While you could definitely pay money to sign up for fancy classes and complete a bunch of worksheets – like you’re back in high school! – there are easier, less costly ways to become an internet marketing champion. Doesn’t matter what size your business or where it’s located – you can drive your own traffic and control your own exposure. Getting other people to notice you online is hard, and getting them to purchase from you is even harder, but with a little skill, a little luck, and a lot of elbow grease, you can make it happen.
Internet Marketing Tip 1: Know Your Audience
A lot of people start off thinking “my product is for everyone! Everyone should want to visit my website!” but we’re sorry to tell you – that’s simply not the case. If you’ve been providing your product or service for a while, take a look at your records and really ask yourself: who is my customer?
Who buys from you? What do they look like? Where else do they shop? What age range are they? What gender are they? Do they own pets? What other brands do they buy – or in other words – what other brands would you like to align your products and services with?
Some of these questions may be very nuanced. You might find that some questions have very specific answers and others don’t apply at all. Overall, what you want to walk away from this exercise with is a thorough understanding of your “target audience” – which is the group that you will be seeking out for your internet marketing.
Internet Marketing Tip 2: Go Where Your Audience Is
Now that you know who is likely to buy your product or service, you need to know where they gather online. Maybe this group of people is the type who still reads the newspaper or certain news blogs or follows certain news channels. Maybe this group is the type who spends a lot of time on a specific social media platform. (BTW – don’t look at “social media” as a singular thing. It’s not. Each platform works very differently from the others and each has its own unique audience with different needs and methods to advertise to them.) Maybe this group is the type who always shops at a certain store in town, in person and never online.
Once you know where your audience hangs out, it’s up to you to figure out a way to get your brand name in front of them in those locations – whether it’s ads, sponsored content, or some well-placed and well-timed live or internet marketing events.
Internet Marketing Tip 3: Create Worthy Content
Before you put anything in front of your potential customers, create a plan. How will you market to them? What are the key points about your product or service that you want them to be aware of? And how to you best convey that to them in the medium where they are?
A social media ad will look very different than a guest blog post – but each can be content that provides a great ROI. You need a skilled copywriter on your team, as well as a graphic artist who can create all the visual elements used in your digital ads. If you’re looking to reach your audience with videos, get the right video people on board as early in the process as possible.
Internet Marketing Tip 4: Schedule, Monitor, Metrics
Internet marketing is rarely a “one and done” scenario. Few companies can throw out a single ad or make a single appearance and see their sales numbers jump. “Going viral” is more rare than we think, based on how often people use the phrase. So, you’ll need to schedule your content releases, monitor the response to them, and analyze them with detailed metrics.
Although the quality of your content must be great, what’s equally as important is the consistency you release content with. In addition, watch the reactions, including shares and comments, to make sure that people are responding positively. Lastly, you’ll want to regularly check over your content’s performance and evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
Internet Marketing Tip 5: Patience and Flexibility
We all want to see results overnight, but it rarely happens. And we all want to say we’ve found the “perfect” strategy, but it doesn’t exist. When approaching your internet marketing, you must be willing to wait for a certain period of time to grow your audience and really connect with your true customer base. And, you must be willing to take feedback and change things when they aren’t headed in the right direction.