INTERNET MARKETING SUCCESS PRIMER
To be effective with your internet marketing (also referred to as online or digital marketing) the strategy for any business is really the same as any traditional marketing strategies when it comes to the goals and purpose, and that is to:
- Increase the awareness, receptivity, and popularity of your brand
- Develop your business’s relationship with current and former clients
- Deliver your message to reach those who can have the greatest influence on your business
- Identify and engage with potential prospects for your business
- Identify and engage with referral partners for your business
In the above list, numbers 2 through 5 can be defined as your business’s “Ideal Audience” – or those people who can have the greatest impact on the growth and long-term health of your business.
For our purposes, we will dive into four basic strategies that can be employed by any type of business to get more traffic and accomplish the goals listed above.
1. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Search Engine Marketing – becoming more visible to your ideal audience through search engine search results is accomplished through two main vehicles:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the ability to make your presence on the internet available to your ideal audience when they are searching for either your business by name or by the terms associated with the products and services you provide. These terms are also called “keywords” or the phrases that someone who needs what your business provides would type into a search query on Google.
- Paid Search results (or has become known by Pay-Per-Click PPC) – this is “advertising” where the ability to show up within search results (albeit with the stamp of “Ad” fixed to the result). This is accomplished by buying these results based on the amount of your spend, the size of the targeted audience you are reaching out to and the keywords associated with your PPC ad campaign.
2. LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS
This is accomplished through the very important claiming of your business’s space on websites that have local search results (sometimes referred to as Citation Sites). There are many Citation Sites, some of the most notable are: Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Maps, Yelp, etc. (here is a link to the top 50 local citation sites for U.S. businesses according to BrightLocal). The one of these that can have the greatest influence on your business is Google My Business, because it is the search engine that gets the most search traffic. And once you have completed this process – don’t forget BING! Bing gets 22% of search in the U.S. and 82% of businesses haven’t claimed their business listing on Bing.
3. CONTENT MARKETING
Creating and curating content that is relevant to answering the questions and becomes a resource of valued information to those people in your “Ideal Audience” who have interest in the topics associated with your product or service is Content Marketing (wow, what a mouthful!!). Let’s simplify – when people are searching for the products and services you provide, they will oftentimes “educate themselves” on those products and services by searching on various sites on the internet. When the websites you are on provide quality answers to those “search queries” and help them in whatever level of the decision-making process they are in, you can earn their trust as a relevant and authoritative resource. People are most likely going to do business with someone they like, they trust, and they feel is competent. Being a resource of relevant and authoritative information is one of the best ways to be liked, trusted, and prove your competence. Blogging (consistently publishing information that meets the needs expressed above) and Vlogging (consistently publishing video content that does the same thing) are two of the best ways of accomplishing this. Remember to invite these readers to like, comment, and share how they feel about this content on any sites your business is associated with. This should include the website where this information is published and all the social media sites where your business is represented. In addition, these should always include a call to action that allows the consumer of this information to connect with you by email, social media connections, or a phone call.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Once you have created a good foundation – a website that is created using best practices for being available and is mobile responsive, are consistent about creating or curating valuable content for your ideal audience, then to use social media sites becomes the next best step. Using social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, SnapChat, etc.) for marketing helps accomplish two very important goals in your marketing:
- These sites are a great place to grow your ideal audience.
- They are a great place to grow and strengthen your relationship with your ideal audience.
- They are a very great vehicle to deliver the valuable content you have created and curated to your awaiting fans (ideal audience).
Two final things to consider as you focus on improving your internet presence:
1. GOOGLE YOU!
We all have a digital footprint. Our digital footprint is made up of the trails of websites we are personally associated with, or have visited and the sites our business is associated with. These sites use “cookies” to track our likes, dislikes, etc. So the best way to determine the health of our digital footprint is quite simple – Google yourself! Google the name of your business and your own personal name. The results that Google delivers will give you an indication of how to begin your internet marketing efforts.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS MOBILE FRIENDLY
67% of all local search traffic in the U.S. is through a mobile device. Make sure the experience your ideal audience has when they find your website or open your email is optimized for a mobile device. If your “mobile site” is cramming every bit of the desktop into a small screen or if someone would have to move their screen left to right to see what is on any page – then your site is NOT “Mobile Friendly” and is need of some work.
Having a strategy for being visible and influential on the internet is critical in today’s ‘always connected” business environment. And being effective with your internet marketing takes time, effort, planning, patience, stamina, persistence, and oftentimes, a team. So roll up your sleeves – it’s time to get this done!
Make sure to leave your comments, successes, and stories below. And remember! Friends share good stuff with each other – if this has been a benefit share it!
Dave Redabaugh is a well known internet marketer. His company, Your Biz social, assists companies and real estate agents in gaining ground in their business. Dave is also a loved coach and trainer to Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a sought after real estate training company.