Internet Marketing as a Business Model or a Communications Tool

If you are starting a business, the opportunities to market online make it seem tempting to just jump right in. While there are countless resources on the many helpful strategies, it is important to think through which ones are best for your business. Deciding on how to reach out also depends on your goals, industry, customer base and the nature of your competition.

Full Business Model

Any kind of business and customer can be reached online. Many people have earned a good living by basing their business solely on the Internet, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to larger corporations. To accomplish such a feat, you need to immerse yourself in learning how to reach a target market. There are numerous resources online so it is not impossible to educate yourself when starting out.

What you learn and how you decide to proceed depends on the type of business. You can sell other people’s or companies’ products through affiliate marketing; popular retailers such as Amazon offer affiliate programs from which people have profited. Other people make a living by selling physical products, creating their own products, or doing Web design, direct sales or freelance writing. Selling products or providing specific services such as writing can make up the primary business model.

As a Communications Tool

For any business, Internet marketing can play a role in communication. This yields a set of strategies to be chosen from or combined to best reach the target audience. Popular ones include content marketing, important because search engines such as Google rank sites based on the quality and timeliness of their content.

You can also use email marketing to drive sales, while search engine and local search marketing provide a means to build traffic to a website. Using search engines to your advantage requires a firm understanding of SEO best practices.

Many companies use social media, including Facebook, to communicate with customers and other businesses. Discussions on products can help gauge customer satisfaction and the nature of the competition. Other marketing tools focus on mobile device users; this is somewhat different because mobile websites are read differently than on a desktop screen, and users have the ability to make purchases quickly while traveling.

Making It Effective

Some marketing tactics look easy, tempting you into an ineffective cycle. Planning your strategy using online and offline methods can help you better apply each strategy and understand the audience’s needs. It is also important to realize, especially with social media, that embarking on a quest to find the most friends and followers will not necessarily improve sales. Targeting specific groups who are more likely to buy your product is usually more effective.

Your plan should also be adaptable, as things on the Internet are constantly changing. Hiring a skilled professional or an SEO company can help you make the most important decisions. This can also assist you in focusing each strategy, while careful thought into the purpose of your business and what it is selling is also useful.

[author ]Adrienne is a blogger and aspiring writer. When she’s not blogging, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.[/author]

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Written by Guest Contributor

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