About this Author: when Mary isn’t busy reviewing promotional fulfillment in and around the Chicagoland area, she is covering a wide range of marketing topics to keep her readers happy and informed! Outside of work, she is an avid reader and enjoys spending time on the lakefront!
1. Open a PPC Campaign
This is a basic step that pretty much every internet marketer knows about. Nonetheless, if done right, it can be effective, powerful and highly profitable as a marketing tool. If done wrong, PPC advertising can cost you a fortune and eat up not only your entire advertising budget but also your general business funds.
However, you can choose just how much you spend per month and if it’s within your long term means, you can eventually fine tune your PPC ads until they work well for your online business.
Get started by visiting the Google Adwords homepage and signing up to the world’s largest PPC advertising network: adwords.google.com
You can also try Yahoo Ads as one alternative: http://advertising.yahoo.com/
2. Create a Social Media Presence
Social media is one of the new faces of the internet, and the major social networks combined easily encompass more than one billon internet users. This is an immense potential target market that you can now access through an entirely new side of the internet; if you learn how to adapt to its rules.
Set up social media accounts on major networks like www.twitter.com and www.Facebook.com as soon as you can. These are the two biggest social media sites and with them you’ll almost certainly have more opportunity for organic fan base building than you can handle.
However, if youd like to aim at smaller, more niche oriented social networks, here’s a partial list to start playing with: http://mashable.com/2012/06/13/niche-social-networks-2/
3. Try out the Classifieds
It’s easy to get so caught up in social media brand awareness, PPC conversion and other trendy marketing tactics that we simply forget about other more old fashioned, simpler but also potentially effective advertising avenues that are all around us. One of these exists in the form of online classifieds sites and it should be taken advantage of too. In many cases it’s completely free to use and the competition for attention can be much lower.
For a purely online and very simple user interface, try www.craigslist.org; it’s free, easy to set up multiple accounts and easy to use. A slightly more costly option can consist of major newspapers, which will print your ads both online and in their print classifieds pages, a still powerful promotion market. Any major paper will do, but you should first try experimenting with newspapers in your own region.
4. Never Forget on the 80/20 Rule
Otherwise known as Pareto’s law. The ratio may vary but the essential point is that a minority of all your promotion will bring forth a majority of your results. Thus, while you need to experiment broadly in order to find out just what gives you the best marketing results, once you discover what it is, cultivate it and focus your best energy on that platform. Don’t waste money and effort on campaigns that provide little return.
A good way to track results is through online metrics services. Some great ones are: https://www.kissmetrics.com and Google Analytics.
5. Network in your Niche
Networking, that tried and true old style tactic of getting to know people and getting yourself known. It can create all sorts of business opportunities and it works especially well if you know how to create unexpected value for others that might need it and not know how you can help.
Network in person, network at every chance you get and network digitally through social networks like www.linkedin.com or even Facebook!
6. Start a Niche Business Blog
In the wake of Google Penguin and Google Panda, Google search algorithm changes that dramatically raised the value of richly valuable online information, there is no better time than now to start a serious flood of content on your business website. Start a blog, attach it to your business site and start writing regularly about topics related to your niche.
Write well, be informative and create unique value. In due time, your search profile will rise and more people will find your sales page after they’ve encountered your interesting content. Starting a blog is easier than ever, and if you create your site with a CMS like www.WordPress.org, you can have one set up on your site in less than 10 minutes.
7. Participate in Online Communities
Find the online blogs, forums, sites and social pages in your niche and start participating in them deeply. I don’t mean selling to them and spamming other web users. No. Instead, engage with the people that are talking in these places and make yourself helpful through conversation, ideas and recommendations. Eventually, you can use these as a springboard to sales if you take things easy on the salesmanship.
This is sort of like networking but more hands on in terms of niche information.
8. Define your Brand Clearly
By this I mean that you need to be sure you know what your business is all about in such a way that you can summarize it in less than 30 seconds; the so-called elevator pitch. This will help you know the direction you need to target your marketing in and it will give you a wonderful quick reply for any time someone gives you a chance to tell them about your business. This last detail can be very helpful at building future leads.
9. Create an Email Subscriber List
Email marketing can be time consuming, but if you already have a website and blog set up for your online business, you’ve at least got the biggest tools in place. Also, this marketing strategy has the highest conversion rates of any other system out there sometimes as high as 30% of clicks and subscriber leads.
Read up on the steps involved in setting up an email marketing campaign and start building your sales funnel. The process will be a bit slow but its long term results can lead to a very stable base of repeat customers and fans. Here’s one practical guide: http://www.filemaker.com/downloads/pdf/whitepaper_email_mktg.pdf.
There are many others out there that contain even more fine-tuned details and tips.
10. Leap into Video Marketing!
Last on the list but not in any way unimportant, video marketing. Video is a growing part of the online landscape and sites like www.Youtube.com and Vimeo.com, among others, are home to literally billions of uploaded online videos. Furthermore, not only are these sites being used as search sources for all sorts of content, the videos themselves are also starting to filter out into the greater search landscape of indexes like Google’s.
If you’re already building an SEO campaign and trying to get your site known, posting valuable, well titled video content can boost these efforts dramatically.