There can be a fair amount of confusion when someone asks ‘What is meant by the term internet marketing?’. It is the question that few dare ask and very few actually understand. This articles aim is to try to correct any misunderstandings you may have and gain a sense of clarity to it all.
1. Internet marketing is just another way of describing “Social Media’’
Social media is a hugely important aspect of Internet marketing but it is far broader than that. Internet marketing includes anything that makes use of smartphones, tablets, computers, game consoles, electronic billboards as well as radio and television. Within these tools digital marketing takes many different forms, from websites for mobile platforms, to personalised emails and interactive adverts.
2. Internet marketing is technical and should be the responsibility of the ‘technically gifted’
The technology is merely a (usually very simple to use) tool to reach and engage people in a product or service. It is mainly a marketing skill not a technical one.
3. Internet marketing is not relevant to small businesses
Internet marketing gives you the chance to communicate with customers (without a call centre), to sell directly (without the expense of a shop) and to engage and research customers’ preferences. Internet marketing gives small businesses the tools which, in the past, were only available to businesses with big budgets.
As a small company you can react on social media in minutes and tailor messages for local customers that will engage them. This is something that large businesses often struggle with, when even a tweet has to go through numerous approval processes and are often written centrally.
4. Internet marketing should be a separate part of the company’s strategy
Like all marketing, digital marketing has to be fully integrated with the business strategy. Most companies now recognise that their website is their ‘shop window’ and few companies would put out a press release without giving careful consideration to the messages that it contained and the impression it gives of the company.
However, social media is part of that shop window and it too is a public communication. With most people now using social media, it is more likely that a company’s personality will be judged on their presence and interaction (or lack of interaction), there than anywhere else.
5. Internet marketing is difficult to track or measure
With today’s apps and digital capability there is more up-to-date, real-time data than ever before and it’s easily accessible and available. For example, if you post on Twitter or Facebook you can check your website analytics to see if there has been a spike in the number of unique visitors to your site. Things like Google analytics are now readily available and most social networking sites offer their own form of analysis.
6. Mobile optimisation of websites is unnecessary and expensive as people can easily zoom in on touch phones
People are now just as likely to access your website (often when on the move) on a smartphone or tablet as they are on a MAC or PC and will expect a professional site to be optimised for those devices. If it’s not they won’t bother struggling; they’ll click away to one of your competitors.If they find they have to use your site, they will probably be irritated by you and your attitude to your customers. Some companies insist their customers download an app instead.
Sometimes these can be useful but they should be an additional offer, they’re not an alternative to optimisation. It is now very easy and often free to optimise a website. The online web building tools normally now include it as standard.
7. It is too difficult to stand out from the crowd in Internet marketing
Finding a way to stand out from the crowd applies to all marketing. You need a strategy and you need to research what competitors and others are doing. Learn from their mistakes and successes.
Respect your customers’ time and try to engage with them in a way that they will value. Appealing to the customer with exclusive offers, competitions or any chance to feel important and valued are all good ways of getting attention.
8. Internet marketing is not relevant when the target audience is older
That might have been true a few years ago but not any longer. The majority of over 65s are now online and the proportion is fast closing with the younger generation. More than a quarter of people aged over 55 now use social media to communicate with brands online. You need to ensure that way you communicate is clear and understandable for those who are not quite ‘up-to-speed’.
9. Internet marketing takes up too much time
All marketing takes time but digital marketing is one of the least time intensive tools. Social media will alert you to interactions and tools can be set up to monitor who, when and why consumers are accessing your media. You don’t have to spend your time online to make it a success.
We hope you found this article useful and that it clears up any misconceptions you hay have had around digital marketing. Please contact us to find out more how Ad Astra can help your digital, online and internet marketing campaign.
We are a full suite marketing agency based in Chichester, West Sussex. We have helped a ranged of clients from Chichester SME’s to global corporations. Our marketing toolbox is bursting with a range of marketing tools! Online we cover webdesign, content marketing, social media and SEO. Offline we cover branding, graphic design, business plans, marketing plans and strategy. Get in touch to find out how Ad Astra can make your business succeed in 2015.