 02 February 2014
The world of business has changed dynamically over the last few years and is changing every second as we think. One of the most influential and path breaking innovation was the internet. Ever since its occurrence in the last decade of the 20th century, internet has completely revolutionized the way people stay connected and do their business. Infact, with the growth of internet, online brands or websites have grown in leaps and bounces and has become a powerful industry to reckon with. With innovative services and offerings through online brands, the way of marketing has also changed.
As of 2011, there were over 340 million websites globally having a reach of over 2 billion internet users, which is equivalent to around one-third of the global population. Countries like USA, Japan and countries of 2urope have a huge internet penetration whereas the #emerging economies like India, China, Brazil have a very little penetration but a huge untapped market. With so many websites in the cyber space and an equally huge number of people accessing internet, it is important to market the online brand uniquely.
Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, cooldesign
Marketing and branding an online brand can be done in 2 distinct ways i.e. Online Marketing and Offline Marketing. These 2 ways of branding and marketing are discussed below.
ONLINE MARKETING AND BRANDING
1. Advertisement banners: Online brands can advertise on other popular websites which have similar demographics and a similar target audience, which will not to increase visibility but will also redirect traffic to their website.
2. Social networking platforms: Social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube etc have become an integral part in the lives of internet users. Ad campaigns, viral marketing etc on these platforms often boost the presence of online brands.
3. Recognition through online interviews or news features: Online brands and websites get a lot of visibility and recognition once they are featured on popular websites through interviews and news features.
4. Search Engine Optimization: It is a way by which websites can increase their probability of being amongst the top search results on web search engines by natural means which happens algorithmically.
5. Monitoring traffic: Understanding the customer perspective is essential for online brands. Hence, it is critical that they monitor the traffic coming on their websites and understand facts like unique visitors, popular pages, returning visitors, time spent on section etc. All these help as a part of forecasting, understanding customer demographics and improvements to be made in the website.
Another aspect of marketing and branding an online brand is the more traditional way of increasing visibility through offline marketing.
OFFLINE MARKETING AND BRANDING
1. Tie-ups and Associations: Online brands can increase their presence and credibility by being associated with popular products and services.
2. Advertising in print and TV media: Websites and online brands can increase their brand visibility by advertising through popular TV channels through TVCs and through print ads in newspapers, magazines, journals or even through radio.
3. Merchandising: Merchandising through T-shirts, toys, key chains, souvenirs, laptop stickers, mouse pads etc is a popular offline activity which online brands do as a part of their marketing.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility- Tie-up with NGO's or CSR activities help online brands increase their visibility and credibility as well.
5. Stickers and souvenirs- Marketing of online brands and blogs can also be done by displaying stickers on cars. Also, souvenirs like desk calendars, pens with brand logos help in brand retention.
With the emergence of internet as the ultimate tool of communication globally, online brands have become an important part in the world today. And like any other service brand, it is critical to have a systematic branding and marketing of online brands.
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