A Comprehensive Guide to Internet Marketing

A Comprehensive Guide to Internet Marketing

“Being first in the search result organically in Google is the dream of all website owners.” – Dr. Chris Dayagdag

Are you considering starting up an Internet Marketing business? Or, are you perhaps working from home as a freelancer and would like to extend your business reach by using some of the essential online marketing principles?

The world is going through a challenging time, with no end in sight. Many people’s lives have been turned upside down due to the principles of social distancing, illness, and loss of income. Economic turmoil seems to be part and parcel of the current phase the world is living through.

Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum, the state the world is currently in, is expected to last until the end of 2020. And, to mitigate the risk of a global economic collapse, the world’s “governments will need to take on large and unprecedented roles in securing business continuity and jobs.”

While extreme social distancing and isolation are necessary, it is generally not good for the human psyche. Emma Grey Ellis notes that this period of separation has left many people more alone than they have ever been. And, the most stressful part is that no one knows when this time of isolation will end.

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While many people have hunkered down to ride out the global pandemic, extroverts are having the hardest time. “Human beings are social creatures,” even the introverts. Therefore, it is expected that depression and anxiety will kick in at some point. Consequently, it is vital to put mechanisms into place to reduce the risk of increased mental health disorders.

While a discourse on the implementation of these mechanisms is not part of this discussion, it’s vital to note that one of the ways you can spend your time productively is to conduct a study on the essentials of Internet marketing in order to learn how to market your startup. Not only will this keep your brain active, but it will improve your endorphin levels, the feel-good hormone. Research has shown that learning new skills boosts self-esteem, self-confidence, and a sense of purpose.

A brief history of the Internet

Because this article’s salient point is “everything you need to know about Internet marketing,” with the outcome being that, once you have read this article, you will know to implement successful Internet marketing strategies, let’s first consider a concise history of the Internet.

The rationale behind this statement is that, to design and implement successful Internet marketing strategies, it is vital to understand the uniqueness of the digital world and how to leverage it to attract visitors to your online presence and to convert them into returning customers.

As an aside, it is generally accepted that the most challenging aspect of digital marketing is to convert your brand’s target audience into returning customers. Once a consumer has answered your marketing strategy’s CTA (Call-To-Action), brand loyalty kicks in, and the new customer will become a loyal follower.

By way of explanation, Investopedia.com defines a CTA is a “marketing term that refers to the next step a marketer wants its audience or reader to take.” Examples of a valid CTA include signing up for an email newsletter or purchasing products or services from the brand’s website.

As a result, the first question that begs is: Who Invented the Internet?

By way of answering this question, Even Andrews noted in his article with the same title that it is impossible to attribute the Internet’s invention to one person. It was the “work of dozens of pioneering scientists, programmers, and engineers who each developed new features and technologies that eventually merged to become the information superhighway that we know today.”

However, there are a few notable people that stand out. Nikola Tesla pondered the idea of a “world wireless system” in the early 20th century. And, idealists like Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush conceived the idea of a mechanized, searchable storage system similar to a catalog of information in the 1930s and 1940s.

The first iteration of a workable model was developed in the early 1960s when J.C.R. Licklider of MIT, USA, touted the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. This idea predated the development known as “packet switching,” a means to transport electronic data between two endpoints.

Packet switching is defined as a way to group data into packets before it is transmitted over a digital network. Once the data has been formed into packets or blocks, these packets then move one behind each other along the network infrastructure that joins computers together.
Who Invented the Internet

The first actual feasible prototype was developed for the US Department of Defense and is known as ARPANET. Succinctly stated, ARPANET uses packet switching so that many computers can communicate on a single network.

In the 1970s, scientists Robert Kahn and Vincent Cerf developed the technology known as TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, “a communications model that set standards for how data could be transmitted between multiple networks.”

This communications protocol was implemented by ARPANET in 1983, leading to the development of the modern World Wide Web model by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. The digital or online world uses this model today.

And, in summary, the Internet or World Wide Web is nothing more than a worldwide network of computer servers that stores websites, online documents, and other data which are accessible by hyperlinks or websites and web pages connected to one another by linking URLs (Uniform Resource Locators or website addresses).

Digital marketing versus Internet marketing

Before we look at a step-by-step guide to Internet marketing, let’s consider the difference between these two phrases, for there is a difference, albeit small.
Alex Chris of reliablesoft.net defines digital marketing as a general term that “describes a set of marketing processes that encapsulates all available digital channels to promote a product or service or build a digital brand.” In other words, digital marketing is the successor to traditional or print marketing online media instead of print media such as newspaper and magazine advertisements. Digital marketing strategies include the following channels: social media, websites and blogs, PPC (Pay Per Click) and other paid online campaigns, as well as email and mobile marketing.

Internet or online marketing is a subset of digital marketing. Additionally, it is considered the quintessential nature of digital marketing, as 99% of all digital marketing efforts occur online. In his article titled, “Digital Marketing VS Internet Marketing – What is the latest trend?”, Alex Chris goes on to state that digital marketing “falls within the boundaries of Internet marketing.

Consequently, the most important channels used in Internet marketing are highlighted above; namely, websites and blogs, social media channels, paid search engine marketing, and email marketing.

Internet Marketing: A framework for success

Now that we have an understanding of the history and development of the World Wide Web, or Internet, and we can appreciate the difference between Internet marketing and digital marketing, let’s consider a marketing model or framework that is designed to increase the brand’s exposure, convert consumers into loyal customers, and improve the ROI (Return on Investment) on the online marketing spend.

It is vital to note, at this juncture that ROI is a “financial metric of profitability that is widely used to measure the return or gain from an investment.”

It forms a core part of the Internet marketing model, and it is calculated as follows:

ROI= (Cost of Investment / Net Return on Investment) ×100%

Four pillars form the framework upon which the successful online marketing model stands. And, before we take an in-depth look at each one of these pillars, it is vital to be mindful of the fact that, according to Main Street ROI, if any one of these four areasis deficient or missing, your Internet marketing strategy will fail.

Additionally, the Internet marketing specialists at Main Street ROI have offered this formula as a basic definition of the individual elements of digital marketing and its outcomes:
Cost of Investment
Revenue = Website Traffic

Revenue = Website Traffic x Conversion Rate x Customer Value.

Ergo, “revenue from digital marketing is directly proportional to how many people visit your website, how many of those people convert into customers, and how much those customers are worth to your business.”

In other words, there are three ways to grow your brand’s revenue and improve ROI figures to your digital marketing spend:

  • Increase web traffic
  • Improve conversion rate metrics
  • Improve conversion rate metrics
  • Track metrics that show whether your marketing strategy is successful or not.

Bearing this in mind, let’s now consider each one of these four pillars:

Website traffic

The need to drive targeted, focused traffic to your brand’s website is not only the first pillar but the starting point of every successful online marketing campaign.

Without website traffic, your campaigns will fail before they are even implemented. Thus, this is the first place to start.

It is also important to note that the traffic to your site must be targeted and focused. Consequently, part of this traffic-generation exercise is to determine your brand’s target audience. It doesn’t help driving traffic to your website if the subsequent visitors to your site have no interest in answering the site’s CTA.

Website conversion rate

Once your brand’s target audience has been motived to visit your online presence such as a website, the next step is to seek conversions. Without conversions, there will be no income. But without traffic, there will be no conversions. Therefore, these two pillars go hand in hand with each other.

For example, let’s assume you have a blog called Opinion & Facts. It is a new blog, and you would like to increase the blog’s traffic because you have signed up with Amazon affiliate marketing as a “work-from-home” income generation stream.

Therefore, your CTA will be to ask visitors to your site to sign up for your email newsletter. As a result, your blog’s Internet marketing campaign will be to drive visitors to your website so that they can answer the CTA. At this juncture, it’s critical to remember that when designing your Internet marketing campaign, you need to define your target audience; otherwise, the risk of reaching the wrong audience is high.

The calculation required to determine how successful your campaign has been is as follows:

Let’s assume that your blog has received 1000 visitors in the last calendar month and 20 people have signed up for your email newsletter.

Ergo, your conversion rate is 2% (20/1000 x 100).

A 2% conversion rate is on the low side. Therefore, your aim is to adjust your marketing campaign to increase the focus of the traffic to improve the conversion rate percentage.

Customer value versus the cost of marketing

Customer value versus the cost of marketing​

Customer value is often the unicorn in an Internet marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many businesses ignore this metric. However, it is a crucial part of the Internet Marketing strategy that meets all four requirements (or pillars) as highlight above, namely, revenue, website traffic, conversion rate, and customer value.

Possibly the best way to describe customer value or the average marketing cost per customer is to continue with the example described above.

Apart from a conversion rate of 2%, let’s assume that each customer is worth $10 (USD). In other words, the average revenue generated from the Amazon affiliate program per customer is $10.

The calculation to determine the average marketing spend per customer is as follows:

The cost of marketing per customer = customer value/conversion rate.

Therefore, the average marketing spend per customer is $0.20 per customer. Consequently, you can only afford to pay $0.20 on Internet marketing per customer.

Therefore, to increase your marketing spend per customer, you will have to improve both your brand’s website traffic and conversion rate metrics.

Tracking

It is essential to keep track of the metrics attached to the three pillars highlighted above. Otherwise, how will you know whether your Internet marketing campaign is successful or not?

A step-by-step-guide to Internet Marketing

The final phase of this comprehensive conversation on Internet marketing is to discuss how to implement the four pillars of a successful Internet marketing strategy. For, as highlighted above, without the effective implementation of an online marketing model, there will be very little organic growth, and the ROI figures will be meager.

Therefore, let’s consider the following guide to implementing the successful online marketing strategy:

Neil Patel, in his article titled “Online Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide,” highlights the fact that there are several useful Internet marketing channels that are designed to implement your Internet marketing strategy.

These channels include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), content marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and finally, email marketing.
The minimum requirements for a successful Internet marketing campaign must include SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing. Therefore, let’s take a brief look at each of these elements:

SEO

Searchengineland.com define Search Engine Optimization as the “process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines.” It does not include paid traffic such as is generated from SEM and PPC.

There are basically two types of SEO

on-page SEO

On-page SEO deals with the optimization of the website or blog itself. It includes aspects like keyword research, rich content, implementing usability and user-friendly web design best practices, and ensuring that your website provides the opportunity for visitors to answer the site’s CTA.

off-page SEO

Moz.com describes off-page SEO as the “actions taken outside of your own website to impact your [site’s] rankings” within the SERP. This is where the brand proves to a search engine like Google that it is reliable, trustworthy, and is relevant to its target audience’s needs.

Banklinking or content marketing forms the core mechanism of successful off-page SEO. Again, Moz.com comes to the rescue with an explanation of the raison d’etre for backlinking:

Search engines use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content’s quality, so a site with many high value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.”

Content marketing

Content marketing

As described above, content marketing forms a fundamental part of off-page SEO. Succinctly stated, content marketing is a process where high-quality, relevant, authoritative content is published on third-party links.

Let’s consider the following example:

You have a content marketing startup known as Firecrab Words. You have written a blog post on the top tips on how to write authoritative content. And, you’d like to rank on the keywords “authoritative content” on the SERP.

The way to leverage content marketing to improve your brand’s exposure is to ask an authoritative blog in the same niche to publish an article linking back to this article. Google will add this link’s authority to your brand, also known as link juice. Consequently, your brand will rank higher on the SERP.

Social media marketing

Succinctly stated, social media marketing is the use of “social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.” There are many social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

It is vital to be aware of the fact that not all social media platforms are relevant to every brand. Therefore, it is essential to choose the platforms that will add value to your brand’s marketing efforts.
Facebook Influencer

Email marketing

Email marketing​
While email marketing is considered to be one of the oldest marketing types, it is still as relevant as it was today. Mailchimp notes that the first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1978 so it has a long history of success. While it must be noted, that some marketing experts feel that sending marketing email is a spammy practice, but research shows that a well-constructed email will generate positive results.

In summary, “email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales.”

Final thoughts:

Internet, or online marketing, is the most important way to drive focused, targeted traffic to a brand to grow the brand, drive sales, and increase ROI or net profit.

Therefore, it is worth setting aside some of your startup’s budget to focus on designing and implementing a long-term Internet marketing strategy.

And, if you are considering learning the art and science of Internet marketing, the best place to start is Internet, or online marketing, is the most important way to drive focused, targeted traffic to a brand to grow the brand, drive sales, and increase ROI or net profit. Therefore, it is worth setting aside some of your startup’s budget to focus on designing and implementing a long-term Internet marketing strategy.

And, if you are considering learning the art and science of Internet marketing, the best place to start is here.

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