Internet Marketing refers to the marketing of products and services via the Internet. It is also known by other synonyms, including e-marketing, web marketing, online marketing and search marketing. Internet Marketing is very broad in scope, as it refers to both the design and technical aspects of marketing. It ties together everything from research, design, delivery systems, implementation, advertising, sales, testing and customer relations management (CRM).
Internet Marketing is both content and data-driven and usually involves discussion of the vital interaction between the two. Central to this discussion is search engine marketing (SEM); promoting websites and digital content, trying to achieve maximimum visibility to attract more visitors and convert sales. Internet Marketing forms part of a complex loop of content generation, delivery, measurement, feedback and tweaking, at each stage of the customer engagement cycle.
Internet Marketing Basics
Search Engines, Networks & Value
Search Engines like Google and Bing are the gatekeepers and curators of most content on the Internet. They use complex algorithms (strings of data, or instructions and rules) to make sense of all the data and information, in order to assign relevance to websites and content, then rank them accordingly. For example, Google uses a system called PageRank, to assign a value to how important a website is. Google uses many indicators to produce this rank, but generally we can say that websites that offer valuable, relevant content will achieve a higher PageRank. Website with lots of other sites linking to them.
Content Delivery Systems
Internet Marketing uses a wide variety of systems to deliver content to visitors and customers. This includes Websites, Audio (eg. MP3, Podcast), EBook (PDF, iPad (Apple), Kindle (Amazon), iTunes (Apple).
Ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services online and the transfer of funds between buyer and seller. The exponential growth of the Internet has resulted in massive improvements in supporting technologies, enabling and assisting this type of trade. Many notable platforms have sprung up since the beginning of the internet which bring together buyers and sellers and lower the barriers to trade on both sides. Examples include Ebay, Amazon and iTunes. A study by J.P.Morgan predicts that ecommerce revenues will reach $680 Billion by the end of 2011.
Niche Marketing is a popular form of internet marketing that involves targeting a subset of an industry or market. In other words, a more narrowly-defined group of target customers. The aim is to avoid going up against established competitors and instead create valuable products and services for a previously underserved market segment. With so much choice available online and the ease with which information is searchable, increasingly internet-savvy customers gravitate to these specialist providers, who are marketing specifically to them, creating a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Affiliate marketing is a form of internet marketing where a company pays or rewards an affiliate for visitors and sales generated as a result of their marketing efforts. It has grown considerably in complexity and encompasses many advertising methods including Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Action (CPA), Cost Per View (CPV), Cost Per Impression (CPM) and more. For example a business might pay an affiliate for getting a visitor to perform some specific action such as viewing an advertisement, signing up for an offer or trial, or purchasing a product or service. Affiliate marketing is very popular with both business and affiliate because of the low barriers to entry and the easy-to-use and wide variety of online marketing tools available. With an affiliate program businesses can dramatically expand their reach and sales with even a few high-performing affiliates.