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Anatomy of a Successful Internet Marketing Program June 22, 2010

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Social Media.

The Internet and Social Media are often referred to with reluctance, awe, fear, disgust, or as “high tech” fads. However, this could not be further from the truth. The Internet has quickly grown into the world’s largest marketplace, where a vast and diverse range of consumers and businesses communicate, negotiate deals, and purchase goods on a daily basis. With the drastic changes in the last 5 years, it is important to view the Internet as the integrated leader for your business. But how should a business rethink and attack the Internet?

Most businesses have a website and have tested other forms of Internet marketing. What most have not done is stop thinking of the Internet as a sinking hole of resources, but as a vibrant business process we can manage, control, track and repeat.

1 – Know Your Internet Tools Website

The logical first step is to evaluate the company website. Has the website been evolving or stagnating? The website is an interface that allows you to add content, widgets, and other user-friendly information to be shared with its visitors. The company website is the most important aspect of Internet marketing, as it acts as a foundational, digital face for your company.

Social Media

Social Media has outstanding tools to brand your company and interact with customers – both B2C and B2B. While it might be tempting to create Social Media accounts and start typing, Social Media requires careful planning. Planning should include the frequency of updates, identifying target demographics, and developing editorial controls. The reason for failure of most Social Media campaigns is lack of planning and editorial control of the content.

Don’t waste your opportunity by assigning Social Media to the youngest person in the company.

Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations

The Internet and Social Media should not replace your current marketing, advertising, and public relation efforts, but be included in them. It is crucial to keep your company’s marketing efforts uniform across all channels you select, and the Internet must be one of them. Every marketing effort should be reamplified across at least 5 channels of distribution. For example, a TV ad should also be promoted on YouTube, LinkedIn, Blog and email blast. Try, test and track all the new channels for the best mix for your message delivery.

2 – Content, Content, Content

Content online, like location offline, is king. During a time when attention spans are shrinking and the number of global alternatives is exploding, the success of your company will be directly related to the content you develop and distribute.

Content encompasses written, graphic, audio and video. All content should be evaluated prior to release as to its effectiveness of promoting your brand. Old adage applies – haste makes waste.

Content should be tweaked to be unique to the channel audience. This is not difficult. Just check your message acceptance through reporting. Adjust the messaging. Make your content real. Use excitement and enthusiasm. For the most boring industrial widget, be excited about the job you do, or that your product is Made in the USA, or promote what an awesome community partner your business is. If you are excited, your customers and prospects will be too.

3 – Do Your Homework

It is important to monitor your competitors, channel partners, and other successful Internet businesses that may not relate to your field. Performing this research will help you gain a thorough understanding of their goals, tail their successes and not repeat their failures. Consider using these FREE tools to begin: Alexa, Google Alerts and Social Mention. “If you see a great marketing strategy, steal it” – Dr. Ronald Goodstein, Georgetown University

4- Return on Investment
This is the area that separates the seriously successful business from their competition. Choose your tracking tools and matrixes wisely.
5- Keep an Eye on the Future
Technology will continue to change rapidly this next decade, and these changes often impact your marketing plan. The Internet and Social Media sites are now being accessed more frequently and on the go. And we have yet to see true voice activated technology, smell-o-vision and holographic.
  • Where to watch? Check out List of Think Tanks, TED and Google Labs.
  • What to watch? Payment acceptance methods are blending into blog, Social Media, and smart phones.
  • Who to watch? Advertising opportunities are exploding beyond Google Adwords into iAd, Facebook ads and Twitter.
  • Why to watch? The cost structures of the Internet are bound to change. Google, Microsoft, Apple, and ATT have too much at stake to allow the web to remain free to business. New alliances are forming daily. Predict in 5 years, business will have costly Internet access budgets.

These constant changes require marketers to constantly keep one eye on the future while the other stays on the current campaign.

The success of an Internet marketing campaign cannot always be measured immediately and it is important to allow time for your efforts to take effect. However, it is important to monitor your efforts closely. Set goals. Set reasonable time horizons. Review matrixes. Adjust. Repeat.

Reposted from eGrowth Marketing
Joe Buck, N.C.E.
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