An Elementary Guide to Internet Marketing Services
The aim for this article is to cover Internet marketing services, what they are, how they behave, how to learn more about them, some tips, and ways to choose a good inbound marketing company if you are in the market for one.
Let’s get started!
What is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing, also known as online or digital marketing involves using various methods to promote a business using the internet as the marketing platform. Internet marketing services can take form in any part of the buyer’s journey, and act differently for each business.
Internet marketing uses many different strategies, together (as a full business solution) or separate (as supplemental to business efforts), solutions include: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, social media advertising, reputation management, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. The majority of businesses today use at least one of these strategies to promote themselves in some way.
Rather than doing the work on their own, many businesses turn to Internet marketing services to help set goals, design strategies, run campaigns and get proven returns on investments.
With that being said…
What is the difference between a digital marketing agency, an SEO company, an inbound marketing agency, and an Internet marketing company?
(Since our industry uses these words like tic-tacs!)
‘Digital’ and ‘internet’ marketing companies are synonyms for the most part. Both take a comprehensive approach to online marketing, including content marketing, mobile marketing, SEM, SEO, digital ads, and those mentioned above.
‘SEO agencies’ or companies, on the other hand, are mostly concerned with getting your page to rank higher in search engine results for a given keyword or phrase.
There are tons of factors an SEO could optimize a web page with, including items like optimized content marketing to boost your search engine rankings, or updating local listings for small brick and mortar businesses to appear on Google maps more often.
In short, Digital marketing companies often have departments concerned with SEO but are not exclusively focused on search engine optimization
For those trying to learn,
The Best Way to Learn Internet Marketing
…Is probably just doing it!
I would set up a simple e-commerce site and compete in the niche! Use SEO tactics to understand organic traffic (top of the funnel) then conversion rate optimization to draw customers from the site visitors.
Then, as you get comfortable with other areas of internet marketing, incorporate what you have learned and provide your own service. If your practice site starts doing well financially, I would be confident in saying you have a firm grasp on internet marketing concepts!
Using sources like moz.com, backlinko.com, searchengineland.com, hubspot.com, or our very own education section (HONE University) you can quickly get bearings on internet marketing and what it takes to be a champion!
Tips for Online Marketing
I am focusing on five main aspects of internet marketing: email marketing, social media marketing, SEO marketing, web design, and analytics. These tips tell you more about each aspect of these methods, while also fleshing out where they should be used in a marketing/sales funnel.
Email Marketing studies show that email marketing is still the primary converter for sales. With email marketing, you can reach customers individually and segment your email list into groups so your leads get the specific message that’s most likely to influence them to buy your product based on where they stand in the buyer’s journey. In addition, the best online marketing services include personalization fields, where the program automatically includes things like the lead’s name or other information which has been proven to increase conversions, and automated emails, which let you set up automatic email campaigns to scale your business efforts. Trigger emails are another feature found with the best online marketing services. These messages can be scheduled to be sent out after your customer acts on previous emails or meets other criteria to prompt a specific message. For example, if a lead clicked a link in your email for a particular product but didn’t purchase it at the time, you can automatically send a follow-up email about that product to remarket to them and make the sale. Pretty juicy!
Usually, email marketing is used to ‘close’ on leads which are interested in your services already and is used as the step before the purchase, but they have been used in the past (illegally check the CANN-SPAM act) to initiate interest and ‘attract’ or ‘convert’ the collected emails into leads.
Social Media Marketing is all the rave these days, and justly so, your business can’t afford not to connect with customers via social media. You have always heard the saying “Word of mouth is the best advertising strategy”, Social media is now the new ‘word of mouth’. You can accept it or let the changing times trample you. I know everything about my friends like where they go on vacation, if they are getting engaged, where they work, etc… and it’s not because I talk to them all the time, it is because I am friends with them on Facebook or follow their Instagram. Channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great resources for engaging with leads and learning more about what customers want and expect from your company. Not only that, but you can amplify your customer base, by having a strong social media presence. 1 satisfied customer can quickly become 2, 3, 5 or more, just from social sharing.
If you have ever heard the saying “20% of your customers make up 80% of your revenue”, you can understand why social media is so important in the ‘delight’ stage of the image above. If you look beyond what social media can do, is promote your business! It becomes critical to spreading awareness to those who have never heard of you – true word of mouth style marketing.
SEO Marketing may be one of the most important (Also personally my favorite!). Despite using the best online marketing tactics, your hard work could very well be wasted if your website is impossible to find in search engines. For this reason, everyone should be doing SEO – but don’t skimp on it! I will never understand people who pay for a service and are ok with not seeing results from their agency partner. SEO makes it easier for your customers to find your website when they enter keywords or phrases into search engines. Beyond boosting rankings and increasing relevant traffic, the best SEO services provide you with insight into the keywords consumers are using to find your business or service. Nestling SEO into all parts of your online marketing endeavors maximizes awareness and draws traffic from the most relevant sources.
Search engine optimization works especially well on top of funnel activities (when people don’t know who you are) because it helps your company and content get discovered by your audience when searching for information. When audience members already know your name, SEO becomes less effective, at that point, their queries are usually direct and do not require search engine influencing.
Web Design is an important aspect because, once customers find your website, you want them to stay there and purchase your products. Your website’s design, or at least that of your landing pages, can heavily impact customers’ buying decisions. A poorly designed site could drive a potential lead to click out of your site quickly, increasing your bounce rate and lowering your sales. Online marketing services with web design capabilities can help solve this problem and increase click rates and purchases. I generally call this conversion rate optimization and as expected analytics is super important for this field because every case is different.
Web design is especially important when people are visiting you, specifically landing pages, which makes web design an important element when people are becoming aware of your services/products or considering your business. In cases where people can convert to customers on your page, web design becomes important in closing stages as well.
Finally, Analytics, which may be the most important. Having the ability to market your business through email, social media, or SEO is a great start, but unless you can gather data and continuously improve your marketing campaigns, internet marketing may not grow your business. These reports can include many things, from information on the interaction occurring on your social media pages, your website’s traffic, how algorithms have changed, total leads generated by digital marketing, or even whether or not your emails are being opened and who clicks on what inside your emails. Some companies analyze competitors’ websites (I highly recommend doing competitor analysis) so you know where you stand in the market and what your competitors are doing – so that you can beat them. Analytics help you see what your company is doing well and where you need to improve your marketing efforts. Additionally, you can easily see which segment of your customers is ready to buy and what other behaviors they are exhibiting so you can target them more effectively.
Of course, analytics is important for every step! Getting information on how new visitors and return visitors are interacting with your web properties is invaluable. By split testing each section along the funnel you can increase the total output, getting more money in your pockets.
How do you choose Digital Marketing Services or Service Providers?
Choosing the right digital marketing service provider can be a difficult decision in today’s super competitive market and a world where using the full suite of online marketing services gives the best results.
You have to assign resources, locate the best digital marketing agency or consultant to help you meet your goals, and use analytics to drive an increase in overall marketing and sales activity (at the end of the day we are all running businesses right?!).
Pain points many of our clients have expressed include: ease of integration, speed in action, having a lack of expertise or innovation in their company, return on investment for previous solutions, among others.
There are lists of “top online marketing companies” or “online marketing services for small businesses”, which are helpful, but when it boils down to it, the best way to make a decision is probably to learn a little bit about the field and then choosing a good fit that aligns with what is best for your company, having a tailored approach is invaluable.
Not compromising on using a cheap service is oftentimes the best method – getting spammy links created and cookie cutter marketing usually turns out to be a waste of money and you will end up having to backtrack and pay more anyway.
As a business owner, if I were choosing an internet marketing service provider it would come down to these points:
- Safe practices
- Track record of return on investment
- Custom approach
- Agency pivot speed
Or just use HONE?