Internet Marketing Foundation: Trading Eyeballs for Money

Internet MarketingWhen you want to enter into internet marketing, people have many different kinds of ideas. Some view it as a get rich scheme which it isn’t. Some think it is way too technical which is again false. Internet marketing isn’t hard to understand if you look at its natural evolution. To truly understand internet marketing, you should first look at any marketing effort in general. What does any marketing aim to do? Simple, it aims to get the attention of people.

Thus the foundation of internet marketing is still the same: getting as many eyeballs as possible.

A Case in Point – Television Ads

Let us look at a sample case of television ads to really understand internet marketing better. Why are companies willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for advertising spots during the SuperBowl of Soccer Finals? It is because they get so many eyeballs – i.e. they get millions of viewers. The particular sporting event is able to give the advertisers millions of viewers which is worth tons of money.

So How is it Different on the Internet?

On the internet, the only difference is that instead of just sending in eyeballs, you usually trade visitors for money. This might sound crass but that’s the truth. What does any advertisement aim to do, on the internet? It aims to get clicks. Publishers are paid when visitors click on the ads or convert. This means as a publisher, you have a visitor to your site whom you are now sending to another site. You are still giving the advertiser the eyeballs but this time you lose a visitor. No wonder then that the cost of a visitor click is higher in this case than a simple television ad.

Taking this step further is the concept of CPA or affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you trade visitors for a possibility of conversion. Thus, as a publisher you are taking a higher risk – certainly, not everyone who visits the advertiser is going to buy. Therefore, at the end of the day, you might just end up with nothing. Therefore, in CPA (cost per action) the publishers are paid even more. Again, this is to be expected because the publisher doesn’t get paid till the conversion takes place.

Bottom Line

So that is it. Internet marketing is a natural progression of offline marketing only more suitable for the internet audience. When done right, internet marketing can be very sustainable and everyone emerges a winner. The publisher gets money, the advertiser gets sales and the visitors get value. This is the central theme of any marketing, including internet marketing.

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