Internet Marketing Defined
This is a term that encompasses a set of strategies and practices that are designed to influence the behaviour of people online.
Ultimately, the goal of these activities is usually to get people to purchase a product or service, but there can be a lot of secondary goals, like getting more visitors on a website, having more social media shares and followers, or building a better brand reputation.
All these activities are strategies that serve the greater goal, which is, most of the time, the profitability of an enterprise.
In that sense, internet marketing is no different from traditional marketing. A cola company, for example, might want to get a good placement on store shelves, have celebrities be seen drinking their product, or give away stickers with their logo on them.
While those activities may not directly correlate to increased sales and profits, they are part of a set of practices that, over time, do influence sales and profits, and are part of the cola company’s marketing strategy.
Common Internet Marketing Strategies
Keep in mind that each of these strategies is not a single item or a task to accomplish. Each of them is a strategy, describing a range of activities that require a number of skills and specialties.
A website is the most important aspect of your internet marketing plan because it is the online “home” of your business. Your website allows you to create an online showcase of your products and services, as well as establish who you are as a company and how you are different from your competition. Your website design, content, and functionality need to engage your visitors and encourage them to do business with you.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
No matter how good your website is, it won’t grow your business if nobody can find it. SEO is a term that refers to the practices on your website and by your company that make your website easier to be found by search engines, specifically Google. Google has 90% of global search traffic, and 93% of mobile search traffic. The second-ranked search engine, Bing, has only 3% of worldwide searches. While it is prudent to look after your rankings on other search engines, they are unlikely to make an impact on your business.
Email marketing takes a number of specific forms, from periodic newsletters to specific reminders, order confirmations, and every other email you send as a business. While email marketing may seem rather prosaic, it’s a fantastic tool for influencing customer behaviour, with the power to deliver 40 times more sales than social media.
Social media is incredibly important as a marketing tool. While social media doesn’t directly drive sales as much as other marketing strategies, social media is essential for building a sense of trust and community with your customers. Social media is a free way to increase your brand’s visibility, share your content, drive traffic to your site or your offers, and connect with new customers.
Blogging is the anchor of your content strategy. Not only does a blog increase your brand value and visibility, but it helps your search rankings and augments your social media.
Podcasting may not seem like a conventional marketing strategy, but it’s remarkably effective. A podcast is a powerful way to build an audience that is educated about and committed to your brand, creating advocates who feel passionately connected to your brand.
Content marketing is a subset of internet marketing. It specifically focuses on brand content like:
- Social media posts
- Web pages
In other words, every word, every image, every piece of video or audio produced by your brand, is part of your overall content strategy. Content marketing is the set of practices that determine who your target audience is, the kind of content that will be most compelling for them, and how best to create, distribute, and promote your content to connect with your audience.
Content marketing is increasing in importance in recent years, as people adopt ad blockers and other ways to evade or ignore advertising. Content marketing attempts to target your ideal leads and bring them to your content because they want what you have to offer.
While marketing and advertising are not the same things, the two are closely related and complement each other. Advertising is a subset of marketing, in which you strategize when and how to purchase visibility for your product, services, or content. For some brands, focusing on creating good blog posts, having a big Instagram following, and sending quarterly coupon emails to their customers is the right strategy. For other brands, nothing less than a Super Bowl commercial will do.
Some of the most common forms of internet advertising are:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM). I know, it’s called marketing, but it’s a form of advertising. You can bid and pay to appear in Google search results for certain search terms. It can be a powerful way to increase sales, because your leads are pre-qualified, in the sense that you already know that they are looking for exactly what you offer
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC). With PPC advertising, your banner ad is placed on various websites, and you pay a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on it. The effectiveness of PPC depends a lot on how compelling your ad is, and it’s worth taking the time to do a lot of audiences testing to make your banner as effective as possible before building a campaign around it
- Social Media Marketing (SMM). You can purchase space in the form of “sponsored posts” that show up in the feeds of social media users
- Influencer marketing. You compensate highly visible or influential people to use, show, or share your products. For some brands, this is a crucial strategy.
What Should You Do Next About Internet Marketing?
So we have answered the question of what is internet marketing strategies all about? Are you interested in taking this further? This sounds rather complicated but it is simpler than you think. Most folks starting off in internet marketing begin by being an affiliate marketer because it is one of the simplest ways to start a business online.
Now, there are various methods for creating a successful affiliate business, however, one of the least expensive, and most secure methods is content marketing. However, it takes a significant investment of time you can build a long-term sustainable online company.
This means for the first few months or year you will earn very little but after that, your online income will literally snowball. A few sales will trickle in and this will grow and grow until you are earning whatever you want really. It is true there is a high failure rate but the reason for that is because people want an easy fix.
This is a business it which takes time to develop and succeed. You need to stick with it. It’s not rocket science but most of the time we defeat ourselves by quitting too soon.
The other point is your website becomes a piece of online real estate. It could end up being worth thousands of dollars. I have seen this in several internet marketing niches – drop shipping, e-commerce, affiliate marketing and so on.
We offer a free starter program in my community. You can be a free member as long as you like. Enough training is provided to help you set up 2 websites and teach you the basic internet marketing strategies for content marketing.
It is perfect for beginners and those who have been struggling for years to succeed online.
[ Feature Photo by Tammy Duggan-Herd on Unsplash – courtesy of Campaign Creators ]