Are you a small business owner struggling to tackle your digital marketing? Perhaps you’re confused about where to start or what your next step should be. Don’t worry because we’ve got you covered with our ultimate internet marketing guide to help guide you from A to Z, so let’s jump right in.
What Is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing, which is also called either online or digital marketing, encompasses any marketing you do on the internet. This umbrella term covers all your marketing activities online such as sending emails, posting on social media, and creating blog posts.
The five most common types of digital marketing include:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
There are many different facets of marketing online. And, as you build your digital marketing strategy, you should include each of these examples above.
Content Marketing vs Traditional Advertising
Content marketing is a subset of digital marketing, although many people use the terms interchangeably. Content marketing is creating relevant and valuable content with the intent of attracting new customers and converting more sales.
Content can be defined as any medium in which you share information. This can include written content such as blog posts. But it also includes audio content in the form of podcasts, video content, and infographics.
The biggest difference between content marketing and traditional marketing is that the latter is generally interruptive in nature meaning the content is pushed out to the customer regardless of whether they want it or not. However, with content marketing, you take a much more inbound approach meaning that people find your content through searches or shares when they need the information you have.
Why Choose Online Marketing
People don’t like to be sold to. Few people watch live TV with the commercials, billboards are barely noticed, and most ad blockers stop your ad from reaching your customer. That’s why inbound online marketing has seen such a surge in popularity among businesses and their customers.
Here are a few other reasons why you should choose to utilize the many benefits of online marketing:
- Engage and interact with your customer
- It’s cost-effective
- Improves your brand reputation
- Improves your bottom line with a high ROI
Internet marketing offers many advantages to your business. Not the least of which is that it improves your relationship with your customers by keeping them the focus of all your marketing efforts. Now that you know why you need it, let’s jump into what you need to get started.
What You Need for Internet Marketing
First, you need to have an internet marketing strategy to be successful in your digital marketing efforts. Without a clear strategy, your team won’t have a roadmap to follow when they create the various forms of content needed in your marketing.
Your strategy should clearly define your goals. It should also outline who your target audience is and what their greatest pain points are. Then it should also clearly show how you’ll map out the customer journey so that your content reaches your audience where they are.
Second, you need to put your largest emphasis on your SEO strategy. Search engine optimization isn’t only about keywords, although this is the main component of it. However, just like your overall marketing strategy, your SEO strategy must keep your customers at the center of everything you create.
You need to take the time to research the questions your audience is asking and then create your content around answering those questions. This will improve your website rankings in the SERPs so that when your customers search for a question, then they will find you. You can see why it’s so important that your content marketing is on point and offers the best and most valuable information regarding your industry.
How to Tackle Internet Marketing
There are eight key steps we suggest you follow as you tackle your internet marketing endeavors. We outline each step below so you can follow them step by step towards success.
1. Design a User-Friendly Website
As mentioned earlier, your customer is the center of everything you create in your online marketing plan. And as you tackle internet marketing, your first focus must be on creating a user-friendly website. It must be easy for your potential prospects to find what they need quickly otherwise you risk losing them to a competitor.
And making your website user-friendly includes ensuring it’s mobile responsive. Google has made it clear that they will rank higher websites that are mobile responsive so be sure to make this a priority.
2. Optimize Your SEO for Long Term Wins
When it comes to long-term, cost-effective marketing there isn’t a more clear winner than organic traffic from the search engines. However, it’s imperative to remember that this strategy takes a while to implement and even longer to see the results so you must be patient.
And for the business owner willing to invest the time in this strategy they will see returns for years to come. When your site is ranking for several topics that your customers are searching for then you’ll continue to see a return on your investment for a long time.
3. Create Your Blog
Your website is your central home base for your internet marketing strategy. And your blog is the foundation on which it is built. Google favors websites that are updated regularly and creating a blog gives you the ability to post new content consistently.
Your blog is also your best asset and resource for reaching your potential customers and clients. This is where you’ll share your expertise and establish your authority in your industry.
4. Optimize Your Site for Conversions
Once your SEO and content marketing strategies bring visitors to your site, you must be ready to convert that traffic. Your conversions goals should be twofold in nature. The two key actions you want each visitor to take is either to:
- Convert to your email list
- Convert for sales
Once on your email list, you can nurture your prospects towards the sale or a discovery call with your sales team. Additionally, many visitors will be ready to purchase immediately, your site must be optimized to encourage the sale.
5. Leverage Pay per Click Advertising for Short Term Wins
While SEO is great for long-term wins, you also need traffic and sales now. That is where you can leverage the power of pay-per-click ads to bring in quick traffic. However, it may not be cost-effective to continue this strategy long term which is why you should always focus on free organic traffic.
6. Utilize the Power of Videos
The average adult in America watches up to six hours of video content each day. That number is staggering and the younger generation coming of age will likely only increase the average over time. So, if your business isn’t creating content then you will soon find yourself falling behind.
You can create longer, informational videos that you upload to YouTube which is the second largest search engine online. And you can also film shorter videos for your social media platforms to bring awareness to your brand on social media.
7. Partner With Influencers to Fuel Your Social Media Growth
As you grow awareness for your brand on social media consider partnering with an influencer in a similar industry as yours. This can get your business in front of a brand new audience and grow your reach exponentially.
The key to this strategy is to look for similar but not competitor influencers. For example, a diet and weight loss expert could partner with a self-help coach whose audience is likely looking to improve their health. Or a chiropractor could partner with a naturopath as each of these audiences is looking for natural and alternative methods of health care.
8. Take Your Marketing to the Next Level With the Help of an Expert
As you can see there are several working pieces to the puzzle of internet marketing. And you don’t have time to respond to every comment on your social media profiles. So, if you’d rather get offline and get back to running your business then you need to work with an expert in digital marketing.
As you begin your business you might be able to handle juggling all the different aspects of your business. But if you’re ready to scale then you need to outsource your marketing. And working with an expert will give you the ability to scale your business to the next level.
Successfully Start Online Marketing With This Internet Marketing Guide
Now you’re ready to jump into digital marketing with both feet. Just follow the steps in our internet marketing guide to show you the way. And if you’re still feeling stuck or need to outsource this important aspect of your business, then we’re here to help.
Here at Hays Digital, we help you create the plan that will get you results from your online marketing. So, if you’re ready to see how internet marketing can scale your business or to get your free website audit, reach out to us today.