As we broaden the lens of affiliate marketing, one of the terms that comes up time and time again is “internet marketing.” Instead of just glossing over this, it’s important to understand what internet marketing entails and the strategies you can implement along with your online business.
What Is Internet Marketing?
Unfortunately the term “internet marketing” doesn’t necessarily refer to one thing. It used to simply mean having a website or participating in placing ads on other websites. It can also be used by some not-so-reputable companies claiming you can make thousands overnight if you buy their internet marketing program.
Today, internet marketing is a hybrid of a few different things that boil down to the components that you can use to increase your sales—whether you have an online business, a storefront business, or a mix of both. Businesses will often hire people to create internet marketing strategies, which will then include ad production, social media plans, and more to help boost sales.
What Does It Aim To Do?
The goal of internet marketing is to gain exposure (and hopefully sales) through using the worldwide web. This means that the company must express the message about themselves and their products clearly, conduct research to better understand their audience and their audience’s needs, and, of course, set up avenues to sell goods, services, and even ad space to generate an income.
Internet Marketing Strategies
There are a number of different components to internet marketing, and you can employ one, a couple, or all of them in your strategy. The way to determine what’s best will be to take a close look at the research you’ve done of your ideal client.
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their annual income?
- What hobbies do they have?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- What type of personality traits do they have?
- What challenges do they face?
- What kinds of products do they buy?
- What are their spending habits?
- Do they use social media? If so, which platforms?
- How do they stay connected to friends and family?
- What makes them excited to share something?
From there, you can then determine the best plan of action to reach this audience. For example, if you know that your audience is primarily late teens then you could consider a plan that involves Snapchat. If your ideal client enjoys reading and following blogs, banner advertising or even guest posts could get you on their radar. Here is a list of the different components of internet marketing:
- Websites. SEO-friendly websites are the traditional form of internet marketing and usually what people think of first. It entails setting up a site for the products or services you’re advertising. This doesn’t have to just be text on a page, though; instead, get creative! Incorporate hi-res images, video, and even audio to create a dynamic and interesting page. This is your chance to establish your identity, so make the best first impression that you possibly can.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This involves marketing through search engines, either by priming your site for SEO or buying ads.
- Email marketing. More and more businesses are realizing the value in having an email list. The list of people who sign up for your emails is a great place to start trying to sell. They’ve openly welcomed you into their inbox and already have placed trust in you. Email marketing is sometimes referred to as direct mail marketing.
- Banner advertising. You can place ads on your own site or on other sites. This is a way of reaching people you might not normally be able to reach otherwise.
- Online press releases. This is a newsworthy story that covers a company, its employees, and/or its product or services. Press releases are often sent out to many different outlets in hope of more coverage.
- Blog marketing. Blog marketing can entail writing your own posts or interacting in the blogosphere by leaving comments and linkbacks to your site.
- Article marketing. Depending on the outlet, this can be seen as somewhat more professional than blog marketing. This is releasing articles to publish on other reputable sites, and if the article is good it can be circulated to widen your audience.
- Social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Digg, Pinterest…the list goes on. Creating a plan for your social media platforms gives your business life and makes consumers feel closer to you.
Develop The Strategies And Assess Them
The mistake that many people make with internet marketing is thinking it’s a one-and-done situation. Not so. Internet marketing requires constant finessing and fine-tuning. Once you’ve decided on a plan that works well for you, make sure to track your progress.
The best first step is to create a plan that works with your business. Again, take a look at the research you did on your audience and determine the best way to reach them. It likely won’t be just one thing—you’ll have to consider how to make the perfect combination that might involve email marketing, press releases, and social media marketing. Decide what options you can execute the best and go from there.
Make sure to track links and progress along the way to see what is working and what’s not. The internet marketing strategies you implement may or may not suit your audience, and the only way to tell is time. After a certain period, take a look and see what you feel has been a success and what hasn’t worked so well. Then, adjust your plan accordingly to experience the most success well into the future.