Way back in the day, Internet Marketing meant you had a website and you placed Banner Ads on other website to draw traffic to your site. There were always companies calling or email you to tell you that they could get your website at the top of the Search Engines overnight if you bought their services. Of course these companies turned out to be fast and loose and untrustworthy.
The Search Engines (primarily Google, the worlds largest Search Engine) change their algorithms and put out programs like Panda and Penguin making it even harder to stay on top with your website. The programs can help you but knowing exactly what you need to do is a full-time job.
Internet Marketing should be the main component of your business marketing plan and it should be multi-faceted to reach the greatest number of people.
Internet Marketing is evolving into a much larger mix of components. You should still have a website, but there is so much more to you need to do to increase sales and obtain more leads and clients. Your Internet Marketing Plan should have been included in your business plan. If not, you should put some numbers together and determine how much you can afford to spend on your marketing strategy. Internet marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of nearly every company’s marketing mix.
It’s is essential to have a plan of action for your marketing. You should know where you are interacting, how much you are interacting and what you are going to talk about.
Setting up a website. A website consists of text, images and possibly audio and video elements used to convey your message online, to inform existing and potential customers of the features and benefits of your services. Your website should include the ability to capture leads from potential customers. Lead capture forms are set up for clients to receive free reports, or find out what their home is worth. And, most importantly, your website should be Branded with your business identity.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM is marketing a website online via search engines, either by improving the site’s natural (organic) ranking through search engine optimization (SEO), buying pay-per-click (PPC) ads or purchasing pay-for-inclusion (PFI) listings in website directories, which are similar to offline yellow page listings.
Email marketing. Email marketing is a method of distributing information about a product or service or for soliciting feedback from customers about a product or service via Email. Email addresses of customers and prospective customers may be collected with lead generation forms or purchased. You may choose to send regular newsletters, market stats or inventory lists. Email marketing is essentially the online equivalent of direct mail marketing.
Banner advertising. This is the placement of ads on a website for a fee. The offline equivalent of this form of online marketing would be traditional ads in newspapers or magazines. Banner ads can be quite expensive and may not be trackable.
Online press releases. Most people don’t even think about using Online Press Releases! This can be a very valuable method to reach out but also brings in high ranking in-bound links. Great for search engines. Place a newsworthy story about your company, yourself, your website, and/or new products/services that make your business unique.
Blog marketing. Remember when you didn’t even know what a blog was? It has now become a whole new concept for reaching out and providing quality information to consumers. You can post general articles, post comments, express opinion or make announcements in a discussion style forum. It is very important to host your own blog and own a domain name related to the blog.
Article marketing. Similar to Blogging, Article marketing involves writing articles related to your business and having them published online on syndicated article sites. These articles then have a tendency to spread around the Internet since the article services permit re-publication provided that all of the links in the article are maintained. Article marketing can result in a traffic boost for your website, and the distribution of syndicated articles can promote your brand to a wide audience.
Social media marketing. Internet Marketing should be a major part of your Online Marketing Strategy. This involves becoming involved with social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, ActiveRain and social bookmarking sites like Digg and Hootsuite. There are the most recognized platforms but there are so many others out there. My advice is that “you don’t have to do them all, just do a couple of them really well.”
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