While creating a successful marketing campaign has never been easy, the advent of online marketing has simplified the process somewhat, while at the same time putting it directly into the hands of the online marketer. It is our hope that by following these Online Marketing Tips we can simplify the process further, allowing you and your marketing campaign to benefit from these Steps to Success in online marketing.
The Components of Online Marketing
There are three basic components to online marketing: the blog, the website, and the Social Network. A blog allows you to share information, the fundamental purpose of the Internet, while a website allows you to promote your business. Using the Social Network to spread the word among vast numbers of online users has also become fundamental to a successful online marketing campaign. Understanding the effective use of these three components of online marketing will greatly enhance your campaign, while at the same time vastly improving your chances for success.
Your blog is where you can really shine as an individual; sharing your knowledge, experience, and expertise. This is where folks will get to know you and, though this notion frightens some, putting yourself out there is crucial to the success of your online marketing campaign. It almost goes without saying that people prefer buying from someone they know and trust – almost. If they don’t trust you, why should they buy from you? And, if they don’t know you, how can they trust you?
By sharing a bit of yourself, your knowledge, experience, goals, and values, you create an emotional bond with your prospective customer or client. By allowing them to share a bit of your world, through a combination of written content, pictures, even audio and video, they will feel as if they are getting to know you. This can only lead to increased trust. Your blog is the best possible place to do this. You can even begin to interact with individuals here, by encouraging comments, “shares,” and “follows,” which will further increase their trust in you.
Your website, as an extension of your blog, is where your product or service will shine. This is where folks will begin to understand the benefits of doing business with you. Once you’ve generated a personal connection through your blog, as well as building a sense of trust, sharing the benefits of your product or service becomes a natural extension of the new online relationship you’ve created with your prospect. Here is where all the traditional tools of advertising and marketing come into play: text, imagery, audio, and video; with video becoming ever more important.
Your website is the ideal venue in which to explain the features and benefits of your product or service; with great emphasis on the benefits. Just as with traditional advertising and marketing, explaining how your product or service will improve the lives of your prospects is paramount. Do not get caught up in why it’s the best; instead, show them why it’s the best for them. Video is, of course, the ideal medium for showing almost anything, but its best use is for showing your prospect how they will benefit from the use of your product or service. Seeing your product in use; seeing others enjoying the benefits of your service; seeing you demonstrate the usefulness of your product, can only enhance their esteem for what you might do for them. Your website is the perfect platform on which to accomplish this, as virtually all hosting sites offer the ability to embed video in your site.
The Social Network
Using the Social Network, sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the professional networking site LinkedIn, will help to spread your message across the Internet, and the world. The sheer numbers involved dictate your presence here. If you think of your Facebook profile as an extension of your blog and your Facebook Page as an extension of your website, with literally hundreds of millions of possible viewers daily, you begin to understand the importance of the Social Network as another tool in your online marketing strategy. The potential exposure here is awesome, and staggering.
Because Facebook is so popular, with 750 million active users, and because these users love to share information, each of them generating about 90 pieces of fresh content per month, the potential for any single piece of information being shared is mind-blowing. In fact, if just one person shares your information, it has the potential to reach 16,900 people within a couple of days. From there, there is no limit, because every new share increases the possible views of your information by nearly 17,000 users, every other day or so.
The sharing of information on Twitter, known as Tweets, is nearly as popular. These short, 140 character snippets of information have the potential to reach more than half-a-million users several times a day. Further, due to the nature of sharing information on Twitter, the short, to-the-point style, it is ideal for mobile sharing; evidenced by the 182% increase in mobile Tweets in the last year. Putting your information right into the hands of your prospect, even when not in front of a computer, makes it a wonderful resource for promoting your product or service. For business-to-business marketing, the power of LinkedIn is nearly as impressive. While the sheer numbers may not be as staggering, the audience is more narrowly targeted, creating an ideal marketplace for B2B promotion.
The Elements of Online Marketing
As with any marketing campaign, content is king. The use of text to explain yourself, enhanced by imagery to generate a more personal connection; as well as audio and video to promote your business are the four crucial elements of a successful online marketing campaign.
Written content is, always has been – and always will be, the foundation of the online world, including online marketing. Without relevant, timely, well-written text content, online communication becomes virtually impossible. Enhancing your content with imagery, audio, and video is all well and good but, without compelling text, your online marketing campaign is likely to fail. The sharing of information is what the Internet is all about. Without quality written content you will become marginalized at best, and ignored completely at worst.
Seeing you is as important as “hearing” you, i.e., reading what you have to say. By planting an image of you in the minds of your prospect, you enhance the personal connection and sense of trust you’re working so hard to foster. Due to the advances in digital image generation, it is easier than ever to place pictures of yourself, your business, even your satisfied customers on your blog or website. Being shy will get you nowhere. As explained above, promoting yourself, as well as your business, is essential to a successful online marketing campaign. Imagery enhances this.
As another tool for creating an online presence, audio is very inexpensive and offers additional benefits to those who use it properly. Especially when text becomes convoluted or confusing, such as instructional content on product usage for example, audio can bring clarity to your informational offering. Audio is also a great way to share information from other experts in your field. Audio interviews can be done conveniently and inexpensively, and will enhance your reputation as someone who is willing to share important information; regardless of the source.
Video has become nearly as important as text in online communication, especially in online marketing. Video can be used to personalize your relationship with your prospect; to explain complicated product features; to display product or service benefits; as “How to” and tutorial enhancements. In fact, the possibilities for the use of video in online marketing are almost endless. With the advent of inexpensive easy-to-use video editing technologies and online video production sites, as well as the incredible popularity of online video platforms, video is fast becoming the default method of expression.
Using YouTube to promote marketing videos has become nearly as universal as the use of the Social Network; with numbers equally staggering. Beyond sheer numbers however, there is the propensity of YouTube viewers to share the videos they enjoy. This then, is the reason for posting your marketing videos to YouTube. Creative, entertaining videos get shared by millions and the chance that your video might “go viral” is more than enough reason to post there. While online marketing does share many of the same characteristics of traditional advertising, it is the ability to build relationships over time with your prospects which make it so attractive; to say nothing of the convenience factor found in shopping online. By following these Online Marketing Tips, and by remaining faithful to the 7 Steps to Success, you will be able to profit directly from the advantages inherent in this multi-faceted marketing world.