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Learn internet marketing with online courses and programs

The shift to e-commerce has resulted in new opportunities to become an internet marketer. Learn more about how edX can help you learn internet marketing fundamentals and advance your career in this field.

What is internet marketing?

Digital marketing is the use of digital channels for promotion, while internet marketing refers to the array of methods that are exclusively used on the internet.¹ A brand, within the context of marketing, is the means by which products, services, people, ideas, and more can be identified. Someone who masters one or more mediums to generate attention for brands, often with the goal of selling products or services, can be considered a marketing expert.² ³

Some of the mediums marketing professionals use are straightforward. Content marketing uses content like articles to garner attention; social media marketing uses social media platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok to promote brands; and an email marketer relies on emails. Some mediums are less straightforward. Search engine marketing (SEM) focuses on creating websites to rank better on search engine result pages (SERPs), while affiliate marketing refers to professionals who earn a commission if their work leads to the sale of goods or services.

There are also different types of affiliate marketing. For example, influencer marketing leverages individuals with large followings on social media platforms. And, pay-per-click (PPC) uses publishers who partner with search engines and social media platforms to prominently display online advertising at a pay-per-click rate. 

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Why is internet marketing important?

Internet marketing is important because brands are always competing for attention, making it an invaluable tool for success. It can be a great opportunity for people who want a creative pursuit that’s also analytical. Internet marketing plays a significant role in shaping culture, which appeals to marketing professionals who want to do important work. 

The different marketing mediums discussed above are informed by analytics, or metrics used to evaluate performance. Email marketers carefully monitor what subject lines get people to open emails, conducting A/B testing to see which version is more successful. And search engine marketing requires tracking highly searched terms and queries, known as keywords, and integrating them seamlessly in copy throughout a website. In this way, online advertising is as much an art as it is a science. 

Internet marketing course curriculum

Anyone who wants to become an internet marketer can take an internet marketing for beginners course online. A beginner course may cover the basics of content marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and more. However, to become an internet marketing professional, it may be useful to also take more niche classes in topics such as search engine marketing, copywriting, pay-per-click, etc., depending on one's interests. An internet marketing course may end with a graduate certificate.  

Additionally, the analytics employed for each type of online advertising can be studied in an internet marketing tutorial. There are many free marketing courses and tutorials available online to become a marketing expert on the most granular of subjects, like Google ads.  

Jobs in internet marketing

A job in online advertising may include managing one or more types of marketing for a brand. The position may be entry-level, junior, senior, managerial, or that of a director. An internet marketing salary ranges based on experience, title, size of the company, and whether it’s full-time, part-time, contract, or salaried. It's also not uncommon for an online business to have a single marketing expert performing many different functions at once. 

A marketing professional can work in an office, remotely, or a mix of the two. An online business can also be launched from anywhere, making it accessible to many. Those who want to start an online business might want to complete free marketing courses to build their knowledge of internet marketing fundamentals and grow their marketing skills.

Become an internet marketer

A marketing professional may hold a bachelor’s degree in a number of different fields including business, marketing, and communications. There are many master’s degree programs that can be relevant to online advertising as well. Business acumen from a master’s in business administration; writing, editing, and research experience from a master’s in journalism; and a master’s in a technical field like cybersecurity or data science may be useful for those who want to provide technical writing as a content marketer. 

Entry-level positions as an internet marketer can be found on job boards and on the websites of many businesses. Networking too can be important. Professionals can connect on social media platforms or during events, conferences, or classes. 

Professionals looking for a job as an internet marketer will often use their diverse skill sets to market themselves online. An email marketer can craft an email campaign promoting their services; a great writer can use the tools of SEM to promote their content marketing skills; etc.

Given the use of analytics in online advertising, free marketing courses and digital marketing boot camps that provide a graduate certificate can show a hiring manager that one has proficiency in the tools used for search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and more. A graduate certificate can also show a willingness to dedicate time, energy, and resources to developing one’s skills.

Internet marketing FAQ

Common types of marketing include search engine marketing (SEM), affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, content marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and copywriting.

Given the amount of time people spend on the internet, if someone has something they want to promote then internet marketing is indispensable. This can range from a product or service to a political candidate or charitable organization. Internet marketing is also an opportunity to put both creative and analytical skills to use.

Internet marketing does not necessarily require coding, though some jobs may prefer candidates with experience in coding. If a company or project has more complex coding needs, it may be possible to hire a coding expert on a freelance basis.

There is no single best internet marketing strategy. Oftentimes, an online business will use many different types of marketing depending on their needs and budget.

In addition to increasing brand awareness and sales, internet marketing is an opportunity to shape culture. Marketing can be found in many industries and is the subject of much conversation. Being an internet marketer is an opportunity to contribute to and even shape that conversation.

Digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels for the purpose of promotion. Internet marketing is a subset of digital marketing that specifically focuses on using the internet for marketing. So, a digital marketing course may include internet marketing, plus some other marketing techniques like video marketing, etc.