Internet marketing is big business and has been for some time now. However, we didn’t just wake up one morning to find internet marketing was there and established. There is actually a very long history that underpins it. And, because Google and other giants continuously change their rules, internet marketing isn’t stagnant, nor does it have set in stone rules. Let’s take a look at the long and fascinating history of internet marketing.
Email and the Start of Internet Marketing
The first thing that happened was the development of email. This was, we thought really cool and we were highly impressed with what collecting email addresses could make us do.
Just over ten years ago we still thought it was pretty cool marketing to have a site that could also collect the email addresses and contact details of users. We sent newsletters to our customers and prospects with great effect.
In those days, being able to get somebody’s email address was like striking gold. Of course, since then, we have become able to purchase entire lists and collecting emails from our own website has gone on the back burner a little bit. Word of warning, however, don’t forget how important it is to collect email addresses from your customers through your own website. Get these and you know straight away that they are interested in your product or service.
For a short period of time (short in the grand scheme of things), we had flash marketing, banners and pop up ads. However, this didn’t last long. Although people were initially impressed with funny moving gifs and pop ups that showed interesting pages, they quickly got sick of them and the internet allowed them to switch them off.
As interactive features were added to web pages, consumers were given the option of turning off marketing messages at will…and they did. Then entered the age of education based invitational marketing*, which crystallized with the creation of web 2.0 technology. Suddenly, billions of “voices” began to rise all over the world, as the internet marketplace became as much a global community as it was an advertising medium.
This was the birth of what is now known as “relationship marketing”, meaning that we try to build personal relationships with our customers. This is where you should remember the importance of getting their email address through your website – this is their way of saying that they want you to communicate with them and build a relationship with them. Nurture that and use that properly.
Some Facts about Internet Marketing
At present, we are still in the relational marketing phase and it is believed that rather than changing, this phase will simply grow. There will be, and have been, new ways to develop these relationships. For instance, more and more websites now use live chat functions on their sites, allowing for direct communication between businesses and their customers. Hence, the issue now is about how to get more relationships, how to open up those lines of communications. And, of course, there are loads of tactics to use here.
One of these tactics is to get more Twitter followers without it costing anything.
Search ranking is shifting to social signals. More than ever, it serves me well to get the best out of Twitter and get more Twitter followers. This also goes for the other social networks.
This demonstrates the importance of dealing with social media. With Twitter in particular, it is about making it a game. A game of who can get the most followers. Be inspired by the Pied Piper, leading the rats out of the city by following his music for instance. Keep the game up and focus on getting those additional followers by showering them with information and direct communication.
Internet Marketing Facts
To help you in your own quest towards fantastic internet marketing, you should get to grips with what internet marketing actually is. The history is pretty clear, the importance of social media is very clear, but what other facts are there to know? It is interesting to know little titbits of information, not in the least because you can use these to make your customers more interested in what you have to say. For instance, why not tell them next to the part where you ask for their email address that the first @ sign was used in the early 70s, and that the sign demonstrates that you are sending a piece of information to a person rather than a machine? This is a lovely way of telling your customers that you consider them people rather than profits.
This is another interesting little fact that shows your customers you care, but also how effective email actually is. By the way, that very first email that was sent with an “@” sign in 1971 was sent from one computer to the one right next to it!
You may have noticed by now what the common thread in internet marketing is, which is email. Email is your strongest allay and this is why you should put so much effort into getting your email campaign right. Gathering email addresses, therefore, should be your next concern and you have to make sure that the emails that you do send out are well received and not marked as spam. There is a lot to learn, and a lot of the information you have to learn about comes from the history of internet marketing. Take the time to read up on this and check what has worked in the past and what hasn’t worked as well. Learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t have to make the same failures yourself. Your goal should be to build up a line of communication between you and your customers, so use all the tools at your disposal to achieve this.