If competition is synonymous with Marketing, the same is at its most aggressive form when it comes to Internet Marketing. The competition in this field is ever increasing with 100s of Internet marketing opportunities created every single day but then there are 1000s of new marketers appear to tap into these opportunities.
A number of ever varying parameters have made the lives of Internet Marketers very tough in the recent times. This includes changes in search technologies, impact of Social media networks and the patterns and channels of Internet consumption by potential buyers. Let us analyze some of these challenges that Internet marketers are facing today.
Internet Marketing Challenges
The following are some of the hurdles that have made Internet marketing difficult and unpredictable during one’s journey towards Internet and affiliate marketing success.
1. Google Search Algorithm Updates
It is no brainer that most of those who depended on organic traffic to their website, in order to drive their internet marketing campaigns, have been severely hit by Google’s Panda update (and now Penguin). Google – being the most popular search engines for the past decade – have majorly succeeded in dictating terms for Search and organic marketing success. Undoubtedly this is the first and foremost risk that you have in the online marketing business especially for content centric marketing.
2. Search Engine Market share changes
If your online marketing strategy is still around Google, it may be time to plan ahead for the next few years. Google, by far, is STILL the top most engine but its market share is on a steady decline since last three years in the United States. Right now, the Google market share hovers around 65% in the US while in countries like UK, it’s still on the rise. So, if your target audiences are in the US, you may need to think about Search Engine Marketing and Optimization beyond Google.
3. Autoblogging is almost DEAD!
Sometimes back I wrote about how autoblogging can be of practical use and that part still has some relevance. However, there is no more life ahead for those fully automated and spun blogging technologies and hence those online marketers who had taken the complete autoblogging route face the point of no return.
4. Wrong Social Marketing Strategy
A lot of online marketers have failed miserably on social networks because they tried direct marketing on Facebook or LinkedIn just like they used to do Search Engine Marketing on Google. This just doesn’t work! As I have mentioned many times in the past, the Social networks work best for brand building, engaging customers or prospects and making them patrons to your services and products rather than doing any direct marketing. The moment you get this idea right, you are going to be more successful in your online marketing ventures.
5. SEO and related Marketing Expenses
With Pandas and Penguins striking hard, the amount of money you have to spend on good quality SEO services is on the increase now. You can no more push up your website or landing pages using cheap link building techniques post Panda attacks. I have personally experienced this with some of my new projects where a small service that would have cost $50 in the past is now costs $200 and still things aren’t easy.
6. Email marketing hit hard
Well, the number of young and prospective customers that use email as a primary means to communicate is on steady decline – thanks to Social networks (Read this article). Even worse, the opt out rate on first instance is on the increase and the rest is done by spam blockers.
7. Poor mobile strategy
It’s surprising that many of the mid and small size content generators still haven’t got into the act yet when it comes to the mobile reach of their content. Even worse is the case with some of the search marketers who conveniently ignore their campaigns on high end mobile devices. One has to be smart here while targeting the mobile users because NOT everything is directly sold via mobile channels. Basically you have to see how can a prospective customer or lead come back to you even when direct marketing on the mobile device didn’t work.
8. Shelf life of online products and services
In the online marketing world, you have to keep reinventing yourself at a pretty rapid pace because something that works today, doesn’t quite work tomorrow. The situation gets more challenging with ever lowering saleability of certain products. For example, I was quite successful in positioning certain software product landing page well up the SERPs but now that particular product is no more in demand or relevant. This can happen to any niche website or individual landing pages.
9. Wrong Niche
Well, the last thing you want in your online marketing life is to land up in a niche that is in one of the extremes – i.e. either a low-potential niche OR high competition niche. In either of the case your efforts are not going to reap good results. It’s very important to pick the right niche to market after very good research and feasibility study on the competition. I have a good example of very high competition in the web hosting niche.
10. Lack of diversification
I have seen a lot of maketers who focus only on one mainstream monetization strategy (e.g. One of Search advertising, Amazon affiliates etc). This can easily backfire with something as small as click fraud auditing or ban by the Affiliate Company or even changes in publisher policies. Hence it makes sense to diversify your marketing channels, products and even have multiple niches to work on.
In short, the life is not getting any easier for online marketers although the addressable market size keep increasing every day. Early innovation, constant change in strategies and early identification of new niches/products are the only ways to sustain in Internet marketing.