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Someone recently asked the question - what methods can I use for Internet Marketing? To answer this question - we need to look at what Internet Marketing Channels are available and how we can interact with them. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start so this article will help you to find the right marketing channel and method. The links listed in this article are also a useful reference to quickly discover where to interact with each marketing channel in your role as an Internet Marketer.
What is a Marketing Channel and a Marketing Method?
To explain - a "marketing channel" is a source of visitors such as Television, Radio or the Internet. The most common "Internet Marketing Channels" are Search Engines, Social Media, and News. In contrast, a marketing method is a way in which you would generate interest (traffic) from these channels.
For example, one method you could use is to write a 400-word article every week and send it to a news website such as example-news-website.com - In this case, the "method" would be to write a 400-word article on a weekly basis and the "channel" would be example-news-website.com
The most common Internet Marketing Channels are Search Engines, Social Media, and News.
Which Internet Marketing Channel is right for you?
Most Internet Marketers will use a combination of all channels but a good rule to follow is this - are people actively searching for your products or services? If so, a search engine is probably the most effective marketing channel for you. If not, social media and news are probably the most effective. Of course, this is only one strategy of choosing an Internet Marketing Channel but it is probably the most important.
An example of when to use search engines - Reaching an existing audience. Thousands of people everyday are searching for "car insurance", "beach holidays", "jewelry", "custom t-shirts" and "business cards". If you sell products and services that are very popular like these, you will have an effective marketing campaign if you simply "give people what they are looking for".
In other words, you need to have a good presence on the search engines then when people visit your website they can buy that car insurance policy, that diamond ring, that custom t-shirt or that batch of business cards. You just need to offer the product or service that people are looking and make it easy for them to make a purchase and to understand why they should buy from you.
An example of when to use social media and news - Creating a new audience. Do you have a product or service that people are not actively searching for? For example, if you are selling new technology like vacuum window cleaners, unusual gadgets like USB Coffee Cup Warmers or holidays to lesser-known destinations like Huacachina in Peru then it is unlikely that many people will use search engines to look for these things.
Instead, you need to use social media and news to inform people about why they should want your product or service - photos and videos are supported by all major news and social media websites, which gives you a great opportunity to showcase what you offer. This is another great advantage over search engines, which do have image and video results but are mainly focused on text-based results (page titles with brief descriptions).
Paid Advertising or Free Advertising?
Both Paid Advertising and Free Advertising are available across all marketing channels of search, social and news.
Therefore after you select your marketing channel, you need to decide whether to use paid advertising, free advertising or both. For example, if you are targeting an audience on a search engine like Google then you have the choice of doing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to rank high in the natural results (also known as organic/unpaid results) or you can participate in their CPC (Cost Per Click) keyword auction. Most Internet Marketers will use a combination of both paid and free advertising.
The advantage of paid advertising is instant traffic (short-term strategy) and a very targeted audience (using exact match keywords) while the disadvantage is no legacy; when you stop paying, you stop receiving traffic. The advantage of free advertising is continual traffic over a long-term period from content you publish online at no cost while the disadvantage is time delays; it can take several months to build up your audience.
List of Internet Marketing Channels
1. Search Engines:
Google - www.google.com
Yahoo! - www.yahoo.com
Bing - www.bing.com
2. Social Media:
www.facebook.com (for interest groups)
www.twitter.com (for news)
www.linkedin.com (for professionals)
www.pinterest.com (for photos)
www.instagram.com (for photos)
www.youtube.com (for videos)
3. News for distribution of press releases:
Free distribution - http://digg.com
Free distribution - https://www.reddit.com
Paid distribution - https://www.prnewswire.com
Paid distribution - http://www.prweb.com/
Paid distribution - https://www.newswire.com/
A full list of sixty worthwhile News (channels)
4. Email Marketing
Both free and paid plans available - www.mailchimp.com
Both free and paid plans available - www.sendgrid.com
List of Internet Marketing Methods
1. Search Engines:
Free - SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for all search engines - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Google - http://www.google.com/adwords
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Yahoo! - https://gemini.yahoo.com/advertiser/home
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Bing - https://bingads.microsoft.com/
2. Social Media:
Free - Run your own social media pages - https://www.inc.com/ed-zitron/8-tips-to-running-an-actually-successful-social-media-campaign.html
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Twitter - https://ads.twitter.com
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Linked In - https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Pinterest - https://ads.pinterest.com/
Paid - Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising for Instagram - https://business.instagram.com/advertising/
Paid - Cost Per View (CPV) advertising for YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/yt/advertise/
The "marketing method" for using the "marketing channel" of "Internet News" is to simply submit a press release. You can easily find the link for "Submitting a Press Release" directly on the news websites. Press releases are accepted free of charge by some news websites whereas others will request a fee. The content of your press release can be anything such as a 400-word article explaining why people should visit your new website or why they should buy your new product etc. 400 words is a common size for your article because that is about 1 page of A4 if printed.
4. Email Marketing
The most effective form of email marketing is not buying huge lists and sending "cold emails", similar to "cold calling". An effective email marketing campaign will use a list of emails from people who subscribed via your website. How can you get people to subscribe to your email newsletter? Use one of the marketing channels listed above and give a clear reason why they should subscribe.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is where you contact website owners directly to ask them to publish an advertorial, a blog post or a news article about your products and services. Alternatively, you can also ask them to publish a banner or a link that advertises your website on relevant pages of their website; for example, if a website owner has a blog post about fashion then you could ask for a link or a banner on that page to advertise your custom t-shirt website. The advantage of content marketing over search engine marketing is lower costs because you can usually negotiate a monthly fee with the website owner that will typically be much cheaper than paying a search engine on a cost per click basis.
We have considered the three most common Internet Marketing channels, which are Search Engines, Social Media and News. Additionally, we have briefly discussed how to use email marketing and content marketing. Examples have been given as to which of these channels should be prioritized depending on the type of products and services you offer.
Finally, the links listed on this page give useful references to both the Internet Marketing Channel and the Method; that is the way in which you would interact with the website as an advertiser. It not always obvious where to look when you want to advertise on Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Google etc so the ideas and the links above should be helpful for you to get started on your way to Internet Marketing.