The idea for this article began during the “here comes the recession” buzz in the media. Later, in response to feedback from clients and potential clients we realized the need for getting these tips completed and on the site.
Finally, after reviewing a copy of the Fairfield County Business Journal it was time to move from idea to action.
I won’t discuss some of the inaccuracies and misconceptions in the original FCBJ article here. If you read the original article and would like me to discuss it with you, kindly leave a comment and I’ll get back with you…
So this post will serve as part rebuttal, part revelation of the realities regarding online advertising and marketing.
Buckle up, because here we go…
1. Have a Clear Goal
This point may seem obvious to many of you. But the key to web marketing campaigns is having a clear, and MEASURABLE goal in mind before you start your campaign.
And this involves knowing business “stuff” like:
- cost per lead
- conversion rate
- cost per conversion
- lifetime value of a customer/client
- back end offers
And the list goes on.
For people in business, keep in mind that web marketing INTEGRATES into your existing sales process.
So think about how you will be able to tie your online marketing efforts into your existing offline systems.
2. Understand Your Audience
There are two related issues under this broad (and very important) category. First, know what your target audience WANTS or NEEDS.
Second, know their language so that you can clearly and effectively communicate your offer to them.
What do you do if you have no idea about either of these critical points? Well, go ask them…
3. Get Your Metrics in Place
Web metrics and real time reporting make online marketing the single most EFFECTIVE marketing available to your business.
Point is, you can generate valuable market data in an afternoon (provided, of course, that you get enough traffic).
So, BEFORE launching any web marketing campaigns, make sure your metrics are in place so that you can track, on a daily basis, the effectiveness of your campaign.
Side note: this function is NOT something you want to outsource. You need ACCESS to the data, and you should not rely on someone providing you reporting.
On a related note, do NOT use Urchin to track your web metrics. For starters, you will not get real time reporting or customizable reports — which are a MUST.
4. Understand What You are Paying For
Proposals do not need to real like a copy of “War and Peace.” Meaning, a one page proposal should be sufficient to communicate what you’ll be paying for.
That said, web marketing firms have a way of defaulting into “techno-speak.” So before signing on the dotted line with any company, make sure you know what you are getting.
And if you don’t understand some of the terms or what they mean to your business, ask…
5. Choose the Right Web Marketing Firm
That said, your results will depend on large part to the choice of web marketing firm you decide to us.
There is a big difference between them, based on one simple fact:
The internet is a RAPIDLY evolving environment. And many strategies you’ll get pitched have been obsolete for more than a couple of years.
So what can you do?
Well, for starters ask for references. Case studies. Anything “objective” to aid in your decision process.
6. Monitor Your Progress
Okay, so now you’ve got the ball rolling. Now here comes the fun. At a minimum, every new web marketing campaign should be monitored AT LEAST one time a day.
Why is that?
Because of the “law of small numbers.”
Here’s the point — you don’t need thousands of visitors to know if your web page is converting traffic into business.
On a similar note, for pay per click advertising, you don’t need thousands of “impressions” to know if your ad is working.
The lesson? Check your stats as often as possible when starting something new. And make sure you can track the effectiveness for each component of your marketing campaign.
And as you monitor your progress, that leads to…
7. Test & Measure
In other words, you will want to make improvements as you go. And you can only improve your results if you are tracking your results in the first place.
Ready for a shocker?
The only failure in web marketing is not tracking results and recording feedback during the campaign. Because even if your web marketing efforts don’t turn out as you would have liked (or even expected), you gained VALUABLE market research.
But only IF… you are tracking results.
Got it? This point cannot be overstated enough.
One final point before we wrap up. The internet is really no different than other marketing/advertising media. Except for one exception — the speed at which you can test ideas and get feedback.
So, understand that web marketing, like any other marketing, is a process. Every element of your web marketing efforts needs to be tested in order to be optimized.
Web Marketing Services
Do you need to improve your current web marketing efforts? Or create a web marketing campaign from scratch? You can follow the link to learn more about our web marketing programs.
Need help defining your sales process?
Leave a question or comment for us and we’ll get right back to you. Along with a complete range of web marketing solutions, we also provide sales process consulting.
Need help with Keyword Research. Follow the link to our upcoming tele-class.
Have you used pay per click marketing yet? If not, we can design a market test for you? And if you’ve tried pay per click marketing, we can optimize your old campaign to make it profitable for your business.
And if you just want to share your feedback by leaving a comment on the site, that’s great too.
Interested to discover how our web marketing firm can help solve your online (and offline) marketing problems? Just leave a comment here on the page.
We will respond. Promise.