Today, more than half the population is wired to the internet — a global shift in positioning and disrupting industries in how they function.
Every day a new technology emerges that is aimed to revolutionize our lives. Every customer wants convenience — whether they are searching for information or looking to buy a product.
Thanks to the internet and advanced technology that lets you do things at the tip of your finger.
In this digital era, businesses — small and big alike — can only thrive if they embrace the new demand of their customers. It’s nothing but adopting internet marketing.
What is internet marketing?
Whether online or offline, marketing is all about meeting your target audience right where they are.
In this article, you will learn all about internet marketing, how it differs from traditional advertising and well-defined strategies.
What Is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing, also known as online marketing or internet advertising, is a form of marketing that uses the internet to deliver promotional messages.
Online marketing relies on various digital channels, such as social media, email, and others – to promote a company’s products or services. The main purpose is to help drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales.
All in all, it has provided the ability to connect with customers and conduct business in real-time.
The Importance of Internet Marketing
With more than 5.1 billion people using the internet today, internet marketing is all the rage now.
Besides, it is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to reach your audience, making it the most popular advertising method.
As a business owner or marketing manager, you can aim for two things using digital marketing — Attract New Customers and Build Brand Loyalists by retaining customers.
Internet Marketing Personalizes Your Audience’s Experience
Today, customers have many options to choose from. That’s why they shop from brands that make them feel valued.
Clearly, you can’t treat them just like another fish in a pond. You need to instead make them feel like they matter to your business.
How do you do that?
It’s simple — by personalizing their experience.
Customer experience plays a big role in influencing their decision.
86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
Personalized marketing allows you to customize your customers’ experience and provide a tailored solution to their needs.
The best way to go about this is by segmenting your audiences based on factors like demographics, behavioral patterns, and others.
Besides, you can add a touch of personalization while sending out emails by addressing them using their first name. You can even curate offers for them based on their purchase history and reward them for their loyalty.
These online marketing strategies will help you turn your prospects into customers eventually.
Internet Marketing Creates Two-way Communication
Traditional advertising vs. online advertising differs in the fact that the former allows for one-way communication.
Even though traditional marketing enables you to reach a massive audience by advertising on billboards and TV, it can be hard to track.
You create an ad, and that’s it. You can only wait and hope that your audience has seen your ad and visited your website/business.
But this issue can be easily solved with internet marketing.
When we talk about what is internet marketing, it creates a passage for two-way communication.
You create multiple touchpoints for your customers where they can interact with your brand directly. It could be via email, social media platforms, or live chatbots.
Even when you run a paid ad online, you create the opportunity for people to contact your business.
This open communication makes them feel secure and helps establish touch.
Internet Marketing Increases Your Brand’s Visibility
Another advantage of internet marketing is that it helps you create brand awareness for free.
For starters, you do not have to pay to build your company profile on various social media platforms.
LinkedIn, the largest professional network, is a great platform where you can establish your brand credibility.
Most importantly, opt for social media platforms where your target audience is hanging out.
If you are targeting Gen Z, Instagram would be the right choice. If you’re a B2B company, no better platform than LinkedIn.
In essence, internet marketing allows you to expose yourself to billions of users.
You can use this platform to constantly engage with your followers, put out relevant content, and gain their loyalty.
The more content you share online, the more familiar people become with your brand name.
Brand visibility or awareness is nothing but people becoming familiar with your business.
And, people choose brands that they are familiar with, increasing your chance of a conversion.
Internet Marketing Allows You to Drive Quality Traffic
Again comparing traditional marketing with internet marketing, the latter helps drive qualified leads to your website.
Your traditional advertisements appear in front of both interested and uninterested leads.
But online marketing allows you to run targeted ads, allowing you to drive quality traffic. You can target an audience based on certain characteristics. In other words, effective internet marketing allows you to reach the right customer at the right time.
Internet Marketing Provides You With Advanced Analytics
With traditional advertising, it can be hard to track where your leads are coming from.
Whether they saw your TV ad or it was the radion announcement that drove them to your business.
This can be a drawback as you can’t track which campaign is working out for you.
But with internet marketing, there are various online marketing tools such as CRM that allow you to integrate various channels.
You can then easily track where the traffic is coming from — is it your social media or paid ads?
You can track and measure the performance of your campaign and see what needs improvement.
Some of the metrics that you can measure are click-through rates, download rates, open rates (for emails), and much more.
With analytics, you can create better campaigns and scale your business.
Various Internet Marketing Strategies
The market size of the global content marketing industry is estimated at $417.85 billion during 2021-2025, at a CAGR of 16%.
Let’s look at various online marketing strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Understanding search engine optimization, or SEO, is the key to bringing near-limitless amounts of traffic on the web.
The best you learn SEO, the better you will be able to drive traffic organically.
On average, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second – translating to over 3.5 billion searches per day.
Considering that most businesses don’t have massive advertising budgets, organic marketing is important to internet marketing.
In a nutshell, this visibility is critical to long-term success.
A few ways to gain Google’s trust —
Set Up Authority
Authority is established when you have quality links coming from websites that Google already trusts.
It largely renders to off-page SEO — building backlinks.
Until a few years ago, Google gave importance to quantity over quality. But today, it focuses more on the quality of your links.
Are they natural links or simply spammy links?
Authority is an important component of trust, and it can be vital when you trying to gain visibility online.
You must have come across this phrase, “Content is king.”
Creating informative, engaging, and unique content should be at the heart of every online marketing strategy.
Using the right keywords and putting out relevant content for your target audience is how you are going to excel in online marketing.
Most businesses readily settle for low-quality content. Why?
Because it takes a great amount of time and effort. But the sad truth is you can’t grow your business online if you don’t create quality content.
Customers who read your brand content are 131% more likely to buy from your brand than those who read no content.
In fact, 49% of B2B buyers revealed that they make purchase decisions based on the content available.
But you must stay away from ‘duplicate’ content to gain Google’s trust. Create long-form articles and contain content that cites sources from reliable sites and don’t try to spin content in any fashion.
You don’t want to face the Google penalty and block your visibility.
Some other factors involved in SEO include —
- On-page SEO;
- Good site loading speed;
- Interlinking web pages, etc.
Read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and ensure that your SEO strategy is in sync with what the search engine is looking for.
In fact, Google also offers a Webmaster tool for fine-tuning your site’s structured data, meta tags, and so much more
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Truth be told, organic SEO require patience and consistency. It can take up months, even if you do it right, to start getting results.
There’s another way — pay your way up to the top.
SEM provides space for displaying ads on the keyword you want to target. SEM is a great way to get the word out about your product or service quickly.
Your site is the first thing that they see on the search result page. Thus you see a lot of traffic drove to your clients.
Besides, you pay different prices depending on what keyword you want to target.
The best is to target competitive keywords but gear up; the cost can go over $600 per click.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the most popular and hottest methods of online marketing strategy. Here’s why —
And here’s a breakdown of the most popular social networks worldwide as of October 2021, ranked by the number of active users (in millions).
Social media provides a platform to interact with your prospects/audience directly and engage with them.
But it’s also true that the social media platform is saturated. You need to come up with unique strategies in connection with the platform algorithm to reach the masses.
If you are targeting Instagram, you need to keep up with the new reels trend and meme marketing. It increases your chance of going viral.
One popular influencer is Gary Vaynerchuk. He has over 2.3 million followers on Instagram alone.
He’s equally successful on Twitter with its witty tweets. What sets him apart is that he engages with his followers individually.
No wonder he has 2.6 million followers on the platform.
You can build a multi-dollar business with the backbone of having a popular social media channel.
Besides, there are a few other online marketing practices that you must keep in mind while doing social marketing.
Be Real and Yourself
People can see through if you are not being authentic on the social media platform.
Establish a brand voice that resonates with your company values and vision. Don’t fake it, it might disappoint your followers.
Besides, what you post should resonate with your audience. It’s better to build a community that can relate to your business instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
Deliver Value to Your Audience
Don’t post anything just for the sake of it.
Before posting, ask yourself — is it providing value to your followers?
Curate information that might be useful to your followers.
Here’s a good example of how a newly-established startup named Archmozzo does it.
Archmozzo is a digital marketplace where architects and designers can order product samples for free.
But instead of simply promoting their product, they are creating interesting content about the Architect industry.
They talk about design and various industry trends to help designers stay up-to-date with the news.
The more you focus on value, the sooner you will be able to attract more followers.
Engage, Engage, and Engage
Lastly, it’s crucial to constantly engage with your followers. If users are commenting on your post, reply to them.
Go live and interact with them in real-time. Listen to what your customers are saying; it’s a great platform to gather feedback.
Another internet marketing service is email marketing, with the second-highest opening rate.
80% of professionals surveyed believe that email marketing is an effective tool for customer acquisition and retention.
Most importantly, emails enable you to build personal relationships with your customers by sending out targeted emails.
The best way to build up your email list is by creating web pages and giving out free ebooks, free trials, etc. Generate lead and based on their behavioral activities, prioritize your lead and increase your chance of a conversion.
You can use popular email marketing tools like MailChimp, HubSpot, EngageBay, and others, to run a drip-email campaign and move your prospects up to your sales pipeline.
Today, video is a central piece to all your marketing strategies.
Video marketing refers to the process of promoting your product or service using videos for increasing engagement on your digital and social platforms.
Here’s a survey conducted by HubSpot that reveals that video content is preferred amongst customers for brands.
YouTube revolutionized the trend of uploading videos on the internet. And now, video marketing is considered a great form of content marketing.
In fact, the concept of live streaming and VOD is also on the rise that has resulted in the rise of video creations.
Besides, the chances are that if consumers find your videos valuable, they will share them with their friends and family. In other words, your video has the potential to go viral overnight if you provide enough value and a clear message.
There are so many types of videos that a brand can target — demo video, product video, expert interviews, animated video, 360° & virtual reality video, and so much more.
Influencer marketing is basically now a mainstream medium to do internet marketing.
Using influencers to promote your product or service is the new leaf in online marketing.
A brand collaborates with an influence to share the benefits or value of the product or service with its enthusiastic followers.
You don’t necessarily opt for big influencers every time. For a simple post, a big influencer with millions of followers can charge you a heft amount.
You can go for influencers with 10k to 100k followers or fans. However, it’s important that you collaborate with an influencer from your niche to drive an effective campaign.
No doubt, influencer marketing can get incredibly expensive, but it also brings out instant business and visibility.
Now that you understand the nuances of internet marketing, it’s time to start developing an internet marketing strategy.
In this new era, you can’t escape the digital world.
The sooner you adopt the latest technology and new marketing methods, the more edge you will get over your competitors.
The various internet marketing methods discussed are not limited to those names. You can experiment with different online marketing strategies like creating and distributing podcasts, building resource banks, etc.
The golden rule is to define your buyer persona and create strategies that will cater to their demand.