Online marketing has brought the world market to within the means of even the smallest business. However, the enormous size of the Internet market and the number of marketing options can seem overwhelming to a business just starting its first online marketing campaign. Before you begin, take a few minutes to consider the following online marketing tips:
1. Create an Online Brand
Before you start blogging, sharing, adding content, or otherwise engaging potential customers, sit down and outline how you want to present your company, product, or service. Once you’ve created that “online brand,” be consistent in all of your marketing efforts.
2. Embrace Social Marketing
If you’re not using social media to market your products or services, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Facebook alone has more than one billion registered users. But Facebook isn’t the only social media site. There are currently more than 400 such sites, and more are being created all the time. Seek out a site that fits your industry or product and take advantage of growing social media formats and new audiences.
3. Stay at It
Online marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Successful marketing campaigns require regular, repeated effort. You can’t just create a website or post a few articles and step away. Zen and the Art of Online Marketing hasn’t been written yet, but a calm and collected marketer that develops a long-haul strategy will discover the best results.
4. Promote Your Knowledge
One of the most successful ways to soft-sell your product or service is to promote yourself as an industry expert. By offering interesting, valuable content, your readers will feel that they can trust you and will turn to you when they need your product, even if they don’t need it right now.
5. Learn SEO Basics
Even the best online marketing content is worthless if no one sees it. Search engine optimization (SEO) forms the art and science of getting your website and your content to the front page of Google (or other search engine) search results. While the specifics of how to do this are worthy of another article (or e-book), take some time to research SEO best practices before you begin your campaign. Ilya Pozin’s article in Forbes.com lists learning SEO basics as one of the top things you can do to boost your online marketing effort.
Blogging is another way to indirectly promote your product while creating your image as an expert in your field. However, make sure to post regularly (at least three times a week) and respond in a timely manner to any comments. Blogging also meshes perfectly with the SEO basics you’ve hopefully figured out by now.
7. Quality Content Rules
Content is king…and always will be. There are no shortcuts to good, interesting content that engages the reader. Check other publications and trade magazines in your field and develop content suited to your market. Entertaining and informative content is the key to an engaged and attentive customer-base.
8. Mix up the Media
Don’t just write and write and write and expect your readers to stay interested. Be sure to add things like images, videos, and polls to your pages to keep your readers from clicking away from your site.
Online marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. It does, however, need to be targeted and focused. It also requires full-time effort. Combine those three aspects for long-term success.
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Adam on Twitter: @thebizguy