If you’re not actively marketing your business online in 2018, then you’re leaving money on the table.
But here’s the problem: online marketing can seem quite daunting and complicated. This can deter even the most focused of entrepreneurs from ever implementing an online marketing plan.
That’s why the goal of this article is to dissect internet marketing into its most basic strategies. Then simplify those strategies for the business owner or marketer who hasn’t quite wrapped his or her head around them yet.
I tried only to include “timeless” strategies (i.e. strategies that work and will likely continue to work in the future) so you don’t waste your time learning about little hacks that will quickly die off.
You’ll also notice that there are seven overarching strategies. Then below each strategy, there are various tactics related to that strategy.
Content is the backbone of the internet. If you think about it, nearly everything you view online is content (e.g. videos, articles, blog posts, infographics, etc.) of some kind.
Here’s Google’s definition of content marketing:
A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Content marketing is arguably one of the most important internet marketing strategies because, without it, many other strategies wouldn’t exist (or wouldn’t be effective).
Here are two primary reasons why content—and marketing that content—is beneficial for nearly all businesses:
Content educates potential customers about your product or service. Why would someone pay you for something if they don’t know what they are purchasing? This is the void content fills.
Content provides an opportunity for you or your business to be a thought leader in your industry. Being a thought leader results in excellent brand exposure and can open up many doors in your specific space.
Below you will find quick summaries of the major content marketing tactics and then links to resources for further reading.
Having an industry blog and company newsletter can be very helpful in connecting with current and potential customers.
The Ahrefs Blog is an example of an industry‐specific blog, the ultimate aim of which is to entice visitors into purchasing (or at least trying) the Ahrefs’ software suite. We do this by showing how helpful it is for marketers.
The Ahrefs Product Blog is an example of a blog that covers company and product specific news aimed at informing and communicating with current customers.
Ahrefs Product Blog
How to Start a WordPress Blog in Five Minutes: Step by Step
The Non-Writer’s Guide To Creating “BIG” Blog Content
Outsourcing Content: Tips, Tricks and Workflows That We Use at Ahrefs
2. “Linkbait” creation (and promotion)
‘Linkbait’ is content that’s specifically formulated to attract links. It’s something so cool, valuable and unique that (given the opportunity) any industry blogger/influencer would be hard‐pressed not to link to it. These links then help to improve the site’s rankings in search engines.
Joshua Hardwick, Head of Content ahrefs.com
It can be pretty much any form of content (e.g. video, infographic, blog post, long‐form guide, SlideShare, etc.), but, as mentioned above, the primary aim is always to attract backlinks.
Why? Because attracting inbound links will:
Drive referral traffic to your website (from the linking site).
Help improve rankings. This, in turn, will lead to more traffic to your website via organic search.
An example of a linkable asset on the Ahrefs blog is our post on How Long It Takes To Rank In Google.
Look how many backlinks this post generated!
Ahrefs Linkable Asset That Generate Over 1000 Backlinks
How to Create Linkable Assets Without the Content Commitment
Deconstructing Linkbait: How to Create Content That Attracts Backlinks
The Visual Format You Should be Using for Link Building (No, It’s NOT Infographics)
How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It)
Creating Content That Generates Links Like Crazy
3. Guest posting
Guest blogging (or posting) is the act of publishing content on another website.
Here are a few reasons why you should guest post:
It can drive referral traffic to your site;
You can link from the guest post to a relevant piece of content on your site;
Guest posting can help you build relationships in your niche or industry;
Excellent brand exposure (if you pick the right sites).
Email marketing is super powerful because it is a direct channel of communication between your business and current and potential customers.
It starts by somehow acquiring your customer or potential customers email address. But then you have to figure out exactly how to market to everyone on your list…without spamming them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Here is Google’s definition of search engine optimization (SEO):
The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
If you want organic search traffic to your website, you need to optimize for search. SEO can seem complicated and confusing, but the basics are easy enough to learn, or you can also get help from sites as https://the-indexer.com/digital-marketing-agencies/ that are experts on this.
If you want to establish a firm understanding of SEO, check out this article. Otherwise, below are the core concepts of search engine optimization
Nice work getting through that!
This list of internet marketing strategies is by no means comprehensive but should have educated you on some of the more timeless ones.
When executed correctly, the strategies listed throughout this post really work. And should continue to work.
The one caveat is that online marketing is constantly morphing and evolving. Nobody knows with a 100% certainty what strategies will be working ten years from now.
All you can do is constantly educate yourself so that you know what’s working now, and be aware of what’s on the horizon.
Write your favorite internet marketing strategy in the comments! I’m curious to see where the Ahrefs community is seeing their best results.