Before the internet really hit its stride, personal branding was mainly an in-person exercise. Back then, building your own personal brand meant carefully shaping a “real-world” persona while continually reinforcing that image through traditional marketing channels (print, TV, radio, etc.), a painstaking journey that sometimes took years and countless resources. Now, personal branding is virtually […]
Have a robust internet marketing strategy? If not, what are you waiting for?
More than 5 billion people around the world shop, scroll and enjoy online content every day. What’s more, the average consumer spends nearly seven hours of their daily routine surfing the web, seeking out news, entertainment, communication, and service options that’ll deliver a rewarding experience.
This translates into an amazing opportunity for businesses and marketing teams to connect with a massive target audience all at once and to craft internet marketing strategies that turn consumers into customers and brands into local industry leaders.
With such an exciting and dynamic online landscape at our fingertips, building a cohesive digital marketing plan offers the best way to enhance visibility and reach the customers your business needs to grow. In this post, I explore 7 distinct but powerful ways to carve out your own internet marketing campaign and take your brand to the next level.
Internet marketing: what is it?
Unlike traditional advertising, internet marketing refers to any marketing tasks, strategies, or campaigns you design and execute on the web. Sometimes called online marketing or web marketing, an internet marketing strategy can include anything from content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to paid advertising, social media marketing, online profile creation, and more.
7 ways to leverage your internet marketing strategy and grow your business online
Here are seven key elements to include in your digital marketing strategy and increase brand awareness across the internet.
- Content marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Email marketing campaigns
- Paid ads
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Online referral marketing (aka affiliate marketing)
1. Content marketing
Content marketing provides the foundation of any internet marketing strategy, ensuring you have the branded content needed to reach, engage, and compel consumers across your target demographic. A strategic approach to content marketing includes well-researched and executed methods for creating, publishing, and promoting digital content that reaches your target in search engines and strengthens brand connections, awareness, and conversion rates along the way.
A content marketing strategy typically includes many types of online content, each created to reinforce your message while increasing customer engagement. These may include any combination of:
- Guest posts
- Email sends
- Video marketing
- Case studies
- Other brand promotion material
As you’ll quickly discover, effective content marketing strategies are only possible when they work in conjunction with other integral internet marketing efforts. These include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and others.
When properly developed across various digital channels, content marketing becomes a powerful tool for reaching your internet marketing goals.
For instance, using local SEO best practices across your content marketing approach provides the “ranking juice” your content needs to climb up search engine results pages. And when it comes to social media, incorporating proven promotional techniques into your content strategy can help boost visibility and engagement across the social media platforms you need to cultivate brand awareness and trust.
2. SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO is how you turn your website and online marketing content into Google-worthy assets. It’s what drives content up key Google results pages. It gets your brand in the conversation, providing the rankings needed to reach a bigger audience, maximize brand impact, and, ultimately, pull motivated buyers closer to the point of purchase.
For instance, if you manage a local bookstore and need to reach more readers in your area, you’d likely want a webpage or two (at the least) to rank high for Google search phrases like “bookstore Denver” or “bookstore near me.” Making that happen requires a solid understanding of SEO and knowledge of how to execute optimization strategies across your digital marketing efforts.
But what exactly is SEO? In short, SEO means making it easier for search engines (primarily Google) to find relevant content they can provide users during a search.
The main goal of Google and others is to provide searchers with content that most closely aligns with the user’s search intent, delivering a reading experience in the process. And optimizing your internet marketing strategies with SEO makes it much easier for Google to “crawl” your brand content and present it to your target audience.
SEO breaks down into two basic types:
On-page SEO refers to any effort or strategy that beefs up your website for search. With On-page SEO, you empower your site with the features and content needed to stand out on specific search results pages. An on-page strategy may include:
- Optimizing your site for mobile
- Enhancing site speed
- Including targeted keywords across blog posts and specific web pages
- Adding external (outbound) links to content
- Linking to high-performing pages across your site
- Optimizing metadata (title tags, descriptions, etc.)
- Incorporating structured data markup techniques
- Off-page SEO is any digital marketing SEO strategy that takes place outside or off of your website–efforts to optimize your content or site on other digital channels.
- Off-page optimization aims to strengthen your website through external signals, such as those coming from social media platforms, review site profiles, and various other brand mentions across the web.
For better or worse, backlinking remains the most important and impactful element of off-page SEO.
In basic terms, backlinking means linking to your website from other high-authority websites, something that shows Google your site is providing relevant content worth linking to. So, when Google notices trustworthy sites are pointing visitors back to your content, it’s more likely to regard that content as trustworthy and relevant, and rank it higher as a result.
Currently, one of the more popular backlinking methods available is guest posting, or creating content to be posted on third-party outlets.
3. Email marketing campaigns
Email marketing utilizes the power of direct messaging to attract potential customers while improving customer loyalty rates among past buyers. While not the most desirable internet marketing method among some marketers, email marketing strategies remain some of the most effective ways to magnetize your brand and maximize your marketing dollar.
Email marketing is so effective that it boasts a 36-to-1 ROI for every dollar spent. Few other strategies come close to the impact of a strong email campaign.
Email marketing begins by collecting email addresses, generally done when partnered with other internet marketing features strategies, such as content marketing. This includes lead magnet content like ebooks, coupons, on-site content, and other types of “bait” only available after users provide an email.
Once emails are collected, your business has a subscribers list that can be segmented into different email campaigns, each designed to reach subscribers at different points in the buyer’s journey.
Such campaigns may target anyone from new subscribers and existing customers to inactive subscribers and more, with tailored messaging to make the most impact at the right time.
Sure, email marketing may not always be the most reached-for tool in your digital marketing toolbox. But knowing how to wield it and build compelling email campaigns that generate clicks and conversions is more than worth the resources you put into it.
4. Paid ads
Paid advertising is one of the faster methods for boosting brand visibility across popular internet marketing platforms. Paying for ads on Google search or social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook puts your business front and center almost instantly.
It effectively supplements your organic content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO efforts with a powerful jolt.
Paid ads-type marketing is often confused with PPC or pay-per-click, the option through which you pay a small fee every time someone clicks through on an ad. But while PPC strategies can take up a big chunk of your paid advertising budget, they certainly aren’t the only opportunities available in the online ads realm.
Digital advertising platforms offer different methods for achieving your goals. Depending on where you advertise, you may be looking at such ad formats as:
COST PER ACTION
CPA, or Cost per action, charges your business each time a visitor does something specific, such as clicking on a unique link or buying a product.
COST PER VIEW
CPV, or cost per view, charges a fee each time someone ‘views’ your video.
COST PER THOUSAND IMPRESSIONS
Cost per thousand, or cost-per-mile (CPM), charges you once an ad has achieved 1,000 unique views.
Currently, Google and Facebook are battling it out for the title of largest online advertising platform. Together, they receive more than half of all digital advertising dollars spent across the country.
Paid advertising on Google, which thrusts ads to the top of high-intent search results pages, is commonly known as search engine marketing (SEM). At the same time, Facebook allows you to create targeted ads by categories, including behaviors, interests, and demographics.
5. Social media marketing
Social media marketing relies on popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Linkedin to drum up brand awareness and conversions. Much like marketing on search engines, this type of outreach is available through two primary methods: unpaid (organic) and paid (social media advertising).
Like SEO, organic social media marketing is done over time, conducted over days, weeks, months, or even years to cultivate and grow an online audience.
There are numerous techniques for utilizing organic social media posts and activity to your advantage. One method is authority building, generally done by engaging followers and strategically contributing to conversations that reinforce brand value and trust.
Another popular method is connecting with new customers directly, utilizing the power of direct contact and response to resolve issues and build meaningful relationships in real time.
Harnessing the customer relations potential of social media helps position you as a responsible, reliable brand while inspiring target customers to give your business a chance.
As a content marketing tool, social media platforms allow you to share and promote valuable content, articles, and updates directly to online audiences–and to build brand loyalty and awareness in real time.
Paid (social media advertising)
While I covered paid ads marketing in the last section, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate just how effective paid promotional messages on social channels can be for reaching customers.
Paid social media marketing provides countless ways to get your message out, not only through PPC, CPV, and CPA but also by promoting posts and ads tailored toward unique demos and online behaviors.
Online platforms like Facebook are particularly powerful and proven when it comes to paid advertising and its potential for impacting a specific niche or industry.
And when rolled out in conjunction with your organic social media schedule, paid ads on social can provide a real oomph that increases awareness and boosts your online business among your target audience.
6. Influencer marketing
An outgrowth of social media outreach, influencer marketing has become a unique, stand-alone digital marketing must-have. Built around the charisma of social media personalities or influencers, influencer marketing leverages highly influential internet celebrities to cultivate brand credibility and tap into audiences previously out of reach.
Influencers have fairly large followings that value their advice on anything from fashion to food, entertainment, product lines, and even social behavior. Partnering with an influencer or two puts your business and products in that audience’s line of sight.
After a plug or recommendation on a site like Instagram, your brand gets an instant lift and name recognition among a new crowd of potential customers–people now far more likely to visit your website and give your business a try.
Trust, awareness, and a sales funnel boost all shine as advantages of this relatively new e-marketing strategy. But perhaps the best part of this internet marketing innovation is the cost.
While some influencers may charge a bundle for dropping your name in online conversation, most, on average, charge a small fee for the mention. Some even ask for nothing more than a free sample, promoting your brand just to give your offerings a go.
7. Online referral marketing (aka affiliate marketing)
Known as affiliate marketing, online referral marketing involves paying a commission or percentage of sales to influencers (and sometimes marketers) for promoting your business.
This incentive-based internet marketing program allows online marketing professionals, influencers, and others to earn based on the results of their work.
It typically involves inserting and promoting a link within value-add content, utilizing elements of influencer marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing to compel customers to action.
One example might be promoting your website link in a popular blog that covers topics related to your business or industry. Each time a reader clicks the link and buys a subscription to your service, the website owner gets a cut of the transaction, a win for you and the affiliate.
Need help with internet marketing strategies?
My team specializes in customized digital marketing solutions built to boost your brand in search, on social media, and across the web. From branding and SEO to web design, ORM, and review management, we provide the services and support you need to increase website traffic, connect with customers and grow your audience fast.