Jul 22, 2012

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Preface

Simplest definition of Online marketing (also commonly known as Internet marketing, web marketing or e-marketing) is marketing that makes use of Internet which includes Email and world wide web.

As marketing medium, Internet nowadays is way ahead of TV and radio, which drives many people to start their online business. However, the Internet has been a complex problem for marketers. Numerous marketers either do not have or maintain an appropriate Internet marketing strategy.  To start online marketing isn’t really a rocket science, but I believe you need to be: Passionate, Persistent and Methodical.

Online Marketing Success Tips 

This post will describe the basic but essential steps that are commonly utilized when starting an online marketing plan.

Note
You can always make a print or bookmark this page for later reading.

Flow Chart of Essential Steps For Online Marketing

The 4 important steps are shown in following flow chart:

Successful in Online Marketing

Build A Strategy

Before start doing anything on Internet marketing, you need a solid strategy or planning. Planning stage is most crucial yet often ignored. You need to determine which steps comes first as well as to become very clear on your purpose. Making an action map or flow chart may serve as a handy tool.

The key to become successful in online marketing is to establish objectives and goals of a marketing strategy prior to start your marketing campaign. 

  • Ask Right Questions

As mentioned earlier, you need to be completely clear to your purpose. Start by asking some basic but important questions:
  1. What is the goal of your marketing campaign? Is your goal to sell online or establish relationship for a service?
  2. For online marketing you want to build a website. Who is this website for? What is the objective of this website?
  3. What are the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats related to this site?
  4. How would you measure the success of your site?
  • Objectives and Goals

When you have the right questions ready its time to find answers which will finally set your objectives. Each objective may have series of steps which eventually will drive you towards your goal/s.

Once you have set your goals, take small steps to achieve them. Don't rush, you are not superhuman! Start with easy steps and as you go along the way, implement complex ones once you acquire expertise. Always set up your milestones or some way of measurement so that you can easily track/analyses if your tactics.

Accumulate 

Once you have your strategy, objectives and goals ready, its time to move to next step: Accumulating materials/contents for your marketing campaign. Your campaign will stand out from millions of others only by delivering valuable material to your consumer. To gather the material or create content for your marketing campaign think a bit on these 2 most important points:
  1. How to deliver valuable and interesting content/material to your consumer?
  2. How to stand out from hundreds and thousands of other similar campaigns?
Once you will find out answers, it will be easier for you to determine what will distinguish your campaign in the consumer’s mind. The goal is to create an unique and sticky material which makes users to visit your of content creation is to develop so called ‘sticky’ content, which is information or features on a website that provides users a compelling reason to visit it frequently.

Start the Campaign

With a solid marketing strategy behind and "sticky"content/material ready, take the next step to your online marketing journey: Start Your Campaign. For this you need to also review the goals of your campaign so that you can determine which form of promotion will offer most benefit.

Choose Suitable Marketing Platform

With Internet you have many ways to advertise and promote your marketing campaign. You need to think ahead what will be suitable for your purpose. Should you do only banner advertising or search engine marketing (SEM)? Do you need to make video?

Well, the simple answer is: You should use multiple marketing vehicles to promote your materials. Don't stick only to one option. Obviously, some of them may not be fruitful but you wouldn't know that until you give 'em try. Once you apply several promotional techniques, keep track each of them, build statistics and you will know which one is suitable for you. Then stick to those ones.

Following are some of the popular ways to advertise your marketing campaign:

Banner Ads

banner ads
Most common and popular of them all, this type of ads can be horizontal, vertical or rectangular. They can be placed at the top, bottom or along the side of a website. The ads contain both text and images and are presented either in a JPEG, GIF or Flash format. They're best for websites with heavy traffic and should be designed in such a way to grab users' attention. The main challenge with banner advertising is low response rate to the advertisement.

Text Ads


Text Ads are static html links (see the above example) that can drive targeted traffic and help your link popularity. These links can be placed either inside your content or at the top/bottom/along the side of your web page. Some catchy line into your text ad could help you attracting more people to click on it.

Pop-up Ads

These ads load between two content pages. These are coming to have less impact and value as many web users don't like them and there are ways to block these ads to be appeared.

Search Engine Ads

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) now account for most web advertising because they are so highly targeted. Search engine marketing involves purchasing sponsored links for certain search engine keywords. As a user searches for a purchased keyword or phrase, an additional listing displaying a marketing message is displayed above or to the side of the regular or natural search results.

Article writing

Article writing is another effective way to promote your campaign. You can raise your online profile by writing expert articles for online services and e-newsletters. Try to find online services which are more relevant to your business and then submit well written article. At the end of the article, include a short description of your business with a link to your website.

Email marketing 

Email has become one of the most commonly used marketing tools. When done right, this is an effective method of marketing; when done badly, it becomes unwanted spam, or junk email. When creating an email marketing campaign pay close attention to the design, distribution and effectiveness of each email.

Social Networking

Websites such as MySpace and Facebook have created communities of users with common interests and relationships. These social networking sites not only offer banner and text advertising and sponsorship opportunities, but also the ability to harness the collective power of these relationships to promote and inform consumers about your product.

Measure and Optimize

The last step is to Measure and Optimize your marketing campaign. It is essential that the campaign be tested, measured and optimized. Without this last step even the best online marketing plans will not deliver the necessary results.

One of the benefits of online advertising is the large amount of tracking and statistics that are available. There are mainly 2 type of measurement:

Interactive measurements

The common entities of this type of measurement are:
  1. Unique Visitors
  2. Page Views
  3. Click Through Rate
  4. Unique Clicks
  5. Countries of Visitors
  6. Day/Week Traffic
  7. Search Engine Keywords
  8. Time Spent (on site)

Conversion measurements

This type of measurement commonly include:
  1. Downloads
  2. Products Ordered
  3. Products Sold
  4. Email Sign-ups


Tracking Tool

Once your measurement entities have been established, make sure that the proper tracking tools are in place to record the data. Tracking tools for websites and banner advertisements are common tools available for monitoring your online marketing campaigns. Website statistics tools vary in price, service and tracking techniques. Data collected by this tool is typically reporting in the form of web traffic report. These reports are then compared against the goals or key performance indicators. In addition, ad networks through which you are advertising your campaign, also provide their own tracking tool where you can check your marketing campaign's performance.

Testing and Optimize

By using a variety of tracking tools, you can start to develop an understanding how an online marketing campaign is performing. Using this data, testing/optimization can be done to determine best suitable email, landing page to return the required results such as to get high volume of traffic, click through rate, email sign ups. The most common testing/optimization technique is multivariation, which is slightly different versions of a website or email.

Conclusion

The information in this post should be used as a basic outline for approaching in online marketing rather than an exact method to use in every campaign. You have to understand that the challenge of online marketing is that no two campaigns are exactly alike.

How is your approach towards Internet marketing? I will love to hear your experience on how to become successful in online marketing. Finally if you find this post informative it will bring me great pleasure if you will share within your circle as well.

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