What is internet marketing
As the internet matured, so did all the different ways to market things online
is a developer, technical writer, and a (former) designer.
Internet marketing is the way to promote your products and services today.
At first glance, you might think that there’s not much to know on the subject. You’d be wrong.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at internet marketing.
The Definition of Internet Marketing
Some people call it digital marketing, others online marketing. Basically, it’s marketing on the internet.
Marketing itself is the promotion of goods and services. Add the word internet to it, and you get the definition:
Internet marketing is the promotion of products and services with the help of the internet.
Ways to Do Internet Marketing
There are a number of different ways to conduct this promotion online:
- Website marketing (e-com sites, affiliate sites, niche sites, authority sites)
- Email marketing (“the money is in the list”)
- Social media marketing (on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIN)
For example, how would you market your course to potential students?
The Key Ingredient of Internet Marketing
In all the digital marketing activities, there is always one thing that pops up: content.
Content is so important that some people use the terms content marketing and internet marketing as synonyms.
Content is so important because:
- Search engine results revolve around content and relevant keywords
- Pre-internet marketing could not be avoided. If it was in print, everyone would see it
- Visitors can choose to ignore your content if it does not suit them perfectly - there are always competing sites that offer similar or better content
- Search engines favor unique content, and punish plagiarism
- There are many, many, many ways to promote your content (SEO, blogging, emails, ebooks, online ads, social media) - and thus, content needs to be adapted to these different channels of promotion
Content is king.
Inbound and Outbound Marketing
In the last several years, two terms came up in the world of digital marketing: inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is the new, digital, interactive marketing.
It is characterized by:
- Informative or entertaining content
- Value is given through content, for free
- People come to your content, on their own free choice
- Your brand and your visitors interact
Outbound marketing is the old marketing:
- Marketers had no choice but to push products or services on consumers. I sometimes call this forced marketing
- There is usually no value added. Think of a car commercial you’d see in the past, on TV, or in print.
- Your content comes to people - via TV, radio, newspapers, banners, before a movie in a cinema, etc. You can’t escape it - because you don’t control the channel of communication.
- The medium itself is non-interactive. You and your customers can’t interact.
Because outbound marketing is involuntary, and basically pushed onto consumers without their consent, digital marketing was a breath of fresh air.
With digital, users don’t have to “endure” an ad they don’t like. They can find content they do like. It’s only a click away.
If digital marketing is done right, in a way, your entire content becomes an advertisment. But it has to be done right.
By advertisment done right, I mean: advertisement your users will want to see.
Seth Godin refers to this phenomenon as the tribe.
Basically, you need to rally your customers and your product around an idea. You need to talk about the idea, you need to show them the idea in everyday life. And finally, you show them how your product fits in with the idea.
That is content marketing, inbound style.
How to do inbound marketing
To be successful at inbound marketing, you need to:
- Produce content that entertains
- Publish informative, helpful content
- After people visit your site, they should feel that the site “understands” them
- Organize your digital presence so that people easily interact with it
- Establish the authority in your domain, through the efforts listed above
Of course, your marketing efforts must be tailored-made.
They must fit the medium.
For example, your email marketing content will be different from your blog marketing content.
Differences Between Various Types of Content Marketing
There are a number of different ways you can market products and services through content:
- Blog posts
- Infographics and illustrations
- animation videos
- talking head videos
- screen capture videos
- Case studies
- Audio books and podcasts
Each piece of the above content depends on the medium on which it is served. For example, a perfect place for a blog post is your own website.
The best place for videos is of course, YouTube.
Illustrations and infographics can be shared anywhere - on any social media platform - but Pinterest stands out as an appropriate image-only search engine of sorts.
Podcasts need to be hosted somewhere. Better then your own blog, you can host your podcast on a number of platforms, such as Blubrry, audioBoom, BuzzSprout, Libsyn, Soundcloud, SimpleCast, Podbean, etc.
You also need a publishing platform for your podcast, and that can be Google Play, iTunes, TuneIn, or Stitcher, to name a few.
Audio books can be published on platforms like acx.com (Audiobook Creation Exchange), Findaway Voices, Author’s Republic, ListenUp, and many others.