Online marketing and Internet marketing are interchangeable terms which denote the use of the Internet to promote your brand, and its services and products.
Although it is outside the scope of this article, I want to take a moment to explain the term “Digital Marketing” since some individuals think it is interchangeable with those first two terms.
Digital marketing is a little broader and more of an umbrella of which online or Internet marketing is part of. There are many forms of advertising that are digital in nature, but since they can be partially or wholly off-line, they are not considered Internet marketing. These could be such things as games, interactive kiosks, mobile marketing (SMS text campaigns), television ads and content marketing.
Internet Marketing Basics
There’s certainly no shortage of tools, strategies, and techniques in the Internet marketing world to help you create more brand awareness and increase sales. Some are more effective than others, especially in certain niches.
Additionally, there is no one single strategy that is superior to all others in my opinion. This is due to the dynamic nature of the marketplace and the variety of options your potential customers have when researching and considering your business.
I would like to add that I feel it is more effective to focus on no more than 2 of these strategies initially. You should continue your efforts in those areas until you see some noticeable results rather than putting a little bit of effort and a lot of these areas. The end result may be very little progress in general. I have been down that road before. As a side note, you may wish to consider hiring a digital agency that has the resources to work on several strategies simultaneously to achieve faster results.
Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
This is one of the most popular forms of Internet marketing and often the one most people think of first. PPC ads can appear on the search engine results pages usually in the form of text ads. However, they can also appear as images known as banner ads or display ads on millions of other websites.
Search ads are shown based on what the visitors searching for. Display ads are shown on websites that match the demographics or interests of the visitor. There are advantages to each strategy depending on the desired outcome.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This strategy is intended to help users find your business and the solutions it offers using search engines such as Google and Bing. Search engine optimization often referred to as SEO, is a subset of SEM.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Virtually any strategy that uses social media platforms for marketing purposes, whether organic or paid advertising, is categorized as social media marketing. Facebook is the leader in this regard by a large margin, but there are many others that are becoming increasingly popular such as Instagram, Yelp, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Content marketing can take a variety of forms. It is generally used to generate leads, create brand awareness, and develop trust and authority for your company in the marketplace.
When creating brand awareness, some common examples, you are probably familiar with what are blog posts and infographics. However, the content can be delivered in a variety of different formats to reach the widest audience. Examples would be MP3 files on podcast platforms, videos on YouTube, PowerPoint or Keynote presentations on slide sharing platforms, or images on Pinterest or other similar sites.
Content marketing can also be effectively used to generate leads. You most likely have seen or engaged with lead magnet style landing pages that incentivize the visitor to provide their e-mail address and/or name in exchange for any type of content that would be considered valuable by the visitor. This might be an e-book, case study, cheat sheet, checklist, white paper, tutorials, resource list, or many others.
This is often used as a complementary strategy with content marketing whose purpose is lead generation. This provides the opportunity for the company to develop trust and rapport, brand awareness, and authority in the market. It is an important component to any other type of marketing where a structured follow-up strategy is required to create top of mind awareness for your brand. This is also commonly used to educate and inform potential customers of the benefits they can expect to achieve when utilizing the types of products and services you offer.
There are a variety of other online marketing strategies that can be utilized but the ones mentioned above usually provide the most effective results for the widest variety of markets when done correctly.
If you would like to discuss your company’s goals, and how these online marketing techniques can help you reach your desired outcomes, please give us a call today. We would love to can learn more about your business and what you would like to achieve so we can make the best recommendations.