Last week, an article appeared at Marketing Land that really showcased the value of internet marketing in today’s business landscape. The article explained that according to the latest statistics, digital advertising now accounts for more than half of all advertising sales throughout the United States.

This goes to show that internet marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses of virtually every type, regardless of the traditional means by which they have reached existing and prospective customers. Furthermore, it speaks to the power that an online marketing agency can wield for its clients. But it doesn’t even tell the whole story.

The fact of the matter is that online marketing probably crossed the halfway point for de facto advertising sales long ago. This is because the relevant statistics do not account for all of the other ways in which an online marketing agency can reach customers as part of a wholly integrated strategy.

Ads on Google and specific web pages are certainly part of that strategy, and this is the part that shows up in standard calculations of sales figures. But there is a laundry list of other services that a good internet marketing company might provide, which includes e-mail marketing, social media outreach, affiliate marketing, solicitation of product reviews, and so on.

Very little of this is likely to register as advertising sales per se, but it is all part of what your marketing budget pays for when you partner with the right internet marketing firm. And while the total cost of those services is almost certain to pale in comparison to an equivalent focus on traditional and online ad-buys, you may find that the value of such an integrated strategy far outweighs anything you could have expected to attain just a few years ago.

The field of internet marketing is constantly growing more complex, but it is also growing more sophisticated and refined. On the one hand, this means it can be increasingly difficult to keep track of output and directly compare your own influence to that of your competitors. But on the other hand, it means that when your internet marketing company hits upon the right combination of services, your marketing strategy will pay dividends that simple ad-buys never could.

What’s more, there’s a good chance that these returns will continue to grow over time, as long as the relevant internet marketing professionals keep a close eye on their analytics and let their own strategies evolve along with a client’s target audience.

After all, reaching the same person with a traditional advertisement is like seeing lightning strike in the same place twice. But when your outreach to that customer comprises outreach via other channels such as social media, your online marketing strategy is something much more than mere advertising. It is more akin to building a community around your company and all its loyal fans.