Creating a product or developing a service is something that takes time, but once it’s ready for its audience then the next step is getting it to the consumer. This is when marketing starts to come into play and, while each part of running a business certainly is important, marketing serves a very vital role because without buyers, no business can succeed. Marketing itself is a huge topic and there are countless different ways that marketing can be done, but what we want to talk about today is Internet marketing, specifically.
This has become a vital part of the world economy today and any person who has used the web before will have seen Internet marketing in action. Right now, we are going to explain what it is, talk about why it matters for different kinds of businesses and how it can be a business of its own, discuss some types of Internet marketing used today, and a lot of other related topics you need to know about. This way, you will feel more comfortable about Internet marketing and be able to see if it holds any opportunities you want to take advantage of.
The Definition & History of Internet Marketing
When you hear terms like web marketing, e-marketing and so forth, these are all synonyms for Internet marketing which is, as you might have guessed on your own – marketing via the Internet.
It’s a simple concept if you look at it this way, but this is actually an umbrella term which means it encompasses a whole lot of different strategies, techniques and styles – whole different types of practices, in fact – that all fall into the basic category of Internet marketing. While there is a lot of diversity here, Internet marketing is about reaching out digitally to consumers (or other businesses if your company is in the business to business space) while they are online. It’s essentially that simple.
The Internet as we know it today is an ever-changing entity in which technologies and etiquette evolve at very rapid rates and keeping up with it all can be tough, even for the tech savvy crowd. The first instances of Internet marketing probably stretch back to the advent of the web.
Businesses, particularly those in the tech sector, were quick to discover that they could set up a website and use it as a way to market their products or services. Long before the web teemed with average folks, the tech literate crowd would be exploring and adding to it, even doing business by it. The first instances of Internet marketing were probably simple text or graphical banner ads. That or potentially email based marketing which functioned in much the same way that direct marketing mailers do today.
Technology and Internet Marketing
It did not take long for marketers to realize that the Internet had a lot to offer in terms of helping them reach out to audiences. Technology got more complex and people came to see using their credit card online via secure connections to be an okay thing to do.
Prior to that, most likely a toll-free number would have been provided and credit cards would have been processed that way. Soon, merchant accounts and third-party payment processors would make it easy to sell things online. By the end of the 90′s, ecommerce was certainly something most people in the United States had heard of.
Of course, the web was built with Internet marketing money. From adult sites to online casinos and everything in between, it was advertising dollars that helped the bulk of the web to grow and expand. Hardworking Internet marketers did a lot to push technological possibilities and make the web a viable place to pursue marketing.
Like any other technology, marketing helped the web get adopted widely since most people would have been intimidated. Today, we think nothing of buying something over at a site like eBay or Amazon, but this was not always the case. It took very hard work and a serious commitment.
Internet Marketing Today
Today, Internet marketing is a gargantuan industry that includes a huge range of different kinds of specific marketing styles. This industry pulls in billions upon billions of dollars around the globe and it cannot be overlooked by the vast majority of the world’s businesses.
Basically, if a company wants to reach an audience, regardless of the other types of marketing it may engage in, it will need to also use Internet marketing. It’s now an essential part of the way the world does business.
Why Internet Marketing is Crucial for Businesses Online
Businesses that operate on the web absolutely must have Internet marketing in order to succeed. They need it as a way to reach out to their prospective customers and as a way to keep their brand alive in the eyes of those on the web. Without good Internet marketing it is all but impossible to turn a profit on the web.
Businesses that are entirely online will understand this, and there are a growing number of those today, but some businesses which merely have a website for customers may not always consider fully the ramifications of Internet marketing. If they do not make people aware of who they are, what they offer and how to find them, they can lose a lot of business to competitors. They may also find that not so ethical parties may try to use their brand as a way to market themselves. With Internet marketing, the goal is to inform and educate customers and bring them into the fold to become buyers.
There are so many different strategies for Internet marketing that it behooves businesses to make sure they are using more than one. People use the Internet in different ways and what businesses will want to do is reach as many of those people as possible, who are members of their core audience, via the ways they use the web. This could mean doing mobile Internet marketing, marketing via the social media sites, doing search engine advertising and so forth. The key to a successful Internet marketing campaign is knowing how to reach consumers and inform them of what you have to offer.
Why Internet Marketing is Essential to Brick & Mortar Businesses
A lot of businesses that do not make sales via the web might think that Internet marketing is somehow not something they need to be engaged in. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It does not matter what type of business you run, you need to have a presence online.
People are using the web more and more, for everything from looking up business contact info to trying to find alternatives to businesses they do not want to deal with but need the products or services of. You need to be doing Internet marketing to make sure customers find you when they are in a position to buy from you and looking for what you offer.
Geo targeted Internet marketing is what many mom and pop businesses will do because those searching for businesses in their local area will be inclined to visit if they can find contact information. While the Yellow Pages certainly has its place, most consumers today do look online when trying to find nearby businesses. Even if you don’t sell a single product via the web, letting people know where you are matters.
Other businesses that considered themselves brick and mortar only are finding out that when they do Internet marketing, they tap markets they never knew existed. They may find that customers around the globe are more than willing to buy from them and develop a sideline.
They may even build ecommerce or consulting into their current business and bring in a great deal more money, So remember, even if you believe you do not need Internet marketing it is important to investigate what it might be able to offer your business before you write it off. You do not need to build and maintain a website in order to do this.
Internet Marketing As Its Own Type of Business
Many of today’s entrepreneurs have become interested in Internet marketing because they realize it is a way for them to build an enterprise from home and earn very respectable profits. This is true and there are a lot of entrepreneurs who have built an entire business that is just Internet marketing or by using Internet marketing to build a solely online business. If you want to make money online, this is often one of the first places you will look to.
Some involved in Internet marketing will be marketing the products or services of other companies. They might build sites to promote what they are selling, they may engage users via social media or they may do advertising. Affiliate marketing is along these lines and a great many people have made their fortunes by doing this kind of marketing. Those who become especially good at Internet marketing can then sell their services to other companies that need the skills, knowledge and experience they have. For those willing to study and practice, this can become a career in and of itself.
Others in Internet marketing will design their own digital products which they sell via the web. Digital products are good because they do not cost a great deal to distribute nor to advertise, in most cases. This might be PDF ebooks, video series or even apps. Internet marketers who take this approach can often do quite well because their overhead is low, but if they market correctly, their audience can be enormous. This path takes a bit more time, but it is a solid way to earn a living through Internet marketing and build a business of one’s own.
Some of the Common Types of Internet Marketing Done Today
As mentioned earlier, there are a huge range of different kinds of Internet marketing that are done now. One of the most recognizable are ads such as banner ads on websites, pay-per-click (PPC) ads that we see in the search engines, video ads on video sites, Facebook ads and similar kinds of advertising. This is a way to sell products or services that uses text, graphics and sometimes video to interest users and bring them to a site where they can be pitched on what is being sold. This market is enormous and this remains a popular, cost-effective way to reach out to consumers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another style of Internet marketing that used to be its own discipline, but is now seen as a complimentary part of an overall marketing plan. This is about building links to a site to help it become more popular in the search engines and also optimizing web pages so that the search engines will push them higher in the rankings for certain keywords. This is still a very important part of Internet marketing for any website.
Content marketing is a type of Internet marketing that focuses on giving consumers information or entertaining content. The goal is to promote a brand, product or service by using such content as written articles, videos, audio recordings, images and more. This is all about regularly releasing high value content online as a way to promote a site and is a method used by many different kinds of businesses. This method is now overtaking SEO and becoming a top way to bring in business.
Email marketing is another type of Internet marketing that usually involves building a list of customers who have voluntarily ‘opted in’ to a bulk emailing list. This is sometimes considered a part of content marketing, as is often the case with newsletters where the primary purpose of publishing the newsletter is not just to sell things to the customer, but to provide them with value and remind them to do business with you. Email is still a vital and productive way to reach out to consumers and this style of Internet marketing is critically important to many businesses now.
Video marketing is a form of content marketing in many cases, but it can also be the creation of commercials. This kind of marketing became quite popular once video sharing sites rose into popularity. These sites are sometimes considered to be part of the social web, as well.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to reach out to consumers. This is the newest kind of Internet marketing to see real popularity and it is evolving at a very rapid pace. Generally, a business will maintain a presence and use that as a way to reach out to consumers and inform them of sales and other offers it has available. Things move quickly on the social web so those who enter this kind of Internet marketing definitely need to have a strategy in place.
There are many other types of Internet marketing out there today, as well as hybrids of each of these major methods. It is important to evaluate each when planning your overall Internet marketing strategy so that you have an idea of what will work best for what you sell.
Branding is Crucial for Success in Internet Marketing
Just as in many other kinds of media, branding is essential in Internet marketing. Consumers on the web are bombarded with a lot of different kinds of advertising and you need to be especially clear and concise with them if you want to succeed with your Internet marketing efforts. It can take some time to develop a brand, but if you are just starting out then this is important.
One of the strengths of Internet marketing is that a person can literally be their own brand. This is an exciting development and many people are finding success with it. Coaches, authors, musicians, consultants and many others are finding that when they do personal branding online, they are able to reach people because they respond to a more authentic, human approach. Many aspiring entrepreneurs practice this kind of Internet marketing and develop themselves into major names. Bloggers, too, can go this route and become known for what they blog about.
The bottom line for brands is that they need to use Internet marketing as part of whatever other marketing they do and deliver a consistent message to consumers. They should strive to use more than one Internet marketing strategy when doing this and really try to make sure their presence is felt by those using the web today. Internet marketing is powerful, but for brands that use it well it can be the number one way they maintain a connection with their customers, building both loyalty and trust that is priceless.
Practicing a Diverse Assortment of Internet Marketing Techniques is Wise
Using only one method of Internet marketing can certainly bring results, but this is not often the best way of doing things. As we discussed earlier, people use different parts of the web for different reasons and at different times. They may check their email at one time, use a social media site at another time and perform searches at a different time. If your brand is showing up to them during each of these experiences then you are creating a powerful experience that can certainly create customers.
Since Internet marketing is generally less costly than other forms of marketing, it makes sense to give your Internet marketing efforts a serious budget. When you can create relationships with customers and reach out to them in multiple ways – and there are thousands of opportunities per month to reach the average person online according to recent research – then you can certainly expect that the customers you create will stay doing business with you.
Don’t just use one method and assume it will work forever. As the web changes, so do people. The way they use the web changes, what they expect from it and, quite frankly, how they perceive marketing efforts. If you want to succeed at Internet marketing you have to be willing to change and adapt as needed. This is how those most successful at Internet marketing have managed to keep succeeding year after year, change after change. It is likely that this will continue to be the nature of the Internet, but its future definitely looks positive to the eyes of most in marketing here now.
Hiring Professional Internet Marketing Firms Works for Many
Companies that do not have a dedicated, experienced team who knows Internet marketing may want to hire out services. The same goes for entrepreneurs who are not focused on Internet marketing as their primary means of earning an income. This can be a very smart move because there are so many things to keep up with when it comes to this type of marketing that the average person will be overwhelmed.
By turning to those who know whet they are doing, you are outsourcing a skill set and gaining experience in exchange for your money. You are also gaining time to do the parts of your business that you and your team excel at. This is why investing in Internet marketing services can be a lot smarter than trying to learn everything on your own and then do it all on your own. Internet marketing takes a great deal of time and if you do not know what you are doing, it is very easy to overspend. No one wants to do this so you certainly should consider investing in Internet marketing help.
Another thing to remember is that with Internet marketing professionals, it is important to thoroughly check out their enterprise. It is far too easy for someone to say they are an expert at Internet marketing without needing to prove anything. People can and do run Internet marketing scams and you should be aware of this.
Whenever possible, try to work with someone who another person or company you know and trust has recommended to you. This is the best way to be safe and protect your business interests.
Training in Internet Marketing is Almost Always Needed by Entrepreneurs
For those who have no real experience with Internet marketing, training is going to be essential. While it is true that a person can handle their own Internet marketing for a relatively small enterprise, it is definitely not something to be engaged in without proper training. Far too many people will embark on a quest to study Internet marketing by looking only at free resources and wind up totally confused. This is not a situation you want to be in, nor do you want to practice methods from years ago that do not work and waste your time, energy and money.
Choose a respected course or coach you can work with to learn Internet marketing – that is your best route to go. You will avoid the pitfalls that people new to Internet marketing fall into and be far more effective at it as a result. The right education will help you get the most from your efforts and see real rewards in return.
Most of the education offered in Internet marketing will be in the form of video training and, in some cases, also written training or audio recordings. Choose a course that has been recommended by someone you trust whenever possible. Coaching is another good way to go and this means you will have one on one help learning Internet marketing that work if you pick the right coach. Plenty of places exist online where you can go learn about opportunities and the Warrior Forum is a good example of this kind of site. You can ask questions there or on popular Internet marketing blogs. Just do your due diligence before purchasing anything.
Some Keys to Internet Marketing Success Worth Remembering
There are certainly keys to succeeding at Internet marketing. Those who are serious will need to remember they need a plan in place. However, if you are just starting, use what you have learned in your training and research. Pick a single method and try to get it to produce results for you. Ask for help from others with experience if things seem not to be working. It is very important to stick it out and try. Often, you won’t see results for several months. Remember, Internet marketing is not a way to get rich quick no matter what anyone tells you. You need experience along with your knowledge and skill in order to know what works.
Another key to success is Internet marketing is to make sure you are outsourcing the tasks you are not so good at. There is no sense in burning up your time and energy doing things you struggle with or are not inclined to do. For Internet marketing to work, you must either buy it or work very diligently, staying the course when it looks as if it’s not working. Those who have drive and determination are the ones who succeed.
Joint partnerships can do wonder so if you know and trust someone who is doing Internet marketing already or who wants to get started with you, consider going this route. You will learn as you go or learn from them – whichever suits the situation. This gives you someone to talk to about what you are doing who will understand. Often, that will make your life markedly easier.
You do not have to spend a fortune in order to succeed at Internet marketing, but you will have to spend money. This is no longer an area where someone with zero budget has much of a chance for success unless they bring something special to the table, be it a skill set or that they are already famous for something. You will need to invest intelligently to succeed, but this does not mean that you have to spend a great deal of cash. Get some experience and get some results before you pour in your life savings – or better yet, don’t ever pour in your life savings and instead work on a tight budget you can afford and find ways to make that budget produce results for you.
Remember, Internet marketing is tougher now than it used to be. Things cost a little more, there is far more competition and people are learning to ignore different kinds of marketing. Do not let you scare this off because it happens in every marketing arena. You can still succeed on your own if you need to. It merely takes studying the Internet marketing arena and learning what works through trial and error. Internet marketing’s not the place to strike it rich within days, weeks or months, but it is a solid way to build or promote your business.
If you are looking for help with your Internet Marketing, we would love to help you.