Now that the internet is at nearly 4 billion users and growing, it’s more important than ever for entrepreneurs to use it for business. Frankly, if they’re not, they’re likely leaving money on the table.
With the growing demand is also a surge of confusion where people don’t know the exact tactics they should use to be most effective online–that’s where internet marketing strategy comes in. In this article, we’ll answer the question “What is Internet Marketing Strategy?”. We’ll look at 37 direct and indirect strategies that influence the brand and market penetration of a business.
Let’s get started…
- 1 Sports Strategy vs. Internet Marketing Strategy
- 2 Strategies that Build Traffic
- 3 Strategies that Build Conversions
- 4 Strategies for Reputation Building
- 5 Strategies for Fulfilling Client Orders
- 6 Strategies to Manage Processes and People
- 7 Strategies to Lead Fulfillment of Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Dream
- 8 Final Words answering “What is Internet Marketing Strategy?”
- 9 Now, it’s Your Turn…
Sports Strategy vs. Internet Marketing Strategy
If you know anything about sports, you know there are a few things that are important to professional players.
- Practice to Develop the Skill
- Nutrition to add Career Longevity
- Conditioning to Develop Size and Strength
- and, Strategy to Outpace Competitors
We could argue that one component is more important than the other, but we also know that each is vitally important. An athlete who doesn’t practice is a nightmare. An athlete who eats whatever he wants doesn’t have the energy to keep up with competition over the long term. If athletes don’t condition, they stay small and weak, so they’d never make it into a professional league. Without strategy for how they’ll exploit the weak points of competitors to make a shot or achieve a goal, they don’t win championships.
These are all vital components of sports: professional or little leagues.
Similarly, for businesses, there are a few vital components:
- Traffic to your offers
- Conversions to sales or a mission-essential action
- Branding and establishing a solid reputation
- Fulfilling Client orders
- Managing processes and people
- and Leading to accomplish your mission, vision, purpose, and dream
If any of these components is missing, the business won’t operate effectively. A very small percentage of businesses make it to enterprise level and a huge majority fail because balancing these components well is quite the art.
Then, when you dig deeper and many of the entrepreneur wants many of these essential components to be fulfilled by using the new technology of the internet, then you can REALLY complicate things if you don’t understand internet marketing strategy. That’s why I’ve broken the strategies into components:
- Strategies that build traffic
- Strategies that build conversions
- Strategies for reputation building
- Strategies for fulfilling client orders
- Strategies to manage processes and people
- and, leadership strategies
Isn’t it interesting to think Internet Marketing Strategies can be used to fulfill each of these essentials? Let’s see how.
Strategies that Build Traffic
Most entrepreneurs hear how the internet can be used to build traffic, but it may be confusing how to strategize the components. Here are a few ways…
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing encompasses many things.
- Slideshow Publishing (like Slideshare)
- Video Marketing
- Graphics and Infographics
- and more!
The basis of the internet is content. When you search for something online, the results will give you a blog post, video, podcast episode, or some other piece of content. When you implement content marketing into your business, you are including yourself into this pool of creators who pop up in the search results when you use SEM properly.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The main search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing, however, there are others like Pinterest, Duckduckgogo, and others. Search engine marketing has organic and paid components.
For organic search engine marketing, or SEO, you are optimizing the content you’ve created by using keywords search users are looking for, headings, image tags, and other methods to make it easy for search engine bots to read and index the text on your site.
SEO typically takes 6 months or more to see results, so it’s definitely a long term strategy, however, the alternative quick ranking SEM strategy is pay-per-click advertising. In an auction style, you could bid on prominent keywords for your niche, and when your bid and ad quality outpaces others, your result would be served to search users.
Organic and pay-per-click advertising can be very effective ways to drive traffic to your website.
3. Social Media Marketing
Where the search engines rely on keywords the search user is typing, social media marketing is about connecting to beliefs, values, interests, likes and dislikes. Social media can be very effective especially because of the many segmentation and targeting options.
You can create look alike audiences, market to those who like your competitors, retarget people who’ve shown interest in something similar to what you offer, and so much more using social media.
Like SEM, social media has organic and paid components. The organic components can be managed with schedulers like SymphonyTools or Hootsuite, so consistent messaging is going out to your audience. Right now, video and images are the most engaging organic methods on social media, however, paid advertising is also a viable alternative for entrepreneurs.
For pennies on the dollar, you can pay for clicks onto your ad which could link to your website or product/service offer. Many entrepreneurs are using paid advertising to drive leads to an offer.
4. Press Releases
In previous generations, press releases and public relations got all of the buzz! Now, internet marketing is stealing the spotlight. Like SEM and SMM, press releases also have an organic and paid component.
Reporters and media professionals post interview opportunities or inquiries when they need an expert on sites like HARO, and if you’re selected, they could write an article citing you as a reference. Since it’s free, there’s lots of competition in many inquiries, so you’d have to invest time and effort into this strategy, however, the paid option is more guaranteed.
At the least, when you publish a press release on a site like PRWeb, you know your press release will be shown to thousands of viewers, and potentially picked up by prominent news outlets.
5. Radio or Podcast Advertising
Radio or Podcast audiences have some very great income numbers. Most listeners make upwards of $50,000/year and they listen to the radio or podcast to influence their ideas, mood, and find solutions, so advertising there could be very viable for your business.
A short engaging clip on a very targeted podcast could generate lots of leads and sales when done right.
6. Banner Ads
There are blogs or websites on the internet with lots of targeted traffic that may compliment the products and services you offer. If they already drive thousands of monthly visitors to their blog, adding your banner could be another monetization opportunity. When your banner is added to a high traffic influential blog, it adds credibility for your business and helps with traffic and conversions.
Content creators of all sorts are looking for additional monetizations options. They’re skilled at creating content that grows and audience. You can leverage their skill and the work they’ve done to grow an audience by sponsoring them in exchange for a mention, written article, or other valuable exchange that benefits both businesses in the collaboration.
8. Influencer Marketing
Similar to Sponsorships, influencers could be celebrities or others who have a large circle of influence. If you do your research to find influencers who might feel passionate about your niche, your product/service, or a component of what you’re doing in your business, you can use the internet to reach out to them.
An influencer endorsing your business could send droves of warm traffic because of the people’s trust in their brand. Take Oprah as an example…
A person who is endorsed by Oprah can get millions of visitors to their business, and if they leverage the traffic properly, the spike could turn into sales for years to come.
Strategies that Build Conversions
Some strategies don’t necessarily increase how many leads come to your business, but instead, they impact how many of those people take action. Here’s some of those…
9. User Experience
If people come to your site and have a difficult time finding the information their looking for, you wouldn’t have to worry about growth. The poor user experience would naturally repel people for you.
If you want growth, you should;
- Make sure it’s easy to get around on your site
- Link relevant articles and resources on your pages and posts to direct traffic from one place to another
- Have clear calls to action that tells users the next step to take
- Add helpful suggestions that might be userful based on their previous actions
- and, Create engagement and excitement thru content upgrades, giveaways, and the like
Whatever other helpful ideas you can muster to improve the experience when someone comes to your site could lower your bounce rate, increase the times people spend on the page, and ultimately improve traffic, referrals, and sales.
10. Appealing Aesthetics and Messaging
Web design and copywriting shouldn’t be underestimated. When a person lands on your site, their first impression is your web design, then when they go further to read, they gain a perception of your brand based on your copy.
You want to invest into creating an appealing image, nice design, and good messaging. You want consistency with your brand colors so people who see the color combination are reminded of your brand, and you want the combination to give a good vibe to visitors.
The tone you use can be educational, engaging, exciting or on the bad side, it could be demeaning or offputting. Ensure your visitors are magnetized to your brand and messaging rather than repelled.
11. The Persuasion Principles
According to Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Principles of Persuasion,the six keys to persuasion are:
- and, Authority
When you add these six elements into your web copy, your sales scripts, and your overall culture, you’ll be able to see conversions skyrocket. The psychology behind it is:
- People want to return favors (reciprocity)
- People trust those who show up and deliver time and time again (consistency)
- People tend to procrastinate unless they know it’s important to act now (Scarcity)
- People want to do business with others they like and trust (liking)
- People value others’ perceptions and reviews of their experiences (consensus)
- and, People will return time and time again to a preiminent trusted advisor (authority)
If you believe the psychology behind the six principles, then you should definitely do an overview to see whether these six principles could be demonstrated better or improved in your business.
12. Tools Like Optins, Email Marketing, Landing Pages, A/B Testing
While tools, stats, and tests can’t carry the weight for a page that has no traffic or engagement, they definitely can be the cherry on top for a page that does.
A funnel that goes:
landing page ===> optin ===> email list
…Can take cold leads and make them warm. As a fact, cold traffic will not convert like warm traffic, so you have to create a process to prove the relevance of your business as a solution, cancel objections, and build trust. Opting into an email list or scheduling a live consultation or quote is a good method for converting cold internet traffic into warm traffic.
Here’s an example landing page with an optin from our home page…
If your conversion rates aren’t as optimal as you’d like, you’d want to do some experimenting and tests. Thrive Themes has some great A/B testing options built into their conversion-focused themes and plugins to test funnels, landing pages, and optins against one another which is why I highly recommend them. You can test copy, images, videos, color variations, and other things to see which gives you the highest conversion rates.
If you use another theme, landing pages, or funnel software, you’d still want to use alternative methods for A/B testing.
13. Affiliate Marketing and Targeted Referrals
In addition to normal lead generation methods, adding an affiliate program can serve as a way to drive more leads and more targeted referrals. Affiliates typically sign up for affiliate programs that are relevant to their audiences, and they create content, gather the audience, or pay for traffic in exchange for their commission.
With an affiliate program, you’d have to provide a commission that would be valuable to an affiliate (even if they paid for traffic) and you provide affiliates with the promotional materials they would need to sell your product or service confidently to others. The referral commissions can be managed by an external affiliate network you’d pay a fee to, or you can manage the commissions in-house using affiliate management software and a payment processor (like Paypal) that makes it easy for affiliates to be paid. Great affiliate programs offer:
- Banners, links, etc.
- Updates when there’s a sale, price change, or promotion
- Ideas and angles for relevant marketing
- Transparency about conversion rates and how to get optimal results
- Consistent payouts
- and, ongoing advice and encouragement
While you may not start with all components of the affiliate marketing strategy, it’s still a good idea to consider adding an affiliate marketing strategy.
14. Niche Selection
While most people think of a niche as a interest category, a niche is an audience with a common interest. If you are not targeting an audience with similar interests, then selling a product or service is difficult until your established as an authority and create your own group of Irrationally Passionate followers.
15. Standing Behind Your Product/Service and Keeping the Risk Low For Consumers
Money-back guarantees, revision policies, warranties, manufacturer guarantees, and return policies all tell customers you’re confident about your product or service, and you’ll take on the risk of potential problems as a result. When customers look at a group of products or service providers, they want to know which of them will solve their problem best.
When you provide a guarantee, it relieves the risk they may feel associated with taking a “gamble” on a product or service they’ve never tried before. When the risk is low, conversions can go higher.
Strategies for Reputation Building
Reputation separates the generic brand from the industry standard, and also directly correlates to what you can charge for products or services. Reputable companies can use pricing strategies that startups or businesses with a small reputation cannot.
While most people know how internet marketing can strategically be used to build traffic and conversions, a smaller percentage of people use internet marketing strategy well in reputation building, so let’s talk about how you can…
According to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When your business shows up in a search like “restaurant near me” and it has no reviews, it could be the difference in whether a consumer chooses your business or another, and no other marketing tactic can compensate for that.
Reviews on Google, Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, and other platforms (like Upwork, Fiverr, Udemy, or others) help improve the perceptions customers have of your brand. Even when you recieve a negative review, if you respond to the feedback to get a thorough understanding of the customer’s expectation, you use their feedback to improve your client fulfillment processes, and you publicly assure them (on the online review) that you’ll use their feedback to improve, it can help to leverage a “bad situation” into an honorable one.
17. Being Listed on Credible Directories
As funny as it sounds, some people don’t use Google or Bing as their primary method to discover businesses. Some people use Yellow Pages, Craigslist, Angie’s List, or Foursquare. It helps to claim your listings or add your business to be listed on these platforms because consumers searching for a business like yours can find you there.
18. Guest Posting
In the offline world, you know it’s good to attend events in your niche and chime in on niche-specific conversations to build authority. In the online world, guest posting is one way to mimic live mingling with complementary or niche specific audiences.
By writing a blog post, getting it published on a blog, and linking back to your site, you can build brand authority and domain authority at once! People from a relevant blog would be directed back to your website, and due to the relationship the’ve established on the referring blog, they may already be warm traffic before visiting you.
Also, when Google robots crawl the referral site, they’d see the backlink and notice you’re linked as a credible reference which boosts the trust of your site.
Guest posting can be a great lead generation or conversion strategy.
19. Participating in Niche Influencial Events
In the self-publishing niche, Chandler Bolt hosts an annual summit where he gathers dozens of experts in the niche and they each speak on a component of self publishing success.
Other niches have similar opportunities where virtual or in-person meetups are scheduled, and you could participate in an event of that sort. Participation in events like these could help attract long term followers if you go with the intent to add value.
20. Education Marketing
One way to instantly build trust is to teach someone something they wanted to learn. If the didn’t know how to ride a bike, and you take the time, teach them, and they acquire the skill, you’ve instantly established a measure of trust.
Education marketing is one of the most effective ways to build trust with an audience. Rather than investing your time on direct hard selling, you’d focus your attention on teaching people. The more people who are developing skills from our materials, the larger and more trustworthy your brand is perceived.
22. Engaging with your Audience and Customers
When people take their time to read, view or listen to your content, and they attempt to engage with you–whether by comments or otherwise–it impacts the perception of others when you don’t engage. People want to feel they’r heard, understood, and their feedback is valuable. When you don’t respond to engagement from customers, it gives off the idea that you don’t care about what they say or feel.
When you engage as a way to show appreciation, to validate responses that others are saying, or to show you sincerely care, it helps to boost your credibility, build trust, and increase conversion rates.
Strategies for Fulfilling Client Orders
While client fulfillment doesn’t typically fall under marketing, it’s something that marketing cannot conceal. Furthermore, with technological advances, the internet has enabled increased efficiency and improved reputation building opportunities that directly influence marketing departments all over the world. Here’s some examples…
23. Software as a Service or Reinvesting Profits into Technology Aids
In the beginning, while you’re learning how to serve your clients best, the processes may be very people-reliant, but with time, you should reinvest your profits into improving service processes. Adding software as a service (where people can use your software on a subscription basis or in combination with a purchase) could be a way to improve the workflow of your client fulfillment processes and also could improve the perception of customers and potential customers.
For example, there are traditional business plan writers and business coaches, and there’s Liveplan, a SAAS company who offers business plan software and on-demand coaching…
Behind the software, Liveplan may seem like a traditional business consulting company, but with their software as a subscription, they have a competitive advantage in the industry.
You could reinvest in technology that adds efficiency to your processes and create a competitive advantage in your niche.
24. Streamlining Product and Service Delivery
Other people made cars before Henry Ford, but he’s well known to this day for changing the history of vehicle manufacturing. Other people made cheeseburgers before Ray Kroc, but today he’s known for changing the history of fast food. What separates the Henry Ford’s and Ray Kroc’s from other entrepreneurs?
It helps to create a process that uses the human resources, tools, materials, and space the most efficient way. Once you’ve streamlined a process, it can help you to manage time, resources, and money effectively because you could control ingredient quantities and labor timelines more effectively.
To implement product and service delivery as a component of internet marketing, you would:
- Explain the proprietary process as a competitive advantage in the website copy.
- You could add shipping options or digital delivery options for digital or virtual product/service delivery.
- or, You can educate consumers on how the proprietary process makes the solution you provide even more relevant than a company who doesn’t have the same features.
25. Managing Expectations
Often times, product and services disappoint consumers because marketers don’t explain what consumers should expect clearly. It’s good to have a sales page and a good product or service to deliver after checkout, but the consumer needs to know:
- “What happens when I check out?”
- “What happens after I check out?”
- “What’s my role in ensuring a satisfying buying experience?”
The sales funnel should answer these questions, so the consumer can be comfortable with understanding the client fulfillment process and does not become frustrated by placing unrealistic expectations to fill the void of not being provided any realistic ones.
26. Growing a Team and Hiring Good Talent
Of course, growing a team and hiring good talent is integral to starting and scaling a business, but did you know how Internet Marketing Strategy can help with this?
In one click, you can send a job posting to several job boards all over the internet, you can use software to sort applicants, and you can even include virtual interviews as a part of your hiring process. Before ever having to meet face to face, you could have conducted a thorough background check, spoken thru a virtual meeting, and introduced them to the team (if that’s your preference).
Internet Marketing strategy has even shaped the way we can hire and recruit new talent.
27. Conducting Surveys
Understanding the customer’s needs is vitally important to creating products and services that stand the test of time. Conducting surveys is a way to break past attempting to mind read.
When ou send out a survey, customers can respond to tell you whether you’re in touch with what they’re looking for or not, they can even provide direction that could be vital to creating a winning product or service offer.
Surveys can be conducted 100% online!
Software like Survey Monkey, Google Sheets, or WordPress Plugins like Thrive Quizbuilder could be used to send out surverys to your audience or even to a new audience.
Strategies to Manage Processes and People
Like the strategies for client fulfillment, strategies for managing processes and people are an indirect influence on marketing, however, I want to show how these strategies can positively influence the marketing and branding of a company. Let’s take a look…
28. Creating Training Manuals and Keeping them Updated
Google Drive folders or other software can help to store loads of information online. From employee onboarding on, our business reputation is being established internally. How people feel about the company will be reflected in on customer service, their zeal to share and market the business, and how they speak about the business when they’re “off the clock”.
Accordingly, you want to offer them organization, clarity, and structure by maintaining updated training manuals. The manuals should tell them how to do their job in the unique way that satisfies the leaders in your organization. When they’re presented with this clarity, they’re better suited to perform well, and eliminate unnecessary disputes.
29. Conducting User Mapping
Processes could always use an upgrade. As the business grows, the opportunity to provide a more superior experience grows more and more. Conducting a user map can be done entirely online.
You can have an employee huddle or use software to have participants help you to identify pain points in your business systems. With a constructive user map, you’ll be able to make process improvements that could positively improve the business reputation, and serve as great announcements for marketing.
30. Using CRM and Project Management Software
Whether a product or service-based business, it’s important to manage deadlines. The more complex, the more difficult it is to manage deadlines with basic methods like keeping it in your head or even solely relying on Google calendar.
A tool like Trello or Basecamp may be more appropriate. Added onto internal project management, project management or CRM softwares can also improve communication with customers: keeping them informed of statuses and updates.
You can add convenience by automating (in many cases) and you can manage workflows 100% online.
31. Keeping a Good Management Team in Place
Similar to hiring the team, you can also hire management positions online. Sites like LinkedIn help to make professional connections, to track people by skill, to see resumes, and to see portfolios. You can use Internet Marketing Strategy to post to job boards or to find ideal talent thru social marketing.
32. Managing Time
Whether thru websites like Appointy or simply by using Google Calendar, the internet can enable you to streamline appointment scheduling where a customer can schedule with you while you’re asleep! Setting up appointment scheduling on your website can be valuable because it can alleviate the pressure of stopping client fulfillment processes to schedule clients, and it can also improve the user experience for your customers.
Many companies who offer on-demand appointment scheduling find customers appreciate the ease of use, which impacts reputation, traffic, and conversions!
33. Managing Money
Similarly money management processes like payroll, affiliate payout, or paying vendors can be inconvenient without using the internet. Collaborators are expecting to be paid in a timely manner, and the old school excuse saying “your check is in the mail” is no longer sufficient.
With the internet and payment processors, you can offer collaborators quicker and reliable payment options which positively impacts your reputation. A business who is reliable in-house can grow it’s reputation from the inside out.
Strategies to Lead Fulfillment of Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Dream
34. Create a Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Dream Statement
There’s obstacles and trying times in business. If you don’t have a “why” or a reason for being, it’s hard to avoid burnout and giving up.
It’s important to sit down and express the reason why this business should come to being, and connect the why to a bigger demand than money. When your “why” is money, when you reach a number, there’s no further incentive. Instead, eradicate a problem.
Either individually or with your team, sit down and create your mission, vision, purpose, and dream statements.
35. Keep a Good Leadership Team in Place
The executive team is important to always ensure the business is executing the mission, vision, purpose, and dream. They are focused on a strategic level on how to improve the penetration of the business in the market. Similar to hiring a management team, you can hire the leadership team by reviewing online profiles for leadership qualifications and experience.
36. Have Leadership Huddles and Meetings
Regardless of if you have a team located within one building or spread across the world, internet marketing can enable you to reach them all. Software like Google Hangouts or Skype can ensure you keep team members up to date, maintain communication, and streamline business functions. A unified team is the bread and butter of any sound brand.
37. Create Business Plans: Quarterly, Semi-Annually, and Annually
Any great leadership has a plan. There should be goals that your leading your team to execute. The mission, vision, purpose, and dream should be broken into practical and measurable instructions that can be tracked over a quart, semi-annually, or annually.
Creating a business plan serves as a source of accountability and it serves as a source of motivation. The standards set in the plan help to keep an actionable work ethic and a confidence booster on those times when you question whether your work really matters.
A business plan can be done and stored online to enable team members from various locations to collaborate or look in. When your team is unified towards goals and a succinct plan, it’s viral and onlookers can get a sense their a part of something by the marketing and by the genuine interaction of the team.
Final Words answering “What is Internet Marketing Strategy?”
The goal of this article was to answer “What is internet marketing strategy?” and to show 37 strategies that work. Most marketing consultants would recommend that you focus on one strategy at a time and add on one-by-one unless you have help. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to help you out!
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Now, it’s Your Turn…
How do you use internet marketing strategy in your business? What are your favorite strategies? Leave your comments below.