An essential component of any successful business is marketing. After all, you need customers to have a business, and the way to get customers is to ensure they are aware of your existence. If your customers cannot find you, they’ll be doing business with someone else.
So, what is internet marketing?
Internet marketing is more than one simple thing. Much like asking “what is advertising?”, when you ask, “what is internet marketing?” you will find it means different things to different people.
Internet marketing is also known as e-marketing, web marketing, or online marketing and is a general term that refers to marketing goods or services online. Internet marketing is often done with the goal of selling something, but it may also refer to research being done online.
Internet marketing employs various strategies to market online, and can include any number of the following in different marketing campaigns:
- Website design
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Email marketing
- Blogs or content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Article marketing
- Affiliate programs
How Are You Reaching Your Customers?
What strategy are you using to reach your audience and find new customers? Whatever it is, if you are not using internet marketing, your efforts will not have the impact they could, even if you are a small local business.
With online sales growing rapidly (over 360 billion US dollars of retail e-commerce in 2016, and an estimate of almost 640 billion by 2022), online marketers are always seeking out new ways to drive traffic to their sites and increase sales.
As a result, digital advertising made up approximately 30% of all spending done on advertising in 2015, according to Strategy Analytics. While this is still nearly 30 billion behind TV advertising, this was the fastest-growing category, increasing by 13%.
The Importance of Internet Marketing
In 2016, the estimated number of people worldwide with internet access increased to more than 3 billion.
With such a staggering number of people online, advertisers now have access to an unprecedented number of potential clients. Being a worldwide figure, this means that clients are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and by having an online presence, businesses can respond quickly and easily to the needs of their customers.
When potential customers are considering a purchase, one of the largest factors in their decision-making is online reviews. A positive online review has been found to influence 90 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by Dimensional Research. Interestingly, the main source of these positive reviews was to be found on Facebook.
It is estimated that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be influenced by research done online.
Social Media’s Impact on Marketing
By 2020, the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion. Of all the various social media platforms, as of the end of 2017, Facebook is in the lead with 2.5 billion users, with 68% of user time on Facebook through a mobile device.
Many businesses are unable to say what sort of effect social media has had on their bottom line, as it is difficult to correlate social media activity with sales. Despite this understanding and making use of social media has become critical. According to Business 2 Community:
- 90% of adults between 18 and 29 are using social media
- 33% of millennials prefer social media as a means of communicating with businesses
- 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media in their purchasing decisions
Clearly, a great deal of action is taking place online, and it is only going to grow. As increasing numbers of consumers look to the internet for help in making their decisions when it comes to purchases, businesses that are not there to connect with them will find themselves falling behind.
In short, your customers are online, so you should be, too.