What is Internet Marketing?

published on July 23rd, 2012 in Online Marketing

Marketing has always been a vital part of any business. Good marketing involves the ability to develop an effective strategy that will inform and encourage potential customers to buy and use whatever goods and services a business provides.¬†With Internet marketing, the Internet is the primary vehicle for getting that needed message across. But Internet marketing involves far more than merely putting ads online. It must tie in with a business’s overall marketing strategy.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing Strategy

As part of their marketing strategy, businesses will often use a combination of two different methods: Outbound marketing and Inbound marketing.¬†Outbound marketing largely mimics offline marketing strategies. It involves Internet ads, email blasts, and a host of offline tactics such as telemarketing and trade shows. Overall, it is what most customers find most intrusive because these strategies are designed to pull customers away from whatever their purpose is for being on the Internet and draw them towards a business’s product or service.

Inbound marketing is becoming increasingly popular because it is better at succeeding in connecting with potential customers through what they are already doing online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is part of this strategy, but certainly not all of it.

When it’s handled correctly, SEO is a great inbound Internet marketing tool because it gives potential customers the sense that they are controlling what advertising and marketing they see, since they are using search engines to find what they need online. They look to reviews, comparison shop, and find various articles online in order to educate themselves about what’s out there, and if they are impressed they share the information they find with their friends and members of their network. Many also choose to friend or follow brands they like in order to be among the first in line for special deals a company may decide to offer.

It’s About Control

Many customers prefer inbound marketing techniques because it puts them in a position where they feel as if they in more control of their ad experience. For businesses, there is an advantage as well because customers have already made a conscious choice that they are interested in the type of product they are offering, so there is less of a risk of offending a potential customer by interrupting their Internet activities, or worse landing among the Internet white noise, or white space that comes when consumers use ad blocking software.
Finding the Balance
But traditional ads online aren’t about to disappear, but they can get smarter by utilizing information that is gathered through inbound marketing methods, including using cookies in order to remind customers of the things they want. That’s why it’s a good idea to be careful what you search for, as it may follow you even when you’re not looking for it.
For any business balancing between inbound and outbound marketing techniques is a delicate dance that can have a huge impact on brand’s reputation and overall image. Most businesses will trip a bit along the way, but practice and persistence will give a brand a strong show in the end.
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