Overview of business model
An online promotion company organizes online promotional efforts for outsourcing businesses. Different forms of online promotions include banner advertising, direct e-mail campaigns, search engine submissions, contests, games, live interactive chat sessions, message boards, live Web cams, real audio, newsgroup marketing, link strategy promotion, and mobile marketing; and the list goes on. The idea is to promote something or someone on the Internet. The number of businesses willing to outsource their online promotional activities is enormous. This high demand provides you with an excellent business opportunity.
How can you generate revenue for your online promotion company? Initially you will have to perfect various online marketing techniques to ensure that you are an online marketing expert. You can do this during the initial promotion of your online promotion company. Once you have gained exposure, potential clients will visit your site to find out more about your services. You can then charge your clients based on each promotional activity that you fulfill for their business (e.g., banner ad campaign, e-mail campaign, etc.). Since you canâ€™t withdraw your services once they have been completed, it is important to always have a signed contract with your clients before implementing a promotional campaign. This will ensure that you receive payment for your efforts.
Knowledge of online advertising and promotion techniques is necessary to run this type of business. If you decide to offer banner ad design services, knowledge of graphic design would benefit your business and eliminate the costs associated with outsourcing to a graphic designer. You will need Web publishing skills to update your Web site.
Cost to start this business
Initially you will have to pay for the design and hosting of your Web site, computer hardware, computer software, a scanner, and a printer. If you currently have some of these items, your initial start-up costs will be considerably lower. If you plan to set up a mailing list, you will have ongoing fees to your ASP or Application Service Provider of choice for the use of the mailing list software to help you organize and maintain your mail lists. You should also purchase comprehensive Web traffic analysis and Web metrics software to track the results of your online marketing efforts. This information can be great for future marketing opportunities. Other costs that you will incur are related to the promotion of your Web site. Estimated cost is $10,000 to $40,000 to start.
Number of employees needed to start
The number of employees needed to run this type of business is one dedicated individual, and you can start this venture while keeping your regular job.
This business has strong international potential. More and more businesses around the globe are recognizing the need to use the Internet as a communication and promotional medium with their target market.
Important business issues to be addressed
You should ensure that your prices are competitive and that the promotional campaigns that your business develops for your clients are targeted to their correct target market segment. If you target the wrong audience, your campaign will prove to be useless. Situations like this will hinder the professionalism of your business. To gain a competitive advantage, you should not only offer promotional services similar to those of your competition, you should also differentiate your business by offering unique services. For example, you might consider offering geographically targeted e-mail campaigns. This would not only differentiate your services from those offering general e-mail marketing campaigns, it would also enhance the professionalism of your business. Since you canâ€™t withdraw the effects of a promotional campaign once it has been implemented, it is very important that you take the time to plan all of your campaigns to avoid possible mishaps. Negative or unprofessional exposure for your clientâ€™s business not only affects that business; it also affects the professionalism of your own business. On the same note, it is also important that you have a signed contract with your client before you launch a promotional campaign for their business. This will ensure that you will receive payment for your services. You might also consider collecting a 30 to 50 percent deposit for your services before the campaign is launched. This will provide a cushion for your business in case clients default on their payment.
Online marketing techniques
- Developing a comprehensive affiliate/associate program would not only increase the awareness of your promotions and traffic-generation strategies, it would also send referral business to your site.
- Participate in newsgroups and discussion forums related to online advertising or the industries that your clients are targeting.
- Launch a strategic banner advertising campaign on Web sites frequented by your target markets. Web sites that would be appropriate include sites concentrating on online advertising or the industries that you are targeting.
- Participating in mailing lists related to online advertising would be a great way to generate exposure for your online promotion business. Remember to use a cleverly designed signature file including a catchy tagline in all messages that you send to the mail lists. Your signature file will act as an advertisement for your online promotion business. A possible tagline for your signature file is â€œAsk Us about Our Online Promotion Services,â€ or some variation of this phrase. This will be a great way to encourage traffic to your Web site.
- Develop a sponsored listings campaign to bid on appropriate keyword phrases with the popular search engines.
- Get listed and linked from the Internet marketing services directories and meta-indexes.
- Contribute articles that profile your expertise in e-zines related to marketing online. Make sure to include your complete contact information and a link to your Web site.
- Do some free promotions for charity organizations.
You could generate additional income for your online promotion business by selling products on your site related to online advertisingâ€”things such as online advertising educational materials and online promotional training kits. You could even become a reseller for another business and sell various promotional software tools (e.g., search engine submission software, mailing list software, etc.). This would be a great way to generate revenue for your business.