By definition, internet marketing is any strategy or tactic used to market a business on the internet. A broad term, internet marketing is made up of many marketing techniques, methods, and strategies that are designed to bring attention to businesses, products and services with the sole purpose of increasing revenue.
The majority of consumers use the internet to find information about products and services and this is why it is vital that any businesses have an online presence.
Types of Internet Marketing
Any business that wants to take advantage of the reach and traffic that the internet can provide, should be using internet marketing. Affordable and effective, internet marketing will increase the brand awareness of your business, help it to connect with potential customers, and give you the ability to interact with your target audience.
There are numerous ways to promote your business online with the following among the most common:
- A Website: Any business that wants to promote themselves online should start with a website. This gives your customers somewhere to see and potentially purchase your products and services. A website also helps you to create a brand identity and interact with your customers.
- SEM or Search Engine Marketing: Another highly effective internet marketing method is to use SEM to to rank a website in the search engines. This can be done naturally using search engine optimisation or through paid advertising. Both will list your website for specific search terms in Google.
- Email Marketing: Marketing via email is another popular method used by many small businesses. By collecting the email addresses of visitors and customers on your website, you can target them with special offers, promotions, and newsletters.
- Display Advertising: One effective method is to purchase ad space on websites that cater to a similar target audience as yours. An example would be buying ads on a car insurance website if you sold car accessories. How much this costs depends on the traffic the website attracts and how big and how long your placement will be.
- Content Marketing: Content is king when it comes to online marketing. Using your own blog or writing articles as guest posts on other blogs and websites is a great way to reach your target market. A well-written article can also help with the search engine optimisation of your website, increase your credibility and trust among readers, and increase brand awareness.
- Social Media Marketing: Social media platforms are also powerful marketing tools in their own right. Everyone has a social media account of some kind whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Using these platforms to share your content, connect with your target audience, and to create new leads is a great way to market your small businesses for free.
The Costs of Internet Marketing
The great thing about internet marketing is that a lot of it can be done for free. This is with the premise that you have the time and a good understanding of what you are doing. You could write your own blogs, do your own keyword research for SEO, perform your own social media marketing strategies, and do your own email marketing. Paying for the website and a domain name could be the only expense you have to worry about.
Ideally, however, you will want to make use of professional internet marketing companies or individuals. You could outsource the writing of blog posts to experienced freelance writers, hire and hire an internet marketing company to manage your social media profiles, SEO, and email marketing campaigns. Not only does this save you time you could spend elsewhere in your business but a good company will have better skills and experience.
Other costs may come if you choose to go down the route of PPC (pay-per-click) or any other type of paid advertising. Additionally, if you do decide to do your own online marketing, you will need expensive software such as Ahrefs for your SEO.
Keeping Track of Results
As mentioned, the biggest cost is likely to be time with regards to internet marketing if you are doing it yourself. That time will not only be spent creating and implementing your marketing strategies but also tracking them. You do now want to waste your time or money on strategies that are not working.
How many people are reading your blog? What are the open rates and engagements from the emails you are sending out? Are your paid ads proving to be a good ROI by bringing in enough new leads? There are tools that you can use to provide the analytics you need when establishing whether your strategies are working. With so much to think about however, it might just be better to hire an internet marketing company to handle it all for you.