History of Online Marketing. Hey, everybody here is a little bit about the new revolution. The American economy is changing once more. Beginning when humans learn to hunt, farm, and manufacture, comes a new evolution. We are in the mist of the digital revolution.
Updated May. 2018. Affiliate Disclaimer: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
How did we adapt? From the stone age to the agriculture age to the Industrial Age. Now we are at the beginning of a revolution that we have tagged as the digital age. which gave birth to the Internet which gives birth to us writing the History of Online Marketing.
History of Online Marketing
Myth; Online marketing birthdate is 1996 or 1988. Many credit Amazon with launching the first affiliate marketing program in 1996. Others say it started in 1988 when William Tobin launched PC Flowers, Inc. on the Prodigy Network.
In fact, the History of Online Marketing began in 1994 when William Tobin introduced PC Flowers & Gifts. It is a slight name change, but that’s not the biggest difference. In 1994, using the patents that Tobin developed, PC Flowers & Gifts was the first company to provide tracking and, actually, affiliate marketing.
One of the biggest milestones over the past two decades as stated by prolific blogger Shawn Collins. Shawn is the founder of the popular Affiliate Summit Conferences and AffiliateTip.com website, and he writes;
Milestone #1: Major Network Acquisitions Lead To Market Consolidation. As affiliate marketing continued to grow in the early 2000s, the industry underwent significant changes. Most notable were Google’s acquisition of Double Click and Rakuten’s purchase of Linkshare;
This resulted in affiliate marketing becoming more mainstream as it was integrated into the larger e-commerce ecosystems that the acquiring companies were building. As the industry evolved, a core group of major networks continued to thrive and capture more market share, which leads to more consolidation.
That’s inevitable in any industry, last summer’s closing of the Google Affiliate Network (GAN) was of particular significance, as it forced a good many advertisers more carefully to evaluate the performance of their affiliate programs. This was a boom for stronger networks and agencies that were able to sign new merchants; yet, it also resulted in a more public exposure of the underperformers.
Additionally, it meant that Google could now more quickly eliminate any conflicts of interest with its search arm, as it required publishers to elevate the quality of their content or risk being punished in search results. In fact, this past January, Google officially, blocked sites that don’t provide value.
Milestone #2: The Performance Marketing Association (PMA) is put together 2008 to connect, inform and advocate on behalf of the affiliate community. Today, the PMA continues to champion for affiliates, most notably when it comes to online tax issues.
Milestone #3: Affiliate Programs Are Now Ubiquitous Among Online Retailers & Integral To The Digital Marketing Ecosystem. Affiliate programs are now table stakes for online retailers and can no longer have to worry about stand-alone marketing efforts.
Collins says he is “genuinely surprised when a company in the Internet Retailer Top 500 doesn’t have an affiliate program.” He also pointed out affiliate marketing’s role within a broader digital marketing strategy. “Affiliate marketing is not a singular tactic, but rather a collection of innovative search, content, email, social media, and virtually all other types of digital marketing.”
The Internet and Online Marketing
The use of the Internet was a way to exchange emails and information. The military and universities were the primary users. In 1979, Compuserve (the first major U.S. Commercial online service) began offering email and technical support to personal computer users. The marketing pioneers saw the potential for an internet marketing business in 1994.
When they recognized that millions of web surfers logging on each day to find valuable and relevant information this was the perfect medium for online marketing. Web browsers didn’t gain much popularity, until 1993 when the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released Mosaic.
This was a graphical web browser that was easier to use and install. After these inventions, the Internet began booming. And in 1994, spending for internet marketing totaled nearly nothing but increased to over $300 million in 1995.
Now, a decade later, internet marketing business has exploded to nearly $200 billion industry (according to Forrester Research). So, if your business is not online you are not in business.
Internet marketing is essential for today’s business world. Affiliate marketing is changing massively even now. People are still creating their affiliate campaigns, building their links and arranging deals with advertisers or publishers themselves, but there are alternatives.
A New Direction for Affiliate Marketing
Robert Walker writes about this new service called YieldKit. YieldKit is a great tool, developed by a startup team in Hamburg, Germany. YieldKit is a service that is free to use, and incredibly easy to install, it just requires a short Java snippet to be embedded into the index.html page.
YieldKit allows automatic affiliation, giving you, the website owner, more time to spend on content and placement. YieldKit uses YieldLink, which converts existing or dead links into affiliate links.
They also offer another service, called YieldWord. This tool scans your website, looking for keywords that can convert into a text link.
“Take a look at the new iPhone 5; it has a fantastic new camera“ YieldWord would turn iPhone 5 into a text link, which would forward you to a site connected in some way to the iPhone 5. These text links show the future. They are small, discreet, and still offer a high return to publishers.
YieldKit is a product that changes the way consumers view affiliates and works extremely well on sites that network and compile high-level content due to its discreetness.
Through time, concepts change and advances, there are only so many alternatives on a platform that in some ways are beginning to stagnate. Hidden affiliation is becoming the new secret weapon with the use of tools like YieldKit.
As we write the History of Online Marketing, a valuable tool for its operation is the search engine. Even though the first search engine “Archie,” it wasn’t until 1994 that the first search engine most like today’s search engines shows up on the scene. A company called WebCrawler.
WebCrawler released a search engine that indexed titles and headers of a web page as well as all of its content. Later that year, the search engine Lycos added to the features of Web Crawler by ranking results based on relevancy.
After Google had been invented in 1996, the company launched its AdWords campaign in 2003, which was the first system that marketers could use to serve ads in response to a user’s desire.,
Keyword research is the basis of SEO strategy. Users looking for a product or service will type related words into Google, Bing, Yahoo or another search engine. The search engine will list results according to popularity on the Web. Users typically don’t click through more than the first pages of results. Businesses want to be at the top of the listings.
Social Media Marketing
Internet use now takes place on tablets and mobile devices. As content is being shared the
possibilities for building a brand has once again changed the face of Internet marketing. Social media has become the third force in SEO marketing and an advertising strategy in its right.
Building a brand involves interacting, as the brand, in social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Posting high-quality content that is easy to share increases the brand’s likelihood of generating social signals. Defining the target audience is vital to a social strategy.
The Internet continues to grow and change as well in Internet marketing. The history of online marketing has evolved into a creative and fast-moving business service that has already developed some specializations. Ever-renewing web design and staying up to date with technological advances in the name of the game.
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See You On The Other Side
Thanks for stopping by. The History of Online Marketing was a joy to research. I wish you all the best for your online business, and, may you have blessings and prosperity. Let’s communicate, share a comment or question and I will get back in touch with you.