Internet Marketing: Part 2
In today’s digital landscape, internet marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses striving to connect with their target audience and thrive in the online realm. This comprehensive overview will delve into the evolution, key components, and strategies that make internet marketing an essential aspect of any successful business.
Key Components of Internet Marketing
Internet marketing is a multifaceted discipline, comprising various components that work together to achieve a brand’s objectives. Let’s explore the fundamental pillars of internet marketing.
Affiliate marketing is an online practice wherein a business rewards an affiliate for the visitors or customers brought in by his marketing efforts. The rewards are either cash or gifts and are given for either an offer completion or site referral. In this process, there are four players – the merchant, network, publisher and customer.
Recently, this market has grown complex with the secondary players like affiliate management agencies, third party vendors (specialized) and super-affiliates. It works by simply using the affiliate’s website to drive traffic to the merchant’s own site or to allow visitors to be forwarded to the merchant’s main web page.
Basically, this is also what we can call revenue sharing between the online merchants and online affiliates. The compensation given to the affiliates depends on how many user clicks, sales or registrations were made on the merchant’s website via their own.
Affiliate marketing enables the automation of the advertising processes and the payment for desired actions. Merchants have preferred this internet marketing strategy because it is a “pay per performance” model, where they do not incur any expenses for marketing their products unless the affiliate produces the results they need.
Affiliate marketing can also be translated as a type of business relationship where you, as an affiliate, promote a merchant’s services which are different from yours. This means that you do not need to have your own product in order to venture into affiliate marketing.
You only need to promote your business provider’s services and products. This is how it works – you need to have a web page that contains a link that directs your users or visitors to the main page or online store of the merchant. When one of your site visitors clicks on that link and purchases something from the merchant’s website, you will get a sort of commission or a referral fee.
This way you are the one driving traffic to your merchant’s website through your own web page. The merchant will pay you whenever a visitor from your site buys something or signs up for something on their site.
A special affiliate link is assigned to your web page, making it easy for the merchant to track customers coming from your site. One merchant is allowed different affiliate links and all of them will direct the users to its website.
Another strategy that works in affiliate marketing is the use of web page codes or web cookies. This is actually a very interesting way to still profit even if your visitor clicks on the affiliate link and does not purchase from the merchant’s site at once.
How does this work?
The moment a user clicks on the link, a cookie is stored in his computer, indicating that he or she visited the merchant’s site and recording your page as the one that referred him to that website.
If, let’s say a couple of weeks later, the user finally decides to buy something from the merchant’s online store and types the web address of the merchant directly into his browser, the cookies stored in his computer will still recognize the purchase as a referral from your affiliate link, allowing you to receive a compensation from the merchant.
Note that cookies have expiration, so you must read the affiliate program’s terms carefully to check the life span of these cookies. The success of affiliate marketing has also paved the way for the rise of many online companies such as Amazon.com, which now has thousands of affiliates.
Article marketing is an online advertising strategy used by many businesses to market their websites, products or services by writing short articles that are related to their industry. It is the practice of posting these keyword-focused writings on article syndication sites that have a good readership following. These articles will then be distributed and published in the marketplace.
Many opine that article marketing is an essential element in any internet marketing strategy. These articles have the intention of providing information and entertainment to online users.
Typically these articles have a resource box or bio box that indicates the references and contact information of the writer’s business.
The resource box may also contain a link back to the website that the author is promoting in order to attract the readers to visit that website.
Articles that are well-researched and written are usually released and distributed for free in order for the business to gain more credibility within the market.
Through these articles, a website or online business will be able to attract more new clients. Internet marketers usually submit the articles to several article directories in order to maximize the results of their online campaign.
In order to avoid the filtering process of the internet for duplicate content, internet marketers attempt what we call article spinning or article rewriting and rewording to give certain variations to the original article.
Through this, the article can acquire site visitors coming from several websites for article directories. Getting your article to be featured in niche blogs or focused content websites that are managed by others is a good and popular strategy in terms of article marketing.
If you are a guest blogger on these websites, you will be able to introduce your business to an interested audience that may have been otherwise unreachable. The common practice in internet publishing is to have your articles use relevant keywords and catchy titles with around 250 to 500 words in the body.
If you incorporate the keywords or keyword phrases in your articles, it is possible to get more search engine traffic.
Which, among the hundreds of article directories, should you submit your articles to?
This is actually one of the most tedious tasks in this marketing method. Today, businesses and experts usually outsource their article marketing methods including the submission process.
The most popular article directories that are recommended include EzineArticles, IdeaMarketers and GoArticles. Article marketing can also help you generate leads that you can include in your email list.
In writing your articles, you must give the readers an offer so irresistible that it will prompt them to visit your website and sign up for your services. Once you have their information, you can start creating a sales-winning partnership with them. Failing to do this will not give you another chance to sell to your leads.
Among the best offers you can give your readers may include quizzes, special reports on a certain topic, free consultation sessions or free book chapters. This way, your readers will be enticed to provide you with their email addresses that you can use to further send marketing news and information about your website.
Overall, the most important factor in article marketing is to get people to visit your website and sign up or purchase one of your services.
Writing articles that are accurate, specific and helpful will attract more potential leads or clients.
This is one of the most cost-efficient methods of internet marketing that promotes your business. In order to execute an effective and successful email campaign, you need the right information to achieve your desired results. Email marketing is a direct marketing method that makes use of emails to communicate a commercial message to your target market.
It is the process of sending messages to your previous or current customers in order to encourage them to do business with you again and in turn enhance your business relationship with them.
E-mail marketing is also used to acquire new clients and convince your current customers to buy something at once. There are several advantages in using this type of internet marketing. For one, almost all internet users have email accounts that they check regularly.
With this form of communication, advertisers can easily reach those who have signed up to receive regular communications regarding subjects that interest them. It is cost-effective and has a short impact time.
Email marketing can be categorised into three types:
Direct email, intermediary e-mail and retention e-mail. Direct e-mail usually is an email message with commercial sales content.
They are usually sent to customers who have previously used a certain product or service or to potential clients in your target audience who might enjoy and benefit from the service you are offering.
Direct mail marketing
Direct mail marketing may make use of a company’s email list or a purchased or shared email list or a list that is acquired from a third party service.
These third party services may already know which audience can be targeted through e-mail marketing or they may conduct an analysis to find out which email addresses will bring the highest conversion or responses for your business.
Retention email or newsletter mail on the other hand, are designed and written for promotional use.
They aim to provide a long-term impact to the customer’s mind, thus, their content is more than a sales message. The retention mail specifies the benefits of the products or services that a company offers in a more informative format.
Intermediary e-mail is a message sent by a company delegated by the main provider to send out advertising and marketing emails to a list of subscribers that is usually owned by the intermediary company.
In order to be successful in e-mail marketing, you must always use all relevant information that is necessary for your business.
You may send messages to your customers if you find that they will benefit from what you are about to offer them. In sending these emails, you must also write an informative and straight forward headline in order to grab your customer’s attention. Before sending out your email, check the message and use both text and HTML formats to make sure that your message will be received and read, or you may include options to view your mail in these formats.
Blogs have become one of the useful platforms for internet marketing. Subscribers of a blog usually sign up to receive content on a regular basis and since most subscribers remain loyal when they receive relevant and useful information, a strong following and readership will be a good way to reach these potential customers and get them to either sign up or purchase a service from your business.
Blogs have continuously reached their targets most of the time, making them a very effective way to market one’s services or products.
Blog marketing, as the name suggests, is done via a web blog through a series of weekly or daily posts about a certain topic.
A lot of businesses have used blogs to communicate and interact with their customers while featuring their services. Organizations have also used blogs to share and review a product’s features and benefits prior to their official launch.
They also pave the way for companies to gather or receive feedback from the consumers in order to confirm if their services and products meet the expectations of their clients. Since blog marketing focuses on interaction with online users, you may also start blogging in order to market your product line to get more exposure to the cyber market.
However, you will have to write and design a blog that will stand out from your competitors. This way, your blog will also gain more popularity, making more websites want to link to it. The more websites linking to your blog, the more traffic and profit you will get.
You must always remember to give your audience or target subscribers a reason to always visit your blog.
If your subscriber leaves any comments, be sure to send them a thank you email. Hold small contests every now and then where you can give away discounts and coupons to your subscribers. You may also ask your followers to post the link of your blog to their own websites in exchange for free product samples.
Pay-per-click or PPC
PPC or Pay-per-click advertisements, also known as Cost Per Click, are used to bring in traffic to websites where advertisers provide compensation to the hosting site whenever their ad is clicked.
There are two models for determining how much is to be paid per click – flat-rate and bid-based rate. In both models, advertisers consider the value of a click from a certain source where such value depends on the type of customer that the company is targeting and what can be gained from his or her visit (which is usually revenue).
If you currently have a running website or a blog and would like to earn extra profit, you can try this internet marketing method.
Put in pay-per-click ads on your blog or web page and merchants will pay you a percentage every time your visitors click on them.
Most popular PPC is Google Adsense
One of the most popular PPC is Google Adsense. It is very easy to add this to your blog and more so if you use Blogger which is also managed by Google.
Adsense displays a number of advertisements that target a specific audience on your blog. In order to sign up for pay-per-click ads like Google Adsense, you will need to complete an online form as your official application.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Whenever you search for a topic on Google, Yahoo or MSN, you usually get pages and pages of websites that have the keywords you typed in the search bar.
Have you ever wondered why a particular website is listed first on the results of your search?
The primary reason for this is Search Engine Optimization.
Search engine optimization allows a website to become search engine friendly, making it rank higher on search results compared to other websites that have the same keyword contents.
Usually, these search engines read and archive sites regularly so that they can be found easily whenever a search is performed by a user.
For example, if a user types in “parenting” in the search bar and your website is about the same topic and is optimized properly, your website will appear in the first page of the search results.
Basically, SEO makes your website easier for these search engines to understand. Its goal is to increase your website’s rank in the search results that will in turn bring in more traffic to your site.
Remember, the more traffic you get, the more potential for profit you will have. On-site and off-site factors are the ones that can determine your search engine rankings. On-site factors include your page content and your title heading.
Off-site factors like pages that link to your site, words used to link to your page and how long such a link has existed also come into play.
It is important that you focus on your site’s SEO continuously because if you get good search engine rankings consistently, you will always have free traffic.
During your internet surfing time, you probably have come across many of these pop-up ads. These are advertisement windows that appear once you visit a website. Their aim is to generate traffic or simply capture your email address.
Many people have found this internet marketing method quite annoying since it disrupts them from getting information from the website they are viewing.
However, these ads, intrusive as they have been tagged, also have certain advantages. For one, they are much more effective than banner ads. They pull up a 15% click through rate while the banners only yield a mere 3%.
Pop-up ads also are effective and give a click through percentage of 6.5. Since they are more effective than banner ads, they also cost you a lot more.
However, the return on investment with the use of these ads is much higher.
Furthermore, when this ad is the only window on the page, there will be no other images that will conflict with the brand that you are selling.
In recent years though, these advertising methods have become less popular due to the development of pop-up blockers.
A banner ad is basically a graphic, text or an image displayed on websites that aim to promote a company’s product or service. They are actually small HTML codes, but their importance in internet marketing and business is significant.
Banner ads vary in sizes and orientation but will often come in rectangular shape and are 486 x 60 pixels high (full banner).
There is actually no universal rule when it comes to banner ad file sizes, but the size will still depend on the website where it will be displayed.
These sites impose certain limits to banner sizes since it adds up to the total size of the web page they are displayed on, thereby resulting in more waiting times while the page loads on a browser. Due to the banner ads’ graphic elements, you may find these ads somehow similar to those you see in printed media such as magazines and newspapers.
However, these banner ads have the ability to direct the user to the advertiser’s main web page. If you are interested in displaying or posting a banner on a certain website, you can arrange with the publisher to have your banner posted or pay a banner network to post the ad on a number of websites.
You may also arrange with the publisher to simply display their ads on your site in exchange for them displaying your banner ads.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is basically the process of marketing your business through social media portals such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
This allows for businesses to have a more personal and dynamic interaction and connection with their clients and potential customers.
Strategies in social media marketing can be as simple as maintaining a blog, a Facebook or Twitter account or attaching “tweet this” icons to the end of your articles or ads. It can also be as complex as having a full campaign that includes blogging, social networking, tweeting and spreading viral videos.
As marketing is the process of informing consumers what your business is, who you are and what your products are, social media further helps in introducing your business to a global network of possible customers.
The use of social media to prove a business’ identity and to create business relationships with people who do not have the chance to be aware of your products and services is a highly recommended option in internet marketing.
Moreover, it is an avenue that can be accessed by anyone who has an internet connection and is an inexpensive way to implement your marketing strategies and business campaigns.
Mobile marketing has been a concept that has attained various definitions. It is primarily described to be the marketing strategy that makes use of mobile media to communicate with a target market.
Recently a more updated definition was given by the Mobile Marketing Association, saying that mobile marketing is actually a combination of practices that gives organizations the ability to engage, communicate and interact with their audience through a mobile device or network.
The most popular mobile device used for this is a cell-phone. To use this medium, you will need to set up a short code and have your customers register to receive your SMS or text messages.
Mobile optimization will also make sure that your website is displayed correctly on a mobile phone browser. Search engine optimization has undergone many changes that made internet marketers become more interested in the mobile version of their optimized websites compared to the traditional website optimization. Most mobile phones today have internet access or wireless capabilities.
These devices have provided more flexibility on both the business’ and consumer’s ends in terms of receiving and sending data related to the products or services which a company offers.
The most typical types of mobile marketing include the use of MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service, Bluetooth technology, Infrared and Mobile Internet.
Marketing through a mobile device is now a trend in many developed countries where almost everyone has a mobile phone.
This is also a more cost-effective method of promoting your business and is much easier for most age groups to understand. More time is now spent online with the use of these devices, making your business available to consumers who are always on the go and would still want to receive updates from your end.
In MMS mobile marketing, a slideshow of text and images that may include a video or audio is a perfect way to capture a potential customer’s attention effectively. The ad is delivered via MMS.
The use of Bluetooth technology in marketing makes use of radio based frequencies to transfer data on higher speeds. Infrared, on the other hand, is a bit limited, as its frequency range only reaches as far as 1 meter.
Mobile marketing is a new way to ensure customer awareness and boost your sales. With all the new smart phones, tablets and modern mobile devices, mobile marketing is definitely destined to progress in the years to come.
All the major internet marketing methods have been discussed in detail in this guide. It is now up to you to choose which one you prefer, however, remember the things that you need to have in order to succeed – good research, a positive mindset and attitude, diligence, patience and focus.