The internet has been in the average consumer’s household for about two decades and has become an integral part of the buying experience for many of those people. Internet marketing has been going on for as long as the World Wide Web has been available, and while there are some techniques from the past that are still in use today, there are even better things waiting in the future.
In the Beginning
The internet became prominent in households across the US and other parts of the world in the mid-1990s. While there were some households that had access before then, this is when things really started to take off. Back then, online marketing was limited by the speeds and technologies that were available. Search engines certainly existed, but their capabilities were also limited. What’s more, the internet wasn’t quite as diverse as it is today. In those days, only big companies and corporations had websites as we know them today since they were expensive to launch and maintain. The need for things like search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising existed, but not to a large extent.
As time went on, companies began to realize a great deal of success from their online marketing ventures. As word of that success grew and technologies became cheaper and easier to understand, small businesses and even sole proprietorships began to launch their own websites in hopes of capitalizing on the growing demographic. However, this had a huge impact on things. Business owners needed new strategies to make their brands stand out. Things like search engine optimization, blogs and social media sites became increasingly important to business owners, and the rules that govern the ways in which these marketing tools work grew more complex.
Internet Marketing Today
These days, trends in internet marketing are fairly similar to those used two decades ago. People still use search engine optimization to ensure that their websites are found by consumers, but with all of the complexity of the indexing software, it is more and more difficult to get that coveted first-page ranking. Pay-per-click advertising is still prominent, too. One of the newest trends in marketing is the use of blogs and social media; business owners can engage with existing and potential customers in a way that is personal and appealing to them. Getting a blog post to go “viral” in a positive manner is a pathway to success.
What to Expect
In today’s society, people are all about getting things done as efficiently and as effectively as possible. As such, business owners can rest assured that new technologies will allow for new types of internet campaigning. Because people want immediate access to the products and services they want, retailers should be prepared for an influx of huge websites that act much like databases. They will allow consumers to search for things using high-tech filters based upon product types, price points, location, overall ratings, and more.
Making it Work for You
When it comes right down to it, the future of your business depends on how well you can represent yourself to the online community. According to Statista.com, a world leader in providing accurate statistics, there are 196.6 million people in the US alone who regularly shop online. By 2018, that number is expected to climb to a whopping 215.1 million. Your goal is to make your brand stand out by any means possible to reach as many of those people as possible. Combining informative search engine optimized articles, targeted reviews, thoughtful and insightful blog posts, regular social media updates, press releases and even mobile applications will allow you to do just that.
If there are older methods of internet marketing with which you feel comfortable that are turning a profit for your business, then there is no reason to abandon them. However, remember that you will likely have to roll with the times as technologies change. Don’t close yourself off to new advertising ideas, either – some of them could change the way people around the world buy products and services forever.