by Paul Slack
This is the second blog post in the series on Developing a Winning Internet Marketing Business Plan. Last week I provided an overview of the series. This week we will begin to answer (in a no BS way) the question; “What really is Internet Marketing?”
To wield this media you need to first understand it. This is especially difficult because bloggers and consultants what to constantly change the name or focus on the latest shiny trinket coming on the scene. This is where the BS comes from and why you will hear consultants and bloggers talk about Content Marketing, Google Panda, Semantic Search, Mobile Marketing, etc. as THE BIG THING. Don’t get me wrong, all of these are real elements (building blocks if you will) and can be utilized, but they aren’t the solution.
Then what is Internet Marketing?
Here is the Vende Digital definition; Internet Marketing is a form of promotion in which people within businesses create, share, and exchange information and ideas with customers online and in virtual communities and networks.
The two most important phrases in this definition of Internet Marketing are:
- People within businesses – You subject matter experts developing content, sharing it with interested prospects by education and helping.
- Customers online – Real people with real needs, desires, and wants. They are looking for answers and help to find and acquire something that will satisfy their need.
People do business with people. This is a fundamental truth. The web has created a way for people within businesses to connect virtually with customers all over the world. This fundamental truth hasn’t changed. Tactics that make your best sales reps succeed in the real world are going to work online too. However, the mode of communication will be different. Selling in the real world is mostly synchronous (each party exchanging dialog in the same session). Selling in the Internet Marketing world is mostly asynchronous (each party leaving information behind for the next party to consume and respond). The difference is similar to a phone call vs. a text. In a phone conversation both parties are actively involved at the same time. When you text someone, that message remains available until the other party is ready to read and respond to it.
Examples of asynchronous communication in the Internet Marketing world are:
- Thoughtfully crafted blog articles that provide useful information for your target audience that will improve their life in some way. This could be content about vetting possible options for them to satisfy a need, want, or desire. It could also be content about your industry or their industry. This blog series you are reading is an example.
- Online webinars real time or archived can be an excellent way to offer insights.
- YouTube videos are becoming more and more popular for businesses to communicate to their audience as people would rather watch the internet than read the internet. That’s why we also are making this series available as a webcast.
- Chatting online with a prospect can be both synchronous or asynchronous but has a lower barrier of commitment to your customer than filling out a form or visiting with you face to face.
- Providing an consultation, analysis, or review where users can fill out a form online and provide information about their situation. You then review their information and either send them your analysis/recommendations back via email or face-to-face. We have an example of this on our website. We offer a complementary NO-BS internet assessment.
- Frequently Asked Questions that help buyers understand your offer.
All marketing is designed to build awareness with your target audience and facilitate meaningful conversations. With Internet marketing, eventually, the sales process will take on the same form it does in the real world, with customers and sales people discussing needs and options and buyers making a decision to buy from your company or not.
When you cut through the BS, you’ll discover that Internet Marketing isn’t a tactic or a website or some magical pill that will transform your business overnight. It is a form of marketing and communication that happens asynchronously in the virtual world-wide-web with your subject matter experts and customers who have questions and need help to make informed buying decisions.
To further define Internet Marketing we need to look at the fundamental elements of Internet Marketing Content, Social, and Search. We will cover these in part 2.
In This Series on Developing a Winning Internet Marketing Business Plan We will review:
PART 1 – An Introduction
PART 2 – What is Internet Marketing Part 1
PART 3 – What is Internet Marketing Part 2
PART 4 – What is Internet Marketing Part 2 (Content, Social, Search)
PART 5 – Introduction to DART BOARD Business Planning Process
PART 6 – Overview of Resources Provided (Templates)
PART 7 – Who Are the Players (Search, Social) Part 1
PART 8 – Who Are the Players (Search, Social) – Part 2
PART 9 – Understanding Buyers and Their Motives
PART 10 – Developing Personas
PART 11 – Putting the Internet on a Quota (Developing KPI’s) Part 1
PART 12 – Putting the Internet on a Quote (Stages of Maturity) Part 2
PART 13 – Identifying Tactics
PART 14 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 1 – Overview
PART 15 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 2 – Key Phrase Analysis
PART 16 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 3 – Brainstorming and Topics
PART 17 – Producing an Action Plan
PART 18 – Reporting