Friday, August 18, 2006
Many marketers have been shifting their marketing budgets to the web over the past few years. Marketing online allows you to target specific audiences and easily track return on investment, commonly referred to as ROI. Unlike traditional marketing methods, results of Internet marketing campaigns are almost immediate. This allows you to better evaluate what elements of your campaign are producing results and which are not. When buying online media, you must be willing to shift your marketing dollars to the online methods that produce a positive return.
To be successful at Internet marketing, you must understand the essential secrets of Internet marketing. These secrets can allow you to achieve success by finding the right audience, communicating your message properly, and leading consumers down the path to purchase. These secrets include:
1. Website Directory Listings. Before you begin any marketing campaign, make sure that the website you're promoting has been listed in the common directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo!, and Google. Even if you're using a marketing page off of the root directory of your website, be sure that the primary site is listed. This ensures that prospects can continue to find your marketing pages long after you've launched your campaign.
2. Generating Traffic. In order to realize a return on your investment, you need to generate traffic to your marketing pages. There are a number of ways to do so online. Some of the most popular include Google AdSense, Overture, and Looksmart. Other methods include affiliate programs and targeted website advertising. Research other websites that have the audience you're looking for and negotiate favorable ad rates for your online marketing campaign.
3. Marketing Pages. Don't lead prospective purchasers to a generic website. If you do, potential buyers won't know what to do next. The easier you make if for prospects to take advantage of your offer, the better. Whenever creating a marketing campaign online, provide a specific page for leading purchasers to your product or service or a billboard that showcases the offer. Take the guess work out of making a purchase and more consumers will buy.
4. Testimonials. Customer testimonials are the most powerful way to sell your product or service. When consumers hear from those who have purchased and used your product or service, they gain a certain level of trust and comfort in what you have to offer. Solicit testimonials after each purchase and use those that are the most convincing to prospective purchasers.
5. Create a Compelling Offer. Be sure to offer something that no one else is currently offering. If your offer is similar to your competitors or is not very interesting, consumers have no reason to learn more. Of course providing something for FREE is often a great way to entice potential customers. Maybe it's a 3-day free trial or a free evaluation of some kind. Be creative, try something new, and measure the response.
6. Developing Trust. Before anyone will buy from you, your website or company needs to be seen as reputable. This means that consumers can purchase from you and not worry about the safety of their credit card information, personal information, or anything else being exchanged. A good method for developing trust is to purchase and display safety and reliability icons such as BBB Online, Trust-e, and VeriSign.
7. Provide a Guarantee. Nothing makes a consumer more comfortable with a purchase than offering a guarantee. Perhaps you can offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a money back guarantee. A guarantee is a great way ease the risk of making a purchase. If your competitors are offering a guarantee, you want yours to be equal or better.
Internet marketing is an incredibly powerful medium for segmenting your prospects and delivering targeted advertising. Online, you can easily measure you return on investment and refine your marketing campaign over time to improve results.
If you are a local business you can benefit from Internet marketing as well. Look for local directories to list your business or service. Or, you can supplement your local advertising with product marketing pages on your website. Internet marketing is more than just placing ads online, it's using the web to communicate the value of your products and services.
* Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com, the Internet’s biggest source of marketing information and free marketing resources. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit his blog and marketing blog directory for the latest one marketing.