Table of Contents
Internet Marketing 101: From Beginners to Advanced
What if you had a complete outline of the Internet Marketing process? Do you think then you’ll finally see a positive return on your online efforts?
That’s our goal in this Internet Marketing blog 101.
We’re skipping the fluffy intro. We’re not here to list a bunch of tips and tricks. We won’t bombard you with endless tools you’ll never use.
We’re coming at you with a detailed, step-by-step guide to building an online presence. A guide made so you can follow along and dominate your niche.
Sound good? Let’s get into it.
Internet marketing, also known as online marketing, utilizes digital channels and platforms to reach potential customers.
There are countless methods to enhance your web presence – from optimizing Search Engine Rankings (SEO) and utilizing social networking sites to leveraging email marketing campaigns.
Constructing your website can be a powerful tool for small businesses to expand and thrive, whether used for blogging, selling merchandise, or establishing an e-commerce store.
Definition of Internet Marketing
Internet marketing, also known as online marketing, promotes products, services, or brands through various digital channels such as:
- Social media
- Search engines
- Mobile apps
It involves using different online techniques and strategies to attract potential customers and increase sales and revenue. In other words, any marketing effort done through the internet is considered internet marketing.
Importance of Internet Marketing
Internet marketing plays a crucial role in today’s business landscape. Here are some reasons why:
- Wide Reach – With most people spending hours online every day, internet marketing allows businesses to reach a vast audience that traditional marketing methods may not be able to get.
- Cost-effective – Compared to traditional advertising, digital marketing is often more cost-effective. For instance, social media platforms offer affordable advertising options targeted to specific demographics.
- Improved Customer Engagement – Digital marketing facilitates a two-way conversation between businesses and their customers, enabling brands to develop meaningful relationships with their target audience through tailored experiences.
- Higher ROI – Investing in a tech-savvy digital marketing approach will generate much higher ROI than traditional advertising approaches, making it an even more profitable investment.
Internet marketing is the ideal method to increase your reach, build relationships with customers, and achieve desired results—all while spending less.
How Does Internet Marketing Work?
Here are some key points to understand how it works (no matter what niche you’re in):
- Targeting – Targeting in Internet marketing involves identifying and segmenting the ideal audience for a particular product or service based on factors such as:
This helps advertisers to tailor their campaigns to reach the right audience, improve ad relevance, and maximise the return on investment (ROI) of their advertising spend.
- Ads Placement – The process involves selecting and displaying ads in strategic locations across websites, social media platforms or search engine result pages.To reach their target audience and drive conversions, advertisers bid for ad placement based on factors such as:
– Audience demographics
– Website Traffic
- Content Creation – Content creation in Internet marketing involves the development of high-quality and engaging content, such as:
– Blog posts
– Social media posts
– InfographicsThe goal is to provide valuable information to the target audience, build brand awareness, and establish the business as a thought leader in its industry.
- Social Media Marketing – Social media marketing involves promoting products or services through social media platforms such as:
The strategy typically involves creating engaging content, running targeted ads, building a community of followers, and engaging with customers to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic and generate sales.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing works by sending promotional messages to a list of subscribers who have opted-in to receive updates from a business. These messages can include:
– Promotional offers
– Event Invitations
– Other relevant information
The goal is to build a relationship with subscribers, increase brand loyalty, and drive traffic and sales to the business.
- Search Engine Optimization – By employing SEO tactics, you can dramatically amplify your website’s visibility and organic search engine traffic. This includes optimizing on-page elements such as:– Keywords
– meta tags
– content quality
– off-page factors such as backlinks and social signals
The goal is to increase organic traffic and attract more potential customers to the website while generating quality leads. Businesses can use a combination of strategies to construct a thorough online marketing plan in order to expand their brand and boost profits.
What Does Your Business Need Internet Marketing?
With the ever-evolving digital age, comes an abundance of marketing opportunities. Here are some key reasons why your business needs internet marketing:
- Increased Visibility: With the majority of people searching for products and services online, having a strong online presence through internet marketing can significantly increase your business’s visibility and reach.
- Brand Building: By establishing a strong online presence, you can build a credible and trustworthy brand that customers can connect with, leading to long-term loyalty and customer retention.
- Track Measurable Results: Internet marketing offers a range of analytics tools that allow you to measure the success of your campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly, resulting in continuous improvement and growth for your business.
If your business wants to stay competitive in the digital age, it’s essential to invest in internet marketing for increased visibility, brand building, and the ability to track measurable results and continuously improve and grow.
The Core Components of Internet Marketing 101
Now that you know what Internet marketing is and how it works, it’s time to talk about the essential marketing tactics your brand will use online:
Phase 1: Niche Selection
The start of your journey begins with niche selection. This is how you not only define your brand but who you’re targeting. In doing so, you remove many competitors — while keeping efforts on-point.
1.1: Finding Your Niche
A niche is a smaller market segment of a larger market/industry. Narrowing your offers and targeted customers means less competition. It also means you’re not wasting resources because you have a specific focus.
Find your niche:
- Write a list of what interests you or opportunities you’ve researched
- Find a problem you could solve within the community of those items
- Run tests seeing if you get a response from the community
Good starting points include:
- Prior work experience
- Hobbies and deep interests
- Trending products/industries
Settle on an idea with growth potential. Don’t back yourself into a corner by niching too far. Look if people already buy products/services and go from there.
1.2: Identifying Your Target Audience
Your niche means nothing if no one is buying. Like a niche, you need to refine your audience so you’re not wasting resources. The targeted audience guides your efforts and goals — and gives you a greater foothold in the niche.
There are a few steps involved:
- Create a list of potential leads based on demographics and interests
- Get into where the audience congregates and learn their needs/pains
- Compare prospects to existing customers or who competitors sell to
This activity refines your branding. You’ll become part of the community instead of a marketer pushing their way in.
1.3: Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
Last, you need to find what makes you different. This means you’ll find a unique selling proposition — the thing that helps you stand out.
- Create an avatar defining your ideal customer
- Define the needs/wants of these individuals
- Align your branding and offers to this avatar
- Compare what you offer to the competition
- Identify and highlight the one, great thing you offer
Explore brand design as you have a niche, audience, and USP in mind. This sets everything up once you’re ready to start the business.
Phase 2: On-Page SEO and UX
What good is supporting marketing efforts if they’re based on broken fundamentals? An optimized site and user experience (UX) are the two main fundamental elements. This section guides you through both.
2.1: Keyword Research
Keywords are how search engines organize information. They’re also how people find relevant webpages and information. This may extend into a phrase or what you may refer to as a long-tail keyword.
Your keyword selection is arguably the biggest task when crafting pages.
There are a few keyword types:
…and a few in between.
Keywords also have intent which is what people look for within those keywords.
- “Where to buy…” implies users are looking for a store or brand
- “What is the best X” implies users are discovering available offers
You’ll want to match the keyword with the intent. You’ll also factor your niche and geolocation to refine the results. And, target the right individuals.
How do you find keywords? Try:
You’ll then use these keywords to refine webpages and content.
2.2: On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization builds the foundation of your website. It optimizes each page to increase its search relevancy and placement. You’ll take keywords and apply them to the relevant pages in the important areas.
Apply relevant, targeted keywords to:
- Meta Description
- Page URL
- Page Header (H1)
- Page Subheadings (H2 – H6)
- Internal links
Don’t overload it, though. Use natural language when filling in the webpage. Yet, do remember to place page-specific keywords in the relevant areas. Do so and Google will get a better understanding of what the page is about.
Need help with on-page optimization? Get the details you need and help to do it Here: on-Page services.
Use heatmap tools to examine how users interact with the site. Then, remove elements causing friction while refining what works. In doing this, you’ll improve the experience and conversion rates.
Phase 3: Content Marketing
People come to your website for information and solutions. Content is the vehicle for delivering these two. Follow along as you research, plan, and execute your content efforts.
3.1: Topic Research
You’re welcome to write about any topic passing your mind. But, the best content is that which satisfies visitors wants and needs. That’s why you’ll use keyword research tools to get a firm understanding of what your niche seeks.
- Go to Google’s Keyword Planner tool
- Search for a relevant keyword in your niche
- Compare the search volume, competition, and CPC
Compile a mix of topics based on these keywords:
- Other topic creation methods include:
- Following trending discussions
- Expanding on what competitors cover
- Polling your audience and community
- Pulling data from your site analytics
- Answering questions asked by customers
Qualify the topics based on whether they’re made for:
Settle on a mix of topics to bring people in through search and social.
3.2: Content Planning
There are two camps to content production:
- Creating pieces as often as they can
- Curating and going for in-depth pieces
You’ll want to create a content plan, either way. This dictates which topics get covered and when they’re published. Plus, how you’ll support said pieces before moving onto the next.
Here’s a sample production plan:
- 1 – 3 weekly short pieces (500 words)
- 1 monthly in-depth article (1,500 to 2,000+ words)
- 1 quarterly lead magnet (like an eBook)
Also, factor how each piece plays into another so you can link between them. Or, keep a theme that will define your brand and capitalize on trends.
3.3: Content Creation
Now’s the time to produce content — there are many ways to do this:
- Curate and share thoughts about a topic
- You or employees craft pieces
- Hiring content creators
- Try a combination!
Keep the in-depth, industry-defining pieces in-house as you know your topic best. But, use freelance writers to fill content gaps as you see fit.
- Use different forms like audio or video
- Include graphics, images, and interactive media
- Make pieces easy-to-scan and include call-to-actions
Your first few pieces will likely appear amateurish. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it the more you make content production a regular practice!
Phase 4: Email Marketing
A newsletter provides greater access to your community. With it, you’re no longer confined to search, social, and advertising. This section explains how to set up an email marketing funnel.
4.1: Newsletter Setup
You’ll set up an email newsletter using one of the following:
Once set up, you’ll embed the opt-in form from their platform onto yours.
Place the opt-in form onto your sidebar for starters. You could also place the form in or under content. Or, as a popup when people visit the site.
You’ll also want to fill in the basic, intro email with information like:
- A welcome message
- What subscribers can expect
- Links to valuable resources
You can now send emails to subscribers!
4.2: Email Funnels
Email marketing becomes advanced when you create funnels. These direct subscribers on a specific path — usually toward a sale.
An example campaign includes:
- Email #1: Welcome
- Email #2: MVP content
- Email #3: Product review
- Email #4: Content
- Email #5a: Pitch
- Email #5b: Follow-up pitch
Attract people to funnels by offering something free like an ebook or worksheet. As you build trust, through content, you can later include sales pitches. Coupons and discounts are other alternatives to spur sales.
4.3: Email Blasts
An email “blast” are one-off emails sent to subscribers — including:
- Product/service releases
- Security updates
- Single promotions
- Joint venture campaigns
Reserve email blasts when you have something truly exciting to share.
Try to build your email following the same as you do your brand. Deliver great information and solutions. Dedication and value will offer higher clicks and clickthroughs with each blast.
Phase 5: Social Media Marketing
Social media provides a platform to share content and connect with your audience. Yet, it’s not as simple as creating an account and blasting links. Use this section to get an ROI for your social media use.
Begin using social media not for sales but for outreach. As in connecting with your audience and industry influencers. Why? Because it’s easier building a brand through association than from the ground-up.
Find your niche community:
- Link personal contacts
- Include social links on your site
- Reach out and connect
One good mention can kickstart your social media. So, work with peers and those you know to get your foot in the door (so to speak).
Hootsuite is the industry-standard social media tool. Use these tools to streamline outreach and conversation tracking.
5.2: Community Building
A passionate community will buy through social media. But, to build one you need to offer helpfulness. And, create trust with social media users.
- Create accounts for customer service reps to answer inquiries
- Take part in trending industry topics and discussions
- Share and curate great content people would find helpful
Stay active on the platform and be yourself, speak your mind. People flock to authenticity, especially in niche communities. Likewise, don’t use the platforms to spam and bombard followers — actually engage!
5.3: Social Sales
Treat social media like your customer list — with care:
- Share business and product updates
- Highlight your best customers
- Reward social media participation
- Share exclusive offers and deals
- Answer community questions
Don’t have time for social media? Consider social media management services.
In all, treat social as you would friends and family. Don’t become too pushy with sales and reserve them for when people show interest.
Phase 6: Online Advertising
You’ve got to spend money to compete on a higher level. Fortunately, there are many options to explore online advertising. This section provides a framework for reaching people through paid campaigns.
6.1: Pay-Per-Click Ads
PPC ads let you cut through the noise that is organic search and social. How? By paying for placement based on keywords. Here’s a shortcut:
- Search for your product or service in Google
- Note the competitors advertising in that space
- Remix their wording, unique to your brand and offer
- Fund the account and run an ad campaign
- Track and optimize by doubling down on high performing ads
You’ll also want to split test ads. This pits two variants against another, with the winner becoming the new standard. Google offers A/B testing in their Ads platform, so definitely check it out!
6.2: Sponsorships and Influencers
Like social media, you can reach your audience through who they trust and follow. This is often done through sponsorships. Or, working directly with influencers and getting a shout-out for your business.
- Visit SocialBlade
- Make a list of influential people in your niche/industry
- Build a rapport and relationship with the person
- Pitch a sponsorship or mention idea
- Pay their rate and deliver the ad copy/creative
Don’t only go for big names, either. Smaller influencers are inexpensive but still have strong, passionate communities.
6.3: Conversion Optimization and Growth
Finally, take everything you’ve done and make it better:-
- Look over your analytics and discover new content ideas
- Find who’s responsive to your social shares and build better connections
- Test new campaigns and optimize them through split testing
Tweaks to your pricing, images, headlines, and the like make a big impact. Use the extra funds to reinvest in your business via tools. Or, outsource areas to experts so you can focus on the tasks you enjoy.
Phase 7: Website Design and Optimization
Website optimization aims to boost website traffic, conversions, and revenue. Regrettably, many marketers and website owners overlook optimizing their websites and move on to other marketing strategies.
This neglect may negatively impact the company’s potential for growth. An effectively optimized website operates around the clock to connect with potential customers searching for you online. As people search for related terms, your business and website will be visible.
7.1 User Experience Optimization
The user experience is how people interact with the site. A clunky, complex site will make people seek their needs elsewhere. Use website speed and conversion rate optimization services to help you do that.
Your goal is to make the website experience seamless:
- Easy-to-use navigation
- Structure content for skimming and F-shaped patterns
- Contrasting to draw attention to essential elements
- Contact points and trust signals
7.2 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is all about improving the number of visitors who take a desired action on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form.
This phase will involve testing and optimizing your website’s design, copy, and calls-to-action to maximize your chances of converting visitors into customers.
To improve your website’s conversion rate, you can:
- Use A/B testing to compare the effectiveness of different design and copy elements
- Optimize your website’s calls-to-action to encourage visitors to take action
- Simplify your website’s checkout process to reduce abandoned carts
- Personalize your website’s content and offers to improve relevance and engagement
- Analyze your website’s data to identify areas for improvement and optimization
By focusing on improving your website’s UX and CRO, you can ensure that your website is optimized for conversions and primed for success.
How to Develop an Internet Marketing Plan
Here’s a quick overview of the steps to take when developing an Internet marketing plan:
- Set Objectives – Begin by defining your goals and objectives. Determine what you want to achieve through your internet marketing efforts, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or improving sales.
- Conduct Audience Research and Targeting – To create targeted marketing messages, gather information about your audience. This research will help you understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviours.
- Create a Strategy – Develop a comprehensive strategy that outlines the specific tactics you will use to reach your target audience. This plan should include the channels you will use to distribute your content, the type of content you will create, and the key metrics you will use to measure success.
- Implement and Execute – Put your online marketing strategy into action by creating compelling content and disseminating it through the selected channels. Use tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of your efforts and adjust your tactics as necessary. Reuse or revise tactics that work well, and eliminate those that don’t.
Measuring and Analyzing Internet Marketing Success
Knowing how to assess the success of your internet marketing plan is integral in order to optimize and expand it. Here are some key metrics you should track:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Specific metrics can help you identify which campaigns are performing best and how to optimize for higher returns.
- Tools for Measuring Internet Marketing Success: To assess the success of your digital marketing efforts, leverage a variety of measurement tools.
- Analyzing the Data and Measuring Success: It helps businesses determine the effectiveness of their Internet marketing strategies and make informed decisions about future campaigns.
Are You Marketing Your Business Online?
In this digital era, it is absolutely essential for businesses of all sizes to invest in internet marketing if they want to remain competitive and attract customers.
Through online promotion strategies like increasing brand awareness, reaching more potential buyers and selling additional products or services, you will be able to see a notable difference in your company’s profitability. Internet marketing provides the perfect platform for achieving such goals!
Start Building Your Online Empire Today
To effectively promote your products and services and reach the right target audience, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive internet marketing plan. By executing this strategy with proper organisation and expertise, you can achieve your desired objectives and generate more business overall.
Partnering with an expert digital marketing agency can help you develop a winning strategy and grow your business. At BrandLume, we offer a range of expert digital marketing services to help unlock your business’s potential.
By choosing us as your digital marketing partner, you can take advantage of our industry knowledge and experience to boost your online presence and increase sales. Start building your online empire today with BrandLume.