Practically every business today is engaged in internet marketing. Even the smallest of businesses have a website and social media business pages, because internet marketing is one of the easiest and most effective methods of reaching people all over the world.
So, what is internet marketing, and why should every business be marketing online?
In This Article:
- Internet Marketing Defined
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Take Away
Internet Marketing Defined
Internet marketing (also known as online marketing, eMarketing, web marketing, and digital marketing) is the process of promoting products, services, and brands over the Internet. Thankfully, with the advance of technology, the scope of internet marketing has expanded so that it’s easier than ever to reach targeted audiences.
Let’s look at each example, and break them down so you can get a better idea of all that’s involved with internet marketing.
Content marketing is a strategic approach of creating and distributing online content that stimulates interest in a brand’s products or services, resulting in profitable customer actions.
Although it’s become easy to reach a target audience, the downside is that consumers are much more adept at ignoring ads and traditional marketing materials. For example:
- Most people today ignore ads on websites and in emails.
- TV viewers often record programs on a DVR and fast-forward through the ads.
- Print advertising has become less effective with more people consuming content online rather than in print.
Content marketing overcomes many of the problems associated with advertising, because people visit a website to consume meaningful content. Throughout the process, the publisher builds a relationship with the consumer, who may be interested in the products sold on the website.
Content can include a blog post, an informative video, a fun article, infographics, engaging games, etc. Ideally, the content will relate in some way to your brand, product, services you provide, or the location in which you provide services.
The goal of content marketing is to attract consumers to your website, and building relationships with them through all means of internet marketing (email, social media, etc.) without overly selling. People will ignore an ad, but they will read an interesting article or watch a video that addresses a need, and which possibly entertains them. Then, when they consider buying a product or service to help with the need, they are more likely to make a purchase from you.
For example, a cleaning company may create a video and demonstrate efficient ways to clean a home. During the video, the company may tell viewers about the services they provide, and the benefits of hiring them to clean their home. When a viewer decides to hire someone to clean their home or office, they are more likely to call the cleaning company associated with the website on which they have been consuming content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the problems businesses face is getting their content in front of people, so they can build relationships with them and win them over as a customer.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best solutions.
SEO is the process of getting relevant website traffic from free, organic, and natural search engine results. This process involves optimizing your company’s complete digital footprint, so pages on your website appear in search results, resulting in people visiting your web pages and converting.
Some of the optimization that is performed for a company’s website to rank highly on search engines includes:
- Website architecture.
- On-page SEO.
- Valuable content based on relevant keywords.
- Internal links (links on a website’s pages to other relevant pages on the website).
- Backlinks (links from high quality websites to your website).
- Social signals: profiles, business pages, map postings, posts, and reviews.
- High quality reviews and testimonials.
- Directory listings / local citations (such as Superpages, niche-targeted directories, and geo-targeted directories).
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media is another good solution to get your content in front of people, and build relationships.
Social media marketing is the process of promoting (often indirectly) a brand, its products, and its services through interaction with individuals and other companies via social media.
The top social media networks U.S. businesses should consider using include:
- Google My Business
Depending on a brand’s niche, other social networks that could be valuable include:
To simplify social media management, every business should have an app to post and manage their accounts. The best social media software enables businesses to automate social media tasks, engage followers, and gain more followers. They also provide analytics that are important to running effective social campaigns.
And when it comes to advertising online, social media offers some of the best advertising rates with a good ROI. Both Facebook and YouTube ads, as of the writing of this article, are sub $0.50 per click. Furthermore, retargeting campaigns are easily set up for increased ROI.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is buying traffic through paid search listings, in contrast to SEO which is earning free traffic through organic search engine results.
Ads are often purchased either on a pay-per-click basis, or a set amount for every 1,000 impressions (CPM).
The three top search engines to consider advertising on are:
Advertisers have several options where their ads appear. For example, when advertising with Google Adwords, advertisers can select for ads to appear on:
- Google search sites: Google Search, Google Play, Google Shopping, and Google Maps.
- Search partners: Non-Google websites, YouTube, and other Google sites.
- Google display network: Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube. The network also includes mobile sites and apps.
Typically, effective ad campaigns on search engines are more expensive than social media. But, the higher expense also comes with a good ROI when campaigns are structured correctly.
Some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when creating a search engine ad campaign without the help of an internet marketing agency is:
- Insufficient keyword research and implementation (including negative keywords).
- Inadequate use of landing pages, and pages with a low Quality Score.
- Mobile ads not setup.
- Retargeting campaigns not used.
- Insufficient budget to produce a return on the investment.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email to communicate commercial messages to an audience. It’s one of the older forms of internet marketing and has proven to have some of the most consistent and highest returns on investment.
This year, 85% of marketing agencies say email marketing performance is increasing, with half of them describing the increase as significant. And for B2B audiences, email is the third most influential source of information, behind recommendations from colleagues and information from industry-specific thought leaders.
Effective email marketing campaigns are not created by buying email lists and spamming inboxes. They are created by engaging visitors to your website and social media accounts, whereby they want to stay connected to your business, and signup to receive email from you.
For 8 tips to increase the performance of your email campaigns, and raise your ROI, see: 85% of Marketing Agencies Say Email Marketing Performance is Increasing.
Mobile marketing involves strategies and campaigns aimed at marketing your business to mobile devise users via mobile-optimized websites, social media, email and text messages, and mobile apps.
It is quickly becoming one of the more important forms of internet marketing because people are increasingly using their mobile devices compared to non-mobile devices. Furthermore, people are more engaged with media while on their mobile devises, resulting in higher click-through rates and conversions.
The most effective mobile marketing campaigns provide personalized information to mobile users, which is often targeted by location, and may be time sensitive.
Mobile ads, in particular, can especially be targeted by user location and should feature click-to-call technology.
Video marketing is the use of video to market a brand, product, or service.
The types of videos businesses can create to market their business include:
- Brand videos that promote the company, its products, and its services.
- Entertaining, branded videos that go viral. These videos often have nothing to do with the brand, but increase name recognition and brand awareness as they go viral.
- Broadcasting live video is becoming more popular, especially since added to social networks like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. After the live broadcast is over, it is archived online where it can be watched. Most of the video types below can be a live broadcast.
- Customer testimonial videos are very impactful in promoting brands.
- Event videos promote future events and showcase past events.
- Expert interview videos showcase talent within the organization and can serve as expert testimonials.
- Educational and how-to videos are very popular. They show and teach people how to do tasks.
- Explainer videos explain something about the brand, its products, and its services.
- Animated videos often look cartoony, and are very effective as explainer videos.
- Demo videos can be similar to explainer videos because they demonstrate a product or service.
- Case study videos give an account of an activity, event, or problem that was solved, typically by products or services sold by a brand.
- 360-degree videos (also called virtual reality, immersive, and spherical videos) give viewers the ability to see 360-degrees during playback, which can be beneficial for certain types of products and services.
- Augmented reality videos superimpose computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view. These videos can be helpful with gamification, and certain other types of videos that deal with things not easily seen by the human eye.
- Personalized videos are on the rise, with the advent of technology to insert personalized snippets into videos, such as the viewer’s name, job title, company, and profile photo. These videos can also display Google Street View images, and screenshots of web pages.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a system wherein advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. The “click” can take a user to a website, or complete another action such as a Page Like or Video View.
PPC advertising is popular on search engines, social media networks, mobile apps, and web pages.
As effective PPC campaign with search engines is often dependent upon:
- Keyword research.
- Creating effective landing pages with a high Quality Score.
- Optimizing mobile ads.
- Creating retargeting campaigns.
- Setting an appropriate budget and bid structure.
The price an advertiser pays per click typically varies, because networks like Adwords employ a bid system that varies prices based on supply and demand, in addition to the Quality Score of landing pages.
PPC advertising, when done correctly, can produce a reasonable ROI. And, PPC campaigns are especially effective in driving traffic very quickly, which is helpful for new websites and with new product launches.
Customary display ads are typically the colorful, and sometimes animated ads that appear on web pages. The ads can be at the top of web pages, on the side, in the content section, and at the bottom. Ads can also be non-skippable in-stream video ads.
Advertisers can pay for display ads on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. However, these ads are more often purchased based on the number of times they are viewed, usually as a set price per 1,000 ad impressions (CPM).
Display ads are effective for building brand awareness and name recognition, introducing new products and services, and keeping a brand and its products top of mind. They customarily have a lower click-through rate than search engine PPC ads and are more often used for upper funnel marketing.
There are many internet marketing activities companies can use to promote their brand, products, and services.
A combination of the online marketing types discussed above, with a well-developed website that converts visitors and retains a thriving customer base, is most effective to produce results.