I get this question all the time when I tell people I own an internet marketing business! Man, this question is a lot more loaded than they think! There is a nearly infinite amount of internet marketing businesses out there, so I'm going to try and cover what the main identifiers of them are. This is a step-by-step guide, so you can kind of jump around if you want, but I don't suggest it!
Before we dig into defining them, I want to give you an example we've all seen...
Everybody hates scams! But guess what? They are the most common internet marketing businesses around... Except they're not really businesses since, you know, there isn't an actual product and they're just conning us out of money! (Yes, I too have fallen victim to them in the past when I was trying to find a legitimate way to make money online.)
Besides ads and pop ups on sites that scammers use, there's all kinds of ways legitimate businesses will market online. SEO, email, PPC, backlinks, and social media are considered the "white hat" marketing methods (think of them as good guys that actually want to help people).
Alright, let's dig in!
Alright, let me break it down for ya!
By "internet" it means using any method that involves internet... okay, pretty obvious haha! However, it means someone can build it using their phone selling other people's products on social media, or all the way up to a full-fledged business with hundreds of staff members! Don't worry, I'll get into that phone business part later on.
Alright, so... marketing. I already covered it above and I'm not going to rehash it.
But what really makes them a business? Well they're selling something, of course! Here's a short list of the most commonly marketed stuff:
Yup, that's pretty much it! Not too complicated, right? Good!
So let's build upon this and get a little more complex so you can learn basic terms about internet marketing businesses.
This is the basic infrastructure that many online businesses utilize because it is so damn effective! Why? Because it provides lots of free value! (More on that a bit later.) Within a blog it's easy to give lots of relevant content that their audience loves. Sooo if the business deals with something gardening related, the blog would have something to do with perhaps providing tips on watering or something. (Yeah I don't do gardening, can you tell? Haha!)
Plus another benefit of blogs is that you can build on it using the coming marketing techniques.
If blogging is the bread of businesses, SEO is the butter. Essential and easy to apply! There's a lot of complex terminology, tricks, etc surrounding SEO, but it all comes down to one thing... focusing on a specific word or set of words for a blog. For instance, I'm doing that with this blog! By targeting a phrase specifically I am able to push my site higher in the search rankings. In other words, I pop up higher after you searched a certain set of words.
You know how there's those little ads that pop up at the top when you search for something? That's PPC! It uses the same type of system as SEO where you target some keyword (that's the correct terminology, by the way). The difference, is that the business actually pays... you got it, per click! This is used if, say, it's impossible for the business to get to the top of the search results because a HUGE website like Amazon or even Google out-ranks them. PPC let's them basically cut in line and go straight to the top, but they have to pay for it. See, this stuff isn't too complicated, right? Let's keep rolling!
Ah, the newest form of marketing. Difficult to master, but if used effectively, social media can be used to create even greater brand identity and gain a huge audience quickly. Currently, the best social media platforms for most businesses are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat has been gaining massive momentum. OH! And remember how I talked about using a phone to make money? Yup, there's lots of people on Instagram that do this! People follow them because of their lifestyle, videos, and pictures they post, so then they follow the link on their profile and, if they purchase whatever the profile is promoting, that poster gets a commission! Crazy world we live in.
Ahh, one of the oldest methods, but still one of the most effective ways to market. Build up a list of subscribers to a website using blogs or entice them by giving away ebooks, reports, whatever. The most common way that internet marketing businesses utilize email marketing is by sending a series of emails promoting a product, service, or program of some kind. The emails are crafted to appeal to our emotions and can, sad to say this, often be scams! But, not all of them are. Always do your research!
This is one that is a little more vague, I think. A backlink can easily be described as having another website linking to the original business' website. Google and other search engines look at this and say, "Hey, cool! If someone else is linking to this blog/product/whatever, it must be something good!" And that means better rankings! The big "BUT" in here, however, is quality is better than quantity. In the past, people cheated the system to get fake websites linking to their own, but now Google punishes that. So, backlinking now means getting quality websites that are current to give backlinks. That's the way it should be, though! Because then it means that the business is actually a quality site.
Now I've covered just about everything there is to answer the question, "What is a internet marketing business?" Except one last bit... value! And the opposite of that.
So what does a good internet marketing business look like when it's proving true value? Well, it offers lots of free content! This can come in the form of free entertainment, knowledge, or plain old content like free pictures. It also doesn't try to make any huge promises up front that require little effort or provide products at "impossibly low prices", but instead promises quality premium content that takes effort to be successful with or premium products that are worth the price.
For instance, Wealthy Affiliate is one of most well-known internet marketing training platforms around. They don't promise people that they'll make money right away, in fact they are honest in saying that it might take a few months or longer depending on the effort put int! But their promise is that, if you follow all of their steps and methods, you will find success. (Below is an image taken from their very first lesson pointing this out in 4 steps.)
I'm personally into fitness and supplements, so I follow one guy who is great at building high quality products and builds trust in it's audience with tons of free content in the form of training and programs. He's also amazing at using social media to promote himself and his products. The guy's name is Kris Gethin in case you're curious.
And then there's scams... You can easily tell scams from good internet businesses. Well, usually you can. They offer very little if any free content, they are anonymous about who they are, again make huge impossible promises, and they also usually are quick to ask for money.
Well, I hope this short guide has helped you to understand what an internet marketing business is, and maybe you learned a few extra things, too! I love teaching people about the world of internet marketing and do my best to provide quality content for you guys!
If you have any questions, maybe an opinion, or even a critique to offer me, please drop it down below and I will get back to you as soon as I can! Until next time 😉