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 Monday, 31st October 2011, 17:11:37

Online marketing: Most businesses 'are aware of social media benefits'

Online marketing: Most businesses 'are aware of social media benefits'

Organisations of all sizes are beginning to recognise the benefits associated with the use of social media as part of effective online marketing campaigns, but many are failing to embrace it to the highest degree.

This is the opinion of Simon Curtis, senior vice-president of strategic sales and business development for, who suggested that many firms do not understand the extent of promotion online publicity can provide during the economic struggle.

"It is no good trying to be good at social media if your brand image and promotion in other channels does not match your social media image," he explained.

Mr Curtis claimed that social media's individual "culture" needs to be understood by users trying to connect with a particular audience in order to attract a higher rate of custom.

He also suggested that, due to the ever-increasing popularity of websites such as Facebook and Twitter, brands are becoming more clued up regarding the possibilities associated with using such pages to promote their products and offers.

"Most businesses are aware of the benefits of social media and have started to embrace it in their marketing and promotional activity. So today, you can see that many businesses are represented on Facebook and have Twitter feeds," Mr Curtis added.

His comments were made after new data from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) revealed internet advertising increased by 13.5 per cent to £2.26 billion during the first half of 2011, with the wider sector expected to experience just 1.4 per cent growth.

Spending on internet advertising as part of online marketing campaigns has surpassed the expectations of industry players by accounting for a market share of 27 per cent, which excludes mobile expenditure.

Anna Bartz, strategy manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said: "With direct response advertising also thriving in the current climate, online offers a potent combination for all marketers, and the indications are that double-digit growth will continue in the UK."

The figures, collated by the IAB in conjunction with PwC and WARC [comma] reflect the increasing online audience and the simplicity associated with visiting a high number of websites due to faster broadband connections.

In the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, Sophia Haynes - director of marketing and communications at the IAB - suggested it was beneficial to focus on few core areas when considering online marketing, due to the financial restraints that are common for firms during economic uncertainty.

Ms Haynes claimed that carrying out research in a bid to get to know a brand's target audience is one of the main factors to consider when developing an advertising technique.

"Things like Google AdWords are great because you can display ads, even if you have only got a very small budget. You can still deliver search ads and you will only pay for the clicks that you get," she explained.

Ms Haynes added: Increasing awareness of the products customers purchase can be extremely beneficial for companies looking to attract custom and secure a higher income, which could also assist in raising the understanding about the language shoppers are using.

The expert went on to say observing and monitoring local search terms is also vital for businesses developing an online marketing strategy, while including a phone number and photograph of the shop in any type of brand promotion to familiarise consumers with the service that is being provided is advisable.

The soaring popularity of internet browsing on mobile handsets has signalled a change in the methods used to access information. This growing trend highlights the importance for businesses to ensure their websites are accessible to on-the-go consumers who may be looking for a product immediately, highlighting the necessity of a map.

Posted by Kevin Jenson ADNFCR-1984-ID-800782069-ADNFCR

Categories:  |  Online Marketing / Search  |  

Related Headlines:

 26-10-2011: Research and customer knowledge 'are vital for online marketing'

 17-10-2011: Online marketing: Social media 'is a great advertising method'

 06-10-2011: Online marketing: Internet advertising soars in first half of 2011

 03-10-2011: Facebook 'leads the way for online marketing'

 30-09-2011: Facebook 'remains on top for online marketing'

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