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What is Internet Marketing?

When you here of internet marketing, what comes to
your mind?

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds
is a website. Other people think of either a blog or a social media page. The
reality is that these are some channels of internet advertising that are part
of a larger picture referred to as internet marketing. Trying to create a
comprehensive marketing strategy for your particular business is like solving a
puzzle using different pieces.

In today’s business environment, internet marketing
is invaluable. Whether you run a small or medium enterprise or whether you are
a large multinational company. There are numerous benefits that accrue from
having a visible online presence that includes:

  • Creating a brand
  • Attracting new customers
  • Keeping in touch with existing customers

Internet marketing can help broadcast your
expertise and develop new leads for your business. Having a visible online
presence can lead to cost saving on other traditional promotional channels such
as TV, radio, or newspaper advertising.

This post is aimed at helping you understand
internet marketing so that it works for you and your business. We will outline
the basics of internet marketing by analysing different platforms.    

What
constitutes internet marketing?

In reality, internet marketing is very broad. Any
marketing endeavour that you can execute on an online platform falls under
internet marketing. The most important and popular channels that can help your
business include:

  1. Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM is any
marketing endeavor that helps your potential customers locate your business
through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There are some avenues
that are considered crucial but separate in SEM including platforms such as
Google AdWords and SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO helps you to create a website that ranks highly
on a search engine compared to similar websites for businesses offering similar
services. SEO is free compared to Google AdWords that requires you to pay for
your advertisement to appear in another person’s website or bog post. SEO
allows your potential customers to organically find you.

To ensure that you organically rank highly, it is
important that you conduct extensive keyword research and writing relevant
content that utilizes those key words. SEO requires you to possess special
skills such as building links that can help you move up search engine rankings.

You will need to consistently check on the keywords
for your site’s SEO to make sure that it ranks highly and is up-to-date. Search
engines such as Google regularly update their algorithms, which will require
you to continually perform maintenance on your site.     

There are numerous plugins that can be used on
platforms such as WordPress that can help you ensure that the SEO for your site
is effective even if you do not possess the requisite specialized skills. To
have your SEO performed by professional online marketing experts, simply click here.

  • Pay-per click marketing (PPC)

PPC marketing involves the creation of an ad,
bidding to have it viewed by a target audience, and the results paid for. What
different platforms choose to optimize determines what you pay for including
actions taken, conversions, impressions, or more popularly, clicks.

There are two forms of PPC marketing: display ads
and search ads

Display ads allow your potential customers to view
your ads as they browse the internet. Your ads are displayed on a page that a
user is viewing or on a Facebook feed. These types of ads allow you to
introduce your business and products to customers that are inadvertently
browsing the internet.

Display ads include Instagram Ads, Quora Ads,
Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Promoted Pins, and Google AdSense among many
others.

  • Social Media Marketing

You can also utilize social media marketing. It
entails both paid advertising using the PPC of a given platform and organic
marketing. You can use social media to create awareness of your brand and to
nurture customer relationships. Having a presence on social media platforms
ensures that your brand is always in the minds of potential customers.    

Facebook is the most popular social media platform
for internet marketing. The platform allows you to create a detailed page with
all the relevant information about your brand. There have been changes in the
Facebook algorithm for organic reach but even these changes have not adversely
affected Facebook’s standing as the premier social media platform for online
marketing.

There are other social media platforms that compete
with Facebook including Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Others such as
reddit, Periscope, Snapchat, and Tumblr are also viable to promote your
business.

While it is possible to have your business profiled
in multiple social media platforms, it is advisable that you start small in one
platform and learn how to manage it before moving on to others. Alternatively,
you can hire professionals such as climbing trees to manage
your social media pages and handle your entire social media marketing profile.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing has been
around for a lot longer than the other types of internet marketing. You can
also utilize this avenue by sending emails to your customers to drive sales and
nurture leads. Email marketing utilizes mailing lists and works just like
social media marketing to remind potential customers and previous customers
that your products are still around.

Email marketing is unlike social media marketing in
that you can afford to be more aggressive. The emails that you send individuals
or groups of users will contain more information than social media pitches such
as calls to action, product announcements, and specific offers. 

It is important for your business to capture the
email of a user even prior to them becoming customers. Your business can
persuade customers and other users to sign-up to your platforms through
incentives and lead magnets. Utilizing a service like MailChimp for management
of emails can allow you to automatically send autoresponses to welcome
subscribers using email campaigns that are pre-made.

  • Content Marketing

You can utilize content marketing for your business
by publishing online in order to draw leads. Trust is established by ensuring
that there is value in the content offered in blog posts that are published on
your website, in guest posts that you have authored for affiliate sites with
links that lead back to your website, videos and infographics that can be
shared on multiple social media platforms, and other media that captures lead
information such as case studies, white papers, and ebooks, jointly referred to
as lead magnets.

Content marketing is utilized complementarily with
SEO and should be executed to achieve specific goals. You should ensure that
you regularly create content that will generate leads. Since this avenue for
internet marketing quickly loses momentum, it is important that you contract
third parties to produce content relevant for your business. For professional
help in relevant content generation using keywords vital for SEO, visit website.

  • Online Networking

Online networking is invaluable in creating
relationships that are invaluable for business promotion and growth. It is
important that you seek out and join online groups and forums of your peers and
other experts ready to help you with your business. The relationships built
through online networks can help in generating richer content for your webpages
by sharing acquired knowledge that can help in expanding your target audience.  

You can also collaborate on some projects with
like-minded individuals on these forums to diversify your portfolio. This mode
of internet marketing, however, is not utilized for outright selling but for building
relationships
that are mutually beneficial.    

There are numerous forums where you can seek out
online networks including:

  • LinkedIn groups
  • Facebook groups
  • Quora, which is a question and answer forum, and
  • Industry forums

Online networks are a free and effective way of
growing your business by presenting your business in front of a diverse
audience.

You should
start here…

You should know that there is no one-size-fits-all
strategy when developing an internet marketing strategy that works for your
business. Nonetheless, here are some basic pointers.

First, ensure that you have a website that is
well-designed and strong. Since this is a specialized skill, you will require
an expert in web design, who will
create a website that has intuitive navigation and can persuade customers to
shift to your brand.

Second, you will need to conduct extensive research
into keywords for your business as your site is being built. Keywords are the
Holy Grail in internet marketing as they guarantee visibility on the web. Choosing
unique and comprehensive keywords helps your webpages rank highly on search
engines. 

Third, after launching your site, you should have a
clearly visible form for capturing customer emails. This should be backed up
with an autoresponder to automatically welcome potential clients once they
volunteer their emails.

Fourth, it is time you consider having a presence
in social media. We recommend that you start by having a Facebook page as it
will guarantee you faster results than other social media platforms. This page
should have plenty of relevant information on your business that is well
presented. If you have a large and wide ranging target audience, you can
register additional social media accounts with other popular platforms like
Pinterest, Instagram, and twitter. Ensure that you frequently monitor and
update your social media pages. If you need help with managing your social
media profile, click here.  

Fifth, you can boldly branch out to other forms of
internet marketing once your social media pages are up and running and are
well-managed. Some of the avenues that can help you reach your target audience
faster include search ads and social media ads through PPC. Also, consider
generating relevant content for your business to highlight your expertise
through blogs on your site or through writing guest blogs in other sites, which
link back to your website.     

So,
how much will investing in internet marketing set me back?

Remember we mentioned earlier that internet marketing is
invaluable for all types and sizes of business. The cost on internet marketing
ultimately depends on how much you are willing to commit to the endeavour. Keep
in mind, however, that you will require to invest some amount for professional
help in some of the more technical aspects of internet marketing.

At the very minimum, you will have to spend close to $100
annually to pay for your domain name and have your website hosted. This will
allow you to develop a website that is high-functioning.

Other aspects of internet marketing such as content
marketing and social media marketing are free if you manage your own pages and
develop your own content. Some of the email marketing platforms are also free
for the first hundreds or first thousands of subscribers. This will afford you
enough time to gain some revenue before you are required to pay for the
service. There are free tools that can aid in keyword research such as Google
Keyword Planner. Such a tool helps you optimize your searches for free.

While most services can be freely available on the
internet, here are some recommendations where you can invest your resources for
faster returns:

  • You should hire a professional
    web designer so that you have a well-developed and outlined website with
    interactive content and is user-friendly. This will set you back a minimum of
    $1,500 but is a worthwhile investment.
  • You should hire a copywriter to
    handle your site’s copy. This will also set you back around $500, which is also
    worthwhile.
  • You should expand your reach
    using PPC advertising, which will cost you from as little as $10 to as much as
    $10,000. You have discretion to determine how much you are willing to
    spend. 

Consider everything you invest on internet marketing a
business expense that will help you when filing your taxes, in addition to
generating new leads that will increase revenue.

So here we are!

Considering the above information, I bet you no longer
consider internet marketing a complicated endeavour. It is necessary for your
business regardless of its size as it helps, above all, to build your brand,
attract new customers, and nurture existing relationships for the benefit of
your business.

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