The 10-Step Plan to Successful Internet Marketing

Internet marketing has grown tremendously over the last few years.  The sheer number of businesses joining the bandwagon of established businesses is a testimony of the enormous income potential of internet ventures.  Though innumerable opportunities abound online, it takes more effort and resources to succeed with internet marketing.  In the next section, we shall look at some powerful tips that can help you harness the full power of internet marketing to grow your business.

1) Know Your Niche

Since internet marketing is a really broad field, it is is important for you to know who your customers are and what they want. Many companies conduct consumer and market research so that they can understand the mindset, preferences, and buying patterns of their target buyers. As an entrepreneur or business person, you have to target a specific market/audience ( niche) not to all and sundry. This will be reflected in the choice of keywords that you will use in your SEO & SEM campaign.

2) Create an Internet Marketing Plan

An internet marketing plan informs all your decision and activities at every stage of the way. It also helps you develop and implement sound strategies and evaluate the outcome or the results of your activities. Your internet marketing plan should highlight all measurable objectives and goals and establish milestones for your marketing activities. Most importantly, you should integrate your internet marketing business plan with the company’s existing business plan and ensure it is in harmony with the medium and long term business goals.

3) Know Your Competitors

The proliferation of online based businesses and advancement in marketing technologies has made internet marketing highly competitive. The sheer number of well-established businesses online presents a challenge to market entrants. If you want to grow your business and remain on top of your internet marketing niche, then you have to know your competitors particularly their respective strengths and weaknesses.  To know your competitors, you have to conduct market intelligence and analyze information about your competitors products, services, pricing, consumer policy, and value proposition. When you have all this details at hand,  you will be in a good position to make an informed decision and to execute a powerful sales and marketing campaign.

4) Create a Professional Website and Optimize it

Your business website is your entry point to the world of internet marketing. It is the first thing that visitors and consumers see (before they even know you at a personal level). Your website should reflect your company values and provide adequate answers to new customers so that they can make quick decisions.   To make your site useful, you have to include important sections such as FAQs, e-mail and chat support functions, and if necessary, a ticket system. The important thing here is to create and maintain a professional image of your company.

5) Carry Out SEO and SEM

For increased visibility, you have to carry out on-page and off-page SEO.  Make sure that you use targeted keywords in your pages and posts to increase your search engine rankings. You should also bolster your SEM campaigns with relevant forms of Advertising Internet Marketing  such as PPC ad campaigns, webinars, and podcasts.  To fire up your SEO and get good rankings, consult an internet marketing services company to help you manage your SEO & SEM campaigns.

6) Make Use of Social Media

Without a doubt, social media marketing is a fast-growing facet of internet marketing. It  has the potential to generate enormous sales and  revenue for qny business. The power of social media marketing tools lie in the universal appeal and the massive exposure they give a business. Before you jump into the social media bandwagon, you should take time to know your market demography and the right social media channels for reaching your audience.  Once you know your audience, you should create corporate  profile pages and social media accounts for your business in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and use them to engage existing and new followers.

7) Embrace Email Marketing

E-mail  marketing is an integral component of today’s internet marketing business strategy.  It is not only inexpensive but also highly effective when used properly. It is much easier to send promotional e-mails to existing customers and prospects than to use direct mail for the same purpose.  There are several e-mail Software as a Service providers (such as Benchmark, Mailchimp, and GetResponse) who provide high end features that guarantee better click through rates and marketing success. If you have not been using e-mail marketing then it is high time that you start using it.

8) Monitor and Analyze Web Data

Apparently, internet marketing has several key metrics that you should analyze from time to time so as to grow your business. These metrics are essential to business growth and sustainability. If you want to grow your business then you have  to monitor and analyze the following things:

  • web traffic sources
  • traffic flow
  •  page views
  • offer response rates
  • ROI
  • brand awareness
  • clickthroughs
  • lead generation/opt-in

These are just some of the key internet marketing metrics that wil help you know how your website is performing and what needs to improved. For a quick start, I recommend Google Analytics which is a powerful tool for measuring, analyzing, and reporting metrics and website performance.

9) Create a Unified and Consistent Brand Message

Your brand is a powerful factor in the sales and marketing process. It can draw customers and make them loyal or “shoo them away”.  Your brand is reflected in several ways from the user-interface of your website,  your responses and even customer care experience, and the way you engage customers or followers in social media.

If your business employs cross channel internet marketing, then you have to create and maintain a unified brand message.  Brand message is not just about what you communicate to your audience, but what your audience and consumers know and experience about you. Make sure that visitors and loyal consumers experience your brand and get satisfaction and see a unified consistent message everywhere.

 10) Watch Your Reputation Online

Reputation management is an integral part of internet marketing that helps you deal with potentially damaging issues in a timely and professional manner. Actually, you cannot grow your brand if your business has a poor reputation. Your reputation is not just about what other people say about your business in social media spaces, but about how you relate with your customers and audience.

Don’t pay too much attention to making money until you forget the concerns of customers and prospects. Make sure that you safeguard consumer privacy and maintain good relations with consumers. Since this is a grey area for many people, it is advisable that you consult or even hire an internet marketing company to develop and implement a good reputation management plan for your business. Remember, when your reputation goes, so does your traffic and sales.

Whether you have been around or trying to get your business online, you need to learn and grasp the fundamentals of internet marketing.   The truth is that the internet has a lot more to offer than traditional marketing. There are also several online marketing tools and internet marketing services that can help you jump start your marketing campaign. If you exploit the full potential of the internet, you can grow your traffic and increase revenue tremendously.

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