So you want to be an Internet Marketer and make money online? Let’s start with the basics…
Any form of marketing is, simply put, a way to get your company, brand or product out there in front of the public, in front of your prospective customers.
Traditional marketing depends on ads, brochures, word-of-mouth, TV and radio spots, and networking to get people interested in what have on offer. You need a team of experts and full-times staff to get your marketing engine going. You need to invest a lot of money for your marketing strategy to be effective.
Online marketing follows some or many strategies used by brick-and-mortar kind of marketers, but with a crucial difference. All your marketing energy is concentrated online .You use the internet to spread word about your product or service to people.
Like any other marketing technique, this involves commitment, time, and minimal investment on your part, but the returns are often greater than expected. Choose the right market and use strategies to grab more eyeballs in your target market, and you find sales goals much more easier to achieve.
Online marketing comes in many forms. From your website to your monthly newsletter, anything that has the potential to reach your audience can be used in your marketing arsenal.
Whether you create your own physical or digital products, act as a vendor or reseller, promote other’s product for a fee, or provide a useful service, you need to learn to market online. This is where you can connect the digital-savvy shopper or the millennial – the next generation of consumers.
Internet marketing has been around for 15 years, and has seen explosive growth in sales each passing year. This is definitely the future of marketing and the sooner you mark your presence, the faster you can leverage its benefits.
This guide covers regularly used and most effective categories of online marketing:
- Your website – Many business owners and marketers consider this as a necessary element, if you have products or services to sell. A website, even a simple one which contains only important pages, helps customers to find you and learn more about your product and service offerings. An about page and contact details create trust in prospects’ mind about your business. Your website keeps them updated on new products and offers, and helps improve your customer service.
- Ecommerce sites – Such sites are useful when you sell or resell products – physical or digital. You have lower overheads and staff costs compared to offline businesses. You can sell directly to your customers, create a wider audience for you local business, or supplement your existing offline store. You can use other forms of online marketing to drive traffic to your storefront.
- Social media marketing – if you want to build fruitful relationships with your customers, you have to engage with them. Social media sites are places they frequent. Develop a presence in these places, find your target audience and promote your business. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Whatsapp are social networking sites where you can directly contact with your audience and establish your brand reputation and recognition.
- Affiliate marketing – When other forms of advertising prove inconsistent or time consuming, ecommerce sites and brands use affiliate marketing to boost traffic and sales. If you don’t have product of your own but want to promote popular ones and earn a commission, this is a good way to make money online. You pay a fee or receive a commission for a sale or new signup.
- Email marketing – When you customers join your email list, they are giving you permission to contact them. Provide useful information through emails. Persuade email subscribers to buy your product, affiliate product or service, after you’ve established a strong connection with them. This marketing technique provides high response rates at a much lower cost.
- Newsletter marketing – If you want to avoid the hassles of creating and maintaining a website or blog, newsletter marketing is the away to go. You don’t need a product, but can provide coaching, consultancy or advisory services through a well curated and informative weekly or monthly newsletter. Customers sign up through a landing page and pay a nominal amount as monthly subscription fees.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – Using SEO, you optimize your online content and make it visible to the search engine. Useful content with the right search phrases added to your site or blog material will rank well on search engines. Your product page or category post may even land on the top page for a keyword or phrase. Developing a sound SEO strategy enables you to increase leads and kick start business growth.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) – While search engine optimization (SEO) refers to organic methods used to make your website, products or content rank high on search engines, SEM is the paid version. You pay Google, Bing and other search engines to appear on top page for search terms and rank higher than your competitors.
- Pay for clicks (PPC) advertising – in addition to your own sites and social networks, you can reach out to a new audience with different forms of advertising. Place ads on other websites, comparison sites or online publication that your customers visit. You can run ad campaigns on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Promote your business to a wide customer base on a limited budget with seamlessly integrated and targeted ads.
- Content marketing – As a marketer or business owner, you create quality and useful content that solves a customer’s problem, provides them with valuable information or speaks of various benefits. You can use other forms of media including video, infographics, images, and slideshows to attract visitors and convert them into buyers. This includes guest blogging, creating free PDFs, ebooks, whitepapers, and writing for online, industry sites and trade publications.
- Video marketing – Marketers often overlook this medium as they find it daunting; believe it’s expensive or are ignorant of the benefits. You can create quality videos on a limited budget from product testimonials, customer interviews and product comparisons to tutorials and practical guides related to your product or service. You can use videos to create link backs to your website and increase traffic.
- Mobile Marketing – Another area gaining in importance as more and more people shop with mobile devices. Mobile marketing focuses on ads that appear on various hand held devices. Create your own app to market you products or place your ads in third-party apps. This marketing technique includes in-game ads, location-based ads, QR codes, and mobile search and image ads. Social sites and apps offer customized mobile ad formats to marketers.
Why is Online Marketing Important?
- 46% of the global population with purchasing power is actively using internet and social media for purchase decisions
- In 90% of online searches, the user end up contacting or visiting the business site
- 71% of internet users were likely to purchase from a brand they follow on a social site such as Twitter or Facebook
- Content marketing provides 3x more leads than traditional while costing 62% less
- SEO leads have conversion rates of a 14.6% while outbound leads had 1.7% close rate.
Starting an Internet Marketing Business
Given these and other stats, internet marketing business can be lucrative. You don’t need to invest a lot. You can create your own profitable business with a small budget..
Start with a Plan
Before you dive into the world of online marketing and spend money on courses and products, identify your business goals. Determine whether you want to create product and use online marketing to sell. Are you interested in becoming an affiliate? Will you be earning money through content, newsletter, or video marketing? Will you provide marketing services to others or serve as an online marketing consultant?
Once you’ve identified your internet marketing business idea, focus on niche, industry, companies, or specific products you want to build your business around. This helps you invest your limited capital in basic tools that you need to set up your business.
Start with One or Two Online Marketing Methods
The key is to start small whether you are marketing your own products and services or that of products. Become an expert in one or two methods of marketing. You can use related online marketing techniques like content and email, newsletter and affiliate systems, or PPC and mobile marketing.
For e.g.: You can build niche sites using SEO before adding email and affiliate marketing to the mix.
Study each marketing technique in depth through expert blogs, webinars and videos, or free online courses and books. Make your business profitable using one or two marketing techniques before focusing on others. Don’t scatter your time and resources in all directions as you’ll end up with poor results overall. When you’ve perfected an internet marketing system like SEM or email and started to generate sizeable revenue, use a part of it to invest in other types of marketing.
Choose your Target Market Wisely
You’ve chosen your products or service for sale and decided on the internet marketing technique you’ll be using. It’s time to analyze your market and your target audience.
Study your customer’s persona and demographic and create a list of the type of customers who are ideal targets for your product or service. Focus on market trends and study your closest competitors and leaders in the industry.
Find out where you’ll find your ideal customer. If they hang out in a particular social site like Instagram or Pinterest, join these sites, build your follow, and develop a rapport before pushing for a sale.
If you customers frequent certain forums or publishing sites like Tumblr or Medium, connect with them there. This will ensure you don’t waste your time talking to the wrong crowd or spending limited resources on locations where your prospective customer doesn’t exist.
Gather Knowledge About Internet Marketing
The landscape is constantly changing. What worked a few years ago may not deliver results today. Some techniques become passé while new ones gain a foothold. It’s important for you to be aware of what works and what doesn’t. There are successful marketers and experts who have done the hard work of researching and analyzing for you. Tap into the knowledge they freely offer.
Some resources to help you learn more about online marketing and create your own products.
With so much information floating around, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or tempted to try everything at once. These resources mentioned above will help you get accurate information.
Stay ahead of your competition by creating a proper business plan, target the right audience and market, and keep track of news and trends in the field of online marketing.
Implement these marketing techniques and prepared to take calculated risks. Adapt and improvise as you go along, and soon you’ll be a successful internet marketer.
You can build a profitable business from the comforts of your home. After the initial hard work, you can sit back and enjoy long-term passive income without any additional effort on your part.