Internet Marketing: A growing trend followed by mass
- According to Forrester, online sales will report to 17% of all US retail sales by 2022
- Based on Mediakix data, Business Insider Intelligence estimates that brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by the end of 2022
- U.S. Commerce Department states that in 2017 consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases, a total of 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016
Internet Marketing also called online marketing is the process of promoting a business or brand and its products or services over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads, and sales. Internet marketing is a broad concept that consist of a range of marketing strategies including various content, email, search, paid media, and more. Now a days, internet marketing is often used interchangeably with “content marketing.”
It’s become critical for companies to recognize the importance of Internet marketing with more consumers and businesses, shopping and researching products online .When we see how effective Internet marketing is, we can start expanding our business in brand new ways.
Why Internet Marketing?
Now that you know what internet marketing is all about you still may be fascinated about why there is so much hype for internet marketing?
Well, it is because Internet marketing has proven to be successful over and over again.
Here are some statistics collected through internet to have a brief idea about why internet/content marketing is in hype.
- Internet marketing is set to be an industry worth $313 billion by 2020
- 91 % of businesses already are persuaded of its power and have already adopted it as an important marketing strategy
- Internet marketing costs 62 % less than traditional marketing, but pulls in 3 times as many leads.
- If you have a blog and publish content, on an average you’re likely to get 434 % more indexed pages on Google
Different types of Internet Marketing:
Each of these seven types of internet marketing is bound with different strategies and these types of internet marketing are often use side by side or together.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the all about grabbing attention and sales through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Moreover. Social media marketing can be divided as organic (free) or paid. Organic social media marketing focuses on building a relationships with consumers in with an effort to create interest and generate customer loyalty.
Whereas there are various ways to use paid social media marketing to promote your business that has paid promotional options. For example Facebook where you can pay to promote your existing organic posts or even create a Facebook ad custom made to fulfill your marketing objectives.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is all about optimizing websites and digital content to boost search engine rankings, which will maximize the number of visitors to a particular webpage.
For example if you wanted your office furniture website to appear at the top of Google’s search whenever someone searches for “office furniture in US.” Well it will be possible because of SEO.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing means consistently creating and promoting relevant online materials to attract, engage, and convert your target market into customers.
There are many forms of content that businesses like Blog posts, Videos (often shared to social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube), Industry reports and studies, info graphics summarizing reports and studies, E books, case studies, Emails etc.
4. Influencer marketing
It is a process of working with influencers or big personalities to promote a product or service to their online .Let take an example from Vital Proteins. This is a food supplement that brand partners with influencers to reach their targeted audience of basically young, fashionable, health-conscious women. Before internet marketing, influencer marketing was only available for large brands that could afford to work with big celebrities.
According to a survey conducted by Collective Bias , it was found that just 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements in their purchase decisions and 30 % of consumers are likely to buy a product which are recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.
5. Affiliate Marketing
It is an online referral marketing. In this type of internet marketing, a business will set up a program that pays commissions to outside individuals for the sales they generate which allows internet marketers and influencers to earn money promoting business of others products or services.
For example Website host and domain registrar called Bluehost have a popular affiliate marketing program which allows influencers and internet marketers to generate money by promoting their services.
6. Email Marketing
Most of us are familiar with Email marketing as email is used to send direct marketing messages to people in order to gain new customers and retain existing ones.
Although email marketing might not be the most glamorous form of internet marketing but is is widely used. It has a median return on investment of 122 % which is over 4 times higher than other types of internet marketing like social media and paid search.
7. Paid Advertising
This is a form of internet marketing where advertisers pay to display their advertisements on search engines and other kind of online platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn YouTube, and Instagram .Paid advertising is often known as “pay-per-click” which means that advertisers will pay a fee each time a user clicks on one of their advertisement .
For example paid advertising on search engines like Google is often known as search engine marketing or SEM.
The Impact of Social Media
76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to be 2.95 billion where 650 million of these are from China alone according to Statistica. Facebook, a social media platform is the most influenced and at end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide as per Statistica.
For Facebook usage mobile devices have become the dominant platform where 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices. Other trendy social media platforms for marketing include WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.
From perspective of internet marketing, social media is becoming more and more a necessity for most of us. However, many businesses are not sure whether using social media will improve the bottom line as it is difficult to associate social media marketing activities with increased sales.
Some brands/companies with best internet marketing engagements
Ever since 2009/2010, Domino’s has been regarded as marketing Brilliance Company and even in present times they’ve been showing no signs of slowing down their Excellency.
Their current “Domino’s Anyware” has earned them tittle after tittle in major publications such as, Wired, Forbes and Cnet. And publications like Fast Company, Domino’s now looks more like a tech company than just a pizza chain.
It started by making customers order through twitter and then expand with addition of Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Slack.The brilliance of this campaign is two-fold. On one hand, it’s a sales play. It made buying pizza extremely easy by creating a custom app that would order your favorite pizza automatically without doing anything i.e. Zero Click. Thus, this is important because the way people interact with the world is changing with it.
Leading shoe e-commerce Company, Zappos has set high standard for online customer care. Not only does Zappos provide a 365-day money return guarantee, but they also have free shipping both ways and consumers should decide to return or exchange products purchased on the site.
In respect to that, Zappos doesn’t have to work hard to market its online existence as its policies are so appealing to consumers.
However, Zappos does still invest largely in online marketing, and its social media engagement shouldn’t be missed. This is an important aspects to any effective digital strategy.
Entering a popular niche like personal finance, Mint proved that it’s possible to stand out in a crowd through well implemented online marketing strategies.
Even though this company was unknown among its more popular prototype, Mint devoted to a digital strategy in which they published hundreds of high-quality contents from informative blog posts to viral attention seeking info graphics such as which gave value to their customers and grew their business.
As a result of Mint’s digital marketing achievements, the tool gained a massive online following before being sold to Intuit for a massive $170 million.
4. The Wirecutter
Partnership marketing can be a bit tacky, but it can generate big consequences when done in a proper manner. The Wirecutter has set the standard by labeling defining itself as a simple “list of the best gadgets like cameras and Televisions for those people who don’t want to take a lot of time figuring out what to get.”
The site was generating $150 million in e-commerce business per year before being accomplished by the New York Times for $30 million. They usually write reviews for products they like, enclose a link to a retail site so you can easily buy it. Their reviews take 20 to 200 hours to complete by experts and other interested parties, which makes the site visitors trust what they have to say.
Airbnb has changed the way we look for accommodations and travel. This particular site now advertise 150 million users, 4 million listings, and in 2017 a total valuation of $31 billion .
Their digital marketing strategy primarily depends on user-generated images and videos on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter mainly highlighting the cities and properties.
Moreover, their Instagram campaign matches with compelling images of different travel locations across the world, making it more than just a service. When it comes to a social media personage, Airbnb shines the brightest. In a 2015 Instagram campaign, the company also received 13.3 million interactions and increased its followers by 341%.
Challenges of Internet Marketing
On the other hand, new technology create opportunities for new businesses whereas on the other hand there are threat regarding it. Web privacy issues have been a growing topic around the web for a few years now. 2018 was the year bringing when there was more concerns about online privacy. EU national data protection authorities acknowledged 100, 00 complaints and proposed around 250 cross-border investigations as of January 25, 2019.Both 2018 and 2019 have been a year with huge website accessibility scandals.
In summary, brands should have a permission to contact people, provide their leads with methods to remove their details and information from the database and delete the data automatically after a certain time period. Digital marketing is changing in good as well as in a bad way. There’s no stopping it. So, you have two options, either to be left behind and watch newer competitors to overcome you or to start acting and find solutions to solve these challenges.