What is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing is a fairly self-explanatory term used to describe the ways by which businesses utilize the World Wide Web in order to promote their companies and their products or services. It is also sometimes referred to as web marketing, online marketing, or eMarketing. Despite the many terms in current use these are all one and the same thing.

The Internet offers unique advantages to the marketing arena, but perhaps its greatest value is that of offering global sharing of information and media at a low cost. Because of what it provides in terms of interaction, it means that the business of commercial communications is fast and therefore time-saving. Internet marketing blends creative factors with technical aspects; as a result websites with great artistic merit and functionality are born.

Of course the website is considered a chief component of Internet marketing and in years gone by having one was pretty much the only marketing technique being used online. But the times are constantly changing, and those changes take place with rapidity in the online environment. Technological advancements are continually birthing new concepts and most companies nowadays use a mixture of online marketing techniques and components that best suit their business and are designed to help them achieve their goals.

Internet marketing is associated with several business models, the most widely used are listed below, although there are many other forms which are devised based on a business’s specific needs and objectives:

  • E-Commerce — The means by which goods or services are sold directly to consumers and businesses. You'll sometimes hear this sort of transaction being referred to as B2C – Business to Consumer. Equally, e-commerce also refers to business to business dealings – B2B.
  • Publishing — Internet publishing as a business model is a valuable one. If, to give an example, much sought after content features on a blog or website then significant income can be generated from the sale of pertinent advertising featured alongside it. There's a phrase that's often used regarding written copy on the web – Content is King. In the publishing model, that has tremendous relevance, especially when applied to good content. Good content attracts visitors and, as a result, advertisers to the site.
  • Lead-Based Websites — Organizations can create significant worth by getting sales leads from their websites, this of course may be part of a chain of Internet marketing events that originate elsewhere and culminate in lead generation.
  • Affiliate Marketing — This describes a process by which products or services developed by one person are sold by another active seller for a percentage of profits. The owner of the product usually supports his affiliates by supplying the necessary marketing materials: affiliate links, tracking facilities, and promotional aids such as sales letters, trials, and more.

Internet marketing is most commonly used to:

  • Assist a company in promoting information.
  • Carry out investigations and gather data concerning the demographics of clients and future prospects.
  • Sell products and services.

Some of the key components of Internet marketing are:

  • OnSite SEO – Search Engine Optimization — A technique or rather group of strategic methods used by Internet marketers or webmasters to enhance search results in favor of given sites. Onsite SEO ensures that content on websites is optimized in terms of the related keywords so a top slot in result pages on search engines like Google and Yahoo is more likely.
  • Pay-Per-Click Marketing — So called because the advertisers' costs are based on the amount of clicks their online advertisements receive. Fees vary and are often dependent on the popularity of subject matter, related keywords, and performance of the campaigns. Pay-Per-Click Marketing is exemplified by Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and other services in a similar vein.
  • Social Media Marketing — Social media marketing involves online activity within networking communities that engenders exposure, opportunities and ultimately business transactions. Think Facebook and YouTube, social media platforms that most of us have heard of, and you'll get the idea. Specifically for businesses there are sites like LinkedIn and many others. All operate on a similar basis and with a similar objective; that of creating interlinked communities and valuable connections with others on a global scale.
  • Email Marketing — Email marketing is an effective way to distribute information or solicit responses from clients. Opt-in newsletters and mass mail shots come into this category, where people are actively encouraged to take action to subscribe and engage proactively.
  • Link Building — The art, and it is seen by some to be an art, of creating inbound links to a site from other sites. Important aspects here are to focus on the generation of a healthy range of sites, both old and new, and from good online neighborhoods.
  • Ad Placements — Placing ads in locations online that will bear reference to the type of business being promoted is, once again, something that needs careful consideration. An ad in the wrong place, that appears at the wrong time, won’t reap the rewards the advertiser hoped for. Selecting the correct location, based on the demographic of the intended audience and the type of product being advertised are some of the basic aspects that are taken into consideration when structuring ad placement.
  • Article Marketing — Article marketing is a form of promotion based on the creation of written articles that relate to particular businesses and the industry they work within. This copy is then either freely distributed and published online or sent out to selected publishers like online magazines or relevant partner websites.

What is Internet marketing? The term itself is the 'collective' for the various ways businesses implement the many powerful tools the Internet offers in terms of low cost, effective global promotions.