–noun [in-ter-net] [mahr-ki-ting]
Internet marketing is the marketing of products and services using the Internet as its medium. Lower costs of dissemination of information and a global audience are its main advantages. Internet marketing also encompasses digital customer data management and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM), which are widely used in businesses today.
The importance of Internet marketing strategies has increased with the growth and importance of the Internet. Most established companies are vying online space today and seek to adopt web marketing strategies to increase traffic to their company's homepage. Internet marketing helps add potential customers and the number of quality leads to your website as well. In fact, most organizations can adopt Internet marketing and advertising strategies to generate better business.
I have a website, is that enough?
Would you open a business without signage and advertising then expect customers to know exactly the product or service you offered? Of course not, then why would you do that to your website which is and extension of your business online?
Today, there is no dearth of web marketers who will claim to help implement web advertisements and promise top search engine rankings. To achieve this, experienced web marketers will undertake a detailed market analysis, competitor analysis and come up with an effective internet marketing strategy to steer a website to the top of the leading search engines. Let's take a closer look at each of these elements and see how they complement each other to create an effective and complete online marketing strategy:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
- Social Media (SM)
- Email Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization means ensuring that your Web pages are accessible to search engines and are focused in ways that help improve the chances they will be found. SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines. With my SEO knowledge I can fine tune keywords within a website to have a highly specialized focus, or take a more broad and general approach. Optimizing a web site for search engines can require looking at so many unique elements that many practitioners of SEO do not consider themselves knowledgeable enough to follow. My experience has given me a broad enough understanding of the many elements that intertwine with the true nature of Search Engine Optimization.
Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
Pay per Click is an advertising model where businesses pay an agreed upon amount, each time their advertisement is "clicked", not each time their ad is displayed. Advertisers typically setup PPC on a PPC network and define how much they are willing to spend for each click-through that they receive. Advertisers select keywords, keyword phrases, keyword groups, or categories in which they want their advertisements to appear. Advertisers willing to spend the most money for a relevant advertisement will generally be listed first. *Google's PPC ranking system assesses CPC (cost per click), ad relevance, click through rate, and daily budget, so the order on which the ads appear is based on a number of factors.
» PPC Benefits & Tracking
When you setup a PPC campaign you can control the traffic. While a new website takes time to rank well in search engines, with PPC you can turn the traffic on and off. With PPC you can create almost instant traffic. Unlike organic search listings you control the information (ie. description) and where the visitor is directed on your website. Another benefit to PPC listings is the opportunities for international exposure. Organic search listings vary in different geographical regions. With PPC you control where you are seen. In order to determine how effective a PPC campaign is, it is important to implement tracking. Just because an advertisement has a high number of click throughs does not mean it is the best ad. It is easy to get users to click on "Free Tacos" but few of those clicks will convert to sales I track pay-per-click campaigns to optimize revenue generating events like a phone call, email and click-throughs. Afterall these are the only events that have the potential of turning into real sales.
What is Social Media? It's really hard to answer. Some point to the revolutionary transformation of media, going from a top-down broadcast model to one that allows the former audience to communicate with one another and take part in the content creation. But with media evolving so quickly, what defines and constitutes social media becomes more difficult to ascertain. One thing is clear though, today a growing number of your customers are "socially" connected and businesses can't afford to lose those potential customers to their competition.
Here are some examples of social media websites:
- Social Bookmarking. (Del.icio.us, Blinklist, Simpy) Interact by tagging websites and searching through websites bookmarked by other people.
- Social News. (Digg, Propeller, Reddit) Interact by voting for articles and commenting on them.
- Social Networking. (Facebook, Hi5, Last.FM) Interact by adding friends, commenting on profiles, joining groups and having discussions.
- Social Photo and Video Sharing. (YouTube, Flickr) Interact by sharing photos or videos and commenting on user submissions.
- Wikis. (Wikipedia, Wikia) Interact by adding articles and editing existing articles.
And these websites are not the only social media websites. Any website that invites you to interact with the site and with other visitors falls into the definition of social media.
Email promotions and offers generate immediate action: sales, downloads, inquiries, registrations, etc. Informative email newsletters and other emails send people to offline stores and events, prepare the way for catalogs, build awareness, contribute to branding, strengthen relationships, encourage trust and cement loyalty. Email marketing works for a variety of reasons...
» It allows targeting
» It is data driven
» It drives direct sales
» It builds relationships, loyalty and trust
» It supports sales through other channels
Modern email marketing services and solutions support database integration, segmentation and various other tricks and techniques for improving the targeting of outgoing messages. Advanced methods generate on-the-fly emails customized down to an individual recipient basis. And every email campaign you send out generates a heap of actionable data you can use to refine your approach and messages.
Making it All Work
Internet marketing can be enhanced by enriching one's website. Great designs and content might better attract users to a particular website. Aesthetically pleasing sites generally attract more visitors, but so do functional sites. While a site should be visually pleasing and reach out to a broadly-defined demographic group, it should also be user-friendly.
Keeping an eye on the effectiveness of an Internet marketing strategy is also important. Internet marketing is not all about huge advertising costs and a successful website launch. The effectiveness of marketing tools will also have to be monitored to ensure that the approach continues to be fruitful. Careful analysis and selection of internet marketing strategies will help ensure business success.