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Article

Internet Marketing Is Just Marketing

Internet marketing, web marketing, web 2.0, social media, youtube, twitting, SEM, SEO, PPC...what the?

Internet marketing, web marketing, web 2.0, social media, youtube, twitting, SEM, SEO, PPC...what the?

Most people can see that the internet would be, or could be, a great place to market their products or services but it can all get a little confusing. There’s a new technology out every other day. How do you use it all to promote and sell your businesses products/services? Is it even worth it?

Well it certainly can be worth it if done correctly. We all know that the young men behind technologies like Facebook have made millions upon millions, and that big businesses like Chrysler have had great successes with different online campaigns. But, it’s also just as easily used to sky rocket the sales of a small business.

In the same way that both large and small businesses can profit from newspaper ads (using them in a different way) small businesses can use the Internet, as big business does, just in a different way to profit.

Luckily Internet marketing really isn’t as hard as what it’s made out to be. It’s just selling products and services to people. The very same people you sell to with local newspaper ads, radio ads, direct mail pieces, yellow pages ads etc.

Internet marketing is just marketing
Even though it’s a new medium the same principles of offline marketing still apply to online marketing.

1. Pick your target market(s) first and find out everything you can about them. What are their needs?

2. Fill that need with your product or service.

3. Effectively communicate that you have a product or service that fulfils that need.

With Internet marketing it’s simply that the medium of communicating (number 3 above) to people that you can fill their need, is different from other forms of marketing. You still need leads and to be able to convert those leads into paying customers. You still need to have the basics down...ie. a hungry crowd and something to feed them with.

So firstly, who is your hungry crowd?

If you can define exactly who you’re trying to sell to all of the other steps in the process fall into place so much more easily. Without knowing the answer to this question it’s very hard to convince people, that you don’t know and don’t know what problems and needs they have, that you can be their solution.

Also, it’s harder on the internet than any other medium to find them if you don’t know exactly who they are.

So really define exactly who they are. The more you can niche it down the better. For example ‘golfers’ is too broad and too hard to market to, but left handed golfers’ or ‘elderly golfers’, now that’s a lot easier to target to.

A good way to go about it is to think of a few people who you actually know who are a part of the ‘hungry crowd’, or perhaps a fictional character. A golf professional may think of a few friends or family that are off a high handicap, an architect might think of someone she knows who is looking to put an extension on their house.

The more you can get inside their heads the better.

By the way, you may have several target markets. This is particularly the case with larger business but you must define each market.

Fill their need with a product or service

You may well already have a product/service. If so there may be a way to mold it a bit better to the exact need of the target market(s) you going after.

If you don’t already have one, brainstorm. Come up with as many different ideas as you can that will fill this hungry crowds needs. Pare it down. Really get inside the heads of your target audience and think about what fulfils their need.

Communicate that your product/service can ‘feed’ the crowd

So up until now everything has been the same as any other medium in marketing. The only difference now from other forms of marketing is the medium. And there are subtle differences in the way that you communicate your marketing message.

You need to do 2 things really
a)    Get as many leads as possible
The cornerstones of getting leads on the internet are Search Engine Marketing (which includes Search Engine Optimization and Paid Placement ads or Pay Per Click), email marketing, affiliate marketing and social media.

Then...

b)    Convert as many of those leads as possible into a sale
Have these leads being as qualified as possible and clicking on a landing page that is compelling enough to convert the visitor into a customer.

So how do you do this through the medium of the Internet?

Internet Marketing Is Direct Response Marketing At Its Best
Internet marketing is really the ultimate form of ‘Direct Response Marketing’.

The way that successful Direct Response marketers go about it is to test something out, in fact test a few versions out, use the piece of marketing that got the highest response and then try and improve on it again and test to see if it gets a higher response and so on.

Successful Internet marketing is the same. Test, respond, test, respond. And luckily, it’s so easy to do on the web because web pages can be changed so quickly and marketing strategies can be changed so quickly.

How Do You Go About It?
It really is as simple as this at its base. But there are many things you need to know in order to get those leads and convert them. It really isn’t that hard. Having read this you now actually have a better understanding of the whole than many website designers and IT geeks, now all you need is some of the nitty gritty of how to do it.

You'll need to learn how to develop a website that converts leads into paying customers, and you'll need to learn how to develop many qualified leads coming to that web site every day.

I have many articles on these and many more subjects at haydnomeagher.com Please visit and have a read.

More Stories By Peter Crean

I am a 33 year old Internet marketing professional with a specialty in assisting small businesses. I have over 10 years experience in Internet marketing and have worked in offline advertising and marketing as a writer and later an account manager working on some of the largest companies in the world.