E-commerce, unlike conventional businesses, could be promoted with the help of certain modern internet based marketing strategies. The following are some of the most widely used marketing strategies that help in promoting e-commerce in a more efficient and effective manner.
Phillips and Young (2009, p 12) have defined that a weblog also named as blog is a type of website that is being used for promoting businesses at a fast pace in the current internet age. The blogs permit the owner to write posts or web pages and help them present their ideas for many people to view. Blogs are in general edited mostly online through a web browser but several bloggers use a blog editor that permits content to be written and edited offline before uploading. Blogs are used by individuals as well as companies. Several companies have internal blogs for staff to read, write, create and add content to. At present, there are thousands and thousands of blogs created by organizations all around the world for sharing their business ideas and promote their products and services. Almost all blogs permit readers to make comments about the author or owner’s posts. Sauers (2006, p 1) has defined that blog is web application which contains periodic posts on a common web page. A blog would typically be accessible by several internet users. Blogging is the act of developing posts for a blog and the person who creates those posts is referred to as blogger. In the current scenario, almost all companies have a blog exclusively dedicated for promoting their posts. According to Dowd, Evangelista and Silberman (2010, p 84) a blog is referred as a log of entries posted on a website. Originally it was referred to as weblog and the name was shortened to blog. Blog postings are used to promote products and services at a rapid pace. Promotional posts consist of text which is accompanied most of the times with video or image that readers could make use of for gaining extra information.
Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites are a buzz in the present times. Reynolds (2009, p 304) has defined that a social networking website is a site whose need is to create an online community of online users that help them to overcome the barriers created by distance, time and cultural differences in communicating with each other. Social networking websites permit people to interact with others online by sharing insights, opinions, interests, information and experience. Social networking members not only help users to communicate with family members, friends and colleagues but also help them to develop new professional and business relationships. Solomon, Wilson, Taylor and Tyler (2011, p 79) defines that a social network is a social framework made up of nodes that are usually organizations or individuals. A social network represents flow and relationship between groups, people, organizations, computers or other knowledge or information processing entities. A social networking site is also a website that enhances users to create public profiles within that website and make relationships with other users of similar website who access their profile. Social networking sites allow organizations to participate in discussions and chats that help them to promote their businesses in an easy way. Similarly Warner (2010, p 407) has defined that social networking is the art of constructing and building contacts on web which is increasingly identified as a renowned way to develop personal and business contacts, create professional relationships and even find a job. Social networking sites can also be used to promote business or personal website. One of the most famous social networking sites is Facebook. Facebook wins the top position and has been identified as the quickest developing social networking site on the web and its wide appeal makes it an excellent place to promote a website or business. Next to Facebook is Twitter, which makes it simple for organizations to link with users online and share huge amount of information referred to as tweets. Twitter limits users to not more than 140 characters per post which seen as restrictive in the beginning, has become the secret for its success.
Podcasting is an audio blog and users can listen to and download to a storage medium. A podcast, posted in a web page is one of the best methods of promoting businesses (Tollett and Williams, 2006). Podcast on a web page could even be downloaded by users to an iPod. In order to promote a business, effectively, it is always good to develop podcasts as audio blogs with still images rather than creating them as video blogs. Sandy (2008, p 213) argues that podcasting is defined as a series of digital media files delivered through online for playing videos on comfortable media players and the computer. Podcasting is similar to radio show transmitted online and are best tools for promoting businesses.
Allocca (2011, p 61) says that mobile marketing involves communication with important customers through mobile and other cellular devices such as smart phones. Organizations can send out promotional messages in the form of text messages to promote their services and product using mobile marketing. Promotional messages include coupons, contests, latest updates, offers and discounts. Mobile marketing is one of the most cost effective solutions available today. The mobile phone affordability gives marketers the opportunity to reach out to the largest possible audience. Becker and Arnold (2010, p 10) have described that mobile marketing is a set of practices that enhance organizations to communicate and engage with their users in an interactive manner through any mobile network or device. In addition to that, Barnes and Scornavacca (2006, p 110) argue that mobile marketing is the process of using interactive wireless media to offer customers with space and time sensitive, personalized information that offer services, ideas and goods thereby producing value for all stakeholders. This definition makes it clear that mobile marketing is a concept of adding value not just for the marketing party but also for the customer. Presently, mobile marketing is developing as a highly efficient way to make dynamic and personal links with customers.
Electronic mail or email is an electronic message transmitted over a communication network as text file with optional attachments. Email has became more standardized and is widely used at present to communicate between various network and computer systems (Hansen, Shneiderman and Smith (2010, p 106). Similarly Stroman, Wilson and Wauson (2008, p 165) have defined that email is nothing but the transmission of written messages through computer networks connected to the internet. Email offers a written record of office communication. Through electronic mail users can send messages to several people simultaneously, include hyperlinks to websites and also attach files containing huge amount of data. Electronic mail is one of the most effective and renowned methods for communicating and promoting products online. With electronic mail users can also send a message to anyone in the world who has an email address. Since electronic mail is free from technical criticalities the message will be received by the recipient in a fraction of seconds. In Wells (2008, p 198) point of view email or electronic mail is the exchange of data and files using a computer network. It is not that varied from regular mail. If the users have an email address, message and network protocols then email can be routed from one place to another. Electronic mails help organizations reach a large number of customers within no time. Organizations can send electronic mail to people on a network within that organization or outsiders through online service providers in order to promote their products or services.
Boone and Kurtz (2011, p 118) describe that online communities can take most forms but all of them provide particular benefits to organizations and users alike. Online forums are referred as online discussion groups. Users log in and participate by sending queries and comments or receiving information from other forum users. Forums may serve as electronic bulletin boards, libraries for storing information or even as a kind of classified ad directory. Organizations often use forums to ask queries and exchange information with customers. Levinson (2003, p 79) has defined that online forums are discussion groups that focused on a specfic topic such as Barbie dolls or hang gliding. Unlike newspapers, which are simply discussion groups, online forums may also consist of libraries of files posted by users and chat rooms where users can communicate things live. Users may even have their own classified areas to advertise their products. Safko (2010, p 120) says that forums are always referred to as message boards, chat rooms or bulletin boards. The forum is the application of website that handles and offers a medium for ongoing online discussion on specific subject. The users are a group of people or contributors along with a moderator who participate in the conversation. In several online forums participants are needed to sign and register in to participate in a conversation. However anyone is allowed to view them since anonymous visitors are restricted from participating. Online forum marketing can make the online business renowned. Online forum users are usually net and tech savvy and the users often like to buy things online. The online forum helps organizations to make better impression of their products and services in front of influential and knowledgeable users thereby helping them to promote their products all over the world.
Thus, it can be understood that promoting e-commerce could be done effectively with the help of adapting modern marketing strategies that make use of several online tools that have emerged in the recent times.
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