Internet marketing (also referred to as online marketing) is using tools and channels to reach people online and showcase your company’s products.
It’s also an umbrella term. People use one or two methods within internet marketing to grab attention with their digital strategy.
We’ll discuss the current most common (and popular) internet marketing methods:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Let’s get right to it.
1. Search Engine Optimization – SEO
To rank higher on search engines you need to better your website and content SEO (particularly with blogs). This is achieved through research (keyword), inbound links to other sections of the website, and backlinks from additional websites — the more popular the website linking to yours, the better Google will like you.
Truth is, SEO is a slow process. A blog post with keywords, headings, photos, appropriate links and decent traffic will not become the top suggestion by Google within a day or even a few weeks. It takes awhile to build momentum, but SEO is the best way to bring organic traffic to your website.
Word of advice: Don’t keyword stuff your content. Real people will be reading it and if it looks like a keyword stuffed mess, they’ll leave immediately. Your bounce rate will suffer and since no one is staying or linking to it, the article is as good as dead in the eyes of search engines.
2. Content marketing
Using content, the goal is to increase customer retention, sales, and awareness of a product. But many people assume content is only written content — like blog posts or ebooks. Not only is this untrue, but greatly limits your chances of outreach.
Content is everything: Photos, videos, animation, infographics, and audio. Customers respond differently depending on the media. Researching what your customers respond to best is the first thing to do when developing a content marketing plan.
Word of advice: Never guess what your customers like — know for a fact (with facts). While this can take trial and error via multiple campaigns, you can limit the workload through various analysis (SWOT, PESTLE, or Competitor).
3. Social media marketing
Social media is noisy. Every firm is vying for attention on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and every other channel out there. But consumers say that social media plays almost as big a role in purchasing decisions as does television — so it’s a desirable method to use .
Social media is a way to connect to large audiences of people and offer value. It’s used to engage audiences, bring them over to websites, and then: Provide more value with more content.
When they trust your brand, they’ll be more open to promotional sales offered.
Word of advice: Don’t forget about the “social” in social media — many firms do. Create content that will engage audiences through funny stories, anecdotes, pictures, and uplifting news. If you focus on building trust and an active relationship with customers, they’re more likely to listen when you promote a product or service to them.
4. Affiliate marketing
Common with blog posts, affiliate marketing is when a person offers a link to their readers to buy a product. The offerer then receives a percentage of profit from the company for each person who buys the product through the link.
People commonly use Amazon’s affiliate program. But individual companies may also offer a rebate of sorts. Hosting firms like WP Engine offer this. As well as the email marketing company GetResponse.
Individuals reach out to brands and corporations to become an affiliate. The deciding factor is usually the number of unique views and readers for the website. The greater your audience, the higher the chance of profits through affiliates.
It’s important to come across as sincere when you become an affiliate. While affiliate marketing can be very profitable, the products offered should be valuable to your readers. If not, they will distrust you and sales could take a hit.
This form of internet marketing, as well as the three above it, have their pros and cons. While you could focus efforts on incorporating all four of these methods into your marketing strategy, it will be a waste of effort and money.
Wherever your customers reside online is where it’s best to put your internet marketing efforts.