internet marketing

7 Types of Internet Marketing and How to Use Them

internet marketing

63 percent of businesses say that generating traffic and leads as their biggest marketing challenge. This goes to show that internet marketing is not always as easy as it looks.

No matter which industry your business operates in, there is a lot of competition from rival businesses.

Competing on price is difficult, as there is often little that businesses can do about margins. However, where you can beat your competition is on branding, trustworthiness, and reputation. Which is where internet marketing comes in.

Every internet user makes choices about which sites to visit and what to buy. As a business, you should be trying to influence those decisions at every step.

So, if you run a business or are starting a new venture, there has never been a better time to develop your internet marketing plan. The internet is always changing, but there are more exciting opportunities now than ever before.

Read on to find out more.

1. Internet Marketing Through Blogging

If you don't have a blog on your business website, you are missing a trick. Blogging is one of the best ways to showcase your business in detail, and is also great for SEO. Let's talk about why.

Blogging allows you to develop your brand by using your own voice. There can be so few things that distinguish rival businesses, as competing on price can be difficult. However, your branding should be unique and personal.

Writing a blog allows your readers and customers to get to know you. They can recognize your voice, and this will create a rapport, trust, and loyalty.

Blogging also allows you to talk about your business in much more detail than product descriptions. This not only helps customers make more informed buying decisions but also shows your expertise.

Finally, but most importantly, blogging is excellent for your website SEO. Creating new blog posts keeps your content fresh, which means the search engine bots can see that your site is active.

Blogging also allows you to keep adding relevant keywords to your site, and keywords are what SEO is all about.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing might sound a bit old fashioned in this age of multimedia, but it does work.

Just because email has been around for a long time does not mean your emails need to be boring. Write your emails as if you are talking to your customers. No one wants to read formal, dry messages so make them conversational and don't forget to embed photo and video content.

Emailing allows you to get direct access to potential customers' inboxes. This is a great opportunity to offer discounts and deals to people who have subscribed to your website. Including direct links to promotions and merchant pages also make it even easier for customers to make purchases.

You can also use direct email marketing to interact with customers. You can include surveys and questionnaires in your mail outs. This will help you get to know who your customers are to help you target your marketing. You can also invite subscribers to leave positive feedback on social media or third-party sites.

Email marketing is also very time and cost efficient. With the click of a button, you can send targeted marketing content to thousands of people, and all it has cost you is the time to write the email.

3. The Future is Mobile

In 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide should reach 2.8 billion. And of those smartphone users, 63 percent access the internet from their mobile, so it's safe to say that the future is mobile.

Optimizing your site for mobile users should be one of the main focuses of your digital marketing strategy. Because no matter how great your content is, if it does not perform well on mobile devices, many users won't bother to look at it. Always check every site update and blog post on different devices and make sure that they are properly formatted and not too slow to load.

You can also think about using specific mobile marketing strategies for your business. Mobile marketing is about trying to reach a specific audience on their smartphones and tablets. SMS marketing is a great example of targeting mobile users, as you are sending a link directly into their hand.

4. Video Marketing

By 2020, videos will make up 79 percent of all internet traffic. So, if your business is not using video content, then you could be missing out.

Many internet users expect to see video content now and they are more likely to sit through a 1-minute video than read 500 words of text. This means that video content is great for keeping readers on your site, which keeps your bounce rate low.

Video marketing, like blogging, allows you to go into more detail about your products and services. You can show viewers more aspects of your business than you can by using text. For example, you can showcase your company culture and employees, and show customers what it's like behind the scenes.

YouTube videos are also great for SEO, not least because Google owns the channel. But don't forget to make sure that you give your videos optimized titles and descriptions to boost your SEO even more.

5. Social Media

If you run a business, then social media is your friend.

Because it's something that we all use to keep in touch with family and friends (and gossip) it's easy to forget how useful it can be for internet marketing.

The whole point of social media is for people to share things that they like. As a business, this means you can get your customers to do your marketing for you by sharing your posts. But here's the thing: no one will share your posts if they are boring.

Creating cool, fun and informative social media posts should be the backbone of your online marketing strategy. And it is worth getting this right because the rewards can be huge. If only 20 people share your post to their friends, you can still reach up to 10,000 people — for free.

Always use multi-media in your social media posts. Graphics, pictures, and videos will always get more shares than text and will stand out in people's feeds.

You can also raise your social media game by using paid ads and sponsored content. This is a budget-friendly way of getting your posts to your target audience.

6. Content Marketing

Content marketing is not a one-off campaign, but an ongoing process. Your website is not just about selling products but communicating with consumers and developing your brand.

You should be thinking about content marketing in everything you do online. Always make sure that your content is of high quality and fully optimized. Keeping your content updated and fresh is also great for your brand, as no one trusts a neglected website.

Blog posts should be on a variety of things such as your company culture, your employees and your local area. Don't focus on sales and promotions and nothing else. Content is a great tool to inform your readers and declare what sort of ethos your business has.

If you get your content marketing right, your reward will be loyal, informed customers.

7. Influencer Marketing

There was a time when influencer marketing was only available to large companies and brands. Those who could afford to get endorsements by celebrities and sports stars. However, with the advent of Instagram and social media influencer marketing is now available even to small businesses.

The ‘micro-influencers' of Instagram have thousands of followers and charge to promote products. They are a lot cheaper than celebrities and will charge between $50 and $300 per post. That's pretty good value.

What's even better, is that micro-influencers actually out-perform celebrities. This is because they are easier to relate to and more believable.

Everyone knows that celebrities receive lots of free products to promote. But when someone who looks like they lead a similar life to you endorses something, it is a lot more credible.

In fact, a recent survey showed that only 3 percent of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements. But 30 percent said they were likely to buy a product endorsed by a non-celebrity influencer.

Become a Legendary Marketer

So there you have it. Seven types of internet marketing and how to use them.

Some of them will have been right under your nose all the time, like social media and email marketing. They may have been around for a long time, but that's because they work. Both email marketing and social media posts get your message straight into the hands of all of those people checking their phones.

However, the internet is changing. You also need to focus on new marketing trends such as videos and influencer content if you want to stay ahead of the game.

The great thing about all of these internet marketing ideas is that they all represent value for money and are suitable for businesses on a budget.

If you want to find out more about how internet marketing can benefit your business then sign up for our FREE COURSE today.

Rinse and Repeat: Sharing Content on Social Media More Than Once for Internet Marketing

You’re spending precious time and effort crafting your content, but when it’s shared on social media, the engagement isn’t there.

Oh well,” you think to yourself.

It’s easy to shrug it off and move onto planning the next piece, but your writing deserves a second chance to shine.

Sharing it once on social media means nothing as it’s easy for your content to get lost in the huge world of the internet. Blogs can easily go unnoticed, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth sharing.

For real results, it needs to be republished. If you’re serious about internet marketing and writing content – you need to be serious about driving it, too! Why?

Grasping the art of repeating social media posts is the key to growing reach, engagement, traffic, leads, and, ultimately, sales. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to re-share content and you don’t want to upset or push away your followers.

Want to find out how? Read on to discover how often to post on social media – the right way.

1. Is It OK to Share Content More Than Once?

The first question you may ask is – is it OK to share content more than once?

Yes, some marketers shy away from re-sharing content out of fear that it will annoy their followers and lead them to unfollow.

But the reality is that given how expansive the world wide web is, it’s unlikely your followers will see a duplicate post. They aren’t online 24 hours a day and when they are, they can miss posts due to low organic reach or increased competition.

The high likelihood of increased reach by far outweighs the low chance of overlap.

If a repeated post does appear on their feed, your followers are unlikely to notice or care – especially on high-volume networks such as Twitter. In fact, on Twitter, the number of followers who see your tweets may be as little as 2%.

It’s easy to forget within marketing that people don’t always notice every single thing we do!

Sharing content more than once provides followers with value as it allows them more opportunity to read quality content produced with their interests in mind.

So, instead of worrying about whether you’ll irritate people with duplicate content, you should worry if your content’s reaching the right people at all.

2. How Do I Avoid Being a Spammer?

Nobody wants to spam social media. Here’s where you need to be careful when re-posting.

If you post the same link with the same message every hour, you’ll agitate even the most tolerant of followers. Re-posting this way is a no go and if you share too often, people will start to phase out your posts or unfollow.

Use your common sense and think of your own behaviors and the way you use social media yourself.

How often would you consider too often? How would you react if you saw someone else using the same strategy? Where is the ‘spam line’ for you?

Ask yourself all these questions and put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Be careful not to cross that metaphorical line!

Respect your followers and take them into consideration. After all, your feed tailors to them, not you.

Likewise, share content that you believe is well-written and of quality value. Content that your followers will genuinely enjoy and find useful.

There’s no point scheduling a post across weeks if you believe it to be weak or dreary.

3. What Types of Social Media Posts Should I Republish?

Luckily, most types of posts can be re-posted to drive social media traffic.

The main aspect is that all links in the post are relevant. There’s nothing more annoying than clicking on a link in an article only to find that the article is out of date or that the link is broken.

A good idea before re-posting content is to double-check links and fact-check the article.

There are some types of content that work particularly well to re-post. These include:

  • Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is timeless and always relevant. These are the pieces that people will click on time after time – it doesn’t matter how long ago it was posted.

  • Regular Promotions and Events

Posting of regular promotions or events coming up within your business is a great way to keep followers in the loop. What’s more – people are usually grateful to be informed of offers and deals where they can save money or grab a bargain. This is especially when they can easily miss them on the feed.

  • Popular Posts

Popular posts are popular for a reason – because they provide value to your readers. Re-posting these pieces allows more people to reach your best content, leading to engagement through the rest of your website.

Who knows, maybe it’ll go viral!

  • Content for Different Time Zones

If your post is valuable to readers over the globe, re-posting it throughout different times of the day is a great way to ensure different countries are reached. Plus, it means that any overlap is unlikely.

  • Big News

There may be a short lead time for big news stories, but if it’s important then people will want to hear. Schedule it throughout different times of the following days or even weeks, depending on the nature of the story.

4. How Should I Share My Re-Posts?

As we've touch base on, there are ways to re-post on social media with best practice. Such as:

  • Never Share the Same Message Twice

Posting the same link with the exact same messaging, as we know, makes you a spammer. And we don’t want to be a spammer, do we? 

Using a different variety of messaging for your posts is an important step in the re-posting process. There are many ways to share a blog post – so get creative!

An easy option is to post the title and link with some relating hashtags. This is simple but works well with an eye-catching title.

Another straightforward way to mix it up is to ask your followers a question relating to the post or to pull an interesting snippet of text from the blog to tease and draw in clicks. Likewise, adding facts featured in the main text is a great way to arouse attention.

Get creative and have fun with your ideas! Monitor which types of messaging generate the most interest for future reference. Make sure every message is unique in its own way!

Don’t slack on changing imagery either. Remember that browsers skim through a feed – it’s the supporting image of a post that first catches the eye. If it’s the same old photo used with every post, the reader is going to get bored, even if the messaging is different.

  • Make a Schedule

Decide how many times you’re going to re-share your post and schedule it in. Depending on the piece, it can be shared weeks or months after it’s first published.

Just remember to be careful with your timings – again, don’t be a spammer! Don’t share them too closely together, or in big clumps. Leave a fair amount of time between each post.

Decide which social media networks you’d like to share on and how frequently on each.

With a high-turnover network like Twitter, you can get away with posting more regularly than on Facebook, for example.

Whilst you could go as far as posting daily on Twitter, with Facebook we’d suggest posting weekly at the most. It’s a personal choice but be sure not to over-do it.

With Instagram posting once is enough to promote a blog post – it certainly isn’t the network to republish the same content.

Use a standout image with a note in the text directing the viewer to visit the blog piece, found on your Instagram bio. This is the only place on Instagram where you can share a clickable link.

If your followers are global, you can get away with posting more as the risk of overlap is low. Consider repeating your posts a couple of times throughout the day – but always have a good chunk of hours between them.

Improving Your Internet Marketing Techniques

With the right methods, you’ll learn how to use social media effectively and how to republish posts with best practice.

Done the right way, re-posting can offer more engagement, clicks, traffic, and sales and can draw in new followers. There’s also the added excitement of content potentially going viral! It’s not unusual for pieces to generate attention months after publication.

Keen to develop your internet marketing skills even further? Check out our range of products or get in touch with any questions.

10 Steps to Creating an Awesome Online Course

Have you always dreamt of creating and selling an online course? 

As we progress into 2019, we're seeing a growing number of professionals transform their expertise into creating an online course. Not only are online courses a great way to make money, but they're also incredibly popular amongst students and professionals today.

While online courses were once the rarity, students today favor how flexible and all-encompassing online education has become. In fact, 79 percent of students believe that online education is “better than” or “equal to” traditional education. 

With the rise of internet marketing, it's never been easier to market your course to prospective students. 

If you've been wanting to create an online course, you're going to want to read this. We've put together a step-by-step guide that will have your course up and running in no time. 

Not only is this ten step guide simple to follow, but it's also designed to work for any subject or niche! 

1. Choose a Profitable Topic 

First and foremost, you're going to want to begin by choosing a profitable topic for your course. 

The name of the game is to discover topics that are currently being researched by the public online. You're also going to want to select a topic that you have profound knowledge, skill or experience with. 

For example, if you are working as a freelance writer, you may teach a course on how to transition from a traditional job into a freelance lifestyle. If you are an accountant, you may teach a course on how to better manage your finances and understanding taxes. 

It's especially beneficial to choose a topic in which you have a solid educational background. This is what is going to allow your future students to envelop their trust in you to lead this course. 

2. Test Your Course

Before you exert all of your energy into creating your course, you're going to want to start by testing your topic. 

This is where you are going to determine if prospective students are interested in what you are teaching. After all, there's no sense in spending your time and money creating a course in which there is virtually zero interest. 

To determine this, you are going to conduct some market research tests. A simple way to do so is sending an email to your network as well as advertising your course on social media. 

Some professionals will also choose to “pre-sell” their course to get an idea of numbers. This involves summarizing your course objectives and encourage people to sign up. To create a sense of urgency, many professionals will choose to establish a “maximum” number of students that will be accepted into the course. 

3. Create a Course Outline

Now that you have established a generalized idea of interest, you can now move on to creating a course outline. 

This is a simple and general layout of what your expectations are for the course. This should clearly outline for students: 

  • Topics expected to be covered
  • How long the course will run
  • What is expected of the students
  • Whether or not the students receive anything for “passing” the course
  • Whether or not there are homework assignments or tests 
  • Lines of communication

While you have yet to establish any course content, this outline will be shared with prospective students. This will give them a clear idea as to what is being covered in the course and whether this course appeals to them. 

4. Establish the Course Content 

Now that you have your generalized outline, you can begin to focus on creating the content of your course. 

Here you are determining the content itself as well as how you plan to share that content with your students. You can determine whether your content is summarized by slides, videos, interactive calls, etc. 

Many professionals get overwhelmed in creating their content. While you may feel pressure to share as much information as possible, it's best to resist this desire.

Remember, this is the first course and you don't want to overwhelm your students. Only share content that is going to directly answer the questions that your students are likely to have. 

5. Structure Your Modules 

This is where you're going to take the entirety of your content and divide it into different themes. 

Each of these themes will become their own individual chapters that eventually make up the course. Be sure to arrange these themes into a timeline that makes sense for the topic and for your students. 

Remember, each chapter should bring your students closer to achieving their goal and answering their questions. With each chapter completed, your students should feel that they are becoming experts on this subject. 

6. Create Tests or Assignments

It's now time to determine whether your course is going to be followed by assignments or tests.

Some professionals have each chapter of their course accompanied by an assignment or a test. On the other hand, some will choose to eliminate official tests or graded assignments from this course. Instead, the course work will encourage students to “take action” after completing each chapter. 

For example, a course on freelance writing may encourage students to cold call prospective businesses for writing opportunities. While this is not a graded nor overseen assignment, it is encouraged for the benefit of the student. 

7. Determine Your Delivery Method 

Now, it's time to channel your focus on how you're going to deliver your course to your students. 

For this, it's best to select the most simple and accessible means for your students. You want to avoid all delivery mishaps from taking place and having to refund any monies.

Many professionals will choose to release the course to students through email once payment is received. This method is the most simple and least problematic. From here, the students will have to use their credentials to sign in and access the course. 

For many online classes, all of this content is released at one time and students can take their time reviewing the content. This will allow students to move through the coursework at their own pace and avoid feeling rushed.

8. Establish the Reward

Before a student signs up for your course, they're going to want to know ahead of time if they will receive anything for completing the course. 

Some courses may reward students a new title or an honorable mention for completing the course. Others may offer students specialized opportunities once that course is completed. For example, a freelance writing course may offer students access to a job board that is exclusively for course students. 

On the other hand, another course may not offer a final reward to their students. These are courses that the student is taking for their own personal benefit and the reward is simply the information being released. 

9. Launch Your Marketing 

Now for the fun part! 

Too often, online professionals believe that their work is complete once enough students sign up for the course.

If you really want to ensure that your course is profitable, this is where the work truly begins. To make the absolute most of your course, it's essential to continue marketing it to prospective students. 

Remember, you can use the same general coursework on a number of different students. This means that there's no need to invest your time into creating another course. Instead, use the course that you have spent so long creating to appeal to an entirely new group of students. 

You can also encourage your students to submit testimonials for your course. These testimonials can be incredibly effective at reaching new students and encouraging them to sign up for your course.

Let's consider that 88 percent of consumers trust online testimonials as much as recommendations from friends and family. The goal with these testimonials is to build confidence in prospective students that this course is worth the investment. 

Try advertising your course on the various social media platforms. Outlets such as Instagram and Facebook make it simple and relatively affordable to advertise your products. 

You can also do an email blast to your immediate network and offer friends and family discount codes. 

10. Establish an Online Community 

Last but certainly not least, you're going to want to create an online community for your students. 

For many, this will come in terms of a Facebook page or Slack group that is exclusive to course members. When it comes to online communities, people enjoy interacting with likeminded people and feeling as if they are part of an inner circle. 

This is a place where your students can interact and communicate with yourself and other students. In many cases, this will end up functioning as a question and answer forum as well as a base for communication. 

It's also a great way to stay connected to your network and even offer free coaching to your students. 

Internet Marketing and Your First Online Course

If you're an expert in your field, why not share that expertise online?

Today, more students than ever are choosing to enroll in online courses. In fact, 28 percent of higher education students are currently enrolled in at least one online course. 

While online courses were once limited to professors, it seems now that anyone and everyone can create an online course. Not only is creating an online course relatively simple, but it's also a great way to make money in a short period of time. 

As internet marketing continues to rapidly expand, it's never been easier to market your online products. This means that finding students to sign up for your course doesn't have to be so intimidating. 

If you've been hemming and hawing over whether to create an online course, it's officially time to bite the bullet! Allow this guide to serve as a basis for how to create and sell your first online course. 

Do you need help marketing your products or ideas? If so, be sure to check out this free course to learn more!

5 Brilliant Ways Smart Marketers Use #Hashtags

Meet the hashtag (#), formerly known as the pound sign. This symbol is the common denominator between all social media channels and is a powerful tool when used right.

It can help people find you, help you connect with like-minded businesses and streamline your social media marketing.

The hashtag is a way to keep your social media content categorized, making it easier for users to cut through the clutter and reach the content they’re most interested in. It’s also proven to increase engagement. In fact, a post with hashtags averages more than 10 percent engagement than posts without them.

Hashtags are used to make your posts found by those who are searching for that hashtag or a particular keyword. For example, #smartmarketing. You’ll also be visible to those who don’t currently follow you, opening the door for more followers. They can be used anywhere within your post.

Here’s how to use hashtags to catapult your Internet marketing.

1. Drive Engagement

 

One of the ways to use hashtags for business is to drive engagement. This works by using hashtags that resonate with your audience, either through current events or trends. Find what’s popular and if it fits with your brand, start building posts that use that hashtag. If it resonates enough with them they’re more likely to share your content.  

Using hashtags not only drives engagement with your current followers, but it also exposes you to other people who don’t currently follow you. You’ll be seen by their followers and the followers of anyone else who shares your content. When done well and thought out this engagement is what leads to a post going viral.

Your business has a lot to say on social. However, it may go unnoticed if you aren’t doing something to draw attention to it. Engagement hashtags allow you to reach other companies and people who are interested in the hashtags you are using and encourages them to take action on your post, whether by liking it, sharing it or commenting.  

You can also create a unique hashtag that aligns with your brand and can be used in your wider marketing efforts.  One such tactic is called User Generated Content (UGC) and it works by having social media users promote your brand for you by sharing your hashtag in their posts.

One great example of this is Aerie’s #aeriereal campaign. It encouraged users to spread body positivity and discourage the use of photo editing apps by posting unedited photos of themselves. To take this a step further the company also donates a dollar to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for every post that included the hashtag.

2. Use Trending Hashtags

A trending hashtag is a hashtag that is already very popular. When you piggyback off of what’s trending, you’re already a step ahead. Trending hashtags are already popular and in front of your target audience.

If you see an opportunity to use a hashtag that’s trending for your business, if it’s relevant, it can be exactly what you need to get that increased visibility.  

Regardless of how popular a topic is, if it doesn’t fit your business it won’t do well for you. Keep an eye out for trends that fit your niche. When using trending hashtags in your marketing efforts it’s important to move fast because trends are always changing.

A successful hashtag campaign is one that moves fast before the buzz dies down. Keep an eye on what’s trending and if it fits, move fast.

3. Tell a Story

Tell a story. And keep them wanting more. Hashtags will let you get your story in front of a wider audience. Storytelling is an important part of marketing–it helps you connect with your audience and lets them into the more human side of a brand.

This connection is what generates brand loyalty.  If they feel like they know you, they’re more likely to keep coming back to see what you have to say.

Social media is an ideal venue for telling stories. You can use hashtags to promote this by creating a hashtag related to the topic and using that every time you post. It will keep your stories organized and easy to find.

One brilliant example of this was Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, which urged females to not be influenced by society’s expectations of them. It encouraged the use of the phrase “like a girl” to symbolize strength rather than weakness.

When you share your story, think about what emotional connection you want to make with the audience and what makes you unique. If you can stand out while nurturing a real connection, you have the makings of a successful storytelling campaign.

3. Target Your Audience

The more specific your hashtags, the better. To attract the audience you’re looking for you need to do some research and figure out what they’re searching for. Once you know that, you can use targeted hashtags that you know your audience will see and is more likely to interact with.

You can also look into what your competitors are doing. Hashtags will give you insight into who they’re targeting so you can do the same.

To hone in on the audience you’re looking to target, you'll need to make your hashtags as specific as possible. If it’s too broad it will get lost in the sea of other hashtags.

4. Run a Contest

Holding a contest can help you grow a larger following on social media. A contest with a simple incentive will get people involved and entice them to share your post in front of their audience.  

To make this work you’ll create a specific hashtag for your business and ask your audience to share it in exchange for a chance to win a prize. You can use additional hashtags to target the groups who are more likely to not only share your content but to stick around after the contest is over and turn into potential customers.

Promote your hashtag across all your social media channels and create blog posts around your contest along with email marketing efforts. Make it fun, and relevant to you.  

In one example of great marketing hashtags, the Empire State Building’s Instagram account ran a photo contest that asked people to post an image of them “holding” the top of the Empire State Building. The winner received $5000. 

A hashtag contest is easy to set up but to be successful you have to outline the goals of the contest, determine the audience you’re trying to reach, whether a broader or niche audience and then you can come up with an effective plan.

Bonus: Hashtag Marketing Dos and Don’ts

When using hashtags for marketing purposes, there are some key things to remember to make sure they don’t work against you. 

  • Do follow trends: During a major event, piggyback off of the success of a popular hashtag and become part of the conversation.
  • Don’t repeat hashtags in a single post: You won’t do yourself any favors by being repetitive, and it could render your post unreadable.
  • Do keep a list of your company’s effective hashtags:  Social media is a lot of trial and error. When you find a hashtag that works well for your company, add that to your marketing arsenal and keep using it. If it’s not working, toss it.
  • Don’t use hard to read hashtags: You want your hashtags to be read easily. So you’re going to want to #avoidhardtoreadandrunonhashtagsbecasuetheyretoomuchwork. Don’t make it hard to decipher your hashtag. Rather, #keepitsimple.
  • Do listen: To stay on top of the always shifting and something that was popular yesterday is already old news. Look out for the trends and when you find one that aligns with your brand, move fast so you don’t miss out.

Hashtags for Internet Marketing Success

Hashtags make your content discoverable, makes you stand out and encourages engagement with your brand.

By using these tips to improve the way hashtags for businesses are used, you’ll see an improvement in visibility, engagement and if used correctly, you’ll see an increase in your followers.

Remember, social media is a conversation. You don’t want to talk at your audience you want to talk to them…and ideally, you want them to talk back. Effectively using hashtags will allow you to communicate with a broader audience than you typically would, exposing you to potential clients and growing a loyal follower base.

Check out this Free Course to learn more about Internet marketing success.

Instagram Marketing: How to Use the Social Site for Your Business

Instagram boasts of 500 million daily users on their platform. Influencers and users alike use Instagram to share their favorite products and give a glimpse of their daily lives.

People even use Instagram to find new products to try. This makes the platform useful in your internet marketing strategy. To get the most out of the Instagram platform, you need to understand how to use it. 

If you take the time to learn the tools and tips available, Instagram can turn into a cost-effective option to promote your brand. 

How to Use Instagram for Internet Marketing

Before you get started with any social media platform, you need to do your research. This includes research into marketing trends, platform trends, and customer demographics.

It's good to know who you're connecting with to make the most of the platform. For instance, Instagram users are 68% female. 59% of those are between the ages of 18-29.

While this doesn't mean you can't target other demographics, it's important to know how to target the audience you want. You also need to know how to use the tools available to target them.

Visuals Lead in Instagram Marketing

Before you start posting, you need to find good tools to create appealing visuals. Instagram offers some editing tools for your visuals, but you'll get the best results with content that's already polished. 

You want branded content along with snapshots to engage more users. With the right visual editing tools, you can create consistency between the different content.

Make sure your visuals create a clear message since Instagram deals with visual over written content. You want your pictures and videos to tell a story.

Create a Business Profile

If you don't already have an Instagram profile, you can start with a business profile. If you already have a personal account, you can easily change it to a business profile.

A business profile offers easy access to contact info for your business. This also allows you to publish ads and access analytics tools. These marketing tools are not available with personal profiles.

Keep in mind, you can't make a business profile private. This means you want to take care with personal info you share on your profile.

Make Use of Those Analytics Tools

Your business profile gives you access to measurement tools, and you should make use of them. These analytic tools help you fine-tune your marketing strategy. This gives you access to important information about customers and content.

You can use the tools to check out the demographics of your followers and those that access your content. You can also check out the success of different posts. This includes learning the times when your content proves most effective.

These analytics tools also help you track ad success. This will help you determine which content to use for ads and how they're converting.

Determine Peak Posting Times

If you post too often, you'll annoy followers. If you don't post often enough, people will forget about your brand. If you don't post at the right times, your content can go ignored.

You need to do your research to determine which days and times when you'll have more engagement. You can use the analytics to help you determine this.

Make your posts on the days with the most engagement. Keep your posts to one or two per day at peak times.

Make Hashtags Part of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

Almost every social media platform makes use of hashtags, but Instagram corners the market on hashtags. People can search or even follow hashtags to keep up with trending topics or topics of interest to them.

This means it's helpful to know the most competitive hashtags for your niche. Pay attention to the tags that prove most popular. Then, mix and match the hashtags to better target your market.

You can even set up a hashtag for your brand. You should be careful with this option if you don't already have a large following. It doesn't hurt to get something set up though.

Become a Team Player

Collaboration provides opportunities to reach a wider audience. Collaboration can take the form of working with others in your industry or working with influencers. You can also take advantage of user-generated content for a wider audience.

If working with others in your industry or with user-generated posts, make sure you ask permission to use the content. You can create contests to create excitement around user-generated content. Have them post to a brand hashtag, then use the #regram hashtag and tag the user to share the visuals.

You can also partner with influencers to share your products. Seek people with a large audience to share pictures and/or videos of your products. This will both get your products in front of more people and increase your Instagram following.

Take Advantage of Contests

Contests can generate enthusiasm for your brand and increase your following. You can offer a simple, appealing prize to those who participate. You should also encourage followers to share the contest with others.

Make sure you provide a short time to participate so people don't lose interest. You should also make the contests easy for participation. For instance, likes for a chance to win.

Contests can take on many forms. You can do a hashtag or selfie contest for instance. This provides an extra marketing tool that people get excited to participate with.

Make Use of Video

Video has taken over the internet. This includes Instagram marketing. Videos prove easy to make and watch and hold attention longer than written content.

When creating videos, make sure your brand comes out clear early on in the video. Provide a clear call to action with your video, and make them short and sweet. You should also look into multi-media options.

Video works great for ads. They're also good for stories. You can play around with your options to find what works best with your audience.

Create Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads are one of the benefits of a business profile. You can use your most popular content, or create ad-specific content, to reach a larger audience. 

Sponsored ads allow you to set a budget, and set up the preferred demographics for your content. Since Facebook owns Instagram, and the interaction rules are similar, you can combine the ad with Facebook to get more out of the money you spend. 

When creating ads, you want to use teasers to get the most out of Instagram ads. Don't push sales, but tease products and offers with good-quality visuals.

You can even create a shopping ad so people can purchase directly from Instagram. In fact, 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product they've seen while scanning the platform. If nothing else, teaser ads make it easier for people to share your content.

Make Use of Stories

Instagram stories are posts that last 24 hours. You can combine several visuals to share for limited access. These get posted at the top for mobile-users, making your post easier to find.

These work well for limited-time offers or sneak peeks. You can also use stories to try out new content. You can even tag other followers for collaboration opportunities.

Use Content Managing Tools

If you use social media for marketing purposes, you'll want to set up a content management tool. These tools allow you to schedule posts, including appropriate hashtags, so you can plan ahead.

You can pre-schedule contests or promotions with management tools. You can also mix your content among several social media profiles to get the most out of your marketing materials. These tools also offer their own analytics tools so you can better monitor your content progress.  

Link Your Website

Instagram gives you another opportunity to promote your business website. Not only can you share content to this platform, but you can provide a direct link to your website in the bio.

This provides another way to determine what content generates the most interest. This also offers another way to provide ease of contact so customers know how to find you.

Make Use of Keywords in Your Bio

Your bio should tell people who you are and what you do in simple but interesting terms. Make sure your brand is easy to recognize in your bio and make sure you use keywords that will make you show up in searches.

Just as your website makes use of keywords, so does your social media bio. With the right keywords, people can find you when searching for products or services that you offer. You also want to make them stand out so you don't have too much competition.

Social Media to Other Online Marketing

Instagram and other social media platforms provide one way to take advantage of the internet for marketing purposes. These sites should take part in your overall internet marketing strategy, but you need to take advantage of all the platforms.

Do you need help developing your digital strategy? Check out our helpful marketing bundles to get the advice and ideas you need to succeed online.

Internet Marketing: How To Build an Income on Autopilot

Have you ever dreamt of working for a few hours a day and spending the rest of the day how you please? How about making money while you sleep? The industry of internet marketing, known as affiliate marketing, made over 12 billion dollars in 2017.

Affiliate marketing is used by both big companies, small brands, and individuals looking to receive passive income. Let’s dive into this comprehensive guide on successful affiliate marketing.

The Guide to Successful Internet Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been a buzzword in the online world for the past few years. So, what is it and why is it so popular? This type of marketing is a marketing model where advertisers or merchants send their products to affiliates to promote.

These affiliates host the advertiser’s products or services in a number of ways on their site. They have agreements with the merchant to receive a percentage of each sale that is made from their unique hosted product link.

The History of Affiliate Marketing

William J. Tobin, an American entrepreneur, visualized and developed the idea of affiliate marketing in 1989. He owned his own business, PC Flowers and Gifts. He rolled out his concept of internet marketing to his business, and within two years, they made over six million dollars.

In June of 1994, Lou Montulli created computer cookies. These cookies allowed computer programmers to implement a reliable and trackable virtual shopping cart that remembered the user’s data. That was not their only function. Cookies also allowed them to see who had visited their site previously, store login data for the user, personalize the user experience, and track web analytics.

There was much controversy around the release of the cookie because it was not known to the public. The introduction did not notify users of its existence and perceived to be a huge privacy concern. It was determined that only third-party cookies posed a threat.

The use of cookies provided a way for affiliate marketing to take place. Businesses could now track specific URLs that their affiliate marketers promoted and see how many leads and conversions resulted.

The Big Players

In 1996, big companies like Amazon Associates, Rakuten, and BeFree joined the affiliate marketing game. These players formed the golden standard for the affiliate marketing world by setting their products up in an affiliate marketing structure.

A few years later, ClickBank, the first affiliate network began. Since then, over 81% of brands use affiliate marketing in their marketing strategy mix. That’s over 15% of all digital marketing revenue and it’s still on the rise.

What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?

The best way to describe affiliate or internet marketing is by comparing it to a referral service. Affiliates have a website set up where they promote advertisers' products or services, and whoever they refer, they get rewarded for.

The link the advertisers provide the marketer is a unique link because it is tracked. The business can then see who referred leads and how many leads they sent.

When a lead comes in and makes a sale or converts, the marketer receives a commission. These commissions vary in value depending on the company and the product, but some marketers make over $50,000 a year.

The best part about this is if you have a steady flow of traffic to your website or social platforms, you set it up once and let it run without your maintenance. The traffic to your site increases the chance of users clicking and purchasing from those links.

Businesses do have a right to change their affiliate terms at any time. If this happens, it can directly affect revenue, but being aware and having multiple affiliate partnerships can alleviate this blow.

Creating an Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Having affiliate marketing and an auto-pilot income sounds great, but how do you create a successful marketing strategy? It’s pretty easy to sign up and get approved to become an affiliate marketer, but driving people to your site and building a following is tricky.

Affiliate Marketing Audience

First things first: determine who your target audience is. Are you a mommy blogger with a huge following of other moms? Maybe you have a platform where you write a bunch of software reviews or perhaps you love search engine optimization. Whatever your niche is, think about which products or services your audience would show interest in.

The best way to use affiliate marketing links is to promote products or services that make sense for your style. For example, if you write a lot about household cleaning products, be an affiliate marketer for cleaning products.

Choose items that make sense for your mission and items that you truly believe in. Your lack of authenticity will show if it isn’t a product you trust.

And, if you have no idea what it is your audience likes or is interested in, ask them! Be creative and create a poll or analyze your website data to see your most visited links.

Be Authentic

If you start affiliate marketing, it’s important that you’re upfront with your readers. Let them know that you’ve started affiliate marketing and you’ll receive a commission for items on your website. By telling your readers, they will trust you more than if they happen upon it and you haven’t disclosed it.

It’s best practice, but it’s also required by the Federal Trade Commission, so it’s something you must do.

Creating Your Affiliate Marketing Website

Now that you know who you’ll be marketing to, it’s important to have a site that you drive people to. Whether it’s on a current blog or website, you’ll have to implement specific internet marketing pages.

The main focus of your entire website is your blog, and your goal is to make sure it's updated regularly. There are other pages you need to have on your site, however, that are necessary for affiliate marketing.

About Page

You need to have an about page to tell people who you are, what you're about, and why you have a blog in the first place. Share a captivating story about your life and what drove you to blog. Make it relatable and personal so your readers are able to engage with you.

Contact Page

Your site also needs a contact page. Know that whatever information you put on this page will be available to all the internet. Have a work specific email address, P.O. Box, and work telephone number to protect your real inbox from spam. People use your contact information to contact you about advertising, marketing, or partnering.

Disclaimer Page

You must have a disclaimer page if you're monetizing off your website. On this page, you'll explain your terms and conditions. You'll go into detail about how you're monetizing. Your disclaimer needs to tell your audience what products and services you make money off of, and who you're partnering with.

Terms of Service Page

This page states legal information regarding the misuse of services or information on your site. It limits your legal liability. If someone wants to use the information on your site, it outlines the copyright and trademarks guidelines they must follow. 

Anything regarding legal documents or guidelines must be on this page.

Advertising or Marketing Page

One of the most important pages to have on your site is an advertising page. This page shows users how to advertise with you. The cost of advertising and available advertising spots are available for a user to see.

Including your website's current analytics such as demographics of your viewers and how many people come to your site is also useful information a user wants to know.

Lastly, this page needs to have a contact form for people to get a hold of you if they want to use your site for advertising. Make it simple and straightforward, and have it sent directly to your business email.

Website Content

Once you've set up your site, you'll want to create a content strategy. This strategy outlines all of the upcoming content you're going to feature on your site. For your site to be high quality, you'll want to mix organic content with affiliate marketing content. 

Having just affiliate marketing will send your audience running. Provide them with valuable information that's relevant and helpful to them. This requires strategy and quite a bit of thought, but as long as it's tailored towards your audience, there is success.

Leave them with content that keeps them coming back to your website again and again by adding value or providing a unique perspective.

Affiliate Marketing for the Win

Follow this comprehensive guide to get set up with your internet marketing network and see the money start rolling in! Choose a niche that fits your target audience and features products that make sense.

Remember to keep your content high-quality and fresh, and mix in your organic content with your affiliate content. 

Are you interested in getting your online business launched today? Take a look at thisFree Training Course. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for help.