The online sales industry has grown substantially over the last decade and with this growth the way in which marketing is carried out has also changed. Internet marketing is witnessing a massive growth versus more traditional forms of marketing such as print advertising.
In response to this growth thousands of internet marketing companies have sprung up offering a variety of internet marketing services to companies who trade both online and offline. For businesses this can be quite confusing as they may be bombarded daily with different companies offering their services. Deciding which online marketing company is best for their needs can be tricky. In order to choose the best it is important to take the following factors into consideration.
There are literally thousands of companies and therefore it is a really competitive industry. Shop around to make sure that you get the most of your money and also the online marketing company with the best service offered.
Know Your Needs
Your business will have needs which are very specific to yourselves. For instance you may not actually have an online sales portal but rather wish to utilize online marketing in order to attract customers to your actual retail location. Alternatively you may be an area-specific company who wishes to sell a service within a particular geographical location. It is important that you work out your online marketing needs as a business before you approach an internet marketing company or you may end up with an online marketing campaign which does not really reflect the needs of your business.
Strategic Online Marketing Strategy
There are many different elements to internet marketing and therefore it is important that you choose an internet marketing company which is able to develop a strategic, tailored marketing plan for your individual needs. If they just seem to mention random elements of online marketing without any underpinning strategy it is probably best to find another company. Often companies may know the basics of online marketing but have not really developed a strategic approach. Online marketing is still like traditional marketing in that it is important to work out a plan rather than ad hoc marketing campaigns which ultimately fall short of the mark.
Industry Specific Experience
Your company may have industry specific needs which will be best served by an internet marketing company with experience of the industry. For example the online travel industry is extremely competitive and therefore a company with experience in this niche will already understand the market and therefore help you to work out an online marketing campaign tailored to this market.
No matter what you are purchasing it is always a good idea to verify the customer testimonials that a business offers. If the company has a proven track record of quality results it will be more than happy to offer contact or website details of other customers in order for you to seek references.
Open and Honest
Internet marketing is an industry in itself full of jargon and acronyms. Make sure that the internet marketing company that you select is clear about what exactly it plans to do and does not bombard you with vague concepts with which you are unfamiliar. The only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask so if in any doubt ask questions about what the company is offering. If they are legitimate they will be more than happy to answer.
Internet marketing is an excellent tool to further your business but make sure that you employ the correct online marketing company or it could end up being a waste of time and money.
Whether you own a local brick and mortar business or an online company, you’ll want to use the Internet to promote your products and services. The online community is a vast goldmine of potential consumers who log in each day to search for every good and service you could imagine. If you have a product or service, there’s a market for it online. Tapping into that world-wide reservoir of customers is a must if you want your business to not only succeed, but thrive. While word of mouth and certain offline advertising can be great revenue generators for your business, it is important that you implement an online marketing strategy and get it working for you and your business.
Just like any other task involved in the promotion of a business, you’ll need to come up with a solid, effective online marketing strategy, to ensure the best possible outcome – in this case, boosting your customer base, and therefore your business revenue. This doesn’t need to be rocket science, you just need to outline the steps you are going to take to promote your business online.
Promoting Your Business
The most important goal in an online marketing strategy is getting consumers to view your webpage; they can’t buy what they can’t see. This isn’t something that can be left to chance, as there are literally millions of websites online for customers to browse. You’ll need to find a way to direct these consumers to your website, via any number of effective tactics, such as search engines, email marketing, pay per click advertising, social media etc. That way, any time an online consumer is looking for something you provide, you’ll have a that much more of a chance of being their primary choice. Whatever your product or service, you want your business to be known as the market leader. The main factor to ensure in promoting your business is that you’re targeting the right market; if you sell antiques, don’t target a dog training market. While that is an extreme example, the principal still applies.
Where to Promote Your Business
There are many places where you can implement your online marketing strategy; from social media to local business directories, you’ll find that the sky is the limit. All that’s needed is finding the right market and you’re set.
- Search Engine Optimisation
One of the most common ways to get your site on the first page of major search engine results is through SEO. Find keywords that people are typing in online and target your website around these. Search Engine Optimisation is a very profitable strategy and should be used by most business owners.
- Social Media
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offer extensive opportunities for online marketing. These sites have millions of members who visit their pages daily; having your business listed on here would guarantee consumer traffic to your website. Just remember though, social media is about engaging and not selling, so make sure that you build up a relationship with your potential market when you start using social media.
Banners are viewed daily across the web; find websites in your particular niche and place your ads within these pages. This is an under utilised tactic that can be very profitable for your business if you engage with the right audience.
Blogging on a website like blogger.com is an extremely effective means of marketing your business, especially within niche related blogs. For instance, if you’re a cake baker and you write a daily blog describing a new type of cake you baked, or about a design you created, and show pictures within that site, not only are you going to generate a following of people wanting to learn how to do this themselves, you’ll gain a steady base of customers dying to have their next big day celebrated with a cake from you. Blogging not only establishes your name in the world of cakes, it can also provide you a following as a leader in your market.
Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy
The above are just a few examples of where you can promote your website and what you can base your online marketing strategy around.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same location for 50 years; if you’re looking to generate greater exposure, and thereby greater revenue for your business, there is no better place to do so than online. And if you’re looking to market online, you’ll need to find an effective online marketing strategy to ensure your online success.
If you are not using this concept to maximize your profits from your online prospects, your success in online marketing will be limited or take a long time to achieve.
When you started your MLM business opportunity your first goal is to generate leads. After all with no leads, you can’t grow your business. Normally your first target audience is your warm market, family and friends and everyone else not cold. However, once you have exhausted your warm market you need to do something different.
Keep in mind that all leads cost money. Even your efforts offline is time vested and time equals money. Add to that the additional costs for flyers, banners, brochures, etc. A common mistake that most network marketers make is to buy leads. This method is ineffective because:
You Have No Branding or Relationship with Them.
99% of network marketers are in pitch mode. You cannot just pitch people day in and day out and think that they are going to listen to you. They will only “take action” if you can establish a relationship and earn their trust.
So what’s the best answer? Online lead generation is the best step to expand past the warm market. Building a list of leads is simple using various online traffic strategies like solo ads, blogging, video and article marketing. More importantly, this strategy allows you to build a relationship with your online prospects and earn their trust. This is huge factor in having any success in online marketing.
How to Fund Your Marketing Budget
Most network marketers try to cover the cost of marketing out of their own pocket and more often than not eventually go broke. Although building a list costs money, it doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket. The solution is to use Funded Proposal Marketing to cover your marketing dollars by using front end products.
Front End Products (also called affiliate marketing) are by far the most important aspect to your success in online marketing. If you have not achieved the success that you’re looking for in your current MLM business opportunity or online for that matter, it’s because you have not been able to understand and fully implement this idea of front end products.
To get any “call to Action” from your online prospects, you need to establish a relationship. I know I have repeatedly said this but it can’t be overemphasized enough.
The fastest way to build a relationship is to provide your online prospects with valuable information to help them. You can provide value by offering a solution to their problems. People are constantly looking for solutions for their problems. In fact Google keeps track of these problems such as:
- How do I generate leads for my business?
- How do I generate leads online?
- How do I get people to duplicate?
Using these keywords, you can drive online prospects looking for solutions into your sales or marketing funnel. A typical marketing funnel scenario would look something like this.
If 100 online prospects enter your marketing/sales funnel, you might get 2 or 3 people to join your MLM business opportunity. By using front end products that provide value, you can make money from the 97% to 98% that don’t end-up joining your MLM business opportunity right away which is a massive amount of potential income.
The affiliate commissions from these front end products are going to fund your business growth. Keep re-investing this income on marketing to drive even more online prospects to your business and the 2% – 3% joining your MLM business opportunity begins to get larger.
Unless you are wealthy, you can’t build your business unless you can monetize all of the leads flowing through your pipeline already. You’re just kissing away 98% of your potential profits.
Also keep in mind that knowledge is value. You need to constantly increase your value to have any success in online marketing. The amount of money you make will be directly related to how much you know. Money is just a transfer of value. You can’t make millions of dollars without having something you can give in exchange for those dollars. The good news is, there is no limit to the amount of value that you can offer other people. So that means there is no limit to the amount of dollars you can make.
Companies that wish to use online marketing as a tool are faced with the dilemma of choosing options that best fit their long-term revenue and growth plans and also their marketing budgets. There are many overviews that project many strategies recommended by marketing analysts and experts but most successful online marketing campaigns use a minimum of three viable options. This is so because to make a successful online marketing campaign, small and medium to large companies have to be diverse in thinking and persistent in their use of the strategies.
Broad outline of successful online marketing
- A Web presence
Even if a company is not directly marketing any tangible product or service, a web address or a blog site, any form of web home base is very essential as that is the single most efficient and convenient way of getting people to contact you or referring you to friends and associates. Regular articles or post on the blog will create an interactive audience that is eager to participate in interesting discussions and forums online, so it’s a wise move to pick out subjects or topics of relevance and of human interest to keep the interest ratings high.
- Advertising Online
One important aspect of online marketing is not to be taken in by ‘free’ strategies. As has already been said, nothing is totally free, there are strings attached. Some database hosting and customer service sites track IP addresses to track customer profiles and sell the information to bigger corporations that need customer and marketing databases.
However, it is relevant to know and understand in depth what these free online marketing campaigns offer and that takes considerable time, which converts into money. When you look at traditional online marketing or advertising, it takes very little time and can be an effective tool if applied with some planning and thought.
The two cost models are CPC and CPM.
Cost-Per-Click advertising which is payment for the number of timed clicks that every viewer spends on your company advertisement. For instance, if you choose Google AdWords as an online marketing tool, intelligent use of relevant keywords or phrases will ensure that when people use the Google search engine to look for information, the chances of your ad or the catchwords and phrases in your online advertisement appearing in the search results are very high. The proven theory is that people who use Google are more likely to go with the search results that are thrown up.
Cost-Per-Thousand impressions. This online marketing tool allows companies or entities to buy web space to display ad banners on a particular page or site that is popular and likely to get big hits. Payment is made for a certain number of times your ad will be displayed; this method is the one followed by most of the banner advertisements that are displayed on web pages. Similarly, online videos are a great marketing tool especially on sites like YouTube or Facebook that have a great presence.
- Directory Listings
Getting the company listed in a directory website is another great online marketing tool that is relatively inexpensive but provides good value for money. Business directories, local business groups and Chambers of Commerce have websites that list online businesses under relevant industry sector or segment to help business interaction and promote trade. Professional affiliations with industry associations provide excellent online visibility. In addition to these, there are several online networking sites and groups that specialize in the promotion of online marketing.
In online marketing, the key word is “consistency’. As is known, there is no solution or method than can guarantee the quantum of returns or promotion that an online site needs but choosing the best and putting in concentrated and consistent efforts will pay off ultimately in promoting website traffic
Offline marketing is great, but, if a business is to succeed these days, it has to embrace online marketing. It’s the process of promoting a business on the internet. It includes such strategies as email marketing, website design, social media, video marketing and search engine marketing.
Online marketing strategies have affected the business performance of both major brands, along with smaller businesses. So how has it become so powerful?
Your Customers Are Online
Regardless of whether you like it or not, your customers are on the internet. They look for service providers on the internet, they shop on the internet and they look at business websites. If you don’t have an online presence and you’re not doing any online marketing then you’re missing out on connecting with your customers.
Your Competitors Are Online
If your competition is using online marketing and you’re not, then they are probably getting your business. In order to be competitive and to let your audience not know that you exist and why you’re better than your competition, you need to be marketing on the internet.
You Don’t Have To Spend A Fortune
Offline marketing can be costly and takes time to set up. Online marketing is quicker and less expensive. You can promote your business on social media in a very cost effective and targeted manner. You can email your database whenever you want, for free. You can directly target your customers needs and wants with search engine marketing.
It’s Easier To Evaluate And Monitor
Online marketing can be tracked by using analytics that is just not possible with offline marketing. You can create unique pages to drive traffic to and see exactly where, when and what your prospects click on. You can also test and change tactics without increasing your expenses.
There Are Many Strategies
Different online marketing strategies work differently for different businesses and niches. For instance, content marketing is an effective way to deliver useful content to build trust with your target audience. There is no financial cost to content marketing but it does take time. In contrast, an online marketing strategy like pay-per-click advertising where you pay money to reach a certain target audience does cost money, but the results can be almost immediate.
It’s Not Just For Big Business
A small offline business can find it very difficult to compete against the big corporations in traditional offline media. However,a prospective customer can only look at one website at a time and, if you have the right online strategies in place, that website can easily be about your business.
Success in business is mostly about marketing, especially online. Great marketing can sell an average product but poor marketing cannot sell a great product.
The first steps to work yourself through when you have decided to take the step towards online marketing there are a few things you need to think about.
Why do I want to market online? What do I want to market online? What do I know about marketing online?
If the answer is “I don’t know”, today is your lucky day. I will share some of the steps that I have learnt about online marketing through endless testing and tweaking.
Why do you want to market online? Is it to enhance your offline business? Being able to make money without leaving your home?
Online marketing is easier than marketing offline, because online marketing takes care of itself and makes you money on autopilot?
If it’s the last answer you’re in for a big surprise. There is no such thing as Easy or Autopilot in online marketing. Well, sure it is but not in the way many think. Online marketing is simple but not easy. Which means, it takes a lot of work to set it up and you need to be constantly tweaking and testing to maximize your efficiency and profits. I hope I didn’t scare you off now. Online marketing is lots of fun and you could make friends all over the world.
So where do one start when you figured out why?;A specific market. Your Niche. Simple as that.
So, what is a niche and where do I find my market?
Well, there are a lot of places to find that. First of all. You’ll want to target a niche that is actually profitable. What you don’t want is to market a niche where no one is ever buying anything or a niche that pays very low. You want a niche that is in trend so to speak. It is what everyone is talking about and what people are interested in learning, using and purchasing.
Learning online marketing is a big niche with loads of people who are looking for information about it everyday. To find a monetizable niche you will need to look at the trends.
Ever seen the basket ball through the water hose? Anyway, the trends is what people are interested in and what people are buying.
What are people looking for?
What are their main concerns?
When it comes to online marketing these are the most important questions to find an answer to. So you’ll need to do some research. Did i say some. I mean a lot. You could basically say that online marketing is all about market research. If you know what you’re market desires you know what to market to them. If you want to stay ahead in the online marketing game. Keep a journal on your daily activities.
1 year from now, you will have loads and loads of information that you could use. By then your online marketing business will be a lot different and you will have a different view on this. By then you will probably have forgotten what is was like when you wanted to learn online marketing. Why not keep a journal on you questions and utilize it when you decide you need to teach a spouse, friend or a new team member about online marketing.
What was the questions you had back then?
Well, it’s easy for you now. They are what you ask today. So keep them written down as research for a later project and take notes on your struggles, issues and short comings when learning online marketing. Now, this is just to get you started so you could use it in the future.
What about now? Now is when you have your problems. How do you solve them and get going with your online marketing business?
Here it is…
You have a set of certain skills, I’m sure.
Are these skills relevant to marketing and business?
If not, you might want to consider acquiring a set of those skills before throwing yourself into doing business. Whether online or offline. The first thing you should do is to assess your skill tree. A simple mind map could do the trick or just a list with what you know. Rank them on how experienced and good you are at a skill.
Circle the top 3 skills you are most proficient in. Are that very good? Great!
Are they at all profitable or monetizable. Meaning could they make you money (with a little fantasy and imagination) If not, pick the next skill. That’s your main focus to begin with. Now, underline the 3 bottom skills that you’re not very or, at all proficient in but still is in context with your top skills. Those are the skills that you should focus on learning. 1 should be online marketing.
Apply the same rule as with your top skills but with the little tweak, Are they useful and do they enhance your top 3?
Now, you have some skills that you are good at and some that you are going to focus on learning. With time you will have 6 skills that you are very good at.
Go through this article again and apply the steps.
At this point, we’re not sure you have all the information in this topic you need to understand it fully.