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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Marketing is an ever changing enterprise. As technology continues to influence our business efforts more and more, our marketing efforts to will need to change and adapt. While marketing was at one time all about print images and static advertisements, it has now become fully intertwined with the internet. Online marketing has in many ways become the name of the game for businesses and products everywhere. 

Allowing you to easily reach a vast audience and pinpoint your exact target, the internet is a marketer's dream. While online marketing is a major component of any successful marketing plan, there are many ways to make your online marketing efforts more successful. Follow these three marketing tips to better understand and target your specific audience online. 

How Is Your Audience Using the Internet? One of the most important things to know about your target audience as an online marketer is how they use the internet when they are online. If you can begin to understand how your consumers are using the web then you can come up with a better way to get to them. Does your target audience use the web for work or for entertainment? What are their favorite types of sites to use? All of these questions can help define who your audience is and how to more easily locate them online. 

If your audience uses search engines as their primary transportation around the web, then SEO efforts may significantly benefit your marketing campaign. If you find that your main audience uses social networks as their primary online endeavor, you can find ways to incorporate social media and social networking into your marketing efforts. Knowing how your audience uses the internet will take some time to pinpoint, but will greatly improve your marketing campaign. 

Where Does Your Audience Spend Their Time Online? While this sounds very similar to the last tip, there is distinct difference. Once you know what your audience goes to the internet for, you can work to discover where specifically they spend their time online. Knowing exactly where your target audience hangs out is essential to reaching them. If you have determined that your audience uses the internet for their business and professional lives then you can get a better idea of what sites they use specifically. 

Conversely, if your target audience uses the internet for their social interests, you can focus your marketing around social networks and social hubs. Search Engine Optimization for your marketing sites and marketing pages is always a great bet for any target audience. If you can be visible on the major search engines, you will find a significant amount of your audience there. However, knowing what specific sites your target demographic uses is no doubt a huge marketing advantage. 

What Is Your Competition Up To? Though it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, knowing and understanding your competition can give you a better perspective on who your target audience really is. Not only is it good advice to know what your competition is up to in general, you can also use this information to evaluate your audience. By researching your competitions' marketing efforts, you can see what their interpretations of your mutual audience is. This can help you figure out who your audience is or help you decide if you are marketing to the right group of people. 

Find your competitors online and see how they are marketing their product or services. You can learn a few things from their techniques and also learn how to be different from the rest. The internet is all about finding a new way to do or show things. If you are just doing the same things as your competitors, it is likely you won't get much further than them. Keep a close eye on your competition and work to find ways to market your services or product in a new way.

Guest post by Mariana Ashley.  Mariana is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to 


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