Tag: Marketing Efforts

Strategic Marketing Planning Is Key

Posted by on Mar.26, 2013, under Affiliate Marketing (1) Comment

There was a time, not all that long ago, when people didn’t use the internet for marketing purposes; instead, they relied on traditional advertising media such as direct mail, radio, television, billboards, magazines and newspapers. While computers have changed the marketing world, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for strategic marketing planning.

Some beginning marketers make the mistake of thinking that the use of free advertising negates the need for a marketing plan. To be blunt, this is wrong! There may be very little up-front monetary expense associated with some types of internet advertising, but not having a plan can end up costing you more money than you save. Without a plan you are putting your business at risk and may be setting it up for failure.

If you don’t have a plan, then you don’t have any way of knowing how well you’re doing. Of course you can still achieve some success without a plan, but relying on sheer, dumb luck is a lousy way to do business, and it’s never sustainable. Just as a better map helps you to reach your destination, so too will a better plan help you to reach your business goals.

A strategic marketing plan should cover all aspects of your marketing strategy, and should also show how each piece relates to one another. Some of the things you need to consider are who your market is, how you will get people to your location, online and offline marketing efforts, what methods of advertising you will use, what your overall marketing message is, how you will deal with the press, how much your budget is, what your goals are, what will be measured, and what will happen as you achieve your goals. All of those things are just the start, but they give you some idea of what goes into making a good marketing plan.

As you can see, a strategic marketing plan can be quite involved, but don’t let that scare you away from crafting a plan of your own. A marketing plan is there to help you get the most out of your business, so it’s okay to change it if you have to. You should do your best to create a good plan when starting out, but there will often be unforeseen circumstances that will cause you to rethink certain portions of your plan. Changes shouldn’t be made lightly, but remember that the plan is there to serve you, not the other way around.

If you have difficulty putting a plan together then you can hire the services of a planner to help you create a plan that is customized to your needs. A professional planner may not be cheap, but they will be able to offer insights that you may otherwise overlook.

Whichever way you choose to go about it, strategic marketing planning will help you to be as successful as possible. Remember, you are in business and you need to take that seriously. Creating a plan takes time, but it will save time in the long run, and will also increase your profits.


Proven Tips About B2b Internet Marketing

Posted by on Feb.03, 2013, under Affiliate Marketing No Comments

Anyone who plans to sell goods or services to businesses and markets online must understand the difference between b2b internet marketing and selling directly to a consumer. While some of the basic principles of marketing are the same, there are some differences that if not taken into account can sabotage your marketing efforts. The good news is that in some ways, selling to businesses is easier than selling to consumers, and very often the profits to be made are much greater, especially in the beginning.

One of the biggest differences between b2b internet marketing and marketing to consumers (also called b2c marketing) is that youre no longer trying to sell to a single person. That sounds obvious, but business purchasing isnt just a group of people looking at your product or service at the same time and then making a decision. The question of whether to buy or not goes from one person to another, sometimes in a very long chain of command, and can take a lot of time (and convincing).

When youre selling something to a consumer, youre dealing with one set of eyes and one person to convince. An important key in marketing to consumers is repetitionmost wont buy the first time, but once your items have been put in front of them multiple times in an appealing way, theyre more likely to buy. With b2b internet marketing the same principle applies, but this favorable impression must last down a long line of people who must make the decision. Getting the item or service in front of them many times is crucial with businesses, too.

Email marketing is one great way of keeping your products or services in front of them, but when b2b internet marketing with emails you have to be even more careful than when marketing to consumers. Many people who receive an email, particularly one theyve agreed to receive, are going to be more concerned with the product or service offered, the discount, and what the item can do for them, than how professional and well-done the email is. This is less likely with a business.

Because the business may have its own b2b internet marketing plan, theyre going to expect a certain level of professionalism in any emails or correspondence you send them. Misspellings, strange line breaks, broken images and anything else that screams amateur or careless is likely to ensure that your message goes no farther down the linethe kiss of death for anything youre trying to sell them. Take extra care with your email marketing plan. Dont just make them correct and tidy, make them dazzling and attractive. Your emails and correspondence need to look as good as anything coming from that company if you really want to impress.

If you sell to businesses, you already know your target market very well. Be sure that all of your b2b internet marketing efforts are professional and focus not on you, but how you can fill their companies needs, and youll get your products noticed.


Keyword Marketing For Online Business

Posted by on Jan.04, 2013, under Affiliate Marketing No Comments

Keyword marketing is going to be one of the most important skills you will learn if you want to be successful online. As an online business owner, no matter what type of business you have online, your primary job will be to make sure that your website receives enough targeted traffic so you can make money.

Since not everyone who comes to your site is going to make a purchase (though you can increase this number by making sure your website is set up in such as way as to get a lot of conversions) so you need to get a lot of visitors.

Now “a lot” is kind of vague, I know. A lot for one online business may be 1,000 a month but a lot for another might be 20,000 a month. How many visitors you will need in order to make as much money as you want really depends on many factors such as how competitive your niche is, how well your website is laid out, how compelling your sales letter is, the price point of your product, etc.

After a short amount of time you will be able to pinpoint your conversion rates (the number of visitors who actually make a purchase from your site) and from that point on you can determine how much traffic you need to get every month.

In order to get the most out of all your keyword marketing efforts you should rely on several traffic methods. Most online marketing experts agree that you should have anywhere from 3 to 5 successful online traffic methods going at all times.

Now, one word of caution, don’t try to set up 3 – 5 methods of getting traffic all at the same time. If you do you will get overwhelmed. Instead focus on one method first, perfect it and then move on to find another method. Keep doing this until you have all the traffic you need to make all the sales you want to make.

Here are some of the most common methods you can use for keyword marketing and the pros and cons of each:

1. Article marketing. This is a process where you write (or hire someone to write) articles that are optimized with the keywords you’ve gotten for your niche. This method is free and easy to do, but on the downside, you will need a lot of articles in circulation to give you any real traffic.

2. Search Engine Optimization. This method is all about getting the search engines to “see” your website. By placing relevant, targeted keywords on your website in certain areas you will stand out to the search engines. This method is free and fairly easy in it’s simplest form, but it can get quite complicated if you want to go in depth.

3. Pay Per Click. This is the method where you place ads that will appear on the search results page. You’ve no doubt done a search and have seen the ads that appear at the top and down the side of the results page. These ads were paid for by other online marketers. As the name implies you will only pay if someone clicks on your ad.
The downside to this method is that it involves a fairly complicated method of bidding on keywords.

The amount you may have to pay for a particular keyword can vary due to many factors such as the quality score your ad has been given by the search engines. Yes, if it sounds confusing it is, and since you will be paying while you are learning this method of keyword marketing is better used by those that are already making some money online.


Internet Based Marketing

Posted by on Oct.27, 2012, under Affiliate Marketing (2) Comments

There are many types of marketing methods available, both online and offline. Offline marketing methods are what most business owners are familiar with. But internet based marketing can offer a bigger bang for your marketing buck.

One of the biggest advantages of internet based marketing is obvious; it’s much less expensive than most types of offline marketing.

To get your message out to your customers and potential customers in the offline world would usually revolve around a t.v., radio or newspaper ad. All of these can be effective if done right, but they can also be pricey.

The same applies for direct mail pieces. With the increase in postage rates over the last several years, even direct mail has become a less cost effective method of reaching people.

Though, that doesn’t mean it is a waste of money. Many business owners are finding that using a combination of offline and online methods delivers the best exposure for their message.

Today many of us think that everyone has a computer or gets online and receives email. But that is not the truth. There are still many segments of our society that have either no access to the internet or limited access.

For example, if your business revolves around products or services for the elderly, you will not connect with as many of them in an online format as you would with another demographic group. For that reason, you would want to combine methods.

On the other hand, if the demographic of your potential customer is a younger person, you would probably do much better targeting the majority of your marketing efforts online since that is where this demographic spends most of their time.

Before you decide to jump on to the internet marketing bandwagon you have to learn a little about how each method works so you can target the best method(s) for your business.

Here is a brief overview of some things you will want to consider for your online marketing:

1. First of all, whether you are building an online business or you have an offline business and just want to market online, you will need a website. Having a website set up and optimized in the right way is a great way to find more customers, and getting those customers can be done for free in many cases.

2. Set up an autoresponder and build an email list. Getting your existing customers to sign up for your email list is a great way to keep them informed of upcoming special offers. You can also find new customers by adding an optin form to your website.

You may offer your website visitors some sort of enticement for signing up. Something like an ebook about a certain problem faced by people in your niche or a discount coupon.

3. Pay Per Click (PPC) can be a great way to drive a lot of traffic to your site relatively fast. The one downside to this method is that the amount you pay for each click is based on a bidding system as well as some fairly detailed factors.

The bottom line is that when you are first learning PPC you can expect limited results and quite a bit of money going out.
Make sure you budget accordingly.

Internet based marketing can be a good idea for many types of businesses, both online and off. Find out if it’s right for your business.


The Advertising Business And Internet Marketing

Posted by on Oct.03, 2012, under Affiliate Marketing No Comments

Traditional advertisers now understand just how much of an impact this “internet marketing thing” has on their advertising business. The fact that the collective attention span is getting shorter and shorter; and that the economy isn’t exactly going gangbusters, has also put them in a tough situation. We’ll take a quick look at history, and then see how you can apply the lessons to your current marketing efforts.

The number of people online is still growing, and every time somebody is online, it means that they are not being exposed to traditional forms of advertising. It would seem logical that advertising firms would then simply move some of their advertising from one medium and put it on the internet.

In fact, a lot of advertisers tried doing that in the early days of the internet. For a while, it looked as though you could put anything online and it would bring back a high return on the marketing investment. It was crazy in a way, and the boom garnered a lot of attention; causing even more money to be invested in online advertising.

Soon, web properties were worth a lot of money. To put it another way, many of them were seriously over-valued. This false sense of worth made people in the advertising business pay top dollar to advertise on these websites, and things were looking good. Then came the crash.

The people involved made some major errors in judgment, but such errors are always easier to spot many years later, aren’t they? First, they needed to be more risk-averse considering that it was still a new technology. While it seemed to be exploding in popularity at the time, there were just too many unknowns. Second, they didn’t understand the mindset of the people using the internet.

It was the lack of understanding that caused the biggest problem. See, what the advertising business failed to realize was that their internet marketing had to appeal to the people who were online. Some advertisers tried to transport existing campaigns to the online environment…and failed miserably; while others tried to sound “hip”, but came across as trying too hard…and failed miserably. To be fair, there were some advertisers who understood, and those are the same ones who weathered the fallout.

So, what can we learn from all of this? The main lesson is that the advertising business and internet marketing are not synonymous. This has advantages and disadvantages, but understanding the differences is the key to success.

The fact that traditional advertising doesn’t transpose to the web doesn’t mean advertising can’t be done successfully. Perhaps a regular television commercial or standard print ad won’t work online, but they can be tweaked in a way that draws internet users in and makes them hungry to buy. Another thing to consider is that people use credit cards when buying online, which makes upsells that much easier. Once you understand the market, then you will be able to tap into that market; and that holds true in both the advertising business and internet marketing.