Strategic internet marketing is a core component of any business’s marketing strategy. It’s crucial to be clear on what your objectives are (building customer loyalty, expanding your customer base, providing new products or services, etc) and how to invest your money on Internet-related activities to achieve those objectives. When you use ineffective strategies, you risk turning off prospective customers, wasting time and money, losing brand capital, and maybe even running afoul of the law. So, in building your Internet presence, consider applying these 5 strategic internet marketing tips into your marketing mix.
Life on the Internet is really similar to real life. Just like many people don’t welcome phone calls from strangers, they don’t want mass email from strangers either. It’s one thing to write a personalized email to someone you don’t know; it’s quite another situation entirely to bombard a stranger’s inbox (we call that spam these days, anyway). So what’s the key to a successful email marketing strategy? Building a list of people who are interested in hearing about what you have to say (by the way, this may or may not include people you’ve met at networking events who’ve given you their card — so ask!). We call that a permission list, and we call it a permission list because its premise is have people opt in to hearing what you have to say, instead of soliciting them to death. In other words, give people an opportunity to listen to your message by asking them for permission to keep them in the loop. Seth Godin, one of the best strategic internet marketing resources out there, has written tons of good books about permission marketing. Read them all.
Much of the point of the Internet is to provide people with relevant, ideally actionable, information. What are your prospective clients searching for? What kind of information could you provide that would make a difference for them? How might that be different from the kind of information your current clients or customers are looking for? Deliver content to your consumers that matters to them.
Start a Conversation
People don’t just use the Internet to absorb information. It’s also a place to hang out, to connect with others, and to talk. Now, what you do is plenty interesting to people. Share about it in an engaging way. And if you don’t think what you do is interesting, or if you don’t think you can find a way to talk about what you do in a way that interests others, then you really want to take a look at how successful you are communicating your message to others. On the Internet (and off the Internet too), it’s crucial to share about yourself, to lead a conversation about important issues that are relevant to your business, and to give people the space to share their own ideas and thoughts. That level of acceptance and genuineness is a precious commodity. It gives your prospective and current customers a window into who you are as a person. It makes you more credible and human, and it has people stay excited about doing business with you.
Offer Special Deals
Reward your active consumer base with special deals. Those people who participate in your discussions — honor their contribution!
Keep In Touch
Use the internet marketing tools at your disposal to send out email blasts to your permission list, to update and disseminate your blog, and to spread your message over social media. Strategic internet marketing services (many of which happen to offer free packages) abound: MailChimp, Twitter, Facebook and more. If you want to outsource those responsibilities, hire a strategic internet marketing firm to manage that for you. Ultimately, be in constant contact with your fans and your customers, striking a balance between providing timely messages and overloading their inbox. Want a reference point? Consider touching base with your customers weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Ask them how often they’d like to hear from you! When you come from a mentality of being of service to them, the best way to do that will become very clear.