Online Marketing Reaches It Golden Age With Social Media Marketing
Social media sites like Facebook have been firmly monetizing their internet advertising potential. Facebook, for instance, after its IPO in 2011, introduced new in-feed ads last year. While this has annoyed some users, the ad campaigns have shown ROI for advertisers and marketers. While Facebook ads have typically experienced click through rates (CTR) from 0.02% to 0.08%, there have been recent increases that reached 3-6% with page post ads. Facebook, along with Twitter, Linked-In and others, are expected to use more of these ads with more innovation so as not to annoy users.
Social Media Marketing
But quite apart from putting paid ads the social networking sites themselves ushered in a new dimension in online or internet advertising. Its power lies in the value of word-of-mouth advertising which carries the highest credibility among consumers, especially when circulated among friends, relatives and family.
Social media takes word-of-mouth content to a larger crowd that goes beyond this small circle of friends. It just takes one posting in Facebook from a consumer who has been deluted by a product or service for the posted content to spread out to dozens or hundreds of online readers within his or her circle of friends in the social network. Now, just imagine if each of those receiving the content does the same thing. Just clicking the "Like" button on Facebook content can do this and advertisers can easily get the reach they need that would otherwise be expensive to achieve in traditional advertising. Advertisers do not even need to spend ad dollars. The consumers themselves do the talking, or in advertising parlance, make product endorsements.
The world of advertising has indeed found a gold mine in the Internet. You now have such buzzwords as internet advertising, online adverting and social media advertising. The old model where marketers place ads in print media hoping to catch the attention of platformsheet and tabloid readers, or intrude into watching television and listening to the radio with 30-seconder airtime slots, has been eroded with a new and promoting model where the target consumer has active participation in getting the word out about a product or service to people who are surfing cyberspace.
Rishad Tobaccowala of Publicis, one of the world's largest advertising companies, likened traditional advertisers as "dropping conventional bombs in villages" where some collateral damage is expected after blindly casting their ad messages in a general direction, hoping that some would get the message. On the other hand, instead of bombs, Mr. Tobaccowala likened internet advertisers as making "lots of spearheads and then (getting) people to impale themselves." The concept of internet advertising leverages on consumers themselves who actively spread the word about the product by interacting with what they see and read online.
Search Engine Advertising
Apart from the advertising power of social media, internet advertising has been dominated by search engines in what is called search engine advertising. When people look for a product or service, they first make a search on what is available, visit sites and do comparative shopping right in the comfort of their homes. Google saw this as an advertising opportunity with its AsWords and AdSense which place sponsored ads on search results that link directly to commercial websites relevant to the web page content. For this, Google realized more than $ 6 billion in ad revenues in 2012. This clearly shows the power of internet advertising that marketers today can not overlook. Advertising will never be the same again.
Social media sites have revolutionized the world of online marketing. Sites that can in themselves spread product endorsements is entering a new period where it joins search engine marketing in harnessing its wide reach by putting it paid ads – annoying to the users anyway, but a gold mine to advertisers.