Marketing In The 21st Century
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Marketing In the 21st Century

You have a website. Now what are you going to do with it? I have clients who tell me they want a web presence, but they don't expect much business to be generated by it. You get what you expect.

An internet business is just like any other business. People have to know, like and trust (KLT) you before they will do business with you. The more friends you have the more business you will generate. In a brick and mortar store you make friends with you customers by greeting them by name and by providing outstanding service and customer support. You stay in touch with your customers and you ask them for referrals. When you have established a KLT relationship your friends are happy to recommend you. Many small businesses advertise. It is always expensive to get that first customer. The profit is in repeat sales.

Now lets step into the 21st century. The marketing principles havenʻt changed, but the methods are different. The internet has made it possible for a small, local business to sell products worldwide. The internet has also made it possible to market to a few billion people. Most small business people are more concerned with their local market. They want to see customers coming in the door. The same applies to any organization that wants to increase its membership.

BI (before internet) I used direct mail to build a failing conservation organization from 250 to over 3000 members in 18 months. 3/4s of those members where from the mainland. They were people who had visited Hawaii and who fell in love with the State. They wanted to support conservation in Hawaii. We used the mailing lists of leading Hawaiian magazines.

Direct mail still has its place. Nothing beats a hand written thank you card. But todays marketing medium is the internet. Email is cheap and can be very effective when it is sent to people who KLT you. Your email list can be your greatest asset. The bigger the list, the greater the profit.

Why do you need a web site? Think about the kind of customer you want. You want people who can afford your product or service. People who have computers generally have discretionary money. They can buy what they want. People with computers also use the internet to research their purchases. 85% of people never go beyond page 1 on a search. Another 10% may go to page 2. If a search engine doesnʻt rank you on page 1, your website is out of business. Search phrases are still important, but far more important is visitor behavior. Search engines look at how long a visitor stays on you site and even how often they come back to your site. Search algorithms have become very sophisticated. Content is king. We can go into SEO later, but if you provide what people what they need, you will rank high in the search engines.

The big problem for most people is attracting visitors to their site and getting their visitors contact information so you can stay in touch. For effective email marketing you need the right tools:

  1. You need to be able to collect contact information from people who want to hear from you and you must automate the list building process.
  2. You need a lead capture page which has one purpose: to get contact information from your visitor.
  3. You need a sign up form linked to your opt-in list.
  4. You need an auto-responder that will automatically send a series of messages to everyone who signs up.
  5. You need a conference room where you can hold virtual meetings with people who want to know more about how you can help them.
  6. You need the ability to send video email because video email puts a personal touch on your message. Many people prefer looking to reading and when they can see you they can see the enthusiasm of your body language.

That package of tools can be expensive but it can also be rented for as little as $25/month.

You need to produce video and have a place to store it where people can view it. Your video doesnʻt have to be fancy. Keep everything simple. You can use your webcam on your computer or take the video with a smart phone. Producing video is a subject for another day, but it is important because video holds people on your site and search engines love that.

Social media is an important tool. You need to know what people are saying about you and you need to interact with your friends in a positive way to draw them to your web site. Just remember that social media is for telling stories and getting acquainted. It is not for selling product. It is a place where you establish relationships. It is a place for KLT.

Here are some ways you can strengthen the visibility of your Social media content:

Content Promotion Technique#1 – Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon are great for pushing out articles. With the ability to alter titles and include a description you can really give your article marketing the extra push it needs.

Content Promotion Technique#2 – Twitter and Facebook

Take that article and place a link along with the title in your Twitter stream and Facebook fan page. If you have a keyword in your title always use a hash tag to further its reach. Submit your article a few times over a short period of time. If your article is popular it won’t hurt to submit the link more than once during a few week span of time.

Content Promotion Technique#3 – Google Plus

Your business needs to use Google Plus. Let people hear case stories about how you have helped your customers. When you post an article talk about it in Google Plus. Even if you do not have many fans Google owns Google Plus and give posts in Google Plus VIP status. FaceBook and Tweeter have closed APIs which prevent search engines from indexing them.

Content Promotion Technique#4 – LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are an amazing way to generate great targeted visitors to your website. Join like-minded groups and submit your article into the stream of conversations and you will generate traffic and exposure to your content in no time.

Content Promotion Technique#5 – Niche Social Bookmarking

Some industries have social bookmarking websites dedicated towards a specific area of interest which can often times lead to very targeted website visitors. If you have any for your industry take the link where your content sits and submit it to your niche social bookmarking website. Google "niche social bookmarking" to find the social bookmarking sites relevant to you.

Internet Marketing takes time and is constantly changing, but with the right tools, a good team (opt-in-list) and consistent effort you can leverage the internet to become very profitable.


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