Invest NI helps local companies discover value of online marketing

Local firms can access new foreign markets and increase sales by using the latest online marketing techniques, according to Invest Northern Ireland.

Pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO) are the primary tools being discussed at Invest NI’s series of internet marketing workshops, being held in towns across Northern Ireland from 11-18 June.

The benefits of these increasingly popular and effective ways of building brand awareness and attracting new customers online will be highlighted to delegates from around 175 companies. Attendees will also hear from a leading online marketing expert how best to plan, implement and monitor web campaigns that bring real results to their business.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, says: “The phenomenal growth in the popularity and availability of the internet over the last decade has seen it become, for many consumers and business buyers, the first place to look when making a purchasing decision. Indeed, the online shopping market in Northern Ireland alone has almost quadrupled, to around £200 million, since 2001.

“The interactive nature of the web means it is also a highly useful platform for engaging the interest of potential customers who may not otherwise have been aware of a product or brand.

“Many Northern Ireland companies, whilst already having an online presence, do not take full advantage of the very latest ways in which they can generate even more hits, and sales, on their websites. SEO and pay-per-click advertising are value-for-money methods of further increasing a company’s web exposure, something that could prove crucial during the current economic climate.”

Ms Hill adds: “Following on from our successful online marketing conference in March, these workshops are giving local companies a valuable further opportunity to network, share ideas and hear practical advice to help build their capability in this area. The high demand from the local business community to attend demonstrates the increasing emphasis that firms are placing on the internet as a way to grow sales.”