Investing in Web in the current Economic Climate

With the current economic climate looking somewhat bleak for 2009, companies are starting to shift their investment from traditional mediums to the web, where the cost per acquisition is lower and the results of the effort are measurable. By carefully planning their online marketing strategy, companies can realize large ROIs.

If your marketing budget is shrinking, the Internet may hold the answer in doing more with less. But don’t be fooled into thinking this process is as simple as creating a website. To be successful, your web strategy must be customised for your target market and constantly reworked based on the results of past efforts. The web truly is an investment and those who invest wisely can reap significant rewards.

There’s a good chance that you are already following some basic best practices. You probably have a well designed site complete with professional graphics. You may already be in the practice of reviewing competitors’ sites to keep abreast of emerging trends in your specific market. What other areas can you consider to expand your online presence and capture a larger market share?

Increasing Visibility
One of your top priorities should be making your site as visible as possible. By updating your search engine optimisation strategy, or SEO, you will reach more potential customers. Like SEO, paid search helps improve the visibility of your website by ensuring your site is at the top of the search results for key terms. Both can be excellent ways of targeting a specific demographic.

Consumer Generated Media
By incorporating CGM features on your site, you allow visitors to contribute by posting content such as review, comments, and blogs. This approach can help provide a steady stream of new content, improving SEO and reducing the demand to generate content internally. Although this strategy is not appropriate for all markets, it can be quite effective when applied properly.

Targeted Campaigns
There are limitless methods for effectively reaching your target market. You could consider contests, online only specials, affiliate marketing, or specialised landing pages just to name a few. Understanding the success of each campaign will be critical for creating successful campaigns in the future.

While these areas of potential invest may sound appealing, you may still have concerns on how you will secure the funding within your organisation with budgets becoming tighter. Here is where your Web investments can have a considerable advantage over tradition media; results can be accurately measured and reported on. Before approaching decision makers, you must understand your past results well beyond a basic count of the number of visitors. If you wish to secure funding you will need to show conversion rates and other pertinent statistics, good or bad, that demonstrate why your practises should be altered or are worth investing in further. If there is still apprehension, consider a very small, but well planned investment and monitor the results carefully. Once good results are evident, there is greater likelihood of additional funding in the future.