What Is Internet Marketing? (Definition And Types)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

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As technology and the internet have become a larger part of people's lives, marketing strategies have changed significantly. Online marketing has become an integral part of the core marketing strategy for most businesses. If you are a marketing professional, you can benefit from knowing how to use online marketing to help a business reach its target audience. In this article, we examine what online marketing is, discuss different types of marketing channels and list some steps to create an effective online marketing strategy.

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What Is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing involves the use of online resources to promote a company and its products or services to generate leads, drive traffic and increase sales. Online marketing or digital marketing uses digital platforms to distribute promotional messages and advertisements. Internet marketing is a broad term that encompasses any marketing tool or strategy that relies on engagement with internet users.

While the primary goal of online marketing is to sell products and services and advertise on the internet, it may also satisfy some other business needs for an organisation. For example, a company can use online marketing to spread a message about itself or to conduct research. Online marketing can also enable you to select a target market, learn about the needs of a marketing segment, develop long-term customer relationships and develop authority and expertise within an industry.

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How To Create An Internet Marketing Strategy?

You can follow these steps to create a functional internet marketing strategy:

1. Conduct market research

Market research is the first step involved in developing a successful internet marketing strategy. The aim of market research is to identify the target audience of your client's business and find out what online channels they use. Through market research, you can also discover what online marketing methods the competitors are employing and how effectively those marketing strategies function. Market research can also help minimise the scope for potential business failure.

2. Determine primary objectives

Using the information you get from market research, identify the marketing goals and objectives of the company you are promoting. Choose channels that can help you reach the company's target audience and address their primary marketing objectives. For example, you may decide that the company needs a strong social media presence, a functional website with an active blog and a search engine optimisation strategy if they want to reach internet users belonging to different age groups.

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3. Set a budget

Once you know what the company's online marketing requirements are, you can set a budget for them that accounts for the intermittent processes. If your initial marketing budget does not cover the cost of all the methods you wish to try, start with one or two strategies and make decisions based on their performance. You can gradually increase the marketing budget as you start receiving returns on your initial investment.

4. Develop a user-friendly website

A company website can serve as the primary platform for all online marketing campaigns. Online marketing strategies aim to direct more traffic to a site and urge users to take specific actions while they are there. This may include registering for an email newsletter or purchasing a product or service. A website that is easy to navigate can improve user engagement and ensure that interested users stay on your platform for an extended period of time.

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5. Optimise your website

When you finish developing a user-friendly website and are ready to attract traffic to the client's site, you can optimise its content for popular search queries. Create a search engine optimisation strategy and decide which keywords you like to target with your content. Plan your content around keywords that are commonly searched by internet users.

6. Make company accounts on social media platforms

Create a company account on at least one social networking platform to improve user engagement and get real-time feedback and queries. Many businesses have profiles on multiple social media platforms and may choose different strategies for different platforms. Consider which social media platforms your target audience uses the most and then develop a social media marketing strategy that best suits user activity on those platforms.

7. Identify more online marketing channels

Once you have a user-friendly website and have set up company social media profiles, decide what other types of online marketing campaigns you want to incorporate into your strategy. You can start with one or two strategies and employ them simultaneously, or one after the other, to test their efficacy. For example, you can start by driving traffic to your client's website with a pay-per-click campaign on social media and follow up with an SEO campaign before launching an email newsletter a few months later.

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8. Measure, review and analyse results

After you have implemented your online marketing strategy, carefully track and measure the results of your efforts. There are various tools available online that can assist you in tracking the effectiveness of each element of your online marketing strategy. Analyse results to identify which strategies have the most impact and which strategies need improvement.

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Types Of Online Marketing Channels

There are several types of online marketing channels, including:

Search engine marketing

SEM or search engine marketing is a digital marketing approach to improve a website's visibility in search engine results pages. Using search engine marketing, you may advertise and pay the host depending on the traffic or the number of clicks your ad generates. This makes SEM an economical option for advertisers. Each visitor helps in boosting the website's ranking through organic search results. Effective SEO campaigns require extensive research on keywords and the potential to create high-quality, meaningful content based on the chosen keywords.

Here are some benefits of SEM:

  • Helps in targeting the right audience through optimised ads

  • Can increase traffic through ad visibility

  • Can help in increasing brand awareness

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Pay-per-click advertising

PPC (Pay-per-click) is a search engine marketing strategy in which a marketer pays a publisher, usually a search engine, a website owner, or a network of websites, every time a visitor clicks on an ad on the website. These results have the word “sponsored” or “ad” next to them to show that they are part of a paid ad campaign. Some benefits of pay per click marketing include:

  • Cost-effectiveness

  • Customisable according to specific marketing needs

  • Compatibility with other marketing channels

Social media marketing

Social media marketing involves using social media platforms to market a company and its products and services. It aims to raise brand awareness, improve customer engagement, build loyalty and generate sales leads. Social media marketing strategies comprise both organic marketing and paid advertising. To induce interest and client loyalty, organic social media marketing focuses on developing a community and strengthening relationships with customers. A paid social media campaign is a set of ads that can collectively help you achieve a goal or objective using social media activity.

Some benefits of social media marketing are:

  • Cost-effectiveness

  • Improved brand loyalty

  • Increasing inbound website traffic

Content marketing

Content marketing is a strategy that involves developing and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts and other media to attract, engage and retain an audience. This strategy can position an institution as an expert in its field and raise brand awareness. The content you develop can include blog posts, e-books, case studies, white papers and guest posts.

Some benefits of content marketing include:

  • Higher ranking in search engines

  • Improved brand reputation

  • Better conversion rates

Email marketing

Email marketing campaigns help you stay in touch with your customer base, introduce new products or services, provide discounts and promotions and remind internet users about the brand's offerings. You can develop an email list in a variety of ways, including asking customers for their email addresses when they make purchases or displaying the ‘Join our email list' buttons on your website. To persuade customers to sign up to be on a mailing list, you can also offer a special discount or voucher.

Some benefits of email marketing are:

  • Wide reach

  • Cost-effectiveness

  • Good return on investment

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Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy for generating significant online revenue and driving sales. It involves promoting a product or service through a blog, social media platform or website. When someone purchases a commodity using a unique link or referral code, the person who provides the link or referral receives a commission from the company that makes the sale.

Some benefits of affiliate marketing are:

  • Cost-effectiveness

  • Wide audience

  • Easy setup and implementation

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