#1 High Quality & Unique Content
If you are creating lots of information-rich & keyword-rich, useful content on your website, you are doing well in your internet marketing campaign. Google Webmaster guidelines advise to have “unique & relevant” content. The more content that matches the keywords customers are searching for, the more likely they’ll land on your site – and be happy they did.
#2 Encourage Viral Promotion
Viral videos, and more importantly, viral marketing is an useful internet marketing strategy, giving away content that customers pass along to their friends an an exponential rate. We can get into a further conversation of what rate it needs to be to be truly viral, but if each customer passes it along to 2 of their friends, they each pass it to 2 of their friends – you’ll have a lot of traffic in a short period of time.
The creative part is coming up with new, intriguing content that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether that is a funny or creative video, coupon, email birthday club or something else is up to you and what your business is about. The important part is that people pass your name along to people who may not have heard of you before.
#3 Make Connections Using Social Media
Just as your website shouldn’t be all about you, neither should your Social Media Marketing. The customer wants to know what you are going to do for them, not the other way around. Once you’ve researched what your customers want from you and your Social Media presence, give it to them in a timely and meaningful fashion and you’ll grow and grow.
#4 Listen First
If you are unfamiliar with Social Media and all that it offers (or even if you aren’t), spend some time just listening to what people are saying. Follow your competitors, do some research on how they communicate with their customers. Follow other industry leaders, talk to your customers when they are in your store and just listen.
Use Google Alerts, HootSuite to streamline and listen to what people are saying about your business and your sector.
#4a …then Respond
Once you have done enough listening, jump right in. The best way to learn a new task is just to do it. Social Media, even with how it’s grown is still in an infancy stage – there are very few ‘wrong’ ways to use it.
Engage your customers, don’t just talk to them. Ask them questions, respond to theirs. Think about what you are saying and ask yourself: “Is what I’m saying relevant? If not, why – and how do I make it relevant for my customers?”
#5 Advertise Online & Offline
There are a lot of Marketing Gurus that will tell you that PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is a waste of money. But if I said that you could pay 10¢ for a referral, would you think that is a waste of money?
PPC Advertising is a simple way to get your name out there, using the keywords you want, to the demographics you want to reach for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Don’t rule out traditional advertising altogether though. There is a lot of value in well placed print advertising when it comes to promoting your online presence.
#6 Don’t Scare Away Your Viewers
If you have any of the following: Dancing Clip-Art, moving backgrounds or MIDI music playing in the background, your site looks/sounds out of date. Those kind of gimmicks looked were eye-catching 15 years ago when people needed a reason to be on the internet – but not today.
People aren’t impressed by those things anymore. Furthermore, even the least tech-savvy viewer will see that as outdated. Get rid of the gimmicks and fill it in with useful content.
If I hurt your feelings by saying that, I’m sorry – but you need to know that those things don’t work anymore. A new site with bold images, big (easy to find) text and original, useful content are what drive web traffic, not a flying goose across my screen.
Another thing that has gone by the wayside recently is Flash. Don’t get me wrong, Flash is a wonderful scripting tool, and when used correctly is a perfect accent to a website. But people have relied on Flash to have a splashy intro, or have large sliding images on a front page.
There are several problems with Flash. One, it is ‘bulky’; meaning that it is computer resource intensive, slow loading and can really bog down the user experience of your site. Two, with all the mobile users these days, (iPhones, iPads, etc) – not everyone is able to load Flash, do you want those people not to see your site if is completely designed using Flash? Be mad at Steve Jobs about that all you want – but there are several million people that use iDevices that can’t see Flash scripts on websites – that’s a hard fact to just ignore.
#7 Research Your Competition
See what your competitor’s website looks like. What does their internet marketing strategy look like? How are they using Social Media? Are they advertising with Google or Facebook? These are all relatively easy questions to answer before you start designing your online marketing strategy. They are also important questions to answer before you start spending online marketing dollars. Is what they are doing working or can you make it better?
#8 Be Yourself
How authentic would it be if I did your Tweeting for you? I don’t know your business, and neither does your tech-savvy nephew. You know your business andyou know your customers.
At Shout It Out Design, I don’t manage my client’s Social Media presence for them, I help them find their voice and monitor what people are saying about their business on the internet. If I did anything more than that, I would be a fraud. I would not only be cheating my client, but I would be cheating my client’s customers by lying to them.
Again, if you don’t have 20 minutes a day to interact with your customers – you are in the wrong business. I am here to help you find your voice.
#9 ..but Be Different
After you’ve done your research, see how you can make it your own. The same old tired message won’t resonate near as well as putting your own twist on it. Your customers want new, original, can’t-find-it-anywhere-else content – give it to them! If you don’t, someone else will.
#10 Hire Me
Whether you are already doing some of these things and need more advanced help or you don’t know what some of these things are and want to talk about how they can help your business – I can help you get attention online and start making your website & online presence work for you. Even if your internet marketing budget is minimal – I’ll make every dollar work for you.
With nearly 15 years experience with online & print media, I can help your business reach new heights using the internet. If you don’t have a website yet, we can help. If you have a website that hasn’t been attended to recently and are looking for a fresh, new design, we can help you too. Need help finding a presence using Social Media Marketing? We helped a local small business grow from 500 to nearly 20,000 Facebook fans in under a year.