Any business may use Internet Marketing Channels to communicate a message about itself (building its brand) or to conduct research. What’s more, online marketing can also be an effective way to identify a target market, discover a marketing segment’s wants and needs, build long-term relationships with customers, or establish industry authority and expertise.
According to HubSpot, any form of marketing — whether using traditional marketing techniques or even incorporating new and modern schematics in the plan — is, and always has been, about reaching potential customers wherever they are. No matter their niche or demographic. From TV commercials, and print ads, to billboards, they all attempt to outreach an ad message.
In other words, Internet Marketing offers unique benefits other marketing mediums can’t offer — scope of reach, the option to personalize content, and the opportunity to build far-reaching relationships with customers, being just a few. But, it can be an overwhelming and all-encompassing entity, filled with videos and recipes and news articles, and eCommerce sites.
So, in the crowded space of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet, in particular, how are you supposed to differentiate your business to reach the right audience? Well, the answer to this is by having a strategic Internet Marketing plan for your business or brand in place. Fortunately, in this article, we are going to round up a few things that can help you stay afloat.
Understanding What Internet Marketing Is All About To Marketers
Also called Online Marketing, or Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing is the process of promoting a brand, products, or services over the Internet. In a nutshell, its broad scope includes the likes of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), electronic media, Email Marketing, and any other promotional campaign activities that are done through wireless media.
It’s, important to realize, that Internet Marketing is a strategic process of using web advertising networks and online marketing tools to build a brand and get more sales for a business. Whilst, bearing in mind, that the Internet is where your audience is — so you can’t afford to miss out on this medium. But, it requires sufficient time and unwavering patience.
Simply put, Internet Marketing leverages digital channels, including email, social media, websites, and search engines, to reach your ideal audience. Unlike more traditional advertising mediums, such as print, as a tool, the Internet encourages two-way conversations between your business and your customer. Whilst, ideally creating better long-term customer retention.
Today, it’s clear to say that there’s no avoiding it: internet marketing is critical for the success of your business not just now but even beyond our current timeline. But, with all the gimmicks and tricks, it can be difficult to distinguish short-term wins from effective long-term strategies. That’s why we’ll try to enlighten you on how you can utilize it to your own advantage.
Why Website Business Owners Should Leverage Digital Marketing
Simply put, the role of digital marketing tools is to help your business reach, attract, and convert target audiences. You can use online marketing strategies to attract new customers. To do this, you’ll want to focus primarily on paid social media ads, search engines, and web design. For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message out.
More so, in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products with her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.
To attract new customers, you also need to maintain a powerful SEO presence. With 81% of shoppers using the internet for research before making purchasing decisions, it’s imperative your business is at the forefront of the search for related keywords. Equally important, having a strong SEO presence also translates to more in-store purchases, as well.
In fact, 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase. Finally, it’s critical you spend time and resources on your business’s website design. When these aforementioned customers find your website, they’ll likely feel deterred from trusting your brand and purchasing your product if they find your website confusing or unhelpful. Below are other notable benefits.
1. Overall Content Marketing Strategy Unification
From driving converting organic/paid search results into active web-based traffic to winning new leads and converting them into buying customers, Internet marketing is a tool that cuts on both sides. Perse, Content Marketing is the best way to understand its potential. This is a strategic approach to creating and distributing audience-centric content.
More so, to help drive engagement and conversion for the business. It can help you to build a loyal audience for your business. You can explore different content formats like quizzes, polls, and contests to make sure your audience is interacting with your brand. It is a useful technique to educate and entertain your audience and build a relationship with them.
What’s more, with Internet Marketing, you have the opportunity to figure out who to reach out to and using which channel. Platforms like Google and Facebook help you to run paid ad campaigns for a specific target audience. By the same token, with the help of paid PPC campaigns, you can start marketing your business through the display for only a few dollars!
Paid Ad is a form of Internet Marketing that helps you to optimize your campaign and improve your results as you run your campaigns. You can create multiple campaigns targeting different sets of audiences with different budgets. Paid advertising allows you to track the results in real time and stop/modify those campaigns which are not getting you the desired results.
2. Drive Your Search Engine Optimization Plan
Realistically, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the key types of Internet Marketing. An SEO strategy helps you to get your business website to rank on top of the search results for specific search queries popular in your industry. The plan starts with keyword research that helps you to understand which search queries are important for your business.
You can do free keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest. Suppose you sell shoes online and wish to check which keywords you need to target, you can open the Google Keyword Planner and add terms like ‘buy shoes online’ or ‘stores to buy shoes online’. The tool will give you a list of keywords that are related to these search terms.
It will also tell you the average monthly searches for each of these keywords and their respective level of competition. You need to select those keywords which have a high level of monthly searches and a low or medium competition level.
3. You Will Start Ranking Higher In Search Results
Internet Marketing also offers your business a free avenue to increase your chances of ranking in the topmost search engine positions. Once you have selected your targeted keywords you need to make sure that your website content and meta content are optimized for these keywords or similar meaning words.
This helps you to showcase the relevance of your content to search engines and therefore helps you to rank higher in the search results. Next, you need to ensure that you are consistently doing keyword research and creating SEO-friendly content for your business blog. You’ll build an audience for your business and eventually achieve more website authority.
Furthermore, you need to build backlinks to your site by publishing quality SEO-friendly content on third-party websites in your niche. In the same fashion, it’s also important to point out that you’ll also need to ensure that your website is built according to search engine guidelines. In particular, so as to easily rank in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) like Google.
4. Unlimited Marketing Channel For Optimal Results
Billions of people across the globe are using Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis. Did you know you could create a free business profile on these channels and promote your business? You can even run ads on these channels and get your business noticed. Social media is a great channel to make your Internet Marketing more interactive.
You can regularly produce engaging content for these channels, build followers and generate leads. Similarly, email is a widely used channel for communication in today’s times. Meaning, that you can actually benefit by using this channel to build a relationship with your prospective customers. Try to create contact forms on your website and landing pages to engage users.
Obviously, this is where you let your target audience choose to subscribe to your emails while sharing their details with your business. This way you will get permission to contact them via email. With your email subscribers list, you can send out useful content, product promotions, and company updates to your target audience. To build a strong relationship with them.
5. A Great Tool For Marketing Campaigns Automation
With Internet Marketing, you have the opportunity to automate your marketing campaigns. Just imagine, you can create a campaign for a month or two months and then all you have to do is measure the results you are getting. There are a variety of tools that you can use for automating your Internet Marketing efforts. As well as to help in your email marketing.
Automating emails is the very basic step for email marketing — to build an opt-in list for your business that will increase engagement and conversions. Building an opt-in list ensures that you are not spamming your target customers with unsolicited emails. Cold emails will spoil the reputation of your brand and your audience would be least bothered to engage with them.
You can use tools like HootSuite and Buffer to schedule bulk schedule content on social media channels. You can also use tools like Marketo and Hubspot to create automated email campaigns for your business. These tools help you to collect the email addresses of potential customers, from your website or landing pages.
The tools help you to segment these lists according to predefined criteria like product preferences, location, gender, age, action, behavior, and the like. You can then schedule customized and personalized email campaigns for each of these segments according to predefined triggers.
6. Predictive Big Data Analytics And Chatbots Utilization
Businesses are increasingly making use of machine learning technologies to know more about their target customers’ preferences. They are using this knowledge to create customized recommendations and campaigns for them. Predictive analytics helps you to add more accuracy in forecasting business outcomes. It helps you to understand audience behavior.
As well as to add probability variables to their final action. This can help you to predict for example, what kind of customer will purchase which product and then make recommendations accordingly. On the other side, you can also utilize Chatbots in your strategy easily. Whereby, Chatbots are an interesting technique used by web businesses to interact online.
They help in providing improved customer service and support to their potential customers. Mastercard is now making use of Facebook messenger bots to help its customers. Its users can easily inquire about their transactions with the help of the bot. They can also chat with the bot to inquire about and purchase other products and services. Why not try one today?
7. Engage Referrals And Affiliate Marketing Partners
In this case, Internet Marketing is a resource tool that helps you turn your Affiliate Marketing into a partner-based channel. Affiliate marketing helps you to create affiliates or partners online. They refer your product to those who would be interested in buying it. You pay them a commission on each conversion. You can create a dedicated website section for affiliates.
The section provides them with a process to sign up as an affiliate. It would provide your affiliate partners with affiliate links and banners that they would promote on their websites. You can take a look at an example source from Freshbooks Affiliate Program at any time — an online accounting tool. So as to gather more ideas on how you can integrate yours.
Still, video marketing is the newest kid on the block. Everyone wants to start doing video marketing for their business. Well, that’s because the audience for video content is growing at a very fast pace. Videos are an exciting medium to tell your brand story quickly and effectively. Good video content has a very high probability of going viral — your affiliates can help you.
8. Scale Up Your Business Reputation Awareness
Internet marketing is increasingly becoming mandatory for businesses of all types. Customers spend lots of time online every day, including checking email, browsing social media, using search engines, and visiting websites. Consumers use a variety of online methods for finding, researching, and eventually making purchasing decisions.
Over 40% of consumers report that they first turn to Google Search Console when looking for a product or service, and 26% of consumers say they shop online every week. However, traffic from social media and ads accounts for around 8% of consumers discovering retail websites. You can take advantage of all these channels by creating broad marketing platforms.
Especially, to help potential clients and customers find your business. This is true even if your business is small and local. From 2015 to 2017, Google saw mobile “near me” searches with some variation of “to buy” or “can I buy” grow by 500%—a figure likely to continue rising. It’s there critical to consider Internet marketing as a tool of necessity for scaling businesses.
Always remember, the types of Internet marketing channels a business uses will depend on the business model, types of products, target customers, and budget. However, no matter what type of business you have or where you are located, investing in Internet marketing can help you build your business, connect with customers, and make sales.
The Difference Between Internet Marketing Vs Content Marketing
In layman’s language, content marketing and internet marketing are incredibly similar strategies used to attract leads and prospects to your website and ultimately convert web-based traffic into customers. However, there are a few slight differences between the two. On one hand, we can say that content marketing lives under the roof of online/internet marketing.
This means, that online/internet marketing is the broad, overarching strategy, and content marketing is one process within that strategy. Content marketing applies only to the process of creating and distributing content to reach audiences. Online marketing, on the other hand, encompasses sharing that content through email, search engines, and social media.
Related Resource: #10 Overall Future Marketing Predictions By Industry Leaders
It also includes paid advertising, retargeting, and a wide range of strategies you might use to reach audiences online. While most of the strategies that fall under online marketing have to do with content creation, online marketing also pertains to the non-content creation tasks of Internet Marketing: such as PPC bidding, or website design.
Internet marketing is for more than just attracting new customers — it’s also critical for maintaining a loyal, long-term customer base. You’ll want to use email, blogging, and social media tactics to increase brand awareness, cultivate a strong online community, and retain customer loyalty. That said, below are the simple steps to help in your strategic planning.
Steps For Internet Marketing In Driving More Traffic And Sales
Most professional business marketers leverage Internet Marketing as a tool that helps them to deliver promotional messages to customers through digital channels such as search engines, email, websites, and social media. Just as we aforementioned, some internet marketing strategies include web design, SEO, email, social media, PPC, and other internet-related methods.
On that note, it’s worth mentioning that if you wish to be a successful internet marketer, you need to be patient and persistent. You can expect to get instant results from your Internet Marketing efforts, yes, but doing so will only prove otherwise. Secondly, you need to have a lot of focus and agility in the way you plan your marketing strategy and approach the Internet.
Related Resource: NFT Marketing | What It Is And How To Invest In Its Strategy
While promoting your business online, you need to quickly and accurately decide on the custom-specific channels — those that are helping you to get the best website results (traffic) and business outcomes (sales). This will help you to achieve your Internet Marketing goals easily. The third very important trait of an internet marketer is the readiness for constant learning.
Since Internet Marketing is very diverse and equally dynamic, you need to keep updating yourself on the latest trends. As an internet marketer, you must be willing to help your target audience. Make sure that you empathize with your prospects and solve their problems — it’ll go a long way in helping you to grow your business. Below are a few things to help you get started.
1. Create and optimize a user-friendly website
First of all, you want to create a user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, website. The design of your site will showcase your brand’s personality and differentiate your business from every other online business. However, it should be more than just looking good — a cleaner, more well-organized site structure can affect how you rank in the SERPs given your business industry.
Secondly, we might be biased, but blogging is one of the best ways to attract a large audience to your website. In addition, business blogging allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, and prove your brand to be both useful and current. Writing blog posts is especially effective for providing different opportunities to land on page one of SERPs.
Next, you’ll need to keyword-optimize your website for search engines. Essentially, this means you’ll choose keyword(s) that relate to your business, and incorporate those keywords into the URL, body text, image text, headers, and navigation bar. Okay, you got readers to your blog or homepage … now what? Ultimately, you’ll want to work on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
If you don’t, you risk not being able to convert any of your traffic into qualified leads and, ultimately, customers. There are four areas of your website that can benefit from CRO. These include the homepage, pricing page, blog, and landing pages. Overall, optimizing your website for conversions is a critical component of any strong Internet Marketing strategy.
2. Video marketing and online press releases
Before we forget, within a blog, a great Internet Marketing strategy might also include adding a relevant Call To Action (CTA) throughout the text. Or rather, inviting readers to submit their emails in exchange for an ebook. Similarly, on a pricing page, a conversion strategy might include a slide-out that invites viewers to book time with a sales rep or watch a demo.
That aside, video marketing is an undeniably powerful opportunity to reach new audiences and convert leads into customers. In fact, 86% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads, and 88% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. YouTube is used by 88% of video marketers overall.
This means, that even if you’re not posting videos on the channel, your competitors most likely are. Thus, you’ll want to diversify the type(s) of content you produce to attract audiences who prefer video over text or YouTube over Twitter. But, make sure that you also consider how you might implement your own video strategy to reach and convert new audiences.
Writing online press releases is an additional way to increase online coverage of your business from other sources, which will also positively affect your ranking in the SERPs. Plus, if a local news outlet covers your business, you’ll receive their audience, which you otherwise might not have reached.
3. Deep your feet into short-form video content
Without question, TikTok and YouTube Shorts are some of the key short-form video content application platforms whose popularity soared during, amidst, and after the COVID-19 Pandemic first knocked on our doors. Whereby, the pandemic kept many people at home and in need of connection and entertainment. And that popularity isn’t expected to wane anytime soon.
While LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram have the highest ROI for B2B businesses, TikTok is quickly becoming the application of the choice to invest in by many contenders. While just 40% of B2B social media marketers leverage TikTok, 65% of those who do plan on increasing their investment this year are already doing so — the highest increase of any social platform.
With the enduring popularity of TikTok, audiences are gravitating more and more toward short-form videos. Short-form videos continue to be the norm as Instagram and YouTube push similar short-form video feature such as Reels and Shorts, respectively. 34% of marketers are currently leveraging short-form video and 26% plan to leverage it for the first time this year.
It’s also, important to realize, that Podcasts are also gaining more attention as influencers, celebrities, and comedians continue to step into the medium. Despite low ROI, investment in podcasts or other audio content is expected to grow from this year onwards. Most social media marketers are leveraging audio chat rooms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces in their plans.
4. Repurpose your content across various channels
Markedly, permanent social media marketing is content that won’t disappear after a set amount of time, unlike Instagram Stories or Snapchat photos and videos. 35% of marketers are currently leveraging the permanent strategy. While 65% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in permanent social media content.
By the same token, repurposing content means re-using your existing content and presenting it in a fresh format that extends its lifespan and audience reach. As per our survey, we found that 37% of marketers who repurpose content say this method is among their most effective marketing strategies.
Examples of repurposing content include:
- Sharing old blog posts you’ve updated with new information, fresh data, and video content (Hint: The piece you’re currently reading is an update).
- Using video clips of podcast recordings sessions on Instagram to create intrigue and excitement over an upcoming episode.
In a nutshell, repurposing your content simply means reusing content you already have but in a fresh format. That reaction video you created on TikTok could be repurposed as a Reel on Instagram. If you change the caption on Reels, you can use the video to react to something else.
5. Leverage all forms of paid advertising
To enumerate, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, is a form of marketing campaign model in which advertisers only pay when someone interacts with their ad through impressions or clicks. PPC is most commonly used on search engines (Paid Search) and can help your business appear for searches related to your products or services. Whilst, converting more leads to sales.
This is, particularly, important for more competitive keywords, when it’s difficult to rank on page one against websites with higher domain authority. It’s important to note — PPC doesn’t replace your SEO strategy, it simply complements it. For instance, if you’re trying to rank for “website builder”, you’ll see the keyword difficulty is “super hard (95)”, according to Ahrefs.
However, there are some long-form keywords you might have success ranking for, including “What is a website builder? (52)” or “Best website builders for ecommerce (57)”. If you do want to target “website builders”, you’ll want to bid for an ad and use PPC to stand out against competitors. It’s also good to develop social media contests and campaigns.
Social media contests and campaigns are exceptional opportunities to engage with your online audience, form relationships with customers, and learn about your buyer’s persona. Likewise, email marketing and opt-in marketing campaigns are also some of the most effective long-term strategies — they help to connect with potential customers and cultivate brand loyalty.
6. Reach out to influencers to work with your brand
Influencers can mean a lot in driving your business sales. In particular, a majority of social media influencers have already cultivated strong, meaningful relationships with their followers. Their followers typically trust them to provide true, reliable guidance on a range of topics related to the influencers’ expertise. This is why influencer marketing can be an effective tool.
It provides an opportunity to spread brand awareness to new audiences. If you think influencer marketing could be a good choice for your business, consider micro-influencers as a more effective (and oftentimes more cost-efficient) option. Micro-influencers often experience higher engagement rates than mega-influencers, and we predict micro-influencers to lead further.
In the future, they will likely have more influence than the celebrities we know today. Additionally, it can be expensive and time-consuming to find the right influencer(s) for your brand. If you’re going to invest in the strategy, work with the same few influencers for the long term — they’ll enable your company to build stronger relationships with their social followers.
7. Utilize your email list and make sticky social media content
Consider sending personalized emails to past customers to impress or inspire them — for instance, you might send discounts based on what they’ve previously purchased, wish them a happy birthday, or remind them of upcoming events. To properly employ email campaigns, you’ll need an email list (how to build an email list from scratch).
Additionally, you might use social media to showcase your brand’s personality and hear directly from your customers. Consider hosting a Twitter chat, posting surveys on Instagram, or creating fun contests on Facebook. If you don’t feel like you have the bandwidth to create all social media content internally, consider using a third-party service like UpContent for such.
Moving on, by sticky social media content we mean permanent content. Permanent social media content is content that won’t disappear after a set amount of time, unlike Instagram Stories or Snapchat photos and videos. 33% of marketers are currently leveraging permanent social media content. While 85% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount.
8. Do A/B testing and measure your overall results for remarketing
For one, CrazyEgg is a website optimization software that offers A/B Testing, heat mapping, and usability testing tools. We love its A/B testing tool because it allows you to test variations of every page on your website. All you have to do is copy one snippet of code to the pages you want to test. You don’t need coding experience to use Crazy Egg even if you are a beginner.
Obviously, this is because the software itself is user-friendly to marketers at all levels. Secondly, if you struggle with finding the best keywords for your website, Google Keywords Planner is an excellent tool for you. By putting one keyword, multiple keywords, or even your website address into it, Google will show a list of related keywords along with simple metrics.
These metrics will gauge the competition around each keyword and how many searches it gets on both a global and local search level. You also be able to refine your strategy and be able to beat your competitors as a result.
Most businesses are now using Internet Marketing because of two primary reasons: One: It is a cost-effective channel for marketing, and Two: most digital online web and social media content consumption trends are moving towards the Internet and its offering. Therefore, you can quickly drive traffic and easily reach out to the masses using the right online medium.
What’s more, having a strong community can help you build brand loyalty. Thus, it’s important to seek out unique opportunities to engage directly with your customers. If a Facebook group doesn’t seem like a good fit for your business, however, there are other ways to create a sense of community — including via social media, or through a branded newsletter.
Ultimately, your Internet Marketing Strategies will work best if you incorporate both outbound and inbound marketing methodologies. As a matter of fact, you’d want all your online content to add value to your customers’ lives. Clearly, this is the only way you’ll attract quality leads and build deep relationships with your online community for the long term.
Overall, Internet Marketing is all about using digital marketing channels to build a brand and eventually get more traffic and business sales. The Internet is where your audience is and so you can’t afford to miss out on this medium. By following some of the tips and steps underlined herein, you can start making use of Internet Marketing to your own advantage.