How to Start Marketing Your Business Online

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Online Marketing
This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Marketing Your Business Online
     

While, in theory, the concepts behind Internet marketing might be quite simple, executing effective strategies can be extremely difficult. This can even be tough for those who are quite experienced in the world of Internet marketing. With this in mind, this article will attempt to explain the concept of Internet marketing for beginners and will outline some basic strategies that can help a business owner to launch his or her own Internet marketing campaign. It will cover concepts such as creating a website, placing banner ads, sending out e-newsletters, orchestrating an email marketing campaign, and optimizing your website for search engines.

Creating a Website:  One of the most basic steps for starting an Internet marketing campaign is to create a website. If you don’t have a website or have a poorly designed website, you should consider creating or redesigning a website to adequately market your products. If you do not have experience in web design, there are a number of software packages that make it simple for those with no design experience to create a functional website. However, hiring a web designer is worthwhile because he or she can work to create a website that is attractive, functional and suitable for your products and series. He can also help you to include more advanced features on your website.

Online Advertising: Banner ads are another popular option for advertising your business on the Internet. Banner ads are advertisements that typically appear along the top of a website but may also include smaller ads in other locations. Banner ads typically include graphics and text, which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement. Once a user clicks on the ad, he or she are directed to your website. This type of advertising can be very effective when care is taken to place the advertisements on high traffic websites, which attract an audience that may have an interest in your products.

Electronic Newsletters: Sending out e-newsletters can also be an important part of an effective Internet marketing strategy. E-newsletters are essentially emails that may contain a variety of different types of information, including informative articles, useful quizzes, relevant advertising, or any other information that is deemed worthwhile for the recipients of the e-newsletter. The importance of these newsletters is that they can be used as marketing tools, which are not viewed by the recipients as advertisements. One way to do this is to incorporate links or other soft sales approaches into the copy of the e-newsletters. However, care should be taken to keep these references to a minimal so the e-newsletter is not viewed as spam.

Email Marketing: Email marketing campaigns can be another successful aspect of an Internet marketing campaign. Email marketing essentially involves sending out emails to a group of individuals who may be interested in your products and services. Care should be taken in sending out these emails to avoid sending emails that are unsolicited and will be viewed as spam. One way to do this is to only send out the emails to users who have requested inclusion on an email mailing list. Another way is to provide value in the emails as opposed to just including advertisements. This can be done by offering relevant advice in your emails and other useful information, which may be of interest to the email recipients.

Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your website for search engines is a critical aspect of an Internet marketing campaign. Search engines rank websites according to quality and relevance for particular search terms. Many Internet users appreciate the effort by search engines and use these search engines to find the best websites on a particular subject. This means that the Internet users are likely to only visit websites that rank well with search engines. Therefore, if your website is not high-ranking, you are not likely to generate a great deal of traffic from Internet users who use search engines to find relevant websites. Top-ranking websites are likely to obtain the most traffic from search engines and all websites falling on the first page of the search engine results will likely enjoy some degree of success in improving their traffic.

Social Media: Participation in industry-related social media networks is one of the easiest ways a business owner can use the Internet as a promotional tool. Social media networks are websites that provide a forum for Internet users who share a common interest to share information related to that subject or just to socialize. Business owners may choose to join social media networks that closely relate to their industry or the products or services they offer. This is important because doing this gives the business owners access to a group of Internet users who fall into the target audience for his or her products or services. It also gives the business owner the opportunity to promote his own website. Many social media networks allow users to place a link to their own website in their profiles. Business owners who do this and also contribute useful commentary on the message boards may attract potential customers via the link they place in their profile.

Blogging: Blog marketing is quite easy to start using. If you have never blogged before, you will, of course, want to start a test blog just to get the feel for how it is. You will want to become familiar with the blogging platforms that you will be using and learn how to create a post. So, once you have become familiar with blogging and what it takes to post and make changes, you are ready to go further. The next thing that you are going to want to do is choose a niche market. You will want to choose something that is low in competition, yet is something that people are searching for.

Now that you have your topics in place, it is time to begin blogging. When you are blogging for the purpose of marketing, you want to give your readers something that they have to keep coming back for. You want to peak their interest and make them want more from you. This will keep your readership base up and will allow you to have followers who will follow you anywhere to see what you are going to say next on their favorite topic.

Now that you have a topic, you want to determine just how much time you are going to spend updating and posting this blog. If you tell your readers that you are going to post on a daily basis, do so. If you let them know that you will be blogging weekly, you should also stick with that. Whatever you tell them, be sure that you do not let them down. Otherwise, they will find another blog to read in place of yours, which is something that you will not want.

Conclusion

Just like there are no magic weight loss cures or ways to earn money from home without a great deal of effort, there is not one simple solution to guarantee Internet marketing success. However, Internet marketing is not overly complicated and many business owners can enjoy at least some degree of Internet marketing success with only limited knowledge about the industry.

A simple way to enjoy Internet marketing success is to hire a consulting firm to plan and execute your Internet marketing strategy. Just like SEO, Internet marketing is essentially a full-time job. Business owners may have a great deal of difficulty trying to run their business and organize their Internet marketing. Outsourcing this work eases the burden on the business manager and will likely produce more favorable results.

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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.

Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.

Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

 

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