The Web 2.0 age has transformed the way that internet marketing is done for all sorts of products and businesses, and has created entirely new careers based around using things like blogs and social media to promote things and make sales. Here we take a look at some different forms of internet marketing, and how they are used.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of techniques used in internet marketing to try and get a page the highest possible ranking when someone searches for something relevant on Google. Some people optimize for other search engines too, such as Microsoft Bing, but with Google’s huge market share many people focus their SEO efforts on Google ranking alone. Google’s ways of measuring the relevance of pages is subject to constant development, but the majority of SEO is done by including keywords in the text of web content, which is then either posted to the marketer’s own site or blog or to article directories. Deciding on the keywords to use and employing them in the right volumes is something of a science, which many web writers and marketers choose to specialize in.
Affiliate marketing is popular internet marketing business model where a company or individual with something they want to promote online offers commission to people who market it for them on their own sites or elsewhere on the web. Affiliate marketing programs exist for all kinds of things, from large retailers like Amazon through to people who have written ebooks or developed apps they want help selling. Commission rates vary hugely, but are normally highest for digital products like software, site subscriptions and ebooks, This is because in this case the organization delivering the product doesn’t have any shipping or inventory overheads, and they can sell an unlimited number of units. Affiliate marketing is popular with people who want to make an income online without the cost of developing or stocking products, and those who work hard at it and especially those with high traffic blogs to post their marketing messages on can be very successful. Affiliate marketers will usually use the other techniques talked about here to help spread their promotional links and information, too.
The name “F-Commerce” basically means e-commerce, when done on Facebook. With Facebook’s immense user community and the frequency at which its users visit it, visibility on Facebook can make a huge impact for an internet marketing campaign. F-Commerce can take a lot of forms. Some marketers choose to place targeted, paid ads on the Facebook main interface, so people who are in certain locations or who have expressed an interest in certain keywords with their other Facebook activity will see them when browsing. Others choose to set up Facebook “fan pages” for their business or service and try and get their target users to “like” and return to the pages. They typically do this by posting interesting content or promotions that people can then share to their own friends. A Facebook page is considered practically essential for people trying to promote a business or product these days, and given it is free to create and easy to set up it is one of the simplest ways to get started if somebody is looking to give their business a web presence through online marketing.
When used properly, Twitter can be a great place to get links seen to things you are marketing. Because, unlike with Facebook statuses, posting a lot of tweets in a day is considered acceptable (rather than “spammy”), you can reach out as often as you need to to get your messages seen. Also, because anyone (even people who aren’t registered on Twitter) can find your tweets by searching on keywords and Twitter “hashtags”, you aren’t restricted to only having your own connections find what you are posting. Of course, to get your tweets seen by people outside of your own followers and people you direct tweets to individually you will need to make sure you are posting tweets that include things people are searching for, but Twitter’s handy trending topics list can help you out there, as can the hashtag system. In a similar manner to having a keyword strategy for SEO with your web content, it can be helpful to use a strategy for directing your tweets into searches that are relevant to what you are promoting. A word of caution though – don’t use irrelevant terms just because they are trending. If they have nothing to do with the site or product you are marketing they will simply annoy other users and damage the reputation of your business.
Using Comments in Internet Marketing
Another common way of getting out messages about things you are promoting or linking to your own sites is by commenting on other people’s blogs and other social media content with your information. This can be risky, because as with any other form of internet marketing if you do it badly it can be regarded as spamming, however if you stick to web sites and content that is actually in some way connected with what you are doing your comments can be helpful to other readers, win you favor with the blogger who wrote the piece, and also drive traffic where you want it. Commenting regularly on a given blog can make you contacts, as other users and authors get to know you, so it can also earn you recommendations or links on their listings. If you have contacts with blogs with a high volume of traffic on a relevant subject, it can also be a really good idea to ask them if you can do a guest blog post on their site for extra exposure. Networking is a powerful concept in internet marketing.
If you are looking to use internet marketing to market your business or product online, or to join an affiliate program, these are some of the most effective ways to get your messages seen. Bear in mind that it can take a while for blogs or sites to develop a following or a high traffic volume, even with strong SEO, so it helps a lot to have your links and information in as many relevant places as possible.