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  • Writer's pictureKen Ninomiya

The Uncomplicated Guide to Internet Marketing

In the past few years, the term "Internet marketing" has come to mean a wide range of things. Many people think it means exactly what it says: "marketing on the internet." In this case, "internet marketing" is the same as "digital marketing" and "online marketing." Some people, on the other hand, have come to associate it more with affiliate marketing, information products, and the "make money online" niche. For our purposes, we'll go with the first option and use the following definition:

Internet marketing is the use of websites and traffic to get leads, sales, or more people to know about a brand. Most of the time, this is done through paid advertising, search engine visibility, social media marketing, email marketing, and other paid advertising methods.

Ken Ninomiya | ecommerce and digital marketer
Internet Marketing is not such a complicated thing.

One of the best ways to start learning about internet marketing is to look at the different goals a business can try to reach with it. Marketing's main goal is, of course, to bring in money. With this in mind, we can say that sales are the main goal of Internet marketing, and many businesses focus on sending traffic directly to paid offers, like digital product sales pages or physical product pages in an eCommerce store. But for many businesses, making sales is still a far-off, long-term goal. Lead generation is a more common short-term or immediate goal of Internet marketing. By using the Internet to cheaply collect leads instead of making individual sales, a business can use its lead list to continue marketing to potential customers for free (or close to free) from that point on, hoping that multiple future sales will increase the average lifetime value of each lead and give a better long-term return on each dollar spent on marketing.

For an online business, generating leads could be as simple as building an email list, which could include customer names as well. Lead generation for an eCommerce business or a local "offline" business might also include physical mailing addresses and phone numbers so that they can follow up in other ways, like telemarketing or sending catalogs and special offers in the mail. Other businesses might try to get even more detailed lead information, like the business's industry or the number of employees for B2B marketing, or the customer's income range and family size for higher-priced B2C models like insurance sales or real estate. Since getting leads is often seen as the most common and multifaceted immediate goal of internet marketing, chapter three will be all about the different ways to get leads.

Lastly, one immediate goal of Internet marketing is to make people more aware of and familiar with a brand. For many businesses, this means spending a lot of money on banner ads or video ads to get their brand name, logo, or unique selling proposition (USP) in front of as many eyes as possible as often as possible. The goal here is to keep the brand in the potential customer's mind so that they will think of the brand when they need that specific need met in the future. For example, when a fast food chain puts an ad on TV, it's not because they want people to jump in their cars and go buy a burger right away. It's because they want you to think of their restaurant the next time you clock out for lunch and are trying to decide what to eat. This could be compared to how an online tax service spends a lot of money on banner ads and video ads in December and January, not because they think people will suddenly start doing their taxes early, but because they want their brand to be the first one people think of in April when 90% of Americans do their taxes at the last minute. Other ways to get people to know about a brand could be as simple as posting often on social media. Companies know that constantly seeing their brand image in their followers' newsfeeds or Twitter feeds gives them the same top-of-mind awareness and other emotional associations with their brand, like loyalty, pride, goodwill, and humor

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