This article will focus on Internet marketing and the strategies used to make the efforts successful. The Internet poses both opportunities and threats to the field of marketing. When developing a strategic marketing plan, organizations will need to determine if and when internet marketing will be utilized. The success of the Internet as a medium for marketing depends upon how well the system outperforms alternative systems. This article will also explore how an organization can establish a customer base with the site-centric and symbiotic marketing approaches.
Keywords Advertising; Commerce Service Providers; Direct Marketing; Internet marketing; Marketing channels; Marketing Strategies; Public Relations; Site-centric Model; Spamming; Symbiotic Marketing
Marketing: Internet Marketing Strategies
The use of the Internet is exploding, especially in the United States. People spend a lot of time on the Internet because there is a wealth of information to be found. In addition, many consumers feel comfortable purchasing online and value the Internet's capacity for providing information about different products and services. As a result, Internet marketing has blossomed and become a key part of many companies’ advertising efforts. The Internet has reduced costs associated with starting and running a small business (Boaze, 2004), which allows these companies to have an Internet presence because the medium is affordable. Companies have also found the Internet to be an effective communication tool for customers, potential consumers, and other businesses, and the advent of social media further enabled companies to connect and interact directly with consumers.
As a result, marketing has experienced significant changes in how it operates. The Internet poses both opportunities and threats to the field of traditional marketing (Lemoine, 1999). When creating a marketing plan, organizations must determine (1) if the tool is useful for marketing their products, (2) which products can benefit from Internet marketing, (3) when it is best to use traditional marketing, Internet marketing, or a combination of both, and (4) what pitfalls need to be avoided so organizations do not experience failure when using Internet marketing. Internet marketing research has provided years’ worth of valuable findings (Hou & Rego, 2002). The Internet has forever changed the way that organizations, governments, and individuals conduct business. Therefore, companies have responded by changing the way that they market their products.
Opportunities for Internet Marketing
The Internet opened many new avenues for companies to market new products and provided opportunities to restructure how they were marketing their established products. Benefits of the Internet include its ability to market globally, provide a free market without regulations and barriers to entry, and determine which products sell well in an online format. Companies can decide which products are best to sell online. In addition, they can determine whether they want to sell on their own site or sell products through online retailers such as Amazon. The Internet provides opportunities and challenges for the four Ps of marketing (price, promotion, product, and place) by being an unpredictable distribution channel, a powerful marketing communication and promotional tool, an effective marketing research tool, and an efficient tool for segmenting and targeting consumers and customers (Lemoine, 1999).
The Internet can be considered an integrated marketing communication tool. It has the capability to combine the efforts of direct marketing, advertising, and public relations.
- Direct Marketing: Companies can communicate and promote products and services to a target market by using e-mail, customized pages, and promotional systems. For example, a company can offer a free product if members of a target market go to a particular survey link to answer questions. The feedback can be used to customize a promotional opportunity to that particular market. However, if the company uses e-mail as a mechanism, the company must ensure that its promotional e-mails are not considered spam—unwanted marketing messages—by their recipients.
Advertising: Companies can target global markets and make sure their ads are seen by consumers who will buy their products. Organizations are able to track the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns by tracking how many people see their ad and how many people visit the site based on a particular ad. In addition, the cost of online advertising is typically cheaper than traditional advertising methods such as print or television advertising. In some cases, a company may pay for an advertisement only when a user clicks on it; this system is known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Public Relations: Companies may also use the Internet to provide corporate information about the organization and its products. Potential customers will be able to find information such as names and background of the senior management team, investor information, history, and product information. Through the use of social media, companies can respond to complaints or other customer concerns quickly and effectively, thus managing their online reputation and establishing rapport with consumers.
The success of the Internet as a medium for marketing depends upon how well the system outperforms any alternative systems. The features of the Internet must be better than any of these alternative systems, and consumers must be able to benefit. Studies have indicated that the Internet is, in fact, one of the best venues for marketing products and services. These studies include one that distinguishes online and traditional retail formats with regard to the costs and benefits for consumers (Alba, Lynch, Weitz, Janiszewski, Lutz, Sayer & Wood, 1997) and another that illustrates how the Internet shares some of the same characteristics as other mediums but also offers new and unique features (Peterson, Balasubramanian, and Bronnenberg, 1997). Some of the unique features of the Internet are:
- Ability to store larger amounts of information at lower costs
- Ability to provide information that is interactive and can be customized
- Provision of power and inexpensive ways to search, organize, and distribute information
- Provision to perceive (i.e. 3D image and video preview)
- Capability to serve as a transaction and distribution tool for certain products
- Establishment of a presence at a low cost
Consumers tend to focus on formats that provide them with the most benefits. The Internet provides consumers with many benefits, such as accessibility to goods that are not in the local market, lower prices, the availability of different alternatives within the same product category, and the ability to shop at any time.
Internet Marketing Strategies
Developing a successful Internet marketing strategy is necessary if an organization wants to make an impression online. A successful strategy should include a great product, a web site designed to sell, and an outstanding marketing strategy (Lowery, n.d.). All three of these areas are important and must be developed. If one area fails, chances of success may be reduced. Lowery suggests a three-step process for ensuring the success of an internet marketing strategy.
- Step 1: Develop Product — A company should create a unique product that gives potential customers what they want. The product should fill a void in order to overcome the threat of competition. The company must also develop a target market. Researching the market is key. The company will need to find out what people want in order to develop a unique, quality product presentation.
- Step 2: Develop Website — The web site should be designed to sell the product(s). The purpose of the website is to convince the consumer to buy the product. Therefore, words become important. Although graphics are impressive, words mean more. Consumers seek information and...
It seems that every few months something huge is going down in the world of online marketing. It’s such an action-packed industry that it’s often easy to miss some of the awesome content and major milestones that occur in the field.
It’s no fun to be behind the times, which is why we’re bringing you the 31 best internet marketing articles from a variety of sources and experts.
From modern link building guides and content promotion plans to industry news and groundbreaking studies, there’s something for everyone.
Best Internet Marketing Articles: Content Marketing and Promotion
1. How to Create a Winning Content Promotion Plan
Buzz Stream gives a run down on how to create a top-notch content promotion plan, ensuring that your stellar content gets the attention it deserves.
2. How to Create Great Content That Drives Traffic
In this comprehensive article from OkDork, Noah Kagan explains his skyscraper technique for creating great content that drives legitimate traffic.
This post is incredibly detailed and takes you through the step-by-step process for seeking out topics that will perform well in your niche. Noah’s skyscraper technique has been celebrated often following this post – be sure to give it your time and attention!
3. We Analyzed Nearly 1 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned
Headlines a huge, as every content marketer knows. A Garrett Moon guest post on OkDork (adorable name) shows what makes a popular headline with some nice data pie charts to back it all up. Some stuff is obvious (list posts are awesome) but other tips may provide some eureka moments.
4. Writing Tips: How to Come Up With 50 Topic Ideas in 30 Minutes
Is your brain busted? Can’t break through the writer’s block wall? Entrepreneur is coming to the rescue, showing you how to think up 50 fresh article ideas in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Modern Family.
5. 16 Explosive Content Promotion Strategies
While the “all you need is great content” manta is slung around more than sloppy joes at a middle school food fight, we all know it takes a hell of a lot more than “great content” to run a successful website. Creating awesome content is step 1, but what comes after that? Robbie Richards clues us in to 16 awesome strategies and tools to use for content promotion. Really good stuff here you may not have seen before!
6. The Ideal Length of Everything Online
The Buffer blog brings us another super special study: the ideal length for everything online, backed by real research. Get the highlights with a quick flick through and read the details if you’d like. Learn the perfect number of words in a headline, characters in a tweet, words in Facebook posts, and more.
Best Internet Marketing Articles: SEO
7. The Complete Google Leaked PANDA Do & Don’t List – 2011 to Present
Panda and its successors have forever altered the SEO landscape. This guide from The Moral Concept gives you all the “dos” and “don’ts” to avoid the Panda landmines and create a Google-friendly site.
8. All-New Beginner’s Guide to Link Building
Moz provides a comprehensive guide to modern link building, covering all the nitty-gritty details you need to be a successful link builder. Learn how to create a blogger outreach list, how to craft a solid outreach email, how to conduct broke link building, and SO much more.
9. 50+ Google Analytics Resources – The 2014 Edition
This awesome collection of Google Analytics resources from Kiss Metrics will help you become an analytics master. Dig into guides detailing every aspect of Google Analytics, from data segmentation to split testing.
10. ROBOTS.TXT DISALLOW: 20 Years of Mistakes to Avoid
This year marks two decades of robots.txt. Brian Ussery discusses why robots.txt exists and common robots.txt mistakes that are best avoided.
11. Open Letter to the New SEO Generation
Jenny Halasz of Search Engine Land offers words of advice and guidance to the next SEO generation. Take to heart young online marketers – the future is now!
Best Internet Marketing Articles: Google News
12. Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird
As Google’s menagerie grows large enough to rival Disney’s Animal Kingdom, more technical tranquilizers and Serengeti strategy is needed to keep from being devoured alive (and no way are hummingbirds are harmless – they could poke your eye out in an instant!) Moz provides a comprehensive explanation of Google’s major algorithm updates and how to play nice with the wild beasties.
13. HTTPS As a Ranking Signal
Google announces HTTPS as an official search ranking signal. While it’s only a light signal for now, it’s worth reading up and considering if you should transition to HTTPS (if you haven’t already).
14. The Advanced Guide to Google Penalty Removal
Google slapped you across the face and left a nasty bruise – what next? Data Dial helps you get on the road to recovery with a walkthrough guide for recuperation. Put away those frozen peas, help is here!
15. It’s Over: The Rise & Fall of Google Authorship for Search Results
2014 marks the demise of the Google Authorship experiment, simply proving that Google is as fickle a mistress as ever. Search Engine Land provides a sweet eulogy for this now-buried feature that once rocked the online search landscape. What happened Google Authorship? You were the chosen one! You were supposed to bring peace and balance to the search world, not leave it in darkness. Oh well. There’s always Google+…
Best Internet Marketing Articles: Email Marketing
16. How We Doubled Email Signups in 30 Days
Buffer blog brings us a great article about how to double your email subscribers! Sounds too good to be true? Read and see for yourself.
17. 32 Clever Lead Generation Ideas For Your Next Marketing Campaign
If you’re on the hunt for leads (and who isn’t?) check out Unbounce’s awesome assortment of lead-generating tips. Get your pen and paper ready, because those names and numbers will soon be flooding in!
18. 9 Best Email Subject Lines to Your Increase Open Rates
A great email is useless if no one reads it – learn which email subject lines you need to get noticed in the inbox. From yours truly!
Best Internet Marketing Articles: Social Media
19. 45 Fabulous Facebook Advertising Tips & Magic Marketing Tricks
We take you through all things Facebook – from advertising 101 to social posts that drive engagement and dialogue. We’ve got you covered with this one-stop shop for Facebook marketing.
20. 6 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Drastically Improve Your Efforts in 2014
Margot daCunha of WordStream takes us through six spectacular social media strategies that will continue to prove valuable long after 2014 comes to a close.
21. 5 Brilliant Ways to Use #Hashtags in Social Media Marketing
Search Engine Watch takes us through a lesson in hashtags, covering the history of hashtags online and citing successful hashtag campaigns. #HashtagHelp
22. 50 Tweetable Tips You Wish You Knew Years Ago
HubSpot gives 50 short and sweet Twitter tips that every marketer should skim through. The coolest part? Every tip is tweetable! It’s tweetception - quick, get Leo over here!
23. How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media
Kiss Metrics explains how to get the most out of your social media networks by reposting your content multiple times. You’ll even get help developing a social sharing schedule to ensure that you’re sharing your content multiple times without getting labeled as a spammer.
24. 13 Ways to Beat the Facebook Algorithm
Our own Larry Kim dishes out 13 strategies for fighting the new brand bashing Facebook algorithm blues.
25. New Report Reveals Just How Drastically Brand Engagement is Plummeting on Facebook
Facebook has been wreaking havoc on brand engagement since their algorithm update in June 2014. Organic engagement has plummeted for everyone from Disney to Intel, as this report for Contently illustrates.
26. Ultimate List of IFTTT Recipes for Marketers
If you don’t know about IFTTT it’s time to learn! IFTTT is a free automation tool that lets you connect functionality between different apps. For example, you could use IFTTT to automatically post your instagram pics on Twitter. IFTTT is one of the tools featured in our social media promotion tools. In this post, Seer Interactive details the ultimate list of IFTTT recipes specifically for marketing masters. Check it out!
27. Study: How Marketers Optimize Their Social Content
B2B Marketing Mentor provides some awesome data on how many social media outlets the average marketer uses, how many social media posts marketers conduct each day, how many marketers schedule posts in advance, etc. Definitely an interesting study worth taking a look at.
28. 5 Painfully Obvious But Extremely Effective Facebook Tactics Nobody Told You About
Unbounce elaborates on some obvious tactics, brining the discussion to some not-so-obvious places. Studies have shown emoticons increase comments, but as Unbounce shows, not all emoticons are created equal! :0
Best Internet Marketing Articles: Conversion Optimization
29. Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization
Qualaroo presents a thorough guide to conversion rate optimization. Learn why it matters and how to create your own tailored testing and optimization plan. Long live CROs, the true defenders of the realm.
30. Everything You Know About Conversion Rate Optimization Is Wrong
You thought you knew conversion rates – but you thought wrong! Larry Kim debunks some common conversion rate canon and shows what a truly good conversion rate looks like.
31. 6 Proven Ways to Boost the Conversion Rates of Your Call-to-Action Buttons
Copyblogger takes us into some intense conversion rate testing with call-to-action buttons. See what works and what doesn’t in this super thorough and handy article.
Are you thinking: I can’t believe they didn’t include ___________ in the list!? Tell us what digital marketing news we missed in the comments!