Beginners Guide To Internet Marketing
Let’s be honest, what’s the first thing that goes into your mind when you think of the term “internet marketing?”
For some people, the picture of a website immediately came to mind. But for others, they might think about social media or blogging. In actual fact, they are all correct because all of these are puzzle pieces that piece together into a much bigger picture of internet marketing. However, these are not friendly pieces for new business owners to piece together when it comes to establish their web presence.
And yet, internet marketing is exceptionally important when come to growing your business may it be small, local business or even a one-person LLC. When internet marketing done right, it can broadcast your expertise, acquire new leads and pull in heaps of sales without marketing your company.
And that’s exactly what we are going to look at in this post where we will share with you a crash course on internet marketing 101, running over the basics and how you can get started soonest possible.
What is Internet Marketing?
In summary, anything you promote or sell online falls into the category of internet marketing. So, to give you a clearer picture, here are some of the most important and popular channels small businesses need to know.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the effort you put in to allow users to find you through search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and etc. The common SEM efforts are search engine optimization (SEO) and paid ads like Google AdWords and let’s look at each of them.
SEO can be seen as a free channel because you create a website that ranks well in search engines so that prospects can find you organically. To do that, all you need to do is to run extensive keyword research and publish amazing content focusing on these keywords.
You will then need to deploy techniques such as link building to help move your site up the search engine ranking. Once all these are setup, you can just check on your keywords every now and then to make sure that your website’s SEO is still healthy. Other than that, your website will be able to self-sustain with minimum maintenance from you.
Tools like Yoast SEO (a free WordPress plugin) is excellent to help optimize your website for SEO even you are new with SEO.
Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
As the name implies, Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC) is a form of paid advertising where businesses create ads and bid to have them shown to their target audiences. Businesses will then be charged according to the results such as impressions, clicks, conversions or taken actions and PPC comes in either search ads or display ads.
Search ads are mainly text ads targeted to prospects who are actively searching for the keywords that you are targeting. If you are running a campaign targeting the keyword “purple checkered pants” and someone searches that on Google, your ad will then appear on top of their search results.
The 2 most common PPC platforms are Google Adwords and Bing Ads. And both of them are awesome when come to connecting your business with ready buyers for your products.
There are a lot of display ads namely, Google Adsense, Facebook ad and Instagram Ads, Promoted Pins, Quora Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.
Internet marketing 101
Display ads are image ads that appear to your target audiences when they are browsing the internet. Depend on the channel you have chosen; your display ads can then appear on your prospects Facebook feed or on the news page that they are reading. They serve as a great tool to introduce your product to the prospects even when they are not actively looking for your product.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing includes organic marketing and paid advertising through social media channel such as Facebook. Businesses use social media marketing campaigns for brand awareness and building relationships with the customers, reminding them of the brand all so often.
And currently, Facebook holds the fort as the most popular social media marketing platform around the world. Even with the recent algorithm change that’s causing immense drop in organic searches, businesses are still rushing to Facebook to establish their social media presence.
Talking about establishing your social media presence, you might want to join other big social media players such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. And if you extra resources to spare, you will want to look into Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Periscope and others.
Although it seems to be profitable to be on all these social platforms, the reality is that it can be quite taxing maintaining all these channels. So, a more advisable approach is to start small and scale up your social presence when you have extra hand to assist on the daily posting. Start from one or two platforms that your target audiences most frequent to so that you can generate the best possible social media marketing result for your business.
Email marketing is so common that need no special introduction.
Businesses use email marketing to build awareness, nurture relationship and drive sales. In fact, latest research shown that every 1 dollar puts in, they get xyz profits.
And to start on this, you will want to actively capture users’ email, both when they are looking for your product as a prospect and after when they buy as customers. You can offer discounts or create lead magnets to incentivize email sign-ups and send out automatic email campaigns with email management service such as Aweber.
Other than the said internet marketing approach, you might also want to consider content marketing where you publish valuable content online to drive leads and establish brand trustworthiness. You can start by:
- Create unique blog posts to be available on your site
- Guest posting on others blogs or websites which always link back to your site
- Create lead magnets like reports, ebooks, case studies or white papers to capture email leads
Create videos or infographics to be shared on various social media channels
For your information, content marketing works exceptionally well with SEO and you should publish your content regularly to pull in maximum benefit from this marketing avenue.
Online networking is a great way to grow your business – often for free!
Because when it is done right, it can skyrocket your business to the level that you can never imagine. You will want to start by building relationships with peers and experts in online forums and groups whom you can collaborate on various projects.
So, here are some of the best places to look for online communities:
- Facebook groups
- LinkedIn groups
- Various industry forums (a simple Google search will reveal incredible amount of them)
- Q & A forums such as Quora
A gentle reminder though is that this kind of marketing is to focus on building relationship instead of hardcore selling.
Where Should You Start?
The first thing you want to do is to build a well-designed, customer centric website. The fastest way to go is to hire experienced expert because they will know how to create a website that’s to motivate, engage and convert customers.
While the experts are building your website, you will want to continue to run extensive keyword research. Bear in mind that the keywords you choose play an important role to rank your website well in search engines. So, make sure you follow the strategy to craft a good keyword strategy for your internet marketing approach.
Once you get people visiting your site, make sure you capture their email detail and your email series should kick in after that to start building relationships with them.
After your website is created, is time to deploy your social media marketing where you can start by creating your Facebook business page. This is where you display all essential information about your business and engage your audience on a less formal manner.
And depending on your target audience, you might want to consider joining Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest. Do know that social media marketing requires dedicated posting and updates of content but it’s one of the profitable ways to build online supporters for your business.
Once you taken care of all of the above, you will want to look into PPC marketing to quickly grow your business and regular content marketing to establish your expertise.
How Do You Measure Your Internet Marketing Results?
One of the most important quote in business says “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. So, here are some free tools to track your internet marketing result:
Google Analytics which you install the tracking code to your website to show invaluable information such as where your visitors are coming from, how many website visits you receive over a period of time, who visits your site, how your visitors interact with your site and how they are converted.
Analytics tools from the social media channels that your business is on which include but not limited to Facebook and Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics. You will see metrics such as likes, shares, comments, retweets and direct messages which are indications to the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts and how your audiences are consuming your content.
How Much is This Going to Cost You?
Looking at what we have gone through, it is common to come to a conclusion that internet marketing can cost your arms and your legs but at the same time, internet marketing can be affordable for any level of marketing budgets.
How is that possible?
Well, you can spend $100 a year for domain and web hosting which allow you to maintain a highly profitable website while social media marketing and SEO are both free where you can publish relevant and engaging content yourself.
Some email marketing services offer free trial period or free email delivery for the first couple hundred or even thousands of subscribers. This gives you ample time to drive profits before you start paying for the service.
They provide the Keyword Planner tool to help optimize your site completely free!
As good as free stuff is amazing to start your internet marketing business, there are some costs we highly recommend that you invest into (soonest when you can):
- Outsource your website creation to the professionals and this typically starts from $1,500. A hefty cost we reckon but it is a wise investment if you truly want to excel in internet marketing.
- Hire a copywriter to create your website copy and the investment generally starts from $500 depending on your requirement.
- Hire an agency or do it yourself PPC marketing because this can speed up your lead generation efforts. PPC ad cost starts from the range of $10 to $10,000 depending on your bidding strategy and budget. Do take note that agency will charge a minimum management fee if you decide to hire them.
A little note we would like to highlight is that these investment you made on internet marketing are consider as business expenses and business expenses are incredibly helpful when come to tax time which make in some way increase the value of the money you made.
Business owners often get confused when they first started their internet marketing journey. However, it is a necessity for businesses to grow in this digital era. Even small and local businesses need to be utilizing internet marketing to acquire new customers and build relationship with them.
And as you can see from the information we have shared, you can leverage on multiple platforms and free tools to ease your budget. This then makes internet marketing more manageable and profitable to businesses of various sizes.