What is Internet Marketing? An Introduction to Online Marketing Strategies

What is Internet Marketing? An Introduction to Online Marketing Strategies

Today's internet marketing, or online marketing, is rapidly evolving.

Today's internet marketing, or online marketing, is rapidly evolving. No longer limited to the constraints of print, companies are finding new, innovative and most importantly, inexpensive ways to reach potential customers. Clients expect a business to have a website. From social media to Google AdWords, it's your job as a small to medium business owner to help them find it. But what is Internet marketing, exactly?

Internet marketing refers to any form of advertising or marketing on the web. It's an all-inclusive term to define promotions via emails, social media posts, paid advertisements on search engines, etc. As user demographics get younger, companies of all sizes are switching their focus from the traditional television, radio and newspaper ads to the Internet, where they can reach a larger, more relevant audience for less money.

Contrary to what some may believe, companies don’t need a never-ending budget in order to participate. With the right online marketing strategies, small and medium businesses are finding new ways to compete against the Goliaths. Even with a limited budget, companies are able to get creative and reach customers at each stage of the purchasing cycle. Whether a searcher is first considering a purchase or at the final stage before checkout, they will see your brand at every step of the way.

Why is Online Marketing Important?

With over 3.5 billion Google searches per day, more customers are turning to the web to find answers with each passing day. This creates an entire marketing platform with consumers just waiting to discover your brand. Using data analysis and refinement tools, you can target the most relevant and qualified customers. This means less wasted money and a higher rate of return on your online marketing investment. And with computers and tools doing most of the work for you, finding those qualified customers is just a click away.

Think that you already know all the ins and outs of online marketing? You may be surprised. View this short guide in the Google Help Centre to test your online marketing knowledge.

Types of Online Marketing Strategies

In order to make the most of your online marketing budget, you first need to lay out your strategy. Set realistic goals and start small. Once you've tested your strategies to find what works and what doesn't, then you can consider expanding. Here are just a few of the most common types of online marketing strategies:

  1. Content Marketing

    A trending buzzword, content marketing refers to the creation of "natural content" in order to increase brand awareness. By natural content, we mean any form of shareable media that entices customers to interact with the brand. Types of content can include videos, blog posts, infographics, etc. This online marketing strategy is generally less expensive and is used primarily to expand brand awareness and establish a business as a thought leader in their field.

  2. Display Advertising

    Every time that you're on a website and you see an advertisement with an image or video, this is display advertising. This form of online marketing is a great way to increase product awareness and get your brand in front of a significant amount of people. Display advertisements are generally very eye catching and can be easy to create using Google's image library. Find out more about how to create an image ad in just a few simple steps and easy tips for success.

  3. Email Marketing

    The name says it all. Email marketing is simply the process of reaching out to your customers via email. These emails can range from promoting a special sale or limited time offer to sending a weekly email with industry updates and thought leadership articles. For email marketing, it's important to let your customers provide their information willingly, rather than targeting users based on external email lists. Emails sent to people who have not voluntarily signed up have a higher likelihood of being considered spam.

  4. Paid Search Advertising or PPC

    This online marketing strategy uses services such as Google AdWords to promote businesses through advertisements that appear on search engine results page. Companies can pay to have their specific text ads appear whenever customers search for a designated term on Google. Often made to seem complicated, paid search advertising can be simple to use and allows your company to tap into that market of 3.5 billion searches every day.

  5. Search Engine Optimisation

    Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is often referred to as "organic marketing" and uses natural processes to promote your website on the search engine results page. SEO ensures that your website is in compliance with search engine best practice to deliver the most relevant content and best user experience. This can range from including certain keywords on a page to making sure that your website is organised in a clear and easy-to-use structure so that users don't get confused. Get more information on steps to creating a Google-friendly website.

  6. Social Media Marketing

    This online marketing strategy includes both paid and unpaid features on social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. Brands can choose to post interesting and engaging articles from their own site or others for free or pay to position their posts in front of a very specific audience. Social media networks are extremely valuable resources as they allow customers to easily share interesting content with other like-minded individuals.

Online marketing strategies vary based on the type of business and ultimate goal, however, one thing is for certain: Internet marketing is becoming a necessity. No matter your business type or size, online marketing provides a valuable way to connect with relevant customers for less. Don't be scared off by the marketing Goliaths. The first step to success is to understanding what Internet marketing is and how your business can participate. You don't have to be an expert to get started. With the right online marketing strategy, your company will be thriving in no time.

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