Promoting a business via the Internet can be a cost-effective technique, provided the product is known to have a good online market. In other words, consumers prefer buying the product online rather than visiting a store for making the purchase. The products that have the potential to generate online sales are as follows: books, music, electronic goods, and software. Of these, books, music, and movies have a market share of 34%, while software has a market share of 30%. Electronic goods also have a substantial share of 14%.

Ways to Promote a Business

Once we have determined that the products the company is producing have a good online market, the question of how to promote a business locally on the Internet assumes a great deal of significance.

Through Pay Per Click Advertising
Promoting a business through pay per click advertising is also known as affiliate marketing. It is the process of driving traffic to a business' website by placing an advertisement on a website that generates high traffic. The host (website) is paid a commission for actual conversions that are measured in terms of clicks. Cost per action (CPA) or clicks that result in driving traffic to a business' website have a high probability of getting converted to revenue provided the host and the business are not producing substitute goods. Again, from the perspective of ensuring the visibility of the host, the business (affiliate) should provide text links rather than graphic links since the former is ranked higher by search engine optimizers. Greater host visibility would mean greater chances of the affiliate getting noticed.

Using Social Media
Social networking is one of the most effective ways of promoting a business since it forms the basis for establishing a symbiotic relationship between like-minded people. Social networking helps people connect with each other by allowing them to create an interesting profile that draws the viewer's attention. The section that is dedicated to the user profile can be used to promote one's business by providing links to the company's website and blogs and mentioning the products that the business intends to promote. Starting a group and joining other groups and expanding the chain of interdependency can be a wonderful way of promoting one's business. In addition to social networking, social bookmarking is another useful tool to promote a business.

Through Social Bookmarking
Identifying a social bookmarking site, that is appropriate for business marketing, is the first step in social bookmarking. The next step is creating a free account on the chosen website and posting links to the company's or the business' website. People have the option of posting links privately or publicly. In the former case, the links to the website are only shown to designated users.

Through Press Releases
A good press release begins with a compelling title that enthuses the reader to continue perusing. Search engine optimization ensures that the writer includes the necessary keywords and models the content accordingly. A press release with a maximum of 500 words is desirable although this does not mean that the writer should compromise on the quality of information. The news of the launch of the product, the relevant details about earlier editions, subsequent improvements, and company information make a good read. The concluding paragraphs should definitely provide additional references and links that may be useful to the potential consumer. Company details like contact information, goals, and objectives should also be included to give the consumer a fair understanding of company ideals.

As mentioned earlier, the marketing strategy that is adopted by a firm, would be contingent on the scope of the market for the product. People selling perishables should focus on marketing these using the local newspaper or by handing out fliers, since these methods of promotion have a greater chance of yielding results as compared to Internet marketing.