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The ultimate guide to internet marketing

three internet marketing examples laid out side by side, including an instagram reel, instagram ad, and video marketing

Internet marketing is an efficient and dynamic way to give your site the audience it deserves, but where do you start? There are many avenues available these days, be it Tiktok, Instagram Reels, email marketing and more.

This guide to internet marketing will break down everything that internet marketing entails, and provide tips on how to use it strategically and effectively. It can also be designed to be true to the 4 p's of marketing.

Let’s say you create a website for your business—one that you’re pretty proud of. Even if your site’s design is perfect, it doesn’t mean that it will bring in website traffic automatically. Virtually every site needs to be backed by a strong marketing strategy to yield views and sales.

What is internet marketing?

Internet marketing (a.k.a. online marketing) is a type of marketing that refers to activities that a business completes online in order to boost brand awareness, get more leads and increase sales.

Marketing on the internet can be broken up into the following categories:

Organic vs. paid marketing

Organic marketing refers to activities that are free to start in terms of a monetary investment. For example, you could:

Although it’s cost efficient, organic marketing is a long-term strategy that usually requires heavy time investment and consistent marketing management, both in terms of the time spent creating content and the time it takes for your business to see results.

On the other hand, paid marketing refers to promotional activities that your business pays to engage in. For instance, your business could pay to:

  • Run sponsored ads in Google search results

  • Partner with an influencer to promote products

  • Advertise on marketing channels such as Facebook or other social media platforms

Paid marketing is usually the fastest way to get results from marketing and to achieve greater market penetration as a result, but it requires the right amount of financial backing and a strategic creation process to target the right audiences and gain a competitive advantage. If poorly managed, paid marketing can run up your tab.

Keep in mind that to continue seeing results, you’ll have to keep injecting money into your paid campaigns. That’s why it’s often best to complement your short-term paid campaigns with ongoing organic marketing.

Not sure which will work best for you? Run a marketing audit to have a better idea.

Inbound vs. outbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing approach that seeks to naturally attract people to your brand by providing value through content and personalized experiences. For example, as part of your inbound marketing strategy, you may choose to create:

  • Blogs

  • Podcasts

  • Educational videos

  • Events

  • Infographics

The purpose of this sort of content is to engage people over time, and to ultimately nurture them into loyal customers. In order for inbound marketing to be effective, it has to offer real value to visitors—whether that’s offering educational resources, helpful tools, or other content that piques your audience’s interests.

infographic explaining the steps to create an internet marketing blog

Outbound marketing refers to a more traditional advertising approach that actively puts your brand in front of customers and targets a large spectrum of consumers. The aim of outbound marketing is to spread the word about your brand as much as possible to generate sales. Some examples of internet outbound marketing include:

  • Running retargeted ads on Facebook

  • Cold calling or cold emailing potential buyers

  • Publishing press releases

Outbound marketing is often considered a more intrusive form of marketing. So, you’ll want to be careful not to turn people away by forcing your products on them, but rather reach out to carefully selected, qualified leads who’ll be the most receptive to your offer.

Internet marketing vs. digital marketing

Although the terms internet marketing and digital marketing are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not exactly the same thing.

Digital marketing refers to marketing that takes place over any digital channel. So, while internet marketing is strictly done online, digital marketing can involve, for instance, TV or digital billboards.

Is internet marketing replacing traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing tactics generally refer to those that take place outside of the internet. For instance:

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Phone

  • Broadcast

  • Outdoor ads

While the goals of internet and traditional marketing are the same, today’s consumers have demonstrated a willingness to move away from the old ways of engaging with brands. That’s most likely because, when it comes to this generation of consumers, they prefer the personalization that comes along with online preference controls.

For instance, users can pick and choose what types of online advertisements they pay attention to or enable browser-based ad blockers to see fewer ads.

We can also see this reflected in channels like radio or TV. Many people have switched to paid streaming services instead of traditional broadcast in order to avoid lengthy advertisements that appear in the middle of their programming. According to a Deloitte survey, 40% of people in the U.S. are willing to pay $12 a month for ad-free video streaming. Within the same survey, 45% said they’d pay for a music streaming subscription if ads were removed. These numbers are even higher for younger users.

Does that mean internet marketing is completely replacing traditional marketing? Not yet. Many marketers are going back to good old-fashioned marketing, embracing the benefits of traditional channels to break through the digital noise. At the same time many traditional types of marketing, like referral marketing can be used both in print and online marketing approaches.

The benefits of internet marketing

There are many reasons why internet marketing has grown so popular over the last decade. So, let’s start with the facts.

According to the Digital 2023 Global Overview Report, 5.16 billion users—about 64% of the global population—uses the internet. They’re spending a lot of time online, too.

According to the report, the average user spends:

  • 6.5 hours online every day

  • 3.5 hours watching broadcast and streaming content

  • 2.5 hours on social media

  • A little over two hours reading online and print media

  • Over 1.5 hours listening to streaming music

  • One hour listening to podcasts

With such a big window of opportunity comes big benefits, like the ones listed below.

Save money

Unlike traditional marketing, which tends to cost lots of money, internet marketing tends to be more cost-effective. One reason for this is because there are many free or inexpensive marketing channels to use, such as social media, email and your website.

Another reason is because it’s far easier to automate an internet marketing strategy and ongoing campaigns, instead of having to constantly recreate the wheel.

Reach more consumers

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population is online. Not only that, the average user is online for roughly a quarter of their day. That being said, you’ll probably have a far greater chance of connecting with larger audiences on the internet compared with traditional marketing. Since there are fewer geographic and demographic limitations when using internet marketing, you can reach a far more extensive, diverse crowd.

Target and personalize experiences more easily

With internet marketing tools, targeting the right audiences is easier when compared to traditional methods, and can be done on a much more granular level - mainly through the use and tracking of marketing analytics.

For instance, when running email campaigns, you can put your marketing intelligence to work and:

  • Send relevant offers to people who filled out one of your lead generation forms, use these to build customer segments

  • Recommend related products or discounts based on customers’ previous purchases

  • Send out abandoned cart emails to ​​remind shoppers about products they left in their shopping cart

By doing more personalized targeting and marketing, you’ll likely see greater engagement and conversions from your efforts. This translates to a better return on your investment—even more so if you spent no money to run the campaigns in the first place.

three internet marketing advertisements in the background with a clip of analytics displaying increasing clicks on top

Enjoy other long-term benefits of internet marketing

You have a very limited amount of time to make your pitch with traditional marketing and advertising methods. By contrast, internet marketing allows you to get in front of new and existing customers time and time again, and at different stages of each customer journey. It allows you to engage with consumers at various stages of the funnel, and continuously test new messaging, formats and targeting to boost your success.

Given its flexibility, internet marketing lets you achieve a range of goals:

  • Build brand awareness

  • Get more website traffic

  • Attract qualified leads

  • Nurture those leads to conversion

  • Establish a relationship with customers

  • Provide extra value

  • Offer better customer service

11 different types of internet marketing used today

Before you begin any online marketing, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types that are used today. While each has its own value, effective internet marketing depends on choosing one that relates to your business, connects with your target audience, aligns with your goals and of course, is within your budget.

Once you know what your options are, you’ll be able to mix and match methods that will work best for your brand. Below, we’ve broken out the most common types of internet marketing alongside examples and tips to help you make the most of each.

01. Website creation

In many cases, the marketing you do online directs people back to your website with the hopes that they’ll become leads or customers. However, your website in and of itself is an online marketing tool. For example, on-page SEO and blogging are two types of marketing strategies that help improve brand awareness and visibility.

Your website can also serve as the landing pad for more promotional types of marketing content and pages:

  • Landing pages can be used to promote a high-ticket sales funnel—like a course, retreat or ebook. To kickstart the design of these lead generating designs, a landing page builder can be used to create a template tailored to your business needs.

  • Online portfolios with detailed pages are ideal for creators. Having portfolio pages that show off your work, explain your creative process and highlight areas of expertise are a good way to attract leads.

  • Ecommerce websites can include pages that promote upcoming sales or clearance events. This is particularly useful around big sales days like Black Friday when people are using search engines to find relevant sales offers.

slideshow of website templates for internet marketing with an online portfolio

02. Content marketing

Content marketing refers to the creation of digital content. Typically, the purpose of this content is to educate, though it can also be used for entertainment.

There are many types of content that can be incorporated into a business’s marketing strategy:

  • Blogging: While it’s common to publish blog posts on owned channels , like your company's website or social media pages, guest blogging is another great way to contribute content to high-authority brands. This kind of collaboration can help you quickly build up a new brand’s reputation in the space.

  • Videos: From 60-second explainer videos to 30-minute courses, there’s a lot that brands can do with this easy-to-digest content format.

  • Infographics: Infographics often take a complex idea, process or set of statistics and break them down into an easy-to-follow and visualized format.

  • Podcasts: Podcasts are a relatively lightweight type of content to produce. But bear in mind that the most successful podcasts have a unique concept, and are supported by a strong marketing plan of their own to get off the ground.

03. Social media marketing

There are many ways to use social media to your advantage, including creating

posts that showcase your products and services, using reels to promote upcoming sales, new products, or events—and more.

Social media marketing can also be free or paid. While you can set up a professional account for free and start posting right away, many social platforms have the option of paying for professional features—like running ads, getting a verified check mark or selling goods.

There are dozens of effective social media platforms available today, each with its own unique audience. Some of the most popular are:

  • Facebook

  • YouTube

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • Snapchat

  • TikTok

  • LinkedIn

  • Pinterest

04. Email marketing

Email marketing can be quite versatile. For example, it can be use it to:

  • Stay connected with blog subscribers by delivering content that they love

  • Provide leads with free information to help them convert

  • Send personalized recommendations and reminders to customers

  • Offer exclusive discounts to loyal users

  • Reconnect with old customers and incentivize them to come back

One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is the ability to target your communication to a subscribers’ known preferences. Tailor your emails to various customer segments and use tools like Wix’s email marketing features to automate your email sends, plus track performance over time.

email marketing tool dashboard with draft email and sender details

05. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy that involves making enhancements to your web pages to get them ranking for specific search terms.

This is a complicated practice that involves a variety of methods.

On-page SEO refers to optimizations done to the content on a website. For example:

  • Centering a page around a rankable keyword

  • Creating the right header structure and tags

  • Adding alternative text to images

Off-page SEO refers to optimizations done online that boost a website’s search ranking. For example:

  • Creating a Google business page

  • Contributing content to a high-quality blog and receiving a backlink in return

  • Promoting your content on social media to increase views and engagement

According to Asaf Or Shenhav ,Outreach Specialist at Wix,

"Not only can a backlink bring more traffic to your blog, but it also builds bridges of authority and credibility that elevate your online presence."

Technical SEO refers to optimizations done to improve the user experience on your page. This includes:

  • Increasing loading speeds

  • Enhancing website security

  • Making each page responsive

When done well, SEO can increase your site’s visibility online and ultimately attract high-quality traffic to your pages.

06. Paid advertising

Unlike the marketing strategies above that come with no associated fee, advertising is a 100% paid effort.

While it can take months to get decent traffic to a website or to build an audience organically, paid marketing can provide instant results.

Ads can be run on a variety of channels—social media, search results pages, websites, video hosting platforms and streaming services, for example. Different platforms allow for different advertising formats, including:

  • PPC advertising requires you to pay a fee for each click that your ads receive. With this option, you can run text ads that give you priority placement in certain search results. You can also pay to place text and image ads in specialized areas—like in local maps or product searches.

  • Sponsored posts often refer to paid ads on social media, though they can also refer to paid positions on online marketplaces like Amazon. While your ads will be marked as “sponsored” or “promoted,” they’ll otherwise look like normal social posts, helping you attract lots of eyeballs on your ads.

  • Search engine ads, which are displayed on platforms like Google Ads, are one of the best ways to get your ads on the top of search results pages. Search ads can help to ‘prime the pump’ when you’re just starting out with SEO and could use the extra push in getting visitors to your site.

  • Website advertising involves running ads on other third-party websites. For example, you can use Google Ads to get your content into the Google Display Network, through which your ads will be shown to relevant audiences on some of the most popular websites in the world.

Tip: Facebook Ads with Wix is a great way for Wix users to boost sales, generate leads and drive website traffic. Wix’s technology uses AI to smartly target and manage campaigns.

07. Sponsored marketing

Another way to leverage someone else’s marketing channels for your own benefit is through sponsored marketing. We can split this type of content into two categories: sponsorships and influencer partnerships. Both involve paying an organization or an individual a fee in exchange for promoting your brand or products to their audience.

Sponsorships tend to be more passive promotions. For instance, if you pay to sponsor an event, your brand logo will likely appear amongst other sponsor logos. You can pay more for greater visibility though.

Influencer partnerships, on the other hand, tend to be more active. For best results, you’ll want to invest time into building genuine relationships with influencers, versus simply sending them your product and expecting them to blindly promote it.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sponsored content. Many brands choose to use the following methods:

  • Publish sponsored content on someone else’s blog

  • Run sponsored spots on podcasts

  • Ask popular YouTube, Instagram and TikTok marketing channels to review products

  • Connect with micro or macro influencers who can promote a brand or product on their social media channels

  • Find big event marketing opportunities like online conferences that need sponsors

08. UGC marketing

User-generated content (UGC) has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks, in part, to the effort that brands have made in improving the quality of their content, engaging with their followers online and providing top-notch customer service. As a result, users are creating tons of free marketing for the brands they love.

UGC can come in the form of content such as:

  • Rave reviews of a product or service in blog posts

  • Unboxing videos posted to YouTube, TikTok and Instagram reels

  • Social media posts where the brand is tagged and their products shown

Brands can, in turn, take this content and add it to their websites as well and use it to bolster their own marketing campaigns.

09. AI marketing

This type of marketing that’s fairly new, but it’s growing fast as artificial intelligence technologies advance. Brands are incorporating AI marketing into their business strategy in a variety of ways.One of the more common uses of AI involves a chatbot, which has the ability to provide timely and contextual customer support and offer personalized recommendations.

AI marketing tools can also improve things on the backend of your website. For example, ChatGPT has recently received a ton of fanfare for how useful it is when it comes to doing research and writing. As another example, Wix’s AI text creator has helped website owners generate unique copy for product pages, About pages and more.

In terms of performance, AI can also strengthen your website’s marketing strategy by delivering analytics, customized content and offers based on real customer data.

10. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses or individuals and offering a commission for every sale that they influence. Many times, this means that the affiliate will advertise your brand on their website or social media using an affiliate link, which brands can use to track the affiliate's performance and compensate them based on sales.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to build relationships and reach new networks of potential customers. Affiliate marketing is additionally cost-effective and efficient, since you don’t need to invest your own time and money in building the right audience and setting up the campaign. Instead, you can lean on affiliates who are already established in the industry and know their target market well.

11. Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing uses mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to deliver promotional messages and content directly to consumers. This kind of internet advertising includes website banner ads, push notifications and more (such as ASO marketing). With the right strategy in place, mobile marketing helps to boost engagement and drive conversions quickly.

Since most people spend an average of three hours on their mobile devices per day, mobile marketing is an effective way for reaching customers who are on the go. It’s also a great way to deliver more personalized content, allowing you to use data such as location and device preference to tailor your message.

mobile advertisement featuring image of dog toys in the background with the title "doggy care 50% off"

Tips for starting an internet marketing strategy of your own

Because of how time-consuming marketing online can be (not to mention the cost of paid advertising), you should lay down your strategy first. Here are tips for getting started.

01. Set your internet marketing goals

Determine what specific results you want to get from marketing. Use the SMART framework to help you effectively set goals that are:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

For example: “Increase our online store’s sales by 10% within six months of the start of our marketing campaign.”

Your goals can be specific to each marketing platform.You might set a goal of reaching a certain open rate with your weekly newsletter, or achieving a certain level of engagement with a social media post.

02. Establish a budget

When thinking about your budget, focus on both the money and time aspect of it. Start by figuring out how much money you can realistically spend on your marketing campaign. It’s okay if you don’t end up spending that much—this is just to help you set a limit.

Next, consider how much time you and your team can devote to your marketing strategy. Can you accomplish your goals within that time frame? If not, take a look at your budget and see if you have room to outsource some of that work to a writer or marketer.

03. Research your online market

Go to your main competitors’ websites. Make note of the content marketing strategies that they’re implementing there. Then, see if they have external marketing channels. If they have a newsletter, subscribe to it. If they have social media pages, follow them.

By watching what the competition is doing—the good and the bad—you’ll get a better idea of where to start when fleshing out your own marketing strategy. It might inspire some content ideas, too.

04. Get to know your audience

While you’ve likely done plenty of research on your audience, how well do you know their preferences and behaviors when it comes to marketing? Competitive research will shed some light on this. However, further user research is warranted.

For instance, you might discover that a sustainable marketing strategy appeals to your target audience. If sustainability is something that fits with your brand’s mission and values, it’s worth exploring.

The goal of marketing isn’t to speak at your audience. Rather, it’s to build a relationship and to gain your audience’s trust, which means creating a marketing campaign that resonates with them on a deeper level.

05. Make sure your branding is ready to go

It’s a well-known fact that consumers use multiple devices, and hop between various websites and apps all day long. As such, they expect a fluid, omnichannel experience whenever they engage with a brand.

This is why it’s crucial that you get your branding in order before you launch any marketing campaign. Everything you put out there—your logo, color choices, image selection, messaging and tone—needs to be consistently executed across all your marketing touchpoints.

While brand marketing isn’t officially one of the main types of internet marketing, it’s something that every brand must address before going down that road. Branding can make or break even the most well-planned-out strategy.

website creator dashboard with image of girl shopping being uploaded and color scheme picker on the right

06. Prepare your website for incoming traffic

Even if you’ve already created a website for your brand, you should revisit it before you begin marketing. Start by examining your web design. Is it modern? Does it follow the latest trends?

Read through your copy. Fix any errors you find. Make sure the messaging aligns with your campaign and its value proposition.

Next, test out all the interactive components, like links, buttons and forms. Make sure everything works. The last thing you want to do is promote something on your site or in your store, only for the conversion element to fail.

07. Create a marketing plan

Now that you’ve done the research and prep, you can put together your marketing plan. Start by choosing the different types of internet marketing you want to use. You don’t need to try them all out at once.

Content marketing is a good place to start. Do some research on the different types of content at your disposal and choose a couple of formats that you’re excited to create. Ideally, you and your team should already have some experience working with these formats as well.

Social media marketing is another good one to try . Choose one or two channels to start with and come up with some strategies for posting. Think about the right formats, messages, times of day and frequency of posting.

Once you research your target audience and make a framework for your marketing activities, stay closely committed to your roadmap and pivot if needed. You should closely monitor the result to make sure your strategy is helping you reach your goals.

08. Implement your SEO

If your website isn’t fully optimized yet, now is the time to implement SEO best practices. It can take a while before you see results from this—typically between six and 12 months. So the sooner you can update your keyword strategy, build an internal link structure and improve the technical elements that Google cares about (which you can find at PageSpeed Insights), the better.

SEO might not seem as big of a deal as other kinds of internet marketing. However, without SEO, you’re going to have to do a ton of hands-on marketing work outside of your site in order to drive traffic to it. A well-executed SEO strategy will drive qualified traffic to your pages, and it will do so consistently over time.

09. Kick off your internet marketing campaign

With a beautifully designed and well-optimized site ready for whomever comes its way, you can officially kick things off. Refer to the plan you put together, along with your marketing goals, and get to work on implementing it.

Consider creating a schedule for pre- and post-launch tasks. Your schedule should tell you exactly when to do certain things—e.g. write a post, share something on TikTok, send out your newsletter, etc.—and take a lot of the guesswork out of getting the ball rolling.

fashion blog featuring green background and showcase of sunglass products

10. Use online marketing tools to automate and optimize your results

There are lots of online tools that will help you monitor, analyze and automate your marketing efforts. Look for tools that help with the following:

Marketing takes a lot of work, but the payoff is huge if you do it right. By taking advantage of the kinds of tools above, you can reduce how much work you have to do while also maximizing your results.

11. Monitor your results

The only way to know if your marketing efforts are working is to measure your progress against your goals as well as your progress over time. Each of the platforms you use for internet marketing will provide you with insights on what you’ve done. Make sure to reference them along with powerful website analytics tools like the ones provided in your Wix dashboard.

It’s beneficial to review your marketing data regularly as it will clue you into what’s working and what isn’t. There’s no sense in devoting extra time to marketing content or channels that aren’t right for your brand. Put that time and energy into something that your audience will respond positively to.

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