An Idealist’s View of Internet Marketing
Written by: Richard Fong
For an Internet marketing company like ours, it is gratifying to know when our efforts are working when a client receives new calls from prospects and sales goes up. That’s what’s web marketing is supposed to do, that’s the purpose of marketing. But most of the time, achieving these results are not so straightforward; which leaves me the question — How Should Internet Marketing be done?
The Fine Line Between Search Engine Marketing and Internet Marketing
Search engine marketing is geared towards gaining visibility on major search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo; whether using SEO or link building for targeting Organic search, or online ads via Pay Per Click. Its main channel of driving more visibility for a company’s website is by getting the top ranks of search engines. But at some point, this method becomes lopsided. We have a tendency to obsess over rankings instead of the real purpose of marketing: Which is a system for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers.
Internet Marketing is more holistic. Not only is it getting more opportunities for our client’s website to get exposed online through search engines, but other channels as well such as emails and social media. Currently, technology has evolved to where companies are able showcase their strengths and competitive advantage very affordably and effectively. There’s email marketing, social networking, video marketing, and content marketing.
There’s no other time in history where business owners can shoot a video about their business on their iPhone, upload it to Youtube, and send it out to their customers via email and broadcast in social media. You can do it all in one day and it would cost you nothing but some time and previously setting up those funnel.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s undeniable that people go to search engines majority of the time. But what I am trying to point out here is that search engine marketing is only part of the big picture; which goes hand in hand with other marketing strategies.
What Can We Learn From Internet Marketing?
It’s about sticking to basic fundamentals of marketing and applying it using new methods.
Marketing, in general, is a function where it delivers or communicates a company’s offerings, and creates a way for customers to see the value of these offerings; while a company benefits from the positive response of customers. At least, that’s the basic principle of marketing.
Internet marketing answers to that particular function using new media such as social media, videos, search engine marketing, and more. There’s no definite formula, but there’s definite goal which is to deliver to customers and for companies to bridge the gap of successfully communicating what they have to offer. Continue to respond and address the needs, and find a way to make it all happen.
It’s not all about the number of links.
Internet marketing considers the whole perspective, and does not obsess on getting more links and higher rankings for a client’s site. Again, as mentioned earlier, it’s holistic. It’s a matter of how you gained those links and what you did to deserve them.
It’s more customized, it’s about finding other ways than just gaining links, which leads to the next point.
It’s all about Trust, Brand, and Relationships
Apart from search engines, consumer nowadays can easily find information via a social connection, by visiting a favorite blog site, or going back to a trusted brand site. Back in the days, people go to the internet to search for information, but now they are not just in front of a machine, it’s where they communicate and sometimes create new connections. Internet is also becoming personalized, people often visit or rate their favorite restaurants, review a book or even tell their exercise regimen in a blog. Interaction is now very seamless, which also becomes a part of understanding a target market and other players.
Online marketing’s goal should be to learn what customers like, and let them know that a company exists to respond to their specific need, create relationships and build trust.
Some Internet Marketing companies have built their worlds on targeting search engines, rather than focus on responding to the client’s or customer’s needs. The main point is we stray away from the basic principle of marketing and sometimes waste our time obsessing on just a partial component (SEO). It is essential that we adapt to the times, but also let’s not forget the fundamental rules of marketing.
But hey, this is just me. It’s idealistic but it’s nice to imagine what the Internet Marketing world would look like using these principles. What do you think?