Ethics in Internet Marketing 14 Nov 2013
The internet is growing at an exponential rate compelling online businesses to adopt aggressive strategies which help them make an impression. With a potential to attract millions of users to your portal, many businesses tend to get overwhelmed with the possibilities the World Wide Web offers.
In such a situation, companies feel that it is of utmost importance that the question of ethics in online practices in brought to light for the sake of application. There are a sufficient number of incidences on the internet where ethical limits have been pushed only to hamper a brand’s reputation and create uproar among followers of a brand and also among its competition.
It is thus that search engines, website owners and internet users have come together to create a ‘code of conduct’ of sorts to make sure such situations are avoided and the integrity of internet marketing strategies on the whole remains intact.
What Makes Ethics in Internet Marketing so Important?
With millions of pages full of information available online, not maintain quality standards and ethics in the way you promote your brand will result in the generation of crass information that is not useful for target audiences. Moreover, chances are that users will no longer be able to discriminate between trustworthy information and content that is illegal or fraudulent.
Also, by allowing firms to implement ethical internet marketing strategies, brands are able to essentially represent their innate business philosophy to current and potential customers. The way in which you carry your brand on the World Wide Web is critical to your brand image, which consequently influences your bottom line. Furthermore, your online behavior also implies how your employees handle customer interactions online, on the phone and also in person. All these factors eventually contribute to the perceptions your customers will create about your brand.
Catering to Ethical Issues
If you your business is currently working on an online strategy, it is important that you take the following ethical issues into consideration.
- The Quality of your Content – What your content communicates to its readers plays a critical role in creating a positive or negative perception. Make sure your copy is authentic and well researched at all times. Due diligence needs to be performed before any piece of information is published in your name. This includes everything from website content to articles and blogs.
- Consider the Implications – Considering that you are now catering to a global audience, you need to consider the implications of all unethical practices pertaining to electronic-copyright, laws with respect to e-commerce and trade, cash and credit policies, privacy and security.
- Search Engine Optimization – This activity is probably the most exploited strategy for internet marketing. In spite of continual developments in search engine technologies, your business also needs to be careful about whether or not your activities are considered Black hat or White hat SEO techniques.
- Representing your Brand Correctly – As a business, it is your responsibility to make sure that all visual, textual and audio content that goes online making any business claims is realistic and factual. If not, you need to be prepared for to bear the brunt of breaking some advertising and media laws. This could have some heartbreaking effects on the credibility of your business.
- Email Correspondences – Sufficient care needs to be taken while publishing any email correspondence. While an error in this space may be perceived as a small one, but if the wrong type of emails reach the wrong hands, your brand may be in deep trouble.
When creating new ad campaigns and advertising for your company, make sure that these techniques are all in place to represent trust and integrity.
This post was written by Sachin of WebDS.