The growth of the internet along with much safer and more secure payment methods has meant that it has been possible for some business to operate completely online, for a considerable amount of time now. You get lots of different types of online businesses, including online casinos, online shopping (e-commerce) sites, and those online businesses which provide a service to the masses so that they can attract advertisers as their paying customers. But how do all these different types of online businesses market themselves though? How do they draw users to their site, with the ultimate aim of closing sales, getting paid sponsorships, or amassing any other forms of income forming part of their business model?
We’ll take a look at live examples of the three types of online businesses we zoned-in on (online casinos, e-commerce, and mass online platforms) and first discuss their business models, i.e. exactly what user actions earn them money.
E-commerce websites like ClickBank.com offer a more straightforward way of generating an online income. There are many other examples of e-commerce sites, like Amazon.com and even those which sell and ship their physical inventory, like perhaps a selection of manufacturer-sold electronics from a site like Shop.Samsung.co.uk. In this instance, it’s simply a matter of a user who is a prospective client buying their goods or services directly from the e-commerce website and either having physical goods shipped to them or downloading digital goods after completing their payment.
MansionCasino.com comes to mind as perhaps the epitome of an online casino business. The typical paying customer in this instance would be one who is interested in gambling with real money, with the aim of winning real money in return. They’d also perhaps be interested in honing their online gaming skills by playing some of the free games or taking advantage of free bonuses. So the income-generating factor here is when a user deposits money and engages in some online casino games.
Mass User Platform Sites
A site like Facebook.com comes to mind as perhaps the most popular example of a mass user platform which generates an income in more of an indirect way, although the folks over at Google will definitely have a lot to say about that. However, Facebook simply provides a popular platform which draws in many users, making for the ultimate opportunity for all sorts of different advertisers to want to advertise on the site. That’s how Facebook generates money.
How Targeted Traffic is Generated
All of these different types of online businesses bring us right back down to one thing, which is traffic. In order to ultimately get sales, all of these examples of online businesses need to get users to their sites. The most popular ways through which this is achieved is via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which entails a number of different tactics used by website owners to get their websites indexed higher on major search engines like Google. SEO would work well for all three different types of online business examples we explored, but is somewhat of a specialised field which requires some good monetary investment and some time to get right.
Traditional marketing methods are also used to drive traffic to such sites, but those marketing campaigns such as giveaways, special promos, etc. are effected on the back of some extensive analysis, using tools such as Google Analytics to gauge where users are coming from and which of those are completing paying actions.
Affiliate marketing is another good method used mostly by direct-sales (e-commerce) sites, which effectively share a portion of their profits with anyone who referred a buying customer to them.
There are many more tactics used to market online business, but the bulk of them can probably be comfortably classified into SEO, analysis-driven traditional marketing, and affiliate marketing.