An investment in Australia’s future or a needless waste of money? Regardless of your political stance on the impending roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), it’s coming – and it will be a game changer.
It’s the morning peak hour rush. Driving down what’s normally a 100km/h highway, you’re ploughing along at a measly 20. Tediously churning through first and second gears, your frustration levels teeter on the brink of capitulation. A glance over your right shoulder only compounds your irritation as countless cars fly past you in the transit lane…
Annoyed? You betcha!
Why? Because you know that you are capable of travelling faster.
A comparable situation will arise coinciding with the introduction of the NBN. Tasks that internet users currently consider ‘normal’ will be completed with ease, while a wealth of content-rich sites and pages will become more and more prevalent. The early adopters of the NBN will have a renewed plethora of available information, while users still ‘stuck in the traffic’ of current broadband technology become increasingly frustrated.
Given the exceeding willingness of modern consumers to quickly adopt new technology, the transition to faster internet is likely to be as swift as the NBN itself.
But what does this mean for your existing methods of internet marketing, or for businesses that are yet to engage in marketing through the online portal?
Below is a list of tips to ensure you stay ahead of your competitors in the diverse and ever-evolving world of internet marketing.
1. Ensure That You Can Be Found
Visibility is paramount. With more and more content set to be created and posted online, businesses risk getting lost in the clutter. The advertising industry is tipped to be worth $14.16bn by 2014 , and with the bulk of this expenditure expected to be online, advertisers must be conscious of competing within a highly competitive and saturated market.
With conventional domain names rapidly being exhausted, and with a growing proliferation of pages on the internet, it is vitally important that your visibility within search-engine results is high.
2. Integrate a Digital Marketing Strategy Into Your Marketing Mix
Australia already boasts one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. The addition of the NBN is likely to increase penetration and usage, adding weight to the importance of digital marketing as part of your marketing mix. Below are some interesting statistics about internet marketing within Australia.
- 80.1% of Australians used the internet last year, placing the nation among the top ten in the world for internet usage 
- Last year, online advertising expenditure grew by 21% – double the previous growth in 2009 (PwC) 
- Online advertising is expected to increase by 15.4% each year 
- By 2014, internet advertising is forecast to overtake television and newspapers to become Australia’s biggest advertising medium 
3. Ensure That Consumers WANT To See Your Ads
When developing online advertisements, placement is crucial. Well targeted ads relevant to the content a consumer sees on a particular page are generally more successful than ads without such a positioning strategy.
Countless studies have shown that consumers despise intrusive ads (like pop-ups) and are unlikely to retain brand messages communicated within them. Conversely, Search Engine Marketing produces ads relevant to the search terms of consumers and are more likely to generate a profitable ROI.
SEM remains one of the most effective promotional tools available online and with the number of daily searches increasing exponentially, the opportunities available to businesses are too good to pass up.
4. Adaptation Is Essential To Survival
In the ever-changing and constantly evolving world of digital marketing, it is essential that advertisers pre-empt market trends and are not resistant to change. Here are some considerations for businesses currently participating in internet marketing.
- Continually monitor performance of your online campaigns
- Frequently update, change and optimise campaigns
- Don’t be complacent when achieving good results – Internet trends change quickly!
- Never be afraid to try something new! Consider the first-mover advantages of successful online models like Wotif, YouTube and eBay
5. Build Business-Brand Relationships
The online realm presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses to engage with their target markets. Implementing a Social Media Marketing campaign is an increasingly popular avenue to do this.
By December 2010, 9.5 million Australians  (around 40% of the population) were actively using social media site, Facebook, with the average session lasting 25 minutes. Embracing the vast potential of mediums such as these provides an opportunity for companies to engage with their target markets to build solid business-brand relationships.
Remember, brand equity is something that no competitor can take from you!
The introduction of the NBN and the failure to adopt new technology may have significant repercussions for your business’s profitability. If you are not already actively participating in digital marketing, you risk getting left behind in the ‘traffic jam’ of businesses without an online presence.
- Lara Sinclar; The Australian. August 2, 2010. Internet Advertising to Dominate as NBN Tipped To Stimulate Media Growth
- Australia: NBN – Far Reaching Implications for Existing Carriers and CSPs. April 5, 2011. www.mondaq.com
- PwC Chief Media Analyst David Wiadrowski. As quoted in The Australian. August 2, 2010.
- Australia – Digital Economy – Advertising, Statistics, Revenues and Forecast. ND. www.budde.com.au/research
- SocialBakers Facebook-Statistics. www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics