Internet Marketing 101: The Only Guide You’ll Need to Dominate Your Niche with Internet Marketing
What if you had a complete outline of the Internet Marketing process? Do you think then you’ll finally see a positive return on your online efforts?
That’s our goal in this ultimate guide.
We’re skipping the fluffy intro. We’re not here to list a bunch of tips and tricks. We won’t bombard you with endless tools you’ll never use.
We’re coming at you with a detailed, step-by-step guide to building an online presence. A guide made so you can follow along and dominate your niche.
Sound good? Let’s get into it.
Phase 1: Niche Selection
The start of your journey begins with niche selection. This is how you not only define your brand but who you’re targeting. In doing so, you remove many competitors — while keeping efforts on-point.
1.1: Finding Your Niche
A niche is a smaller market segment of a larger market/industry. Narrowing your offers and targeted customers means less competition. It also means you’re not wasting resources because you have a specific focus.
Find your niche:
- Write a list of what interests you or opportunities you’ve researched
- Find a problem you could solve within the community of those items
- Run tests seeing if you get a response from the community
Good starting points include:
- Prior work experience
- Hobbies and deep interests
- Trending products/industries
Settle on an idea with growth potential. Don’t back yourself into a corner by niching too far. Look if people already buy products/services and go from there.
1.2: Identifying Your Target Audience
Your niche means nothing if no one is buying. Like a niche, you need to refine your audience so you’re not wasting resources. The targeted audience guides your efforts and goals — and gives you a greater foothold in the niche.
There are a few steps involved:
- Create a list of potential leads based on demographics and interests
- Get into where the audience congregates and learn their needs/pains
- Compare prospects to existing customers or who competitors sell to
This activity refines your branding. You’ll become part of the community instead of a marketer pushing their way in.
1.3: Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
Last, you need to find what makes you different. This means you’ll find a unique selling proposition — the thing that helps you stand out.
- Create an avatar defining your ideal customer
- Define the needs/wants of these individuals
- Align your branding and offers to this avatar
- Compare what you offer to the competition
- Identify and highlight the one, great thing you offer
Explore brand design as you have a niche, audience, and USP in mind. This sets everything up once you’re ready to start the business.
Phase 2: On-Page SEO and UX
What good is supporting marketing efforts if they’re based on broken fundamentals? An optimized site and user experience (UX) are the two main fundamental elements. This section guides you through both.
2.1: Keyword Research
Keywords are how search engines organize information. They’re also how people find relevant webpages and information. This may extend into a phrase or what you may refer to as a long-tail keyword.
Your keyword selection is arguably the biggest task when crafting pages.
There are a few keyword types:
…and a few in between.
Keywords also have intent which is what people look for within those keywords.
- “Where to buy…” implies users are looking for a store or brand
- “What is the best X” implies users are discovering available offers
You’ll want to match the keyword with the intent. You’ll also factor your niche and geolocation to refine the results. And, target the right individuals.
How do you find keywords? Try:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs or SEMRush
- Your own analytics
- High-performing competitors
You’ll then use these keywords to refine webpages and content.
2.2: On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization builds the foundation of your website. It optimizes each page to increase its search relevancy and placement. You’ll take keywords and apply them to the relevant pages in the important areas.
Apply relevant, targeted keywords to:
- Meta Description
- Page URL
- Page Header (H1)
- Page Subheadings (H2 – H6)
- Internal links
Don’t overload it, though. Use natural language when filling in the webpage. Yet, do remember to place page-specific keywords in the relevant areas. Do so and Google will get a better understanding of what the page is about.
Need help with on-page optimization? Get the details you need and help to do it Here: on-Page services.
2.3: User Experience Optimization
The user experience is how people interact with the site. A clunky, difficult site will make people back out and seek their needs elsewhere. use website speed and conversion rate optimization services to help you do that.
Your goal is to make the website experience seamless:
- Easy-to-use navigation
- Structure content for skimming and F-shaped patterns
- Contrasting to draw attention to important elements
- Contact points and trust signals
Use heatmap tools to examine how users interact with the site. Then, remove elements causing friction while refining what works. In doing this, you’ll improve the experience and conversion rates.
Phase 3: Content Marketing
People come to your website for information and solutions. Content is the vehicle for delivering these two. Follow along as you research, plan, and execute your content efforts.
3.1: Topic Research
You’re welcome to write about any topic passing your mind. But, the best content is that which satisfies visitors wants and needs. That’s why you’ll use keyword research tools to get a firm understanding of what your niche seeks.
- Go to Google’s Keyword Planner tool
- Search for a relevant keyword in your niche
- Compare the search volume, competition, and CPC
Compile a mix of topics based on these keywords.
Other topic creation methods include:
- Following trending discussions
- Expanding on what competitors cover
- Polling your audience and community
- Pulling data from your site analytics
- Answering questions asked by customers
Qualify the topics based on whether they’re made for:
Settle on a mix of topics to bring people in through search and social.
3.2: Content Planning
There are two camps to content production:
- Creating pieces as often as they can
- Curating and going for in-depth pieces
You’ll want to create a content plan, either way. This dictates which topics get covered and when they’re published. Plus, how you’ll support said pieces before moving onto the next.
Here’s a sample production plan:
- 1 – 3 weekly short pieces (500 words)
- 1 monthly in-depth article (1,500 to 2,000+ words)
- 1 quarterly lead magnet (like an eBook)
Also, factor how each piece plays into another so you can link between them. Or, keep a theme that will define your brand and capitalize on trends.
Compile everything into Google Docs for easy sharing between team members. Or, use AirTable to organize the content spreadsheet and resource database.
3.3: Content Creation
Now’s the time to produce content — there are many ways to do this:
- Curate and share thoughts about a topic
- You or employees craft pieces
- Hiring content creators
Try a combination!
Keep the in-depth, industry-defining pieces in-house as you know your topic best. But, use freelance writers to fill content gaps as you see fit.
- Use different forms like audio or video
- Include graphics, images, and interactive media
- Make pieces easy-to-scan and include call-to-actions
Your first few pieces will likely appear amateurish. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it the more you make content production a regular practice!
Phase 4: Email Marketing
A newsletter provides greater access to your community. With it, you’re no longer confined to search, social, and advertising. This section explains how to set up an email marketing funnel.
4.1: Newsletter Setup
You’ll set up an email newsletter using one of the following:
Once set up, you’ll embed the opt-in form from their platform onto yours.
Place the opt-in form onto your sidebar for starters. You could also place the form in or under content. Or, as a popup when people visit the site.
You’ll also want to fill in the basic, intro email with information like:
- A welcome message
- What subscribers can expect
- Links to valuable resources
You can now send emails to subscribers!
4.2: Email Funnels
Email marketing becomes advanced when you create funnels. These direct subscribers on a specific path — usually toward a sale.
An example campaign includes:
- Email #1: Welcome
- Email #2: MVP content
- Email #3: Product review
- Email #4: Content
- Email #5a: Pitch
- Email #5b: Follow-up pitch
Attract people to funnels by offering something free like an ebook or worksheet. As you build trust, through content, you can later include sales pitches. Coupons and discounts are other alternatives to spur sales.
4.3: Email Blasts
An email “blast” are one-off emails sent to subscribers — including:
- Product/service releases
- Security updates
- Single promotions
- Joint venture campaigns
Reserve email blasts when you have something truly exciting to share.
Try to build your email following the same as you do your brand. Deliver great information and solutions. Dedication and value will offer higher clicks and clickthroughs with each blast.
Phase 5: Social Media Marketing
Social media provides a platform to share content and connect with your audience. Yet, it’s not as simple as creating an account and blasting links. Use this section to get an ROI for your social media use.
Begin using social media not for sales but for outreach. As in connecting with your audience and industry influencers. Why? Because it’s easier building a brand through association than from the ground-up.
Find your niche community:
- Link personal contacts
- Include social links on your site
- Reach out and connect
One good mention can kickstart your social media. So, work with peers and those you know to get your foot in the door (so to speak).
Hootsuite is the industry-standard social media tool. Use these tools to streamline outreach and conversation tracking.
5.2: Community Building
A passionate community will buy through social media. But, to build one you need to offer helpfulness. And, create trust with social media users.
- Create accounts for customer service reps to answer inquiries
- Take part in trending industry topics and discussions
- Share and curate great content people would find helpful
Stay active on the platform and be yourself, speak your mind. People flock to authenticity, especially in niche communities. Likewise, don’t use the platforms to spam and bombard followers — actually engage!
5.3: Social Sales
Treat social media like your customer list — with care:
- Share business and product updates
- Highlight your best customers
- Reward social media participation
- Share exclusive offers and deals
- Answer community questions
Don’t have time for social media? Consider social media management services.
In all, treat social as you would friends and family. Don’t become too pushy with sales and reserve them for when people show interest.
Phase 6: Online Advertising
You’ve got to spend money to compete on a higher level. Fortunately, there are many options to explore online advertising. This section provides a framework for reaching people through paid campaigns.
6.1: Pay-Per-Click Ads
PPC ads let you cut through the noise that is organic search and social. How? By paying for placement based on keywords.
Where can you advertise online? Try:
Here’s a shortcut:
- Search for your product or service in Google
- Note the competitors advertising in that space
- Remix their wording, unique to your brand and offer
- Fund the account and run an ad campaign
- Track and optimize by doubling down on high performing ads
You’ll also want to split test ads. This pits two variants against another, with the winner becoming the new standard. Google offers A/B testing in their Ads platform, so definitely check it out!
6.2: Sponsorships and Influencers
Like social media, you can reach your audience through who they trust and follow. This is often done through sponsorships. Or, working directly with influencers and getting a shout-out for your business.
- Visit SocialBlade
- Make a list of influential people in your niche/industry
- Build a rapport and relationship with the person
- Pitch a sponsorship or mention idea
- Pay their rate and deliver the ad copy/creative
Don’t only go for big names, either. Smaller influencers are inexpensive but still have strong, passionate communities.
6.3: Conversion Optimization and Growth
Finally, take everything you’ve done and make it better:-
- Look over your analytics and discover new content ideas
- Find who’s responsive to your social shares and build better connections
- Test new campaigns and optimize them through split testing
Tweaks to your pricing, images, headlines, and the like make a big impact. Use the extra funds to reinvest in your business via tools. Or, outsource areas to experts so you can focus on the tasks you enjoy.
Your Next Internet Marketing Efforts
You now have a good strategic overview of Internet Marketing and how to use it to grow your business.
How long does it take to see results? That depends on your commitment.
It takes hard work, experience, and creative thinking to succeed in any niche. Internet Marketing is sure to fill the gap. Follow this guide and you’ll find yourself well on the way to success.
If you’d want to have experts do it all at a fraction of doing it in-house or want help fill in the gaps, then have a look at Brandlume’s world-renowned digital marketing services.
We offer an all-in-one shop for all digital marketing, Branding and website development needs. And, we simplify the process through up-front pricing and no long-term contracts. Pick services needed to fill your marketing gaps, give us your guidelines, and we’ll get right to work on helping you succeed online, hassle-free.
Your success is our success.
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