Internet Marketing 101

 

Crafting a good campaign

Marketing online, like all other forms of marketing, requires careful planning with an emphasis on ROI. A marketing strategy must be formulated from the ground up to achieve maximum effect at a minimal cost. In a successful marketing strategy there can be little room for trial and error.

Target marketing vs. Shotgun marketing

Targeted search engine marketing

Targeted passive marketing

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing have provided marketers with the most powerful targeted marketing tools ever devised. Search engine marketing provides a better quality response than any other form of marketing in existence.

The idea is simple. Every day people are utilizing search engines, looking for products and services. When a business maintains strong search engine rankings for important product and service related key terms, prospective customers can quickly and easily find and purchase those products and services. The prospect is not inundated with irritating and invasive direct marketing materials which he or she long ago developed a reflex to disregard. The result is a 100% positive feedback and an extremely high sales closing rate.

Shotgun direct marketing

Shotgun marketing techniques, such as unsolicited direct email marketing (SPAM), can have disastrous consequences. In a best case scenario, the effort is massive and the response is poor. In a worst case scenario, the response can be overwhelmingly negative, even damaging to the company brand. Methods like these should be avoided at all costs. As it stands today, consumers have developed a reflex for ignoring this type of marketing, rendering these techniques virtually useless.

Designing and building the marketing platform

Before crafting an internet marketing campaign a business needs a good marketing platform for which to direct the marketing effort.

Domain names and web hosting

Building a great brand name requires careful selection of a marketable domain name, and depending upon the product or service, selection of the registrar (domain provider) may also be of vital importance. Meanwhile, hosting your marketing platform with a reliable web hosting company can allow you to keep the doors of your business open 24 hours per day.

Content management systems (CMS)

Selecting a robust content management system or CMS is of great importance to the marketing effort. The content of your internet marketing platform will require regular updates. A good CMS can make regularly performing content updates an easy and even enjoyable task. Investing in an overly complicated and/or slow CMS places a burden on the website administrator, assuring that content will eventually become stale and outdated. Additionally, search engine optimization is easier and better on some CMS platforms than others. The type of content should also play a role in determining the best CMS for the job.

Tracking the marketing effort

Tracking visitors

We cannot know what works, and what does not, if we do not remember exactly what we did, and exactly when we did it. Therefore, to insure the success of our internet marketing strategy, every activity of that strategy, including the back link building campaign, must be recorded in detail with date and time.

The marketing platform must include an integrated visitor tracking system to measure and analyze the effects of the marketing effort. Visitor tracking gives the marketer an insider’s perspective into the thought patterns of search engine referred visitors.

In combination, the two forms of tracking allow the marketer to compare and analyze the effects of the marketing strategies, both past and present. These tools give the internet marketer powerful insights into a marketing campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, which can drastically alter important short and long-term marketing decisions, and allow for highly effective tactical adjustments and improvements, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of the ongoing marketing effort.

Customer service

Word-of-Mouth

At the end of the day, all marketing is wasted if customer service fails. Long hold times on the telephone, and/or inferior treatment of customers with very small orders is inexcusable. A small customer today can convert into a substantial customer tomorrow, and even if he or she never makes a larger commitment, the customer may provide an invaluable word-of-mouth reference.

Don’t Hide!

A business should never make the mistake of hiding from its customers and prospects. Company contact information should be prominently display on the internet marketing platform.

The customer is ALWAYS right!

Reputation is a vital component of a successful marketing effort. In the event that a customer is treated poorly, the customer may provide damaging references or even post extremely visible complaints on the internet, damaging the company brand and reducing the effectiveness of future marketing efforts. Remember, the customer is ALWAYS right.

No excuses!

Marketing requires careful planning. Operating a business without a solid marketing strategy guarantees failure. Remember, as a business owner you are the captain of your own ship, so the buck stops with you. Since excuses won’t pay your bills, failure is NOT an option!

Putting it all together

Formulating a logical strategy and carefully executing and tracking every aspect of that strategy can lead to incredible marketing success. Building a website that is a robust marketing platform, implementing a carefully thought out, targeted internet marketing plan, recording and tracking every aspect of the marketing effort, and providing top notch customer service is a solid tried and true strategy that, when applied to a profitable business model, is a winning formula for online success.