Despite the bloody explosion of the dotcom financial bubble, and the flop of early e-commerce models, the Internet still stands. Jinxes and detractors, after the first “I told you so”, disappeared, and time run its course.
So, the Internet is no longer an inscrutable world, reserved only for a caste of geeks, but has instead gradually entered our daily working world.
Mainly thanks to the spread of three tools:
- search engines, to search for information;
- emails, to send or ask for information;
- social media, for communicating, relating, having fun.
Every day, for example, no fewer than 250 million searches are carried out on Google.
This means that, every second, 3,000 people run a search to acquire information or buy something:
1 second, 3,000 searches…
2 seconds, 3,000 searches…
3 seconds, yet another 3,000 searches…
and so on, every day, 180,000 people per minute, day and night, including Saturday and Sunday.
The Internet has therefore taken on a well-defined and useful role for any company.
The point is therefore no longer whether the web can help companies, but HOW they can make the most of it for business development.
But what is it, then, this “internet marketing” that everyone is talking about?
Beyond all philosophy and clichés, the Internet is nothing more than a means with which to carry on marketing activities. In other words, to position oneself on the market, to make oneself known, to promote products and services, to find and be found by customers.
Once upon a time there was advertising in traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines), fairs, direct marketing on paper, the Golden Pages, telemarketing. Without forgetting, of course, the fundamental role of sales networks, which had the purpose of informing and selling.
Today, in addition to these classic means (which remain), companies can also exploit everything that the Internet makes available.
What are, in practice, the constituent blocks of Internet marketing?
For companies operating in business-to-business, the fundamental components of an effective Internet marketing strategy can be traced mainly to 4 major categories (let’s not go into Social Media for the moment, which is a fifth category we will return on in another article):
- first of all the website, which can be an extra seller. A good website, in fact:
– attracts visitors;
– informs them;
– educates them;
– qualifies them;
– inspires their trust;
and so, it ultimately helps the company sell.
For a first insight into the role of the website, read this blog article:
- then, a tool to generate (for a fee) visitor traffic to the website: this is Pay-Per-Click, primarily through Google AdWords.
These are paid advertisements that can appear on the first page of Google.
We mention it second only because it’s a tool that gives immediate gratification: if you have a website that sells bolts, and you want those looking for bolts to find you, with Pay-Per-Click you can get this result in 5 minutes.
Since it generates visitor traffic to the website, Pay-Per-Click is a form of lead generation.
For more information on how to use Pay-Per-Click, read this blog article:
- the other tool par excellence to generate traffic to the website is the so-called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Since it generates visitor traffic to the website, it’s also a form of lead generation.
But while Pay-Per-Click is a paid tool, SEO is free. This means that any website can theoretically end up on the front page, based on a series of requirements but still without having to pay a penny.
For more information about SEO, read this blog article:
- the fourth component is email marketing.
Email marketing is a multifunctional tool, like two sides of the same coin:
-It can be used as a lead generation tool, to make a recipient a lead.
– and it can be used as a lead nurturing tool, to convert a lead into a prospect.
For more information about email marketing, read this blog article:
By combining these tools, any company can:
- Acquire new customers by letting them find you, not the other way around;
- receive new leads every morning in your inbox from potential customers who are asking for information;
- acquire orders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year;
- market research;
- test the market before launching a new product;
- or even find the best name for a new product;
- and finally automating marketing, creating a machine capable of doing many things on its own: attracting customers, informing them, establishing constant communication, increasing the credibility of the company, progressively developing a relationship of trust in it, until the decision to buy its products or services.
Do you want to see how to include internet marketing in your business strategies?