An Introduction to Internet Marketing
Internet marketing (also known as digital marketing) is integral to any marketing strategy today. An online presence, in the form of a company website, is a minimum expectation from your potential and existing customers. But a website is just one part of your company’s online image – in this article we highlight the importance of:
- Web design
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
Your company website should reflect the values and nature of your business. For instance, do you plan to run a store (retail or online)? Then your site should be designed with e-commerce capabilities. The key things to keep in mind when designing your website are:
Your website should be user friendly, easy to navigate, informative, interactive and customer-centric i.e. fit for purpose.
Search engine optimised
In order to climb the ranks of Google, Yahoo and Bing’s search results pages, your website should include lots of good, well-written content (as well as images and videos), which is frequently kept up to date. Your page titles and meta descriptions should include keywords relevant to your business and the products / services on offer; outbound links to reputable websites related to your business, and more importantly inbound links to your site (again from related, reputable websites); finally, an XML sitemap should be created and submitted to search engines, to help them index your site and ultimately boost your search ranking. See our in-depth SEO guide for more information.
People are using the internet more and more in everyday life, and increasingly whilst on the move. Your website should therefore look good when being viewed on any device– desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. How often have you found yourself awkwardly zooming in and out trying to navigate a web page on your mobile phone? Frustrating, isn’t it?
Social networking is, in its simplest terms, a form of free advertising. That’s not to say that social media management is easy – its primary purpose is audience engagement, which is a two way process and can take up a lot of your precious time. There are many different types of social networking sites, and you should be sure to utilise as many as possible in order to reach out to potential customers and drive traffic to your website (and subsequently rank higher in search engine results pages): You can use LinkedIn for targeted, professional networking. Use Facebook and Twitter to converse with customers, share news and run competitions. Write a blog using WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger and share it via your social media channels. Create a value-adding presentation and upload it to SlideShare. Set up a local business page (and listing) using Google Plus and add like-minded businesses and individuals to your circles. The possibilities are endless, as is the potential return on investment!
Email marketing is a cost-effective, targeted solution to reach your potential customers, and is good for supporting a larger marketing campaign (for example combining direct mail, telemarketing and email marketing). It is immediate, and its success can be easily measured using email marketing software.
Content marketing is undoubtedly one of the most important concepts in modern marketing, probably THE most important concept in 2014. Your website, and in some cases your business, is only as good as the content that it features. Google’s latest search algorithm, “Hummingbird”, places a great deal of emphasis on quality content. Here is a list of content will your followers, customers, fans etc. expect to see:
- White Papers
- E Books
- How-To Guides
Some types of content will obviously be more relevant to your business than others – for example, interior designers will rely heavily on photographs to showcase their work, whereas a fitness instructor could make effective use of videos showing the correct technique for various exercises. Try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself, what would I want?
Also published on Medium.