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Trends in Internet Marketing

Instructor: Elissa Vaughn

Elissa is a professional content writer with a certification in inbound marketing, BA in history, and a decade of experience in retail sales and marketing.

In this lesson, we will explore the history of internet marketing and the marketing trends seen online today. Topics discussed in this lesson are email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing.

Internet Marketing

Think about the times you've used the internet to solve a problem. Remember that time you wanted to buy a gift and ditched the mall to shop online? How about that time you were working on a project and found the information you needed from a blog? The internet has been fully integrated into our lives, and chances are, you rely on the internet several times per day to do something, whether it's to use Google to find an answer, log onto Facebook, pay your bills, or check your email.

Now think about how you ended up at that online store or blog. Maybe you performed a Google search, saw an online advertisement, clicked on a link in a blog post, or read something that your friend 'liked' on Facebook. You might not have watched a TV commercial or read an ad in the newspaper, but every online ad, high-ranking google search result, blog link, and Facebook 'like' you saw are forms of marketing. We call this internet marketing.

History of Internet Marketing

marketing strategy image

Marketing is the practice of using techniques to sell a product or idea. Marketing is a large umbrella that includes a variety of methods, and those methods are used to make unique strategies to grab your attention. Before the internet was popular, marketing typically revolved around TV commercials, magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, celebrity endorsements, and product placements. Today, these methods are known as traditional marketing, but as you can see, they're still effective in attracting customers. However, something changed in the 1990s, and traditional marketing had to share the stage with a new kid in town.

Internet marketing is the practice of marketing products and information to people through web-based means. The field didn't take shape until the 1990s when the first internet web browsers were launched. A pharmaceutical company is credited with launching the first real internet marketing campaign, and their strategy involved creating informational web pages to educate consumers about a new product.

As e-commerce began to take hold in the mid to the late 90s, early forms of banner advertisements began to appear. Banner ads are online advertisements that are embedded into a website's code or HTML. We still see banner ads, but over time, this early form of internet marketing began to share the stage with email marketing and search engine optimization, and the more recent trends of social media marketing and content marketing. We will discuss these four internet marketing trends in this lesson.

Email Marketing

email marketing

Email marketing works like a digital form of direct mail. Direct mail is every brochure, free gift, flyer, newsletter, and piece of commercial mail that you receive in your mailbox. Email marketing takes this concept and uses email lists to distribute, or blast, a message to a large group of people.

Like all marketing materials, emails used in email marketing campaigns need to provide value to recipients. People perceive something as valuable if they believe it will enrich their lives in some way. It's the job of the marketers to persuade people that the information in their emails is indeed valuable to them. Internet marketers apply the following methods in their email marketing strategies:

  • Gripping subject lines
  • Quality copywriting
  • Strong calls to action
  • Embedded social media buttons
  • Scheduling
  • Incentives

Search Engine Optimization

search engine optimization

Do you turn to Google for your answers? So do most people, and internet marketers know that. That's why they use a method called search engine optimization (SEO) to attract more people to products, sites, and services. Search engine optimization is a marketing trend that's focused on increasing the search presence of websites. The higher the Google result is for a particular search term, the better. Therefore, internet marketers apply SEO techniques to help websites rank higher for chosen search terms in Google. This is known as optimizing a website for search engines.

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