Published June 2017
What is internet marketing, and how do you know if it will help your business at all?
Broadly speaking, there are three categories of internet marketing. This article will give an overview on all major types, how they work, and my comparison between the options. I have also offered some background and links to some example businesses they have worked for.
Its abbreviation is, SMM. This type of marketing covers platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. This also Google +, Pinterest, Snapchat, Myspace, I also group it with something called affiliate internet marketing (although this is technically incorrect). I do so because by my definition SMM is marketing on another platform, be it a website, APP (like WhatsApp), or program of sorts.
Therefore, by my definition, affiliate internet is similar, and to not complicate things, I have added to this group. The other two methods of marketing clearly do not fit within this group.
I want to start with Instagram and Facebook, for two reasons:
one being they are by far the most popular and used platforms, and
the other reason is they are owned by the same company.
The backend of marketing on both of these platforms are similar, and focus on a digital profile / demographic and location trigger. This means, you get to advertise based on creating a potential buyer profile, by selecting things the person might like and where they might be located. Perhaps their age and languages. So you get to place marketing or adverts based on social trends or human demographic information or location.
Facebook has over 1.9 billion users. (the Worlds entire population is 7 billion).
Instagram has over 600 million users +. Although, some resources report it to be 400 million. Can’t trust everything you read on the internet.
To do marketing on Facebook and Instagram, you need to open an account, open a business profile, load payment methods, and post marketable information, then run a campaign linked to the profile or the post itself.
Link to start: https://www.facebook.com/business/overview
YouTube has over 1 billion users. Owned by Google. Without a doubt the most social or used platform available. AdWords, which I will get to further on in this article, needs to be linked to your YouTube account, then you can prepare some general settings, load a video, target through device and demographic related triggers (Age, Gender, Topics), keyword triggers, and Bobs your uncle, you are ready to go, and you can have your video advert up and running.
Of course, making a video is another issue. There are a lot of simple software’s out there to help nowadays, and if you don’t want to do the work yourself, you might be able to track down a media student willing to help for a small payment.
LinkedIn has over 400 million users. 40% of users check daily. 41% of millionaires use this platform, which is an interesting bit of data their own website shares.
I personally check this site only 6-10 times …. In a year. Mostly because I keep forgetting my password, and I’m not looking for applying for a job. And when I employ, it is normally by reference of an actual person. That is me. Not the rest of the World.
LinkedIn’s advertising platform lets you reach highly targeted groups of professionals and you need a company page or showcase page. Then you get two types of marketing options:
sponsored updates and
Sponsored Update (basically pushing a post from your profile) and for Text ad, is just that, a text ad.
You can direct visitors to your page on LinkedIn or to a URL on your website - through locations and target audience information such as professional traits (company name, company industry, company size, job title, job function, job seniority, school, fields of study, degrees, skills) but also through selection LinkedIn group membership information such as gender and age.
Twitter marketing, is starting to roll out more vigorously now. It has less users than Instagram, which is interesting because it has been around longer. 319 million users (reported).
There are three types of Twitter marketing:
Link to start: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/twitter-advertising/
Tumblr has 300 million users.
This is a highly visual program, but because it appears to be more complex, Instagram is taking some of its business. The marketing platform on Tumblr can be broken down into two options:
Sponsored Video Posts (Native video for web and mobile in the same Sponsored Post format. Targetable like regular Sponsored Posts with additional analytics on views, looping, and engagement. Videos play automatically and loop continuously), then
Sponsored Posts are just like regular Tumblr posts— just way more visible. They're also targetable by gender, location, interest and can be syndicated to Yahoo for added reach. But I don’t meet many people who use Yahoo.
Link to start: https://www.tumblr.com/business
Google+, has 110 + million users, but only 6.6 million users have made more than 50 post. So this is really not a platform I need to focus on. My humble opinion is this was a flop for Google. (hope the people I know at google don’t read this … they get very defensive… trying to debate with someone from google requires a lot of coffee)
Pinterest has about 70 million users. Not going to focus on either.
Snapchat has about 150 million and just added Group Story tool to compete with Instagram. Not going to focus on.
Myspace… what’s that?
In reported order of most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest and then Tumblr. No mention of Whatapp which is technically correct, but I believe this App is going to do some amazing work in this area.
PPC = Pay per click or paid search marketing, basically a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically through SEO listing or adverts on social media or affiliate websites. PCC broadly speaking can be broken down into these categories:
Display advertising. A type of online advertising that comes in several forms, including banner ads and media, there are more options, but unlike text-based ads, display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to advertise a message. I would still bulk this type of marketing under affiliate marketing, because by my definition, it is marketing on another website which you are doing through a marketing method feature on an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is a further internet marketing category, which I don’t really use because I hate being a tenant on someone else’s website. I have had no success with any affiliate companies. With that said it has many Pros, and similar to social media, it also shares many of the Cons.
Some helpful links to get going:
Retargeting PPC advertising. This is basically adding code to your website known as a tag or pixel so that a visitor can be tracked and added to your remarketing audiences through browser cookies. Let's say you operate an e-commerce that sells home décor and furniture. You might create a “desk” remarketing audience through the marketing platform, based on people who visit the pages on your website site where you sell desks. You know then that they have been on that page. Now, with that knowledge, you can show these specific visitors highly targeted display ads on other websites that market your desks. But now, instead of offering desks, you punt them with desk chairs. Basically, if they leave your website, you can entice them back with something relevant to one of their last interests.
Price comparison website advertising. People use these website intending to buy. To get a product listed is simple. (…insert disclaimer here) One thing that all of these websites should have in common is that they need the details of all of your products which usually comes as a "CSV" spreadsheet or sometimes as "XML" … depending on your website. (there are standard files from publicly available e-commerce software package) so basically a plugin that can create these files for you. Speak to your website designer.
There are 2 pricing schemes for these sites. Some of them use a pay-per-click model (PPC), others will join your affiliate campaign (if you have one), and some will allow either option.
This marketing option is a little more expensive to maintain sometimes, but it has to pay off in the end if done well because of the type of user you are attracting. This moves me onto the most important option: PPC.
PPC, there are a few options, but the king of kings is Google Adwords.
This is an advertising service by Google for companies wanting to display their ads on Google search. The program enables you to set display your website advert when a user types in a search phrase you have programmed to trigger your advert. For example, you sell cars. User is on google, and types “new cars for sale” … and those words you have programmed through a bidding system to trigger an advert for your website.
Link to get started:
Definitely the dinosaur of internet marketing, but unlike the dinosaur, a method that is still very much alive. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
In short, it is the manipulation of a website to help it rank better than competitor sites on search engines for top positions.
So how is it done? So many arguments between web developers and computer nerds, because the fact is, no one knows the computer program algorithm (way of thinking / ranking) … there are simply widely accepted theories and tricks of the trade, most of which, need to be done by a website designer on a website as its built and then over time to maintain it.
The benefit is once the foundation work is done, you don’t have to pay for your position on google / search engines… your website lists naturally. You do have to maintain SEO. The reason is, there are over 1 billion websites… all with SEO status.
So, with all the fuss of Social Media Networks, Blogging, Email Marketing, PPC, SEO, and so forth, how do you know which type or variety of options are best for your business?
Let’s broadly look at pros and cons for each of my three main options.
Of course, the most obvious difference between the three categories is only one dabbles in a social arena and the other two dabble in a ready to buy market.
So, the main comparison has to be:
Social media. Shareable. Likeable. Engaging.
PPC / SEO – not shareable. Not to the same level social media anyway.
Of course, some products and services need references to build client relationships before they buy, you need to be able to engage for this. So some businesses have to have social marketing components.
Pros, its free listings on search engines, good chance of converting to sale.
Cons, very slow response to changes. Never ends, has to be done all the time. No guarantee of position. No control / or little.
Time of action …. 2 weeks, up to 1 year.
3 success stories: https://mention.com/blog/seo-case-studies/
Pros, You can interact. Get to build relationship with users, pushes brand loyalty, cost is somewhat less, get to reach a larger audience, good for customer service and feedback, can help with brand awareness, a tool to shift credibility, boost trust, very visual, gives your company personality, lower cost than most other options, perfect for crisis marketing, or an event / occasion marketing option.
Cons, very time consuming, accounts themselves have some security risks higher than normal, you can also damage a brand very quickly, it is hard to measure the rate of return. The audience is not always as targeted, it can also generate negative users, a lot of time is user on potential non shoppers. Has a lower trackable billable client stat.
Time of action …. 1 weeks, up to 3 months.
3 success stories: https://www.webceo.com/blog/3-social-media-marketing-success-stories/
I also liked this one for Tumblr: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-ways-to-market-your-business-with-tumblr/
Pros, it is very fast, very targeted, very flexible and offer the most control. Much better tracking, Better targeting.
Cons, Its costly, can be complicated, there is perhaps click fraud.
Time of action …. 1 day, up to 1 month.
Two success stories: http://www.rhinofish.com/ppc-success-stories/
So, how do you choose which of the three options to use?
Well, you start with step 3. Skipping step 1 (Research) and 2 (plan/roll out).
Simply assess competitors… who’s doing well? Then do what they do (step 3) but then better what they do (step 4 = assess and tweak)!
Start with step 1.
Move onto step 3 which is plan / roll out.
Then step 4, Tweak, and do better.
No company or product really uses only one type of marketing. It is always a balancing act, and shifting of focus. The internet is very good at finding new clients.
Social media networks are very good at maintaining brand awareness and therefore boosting return clients.
New companies need to focus on finding clients. Same goes for companies that only sell their product once… perhaps a good example would be a funeral home selling coffins.
Those companies that need repeat business, can use PPC and SEO to find the client, but they need to have social media to remind clients to return. For example a company selling holidays, they catch the client on Google searching for holiday accommodating, but then they use social media to punt specials in the future knowing who their client is and where they socially hang out are on the internet.
How much do you spend?
I love this question from clients.
I answer with two questions:
Let’s say their answer to question 1 was “R10 000 per month”
And their answer to question 2 was 50% of clients.
I would say, let’s start with a budget of 5000 per month, on the most profitable product or service you offer.
Internet marketing does not work for every company. However, even compared to traditional printed, radio or TV marketing, in general, it offers more control, better ability to target, and costs less.
Internet marketing in general, is better than traditional forms of marketing.
Published June 2017