Understanding What Internet Marketing Really Means
Internet marketing is the umbrella term used for a collection of ways in which products and services are sold over the Internet. It is also known variably as online marketing and web marketing, and sometimes as digital marketing.
To put it as a definition...
“Internet marketing is the art of advertising and marketing goods and services through the Internet.”
This is normally done through the use of placing advertisements on websites that are on the Internet. These websites will vary according to the goods and services that they are offering. Therefore, adverts are placed according to the sites that have similar content.
Internet marketing started off when people realized that there was a lot of marketing potential on the Internet. This being the case, people had to advertise their goods and services on the Internet to get a larger amount of clientele. Most of the individuals and companies that started Internet marketing were those that were targeting international clientele. Advertising using print and electronic media in every country had proved to be cumbersome. It also proved to be a difficult task. Nevertheless, with the introduction of the Internet, a solution was seen to be possible.
The Internet marketing world has blossomed in the last decades of the 20th Century. It is a relatively new world, but more and more people are getting warmed up to the concept in recent times.
Now, there are different ways in which money can be made over the Internet. All of these techniques could be combined under the collective definition of Internet marketing. The definition also expands to include all the different models in which the businesses are carried out. Taking that into account, there are different types of Internet marketing models.
The following are some of the common ways in which Internet marketing is carried out in today’s times.
Ecommerce is a method in which products and services are sold to the consumer directly, without employing any intermediary agency. Hence, if you are buying something through an online website directly, then you are using an ecommerce website. Generally, ecommerce websites have a typical layout. They will most definitely have a catalogue of the products on their website, with detailed descriptions of all these products. Next, they will have a shopping cart. You can select the products and they enter the shopping cart. The shopping cart feature is generally used when there is more than one product on the website. When you are checking out, you are prompted to pay for your purchases through a variety of methods.
All ecommerce websites have their own membership options. You will have to make an account on these websites to access them and then use your login information to sign in whenever you want to make a purchase through these websites.
Right now, ecommerce websites are quite cautious about their security requirements, especially for their customers. This is because monetary transactions are done directly through the website. Hence, they need to provide methods such as SSL encryption, which keeps the online identity of their customers safe.
There are some other variations of ecommerce websites. If a website sells products to another business, which will likely sell it forward, then too it is called as an ecommerce website. Similarly, some ecommerce websites will allow their customers to sell products for a marginally higher amount to other customers, thus making a profit in the commissions they can earn.
Via Affiliate Marketing
Strictly speaking, affiliate marketing is not directly selling of any goods or services. All an affiliate marketer does is to promote a particular link on their website, blog or another similar place that they own on the Internet, and earn through the clicks that they are able to get from visitors.
The people whom they are promoting are called as the advertisers, while the affiliate marketers themselves are called as the hosts. The advertisers will usually pay the hosts a proportion of the sales that they get from them (known as the Pay Per Sale model) or a direct commission based on the number of clicks that they obtain (known as the Pay Per Click model). The latter is the more popular method of the two.
Affiliate marketing programs cannot be standalone businesses, though there is a lot of money involved—most times without any instalment—for the marketers themselves. However, the advertisers are usually entities who have ecommerce websites of their own where they are selling a product or service.
Though there are other prevalent models too, when we talk about Internet marketing in the current scenario, we usually speak of one of the above methods. If you want to make money through the Internet as well, you will need to choose between one of these methods, which is certainly where the real money lies.
Internet marketing includes all the methods you can employ in order to implement such businesses as well as the methods that you can use in order to promote them. In fact, for any Internet marketer, the heaviest part of their duties is to reach out to their target audience, which is known in the Internet marketing parlance as niche. They usually spend a lot of time and effort in reaching out to this niche.
These methods include affiliate marketing itself (if they are an ecommerce website), and other methods such as email marketing, blogging, article marketing, search engine optimization, directory submissions, social networking and many others. A lot of webmasters are dealing with several paid and free advertising options to reach out to their niche public. The definition of Internet marketing also includes all these different promotional strategies that are inevitably used for promoting the products and services that the Internet marketers sell.