It is assumed that everyone is familiar with the term Internet Marketing or digital marketing but would not know what exactly is its scope and how can it help your business. Let’s first understand what internet marketing really is before coming to more about how it can help your business it getting the desired outcome.
What is Internet Marketing?
Here is the definition of Internet marketing by Search Engine Journal:
Also called online marketing, it is the process of promoting a brand, products or services over the Internet. Its broad scope includes email marketing, electronic customer relationship management and any promotional activities that are done via wireless media.
Internet Marketing is often used interchangeably with digital marketing.
Most businesses are now using internet marketing popularly known as digital marketing because of two primary reasons:
1. It is a cost-effective channel for marketing
2. Media consumption trends are moving towards the internet and therefore you can easily reach out to the masses using the online medium
Let’s now look at some of the key types of digital marketing other wise called Internet Marketing with their benefits along with some useful examples and case studies.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimization or SEO 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.
How is SEO done?
SEO 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 you wish to check which keywords you need to target, you can open the Google Keyword Planner and add terms like ‘buy shoes online’ and ‘buy shoes online Lagos’. 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.
Once you have selected your targeted keywords you need to make sure that your website content and meta content is 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 up 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. This will help you build an audience for your business and eventually achieve more authority for your site.
Furthermore, you need to build backlinks to your site by publishing quality SEO friendly content on third party sites in your niche.
Last but, not the least, you need to ensure that your website is built according to search engine guidelines, so that it can easily rank in search engine results pages.
Social Media Marketing
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.
Email is a widely used channel for communication in today’s times. You can actually benefit by using this channel to build a relationship with your prospective customers.
73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication. –Procurious
The first step for email marketing is to build an opt-in list for your business.
Why should you do that?
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 about engaging with it.
So, how can you build an opt-in email list for your business?
You need to create contact forms on your website and landing pages 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.
Once you start building your email list, you can send out useful content, product promotions and company updates to your target audience. It will help you to build a strong relationship with them. Once you start getting consistent with your lead collection and email marketing efforts, you will see a significant improvement in your conversion rates from the channel.
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 or digital marketing efforts. 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 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, and behavior etc. You can then schedule customized and personalized email campaigns to each of these segments according to predefined triggers.
Pay Per Click Advertising – PPC
With digital marketing also known as 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.
With internet advertising, you can start marketing your business for only a few dollars! Paid advertising 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 yo track the results in real time and stop/modify those campaigns which are not getting you the desired results.
Chatbots are an interesting technique using which brands are providing improved customer service and support to their clients. Mastercard is now making use of Facebook messenger bots to help its customers. Mastercard 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.
Predictive Analytics and Big Data
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 behaviour and 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.
Inbound or Content Marketing
What is content marketing? Content Marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing audience-centric content to drive engagement and conversion for the business. Inbound marketing is also known as Content Marketing and 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.
Content is king and everyone knows it
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 a process to sign up for the affiliate program. It would provide your affiliate partners with affiliate links and banners which they would promote on their website. Take a look at this example from Freshbooks, an online accounting tool:
Freshbooks affiliate program
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.
Take a look at this viral video from Samsung Technical School:
Take a look at this viral video we (I mean Giga Lagos Digitals) worked on for BLUE GATE WORLD :
Hacks on Becoming a Successful Internet Marketer or Digital Marketer
First and foremost, 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. Secondly, you need to have a lot of focus and agility in your approach.
While promoting your business online, you need to quickly and accurately decide on the channels which are helping you to get the best business outcomes. 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 will go a long way in helping you to grow your business.
Internet Marketing also known as Digital marketing is a strategic process of using online channels to build a brand and eventually get more sales for your business. The internet is where your audience is and so you can’t afford to miss out on this medium.