Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of marketing your small business online? Not sure where to start or what comes next, don’t worry. We’ve got this ultimate internet marketing guide that will lead you from A-Z and take all the confusion out of it for you!
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 has been around for a few decades and is currently one of the fastest-growing segments in digital advertising. Content can be simply defined as any form of media that holds information. This includes written content like blog posts, but also video or podcast versions too!
It is important to consider the difference between content marketing and traditional marketing. Traditional, interruptive style of advertising does not allow customers a choice in whether or not they want your product while an inbound approach such as content-based advertisement allows them freedom with their decision by providing information for when it’s needed most.
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
Knowing your target audience is the key to creating effective internet marketing strategies. Without a clear strategy, you and your team will be running around in circles trying to figure out what content should go where without any clarity about exactly who it’s all for.
It also needs to show how different channels of social media can link up so that consumers are able to reach you at every stage of their customer journey – from an ad they saw on Facebook last week, or when they’re searching Google today looking for solutions related to their pain points!
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.
Researching your audience’s questions is essential for creating engaging content. When you tailor the answers to their queries, they will be more likely to find and read what you have written about them on search engines like Google or Bing. For example, if someone searches “how do I save money,” then a blogger who has published an article with suggestions would come up higher in the results than one without any articles that answer this question specifically.
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.
For business owners who invest their time in this strategy, they will see returns for years to come. If your site is ranking on the first page of Google search results then you’ll continue seeing a return from it even after one year has passed since you started investing in it.
3. Create Your Blog
Your internet marketing strategy is incomplete without a blog. Blogs are the foundation for your home base, and it gives you the ability to post consistently about new topics every day or week. Your blog will also become one of your best assets since this is where you’ll share expertise with others in order to establish authority within an 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
You can’t afford to let your prospects slip away! Email marketing is crucial for converting customers long before they end up on the doorstep of a brick-and-mortar store.
5. Leverage Pay per Click Advertising for Short Term Wins
While organic SEO is great for long-term wins, you also need traffic and sales now. That’s where pay-per-click ads can come in handy to bring in quick visits. However, it may not be cost-effective to continue this strategy on a sustainable basis which means that you should always focus your efforts on getting free organic traffic as well!
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 influencers in a similar industry as yours. This can get your business in front of potential customers and expand the reach exponentially.
The key to this strategy is to look for partners that are not competitors but who have an audience interested or related to what you offer so they may become new, loyal customers too!
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.