What is internet marketing?

What is internet marketing?

What is internet marketing?

Internet marketing is such a huge, vast world. In fact, the internet contributes to $2.2 trillion dollars in sales. Not only that, but by 2017, there will be more internet traffic than all prior internet years combined.

But what is it exactly?

Internet marketing – also known as online marketing – is the process of promoting a product or brand over the internet. In the simplest of terms, internet marketing consists of marketing efforts done solely over the internet.

To those who have yet to dip their toe into the ocean that is internet marketing, it might seem really complicated. Whether you’re a business owner looking to reach more prospects or someone looking to make money as an online marketer, the amount of information out there is overwhelming. I used the word ocean for a reason!

With that in mind, I’ll be giving you a crash course so that whatever your interest may be, you will be able to make a simple plan of action.

What does being an internet marketer involve?

An internet marketer is someone who uses certain online marketing techniques to help a business reach its goals.

For example, SEO experts will run on-site audits to fix any problems a company website already has. They may also use link-building techniques.

An Affiliate Marketer on the other hand could have their own website or blog, with the aim of sending their affiliates new customers. They might do this by writing review blogs and including affiliate products, or by writing how-to articles and including affiliate links that way.

But more on the different sub-categories and techniques later.

What is internet marketing?

Can anyone do it?

Yes.

Because internet marketing can seem so vast, where to begin can seem impossible. It’s like looking for the end of the ocean. However, those on both sides of the table – business owners and online-marketer-wannabes – can find their own path relatively easy. You just need the right guidance, and to look in the right place for learning tools.

Let’s say you’re a business owner looking to use online marketing to reach your target audience. You could put together your own social media strategy relatively easy using how-to articles online. It will just take time (expect about a year) to see decent results. On the other hand you could hire a social media consultant to revamp and look after your social media pages.

If on the other hand you want to become an online marketer to help businesses grow, you can find yourself a mentor, take a course or use online how-to articles. The internet really can teach you how to do anything – social media marketing included.

I’d like to make these decisions easier for you by simplifying everything, regardless of which side of the table you’re sat at.

So, let’s take a more in depth look at the different sub-categories of online marketing in more detail:

Email Marketing

I’ve put this one first because it’s one of the oldest in the book – but it still remains one of the most effective. Simply put, this involves emailing customers and asking them to buy. Of course it’s a little more strategic than that, using timing and special offers as persuasive tools.

One of the biggest tactics marketers use for email marketing is collecting email addresses using pop-up boxes and other website add-ons.

Just because you need to have permission to email the individual (by collecting their address) doesn’t mean they will have had to buy something from you already. This is one way bloggers use subscribers and followers to earn money. Email existing customers and prospects through email marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing involves promoting other people’s products and earning a piece of the profit when visitors buy the product.

Affiliate Marketers find a product, promote it to other people – on a blog for example – and then earn commission for each sale.

If you’re a business owner, using affiliates as part of your marketing strategy can be a great way to drive sales. You only pay the affiliate when the customer actually buys the product too.

Here’s how it works:

  1. The affiliate is assigned a “tracking URL”:
    The purpose of these is to identify which affiliate drives the traffic.
  2. The affiliate markets the company:
    They attract potential customers, try and convince them to click on the link and buy the product. Various methods can be used to do this – blog posts on a review blog, a YouTube video of the product, social networking, email etc. Anything which includes a link to the product somewhere.
  3. Customers are acquired:
    A visitor signs up to the service or purchases the product.
  4. The affiliate receives a commission:
    The affiliate gets paid for driving the customer to the product or service.

If you’re interested in making money as an Affiliate Marketer, I recently posted a three-part series in Affiliate Marketing – from the beginners guide up to the masterclass. You can find the first post here. Follow my advice and I guarantee you can make passive income using Affiliate Marketing.

Alternatively, if you’re a business owner looking to boost your growth with Affiliate Marketers, check out Marketing Donut’s post on finding affiliates.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO has been one of the biggest buzzwords – and sources of debate – in online marketing for years.

As Wikipedia puts it, SEO involves “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results”. In other words, it involves optimising everything on a website – the design, writing, content quality, keywords, links, everything; in order to try and increase its search engine ranking.

You’ve probably noticed that I said it’s a source of debate. It’s effectiveness in recent years has been debated among online marketing experts. Is it really as effective as it used to be? The answer is, we truly don’t know. What we do know is that it’s done a lot for a lot of websites and businesses.

Also, as I’ll say time and time again, the more online marketing strategies business owners utilise, the better. So consider adding it to your marketing arsenal.

Aside from SEO, there’s something called Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is the paid version of SEO. You’ve probably seen these ads before when you pull up a page of google search results. They’re those well-integrated ads that come up when you make a search – the hope being that it will generate leads.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Similar to SEM, PPC advertising allows businesses to advertise on social networks. This method is great because you only pay for clicks – not just ad views.

Social Media Marketing

One of the best ways of gaining attention and traffic is through social media. In fact, it’s actually pretty necessary to have a presence on social media if you want to find success as a business owner today.

Building a social media marketing strategy can be quite straight forward, though business owners will often bring in a consultant to do this for them.

A good strategy requires knowing exactly who your target audience is, being on the same platforms as they are and getting them engaged in your content.

Although you will probably start to see some effects after a month of implementing a good strategy, it takes a year or so to see a measurable difference. If you’re ready to stay in it for the long-haul, social media marketing can bring you worthwhile results.

Content Marketing

“Content is king” – Bill Gates

Content Marketing involves creating content which you can then distribute to potential customers. The key to success with content marketing is creating useful, quality content that either informs, entertains or helps the target audience in some way.

Blogging for example would come under the umbrella of content marketing. Did you know that 2.7 million blog posts are published every day? Freelance blogging really is a popular way to earn money, and to help businesses attract new customers.

But it’s not just blog posts, content marketing can involve a variety of media, whether that’s blog posts or videos on YouTube.

Neil Patel calls this the “good guy” of online marketing because according to him, you’re guilt tripping prospects into buying.

What is internet marketing?

So, the day in the life of an internet marketer can be very different, depending on which one of these the person is doing, or combination of.

If you’re a business owner, utilising as many of these tactics as possible will increase your chances of success.

If you’re an individual considering the other side of the table – becoming an internet marketer that is – just know that you can learn how to do any of these things.

Any decision will depend on your preferences. For example, if you decide to start affiliate marketing, you’re not going to have to work with clients per say. On the other hand if you decide to offer social media services as a freelance consultant, you may end up working with clients much more directly.

Think about what it is you really want, and you’ll find the answers.

For all you business owners out there, in my next post I’ll be giving you a guide to getting started with internet marketing – so keep an eye out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, keep being the best…

Your friend and mentor, 

Simon Stepsys 

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