If you have been online looking for ways to generate revenue, traffic, and sales, you have definitely come across the term internet marketing. It has become an important buzzword for eCommerce and online businesses, yet not everyone knows exactly what internet marketing really means.
Essentially, internet marketing is the promotion of goods and services on an online platform. Internet marketing comes in many types and forms and can be used for a wide variety of purposes and strategies. In this day and age where more than two billion people have access to the Internet, businesses that are able to make adjustments on their business models to accommodate online operations find it easier to tap into more markets across the globe.
To explain internet marketing further, we’ll need first to examine the operational concept of the term “marketing”. To briefly define the word, marketing is the ability to connect products and services being offered to the right audience who are interested in paying for what is being offered. In order to reach the right type of customers, businesses need to generate leads and use creative methods to lure and entice customers to choose their products and services over other establishments.
In internet marketing, many marketers talk about “methods” of grabbing the customers’ attention. These methods are done on an online setting through several avenues. Today I want to discuss what I feel are the 5 most crucial areas you must study if you want to begin to really understand internet marketing. Whether you decide to focus your marketing in these areas or not, you still must at least understand them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO marketing is employed to increase the likelihood of prospective clients and customers to find a link to your website when they search for specific phrases or keywords on search engines. According to studies, 75% of all Internet users never look at the second page of search results. This statistic makes it all the more important for businesses to invest in an effective SEO strategy in order for their websites to have a high index rate.
Social Media Marketing. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter used to be used for personal profiles only. Nowadays however, businesses, establishments and even multinational companies now have social networking identities that help them connect with their customers on a more personal level. The best advantage of using social media marketing is its cost efficiency. Imagine creating a free Facebook profile for your brand and reaching hundreds or even thousands of prospective customers who are on members of the site.
E-Mail Marketing. This is probably the most traditional form of Internet Marketing. In the past, you may have received newsletters, product updates and other reminders from companies that you subscribed to. This Internet marketing technique is used in order for the business to have a more personal, meaningful correspondence with its customers. In order for businesses to send their marketing materials to customers, they must be enticed to subscribe for updates.
Paid Advertising. This is a pretty straight-forward technique in Internet marketing that is designed to attract customers who aren’t necessarily on the lookout for your brand, services or products. Paid advertising spots are available in a wide variety of high-traffic websites such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo! and news outlets like Huffington Post and CNN. One of the most popular advertisers is Google Ads. Here, you can create text or image-based advertisements that will appear on Google pages. You will also be able to create targeted ads to increase effectiveness. You can also check out advertising networks that allow you to self manage your ads across several major sites. Example advertising.com
Pay-Per-Click (PPC). This is another straight-forward approach wherein advertisers only pay for their advertisements when a customer clicks on it. There are PPC websites that can be used to advertise products and services.
Depending on the purpose for your usage of Internet marketing, you may need to employ a combination of methods to reach your target goal. For example, SEO marketing can be used in conjunction with social media marketing. In order to know which methods to use, assess first your main objectives, target audience and time frame. Having a solid Internet marketing strategy will increase your chances of success.
There are plenty of good reasons why Internet marketing is good for businesses that are maintaining an online presence:
Reach. With Internet marketing, the reach of your campaign is only limited by your specific targeting mechanisms. You won’t have the constraint of distance and on-the-ground logistics to reach your intended audience. Because you are able to reach your prospective clients wirelessly, you have access to millions of prospective clients all over the world.
Cost. Compared to traditional marketing wherein you may be required to purchase additional products and outsourced services (bulk printing, store displays, property/equipment rental, etc.), Internet marketing reduces or completely eliminates the need for these types of expenditures. Because the majority of the campaign is executed online, your expenses will only be limited to the materials that you’ll need during the course of your campaign (webhosting, copywriting, SEO consultants, etc.)
Deeper Interactions. With Internet marketing, you will be able to create and foster more meaningful interactions with your customers because it’s easier for you to reply to questions and inquiries. You can also offer discounts and exclusive deals for your online network of clients to increase familiarity between your brand and your customers which can lead to enthusiasm for your future offerings.
Internet marketing as a whole may have received a lot of criticisms, but as the Internet age continues to progress, there is no doubt that businesses, companies and brands will use this marketing method in order to expand their reach, operations and visibility to online markets. It has been proven by hundreds of businesses all over the world as an effective method to promote their products and services and to present their offerings to new customers.