Any business doing any kind of marketing today needs to include the internet in the marketing mix.
The most basic part of an internet marketing plan is to have a well-designed, well-optimized website.
Once that’s done, you can start marketing your website, services, products, and expertise through lots of online avenues. These include paid search (pay-per-click, Adwords, featured listings), ongoing SEO, digital ads, social media, mobile marketing, blogs, email marketing, and online articles. Let’s look at a few of these:
These can be easily linked to your new or existing website—just as this one is. Blogs are great platforms for presenting your expertise in your field or your perspectives on industry trends. An informative, engaging blog is a marketing asset people will want to revisit periodically to learn more. You can promote your updated blog posts via social networks and email marketing—two other valuable ways to do internet marketing.
Social media is unavoidable at this point and its allure seems to have sucked everyone in. According to Pew Research, at the end of last year 67% of adults online used social networks.
There are loads of social networks to choose from; most people think of LinkedIn for B2B, Facebook, and Twitter but there’s also Pinterest (especially good for businesses that are highly visual), Tumbler, and others such as YouTube, which has evolved from video search engine to a huge social sharing platform. Not all social networks are right for all businesses but all offer ways to reach many millions of consumers.
Social media marketing boots your online visibility and allows you to connect with new customers or valuable business contacts. Whether you post regularly, advertise through Facebook ads or promoted posts or via Twitter’s promoted tweets, social networks provide a wealth of opportunities for getting your message out in front of a huge audience.
Search Engine Marketing
Many people are aware of paid search (pay-per-click campaigns, Google Adwords). But search marketing is now incorporating social media and public relations methods, and company’s search engine rankings improve when they are posting highly relevant, sharable content across platforms. The search engines reward users that provide good content that is well optimized. Shared content generates “social signals” that search engine algorithms like—and help your business get more business from search over time.
This is an exciting and fast-changing area of marketing. From basic text message ads to integrated text-to-mobile campaigns, mobile is vast new marketing territory. There are great ways to bring together print ads with QR codes or calls to action that send readers to websites or promotional landing pages, and then provide special offers via text messaging.
Videos are everywhere and are a growing demand. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Each month it has more than one billion unique users and over six billion hours of video are watched on it.
Video marketing content takes several forms: educational, informational, or instructional, entertainment, and actual ads. Some ways to use video in your internet marketing plan include: develop your own brand channel(s) and post videos there; optimize your videos for strong search results; create compelling video content that viewers want to watch and share (the sharing is very important for rankings).
A Few Points to Remember
Have Great Design & Images
Because of the visual impact of the online world, where everything is about photos and videos, make sure you have strong visuals. Just look at the explosive growth of Pinterest or the way other major social networks have been redesigned—there’s no question that people go gaga over images of all kinds. Slides, PDFs, photos, videos—include any or all of them in your online marketing efforts. Facebook statistics have shown that posts with images are viewed and shared much more than all-text posts.
Don’t forget to update your website periodically with fresh content (video, blog posts, new copy, new images) to give your audience a reason to come back to it over time. With the right keywords and content, they’ll find you and visit you online often.