Internet marketing strategies include all the online activities that you do to meet your customers’ needs and achieve your marketing objectives. Customers should be at the centre of everything you do as a business and you should begin by researching the demographics (age, gender, income etc), location, size, potential and accessibility of them.
So that means, you should create customer segments and then choose the most viable ones for your business, and target them with your products, services or offers. It’s important that you choose the right customer segments, because very few businesses can meet all the needs of all customers in the market – due to resource constraints.
The following 5 promotional tactics are not internet marketing strategies in themselves, but they help you to reach your customers, build relationships, improve your ROI and implement your strategies:
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
As a Google Adwords Certified Expert, Pay Per Click advertising is one of my favourite online advertising tools for the following reasons:
• Great for receiving high traffic volumes that is targeted to your products or services
• Highly measurable unlike many forms of online and offline channels including social media, TV advertising, radio and many others
• Easily controllable and can be turned on and off like a switch
• Only spend what you can afford and not a penny more
• Quick to implement and to start seeing results
There are now many other PPC platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Yell, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo.
However, PPC has its challenges and requires research into target markets before implementation. It’s possible to see low returns or none if not setup correctly so you should plan and talk to an expert first (Google Specialists are available for free).
Your research should include keyword research and analysis to see out the keyword terms that people use to search for what you offer. The data you find will include:
• Search volumes per month
• The volumes for locations you want to target
• It will produce negative keywords (that are similar to your main keywords but you don’t want to bid on)
• It will give you an idea of what people are looking for and how they search
Also, the Display Network is available which works differently from the Search Network in many ways. With the display network, people aren’t searching for your products – but on sites that they visit which are closely related to what you do, you can target them with contextually targeted text and banner ads which they can click on to get to your landing pages and website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is mainly about getting your site to the top of the search engine rankings. One of its disadvantages is the length of time it takes to achieve high rankings, and a good strategy is to launch PPC campaigns while you work on your SEO to get your site to the top.
Certain important things to know as you do SEO are
• Google has over 65% of search traffic and it uses over 200 factors in its algorithm calculations
• You should benchmark against competitors with tools such as Alexa Rank to help you set realistic goals
• Setup Google Analytics and Search Console tools early to understand where you are and measure and report your progress
• Hire an SEO practitioner to help you with on-page and off-page optimisation if you don’t have the skills and experience
• Don’t buy links – it will get you penalised and the road back to recovery is long and hard
Email marketing is one of the most effective internet marketing strategies for a wide range of businesses and that’s because it is effective at creating and maintaining customer loyalty. It’s also a great vehicle for creating customer advocates that will recommend you to friends, family and colleagues.
It has many other benefits and these include:
• Relatively cheap to implement
• Highly measurable
• Creates trust and builds relationships
• Highly profitable
• Easy to setup and manage
• No steep learning curve
However, email marketing has its detractors and they highlight that it always leads to spam, not effective and annoys loyal customers. My experience is very different though and I’ve found it to be one of the most effective direct marketing tools
Social Media Marketing
Because of the proliferation of social network sites, many businesses have accounts on many of these sites, but they are effective on none. It’s better to pick one social media site and manage it extremely well – because you will see far better results.
Twitter is my favourite platforms for the following reasons:
• Great for trending topics
• Easy to implement and grow a presence than many other sites
• Has a paid search platform
• Quick response from followers
Other platforms to consider are Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.
Content marketing is about creating text, images etc for your website, social media pages, directories and others that is targeted to your customers and prospects and that gets them interested in your offers.
On your website, you can implement the following as part of your content marketing strategy:
• Blog posts
• Website landing page text
• Images, pictures and illustrations
• Articles, whitepapers, case studies etc
• Navigation elements
• And many others
There’s a host of other internet marketing strategies to implement which I cover in other marketing blog posts. However, your choice of strategy or platforms will depend on the nature of your products, who your customers are, what industry or sector you are in and what budget you have.