It’s amazing to realize that an industry that came into being only a decade ago has grown so vast. Internet marketing came into being shortly after the internet was introduced in the early 90s, and today there’s hardly a business out there that’s not investing in creating a web presence.
1. Internet marketing began by taking advantage of one of the earliest uses of the Internet – Email.
2. As people started using the internet as their main source of information, businesses realized the great potential of the web and began advertising themselves by placing banner ads and the like.
3. Businesses started creating a web presence with company websites and spending marketing money on attracting traffic to them.
4. Search engines became a source of advertising for companies that pay for the publicity.
5. Flashing banners were added to webpages.
6. Google started providing in 2003 a service called Google Adwords, which Internet marketers use to target their ads to people’s wants based on Internet users’ real-time actions on the web.
7. Then came invitational marketing, in which businesses began inviting potential customers to join a mailing list or newsletter.
8. Online customer retention became vital, thus businesses started investing in relational marketing.
9. Search engine optimization is used by businesses that try to get their website as high in search engine rankings as possible. Advertising in forums, blogs and social media became big, as did using target keywords.
10. Social networks have become a major channel of marketing, with ads targeted to specific users based on their online activities. Many businesses have also expanded their web presence to include everything from a Facebook page to a website.
11. The smartphone era is a relatively new challenge. Businesses now optimize their websites for mobile devices and develop phone applications to provide services for customers on the go. Mobile users receive offers based on their preferences and location.
Internet marketing is a volatile industry, with constantly changing rules and tactics. It is exciting, unpredictable and has us all thinking – what will happen next??