Marketing is all about persuading people to purchase your goods or services. And, these days, the internet is the most convenient way to reach those potential clients. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in 2021, 85% of Americans go online every day, with 31% reporting being online “nearly continuously“. But, given the size of the internet, where can businesses identify their target audience or the individuals most likely to desire their product? This calls for an internet marketing strategy.
What is internet marketing?
Internet marketing, usually referred to as digital marketing, web marketing, or online marketing, is the general word for all online marketing. Social media, email, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO), a technique that makes it simpler for search engines to locate your website, are all included in this, but they are not the only ones. Internet marketing is an effective way for businesses to interact with their audience and draw in new clients because so many people spend a lot of time online.
Types of internet marketing
An efficient internet marketing strategy uses several different channels. Consider the following examples of various forms of internet marketing:
Social media marketing
A 2021 Pew Research Center study found that 72% of US adults use social media, up from only 5% in 2005. Nearly half of those over the age of 65 use at least one platform, despite younger Americans using it more often. You may thus contact your clients on social media, whether they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or another site, regardless of who your target market is. There are several approaches to social media marketing, depending on your objectives and financial constraints:
Organic: Organic social media marketing is everything you can accomplish on the site without spending any money, like your Instagram in-feed postings. Organic social media postings are a low-cost approach to interacting with your audience and developing the personality of your company.
Paid: You may reach more prospective consumers and target a specific demographic by using paid social media advertising, such as sponsored posts with demographic targeting.
Even if they don't directly know them, consumers prefer to trust other people's opinions more than they do ads when making purchase decisions. A successful online marketing plan may include collaborating with an influencer, whether they are a well-known figure or someone with a smaller following who appeals to your target demographic. Influencer marketing is possible across some platforms:
Blogs: Although influencer marketing on social media may currently be more prevalent, bloggers still impact many different groups. In addition, since many bloggers regularly maintain social media profiles with sizable followings, firms that collaborate with bloggers may gain additional visibility across several channels. Blogs are particularly effective marketing tools in the lifestyle industries, such as fashion, travel, food, and parenting.
Although it uses a different payment scheme, affiliate marketing is comparable to influencer marketing. While affiliates (often blogs or popular magazines that can include links in their content) who highlight your product are paid by sales or by clicks when they lead people to your site, influencers are normally paid at a set amount for a post.
Email marketing is a common component of internet marketing techniques. When clients provide a business with their email, it enables the business to contact them for upcoming marketing initiatives, including but not limited to:
- Welcoming new customers
- Advertising new products or services
- Sending promotional offers or discount codes
- Promoting new blog content
- Following up on an abandoned shopping cart
- Soliciting product feedback
To draw in and keep the attention of potential consumers, content marketing involves producing and disseminating useful material online. This can apply to social media, but it most frequently refers to a company's internal blog, where it can post articles about its products, sector, or other subjects that its consumers would find interesting. When used in conjunction with a solid SEO plan, content marketing can be a powerful tool for informing and interacting with your consumers and can bring in more visitors to your website.
The goal of SEO is to increase the likelihood that search engines like Google will find your website. Some actions you can do to boost SEO are:
- Using relevant keywords for the topic
- Adding title or header tags
- linking to appropriate internal and external pages
- Providing an enjoyable user experience, which may be achieved through speedier download times and attractive desktop and mobile web designs
Paid advertising is available on social media sites like Facebook and search engines like Google to reach more people in your target market:
Pay-per-click. One of the numerous advantages of web advertising is that you can often measure success more effectively with it than with other platforms. The payment model may do so in some instances. Numerous websites and search engines charge you according to how many people click on your advertisement.
Search engines. You can effectively buy your way to the top of search results by using search engine advertising. This strategy might be useful when your website is brand new or there is fierce rivalry for market share because these circumstances make it difficult to achieve a high position naturally.
Website. Pay-per-click banner advertising is available on several websites, including blogs, magazines, and news websites.
Paid social media posts. So that you can reach people who will be interested in your products or services, these provide you the opportunity to target potential clients based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
How to develop an internet marketing strategy in 4 steps
Starting on the internet might be overwhelming since there are so many different sorts of internet marketing to investigate. Take some time to explore which platform would be most effective for your business before launching into them all at once.
1. Identify goals and set metrics
Think about your goals for internet marketing and how you plan to assess your progress. Will you prioritize boosting sales? The percentage of website visits or ad clicks that result in a sale, or conversion rate, is a useful indicator for gauging performance in this case.
Other objectives, like increasing brand recognition, can yield less immediate benefits, but they might be worthwhile in the long run. Increasing social media followers, general website traffic, and consumer involvement may all be signs of success in these situations.
Prioritizing different metrics for various campaigns to represent your objectives might be helpful because a sound internet marketing plan frequently involves efforts in both areas.
2. Define the target audience
You may reach your target audience where they are if you are aware of who they are. For instance, older internet users are more active on Facebook, while younger users are more likely to be found on Instagram, according to the Pew Research Center. Being aware of this information can help you connect with potential clients.
3. Devise a marketing plan
You may create a strategy to achieve your goals if you are aware of them. For instance, a small business that sells baby clothes made from sustainably sourced materials and wants to raise awareness of its brand might concentrate on marketing techniques that will enable it to connect with its target market—new parents who have shown an interest in environmental causes and sustainable fashion. This might be accomplished by working with a well-known parent blogger who shares the values of their target demographic or by using targeted Instagram advertisements.
A solid marketing strategy has a timeframe and budget. Provide the following answers before you leave:
- How much am I willing to spend on this initiative?
- How quickly do I expect to see results?
4. Execute and monitor
It's useful to monitor the rate of growth of important indicators, such as followers, engagement, site traffic, conversion rate, and sales, as you put your internet marketing plan into practice. Utilize this information to test the strategies that work best for reaching your audience on various platforms.
You could decide to increase your investment in the blog in the future or find out how to efficiently disseminate the material on other platforms if, for instance, you discover that email campaigns that promote your blog content generate greater click-through rates. On the other side, you may experiment with an alternative strategy if you find that a particular topic line seems to have a low open rate.