Internet Marketing Strategy

Every business, whether big or small, must make its customers know of its products/services. You market to inform, encourage, persuade and maintain customers. If you are starting, you must let customers know that you are in existence and you are offering certain products. You will then encourage/persuade them to use your products. If, however, you have been in existence, you must market to persuade more customers use your products and maintain those who are already using your products so that they do not switch to the competitors’ products.

This is the heart of marketing.  With the current paradigm shift from physical marketplace to the virtual/electronic marketplace, it is import for you to explore strategies and techniques that you can use on the Internet that will enhance and support your business's overall marketing objectives. Learn how to conduct banner promotions, generate targeted online traffic, positioning your content, and over all brand awareness.
Internet marketing, also known as digital marketing, web marketing, online marketing, search marketing or e-marketing, is the marketing (generally promotion) of products or services over the Internet.

Social Media Marketing
There are so many companies, both the large companies as well as the soloprenuer out there that are beginning to think social media marketing is about getting rich quick, or it's the quick fix to small marketing budgets that will pull them through the recession with little or no effort.

Social media is about interaction, when you interact, you create relationships; when you create these relationships, you create opportunities to share your products and services. This doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, consistency, and a genuine interest in the creation and nurturing of those relationships. If you aren't willing to do that, then hire a consultant that will do it for you; and if you aren't willing to do that, then don't do it at all.

There is not a standard list of rights and wrongs when it comes to social media, but there is one thing that is constant: no matter what industry you are in, do it badly and you will destroy your reputation within the social media realm. You can save your reputation by minding your manners.

Social Media Marketing Don’ts

  • It's not all about you, interact.  Get to know others; don't just try to sell and promote your products. It won't work.
  • Spamming is not ok, ever. It's true that spamming is becoming a problem in the social media networks, and we are being required to weed through it, just like we do in our email inboxes. Don't spam followers; if they didn't ask for it, don't send it. It's that simple! Permission marketing is key.
  • Inconsistency will lead to failure. You must be consistent when it comes to using social media. Participating once a month or once a week just won't get the results you desire.
    4.Don't be a social media snob. Obviously social marketing is about being social; be willing to learn from others, and this isn't just about others in your industry.
  • Want followers?  You will have to be a follower. Just like you can't open a storefront and think that customers will just show up, you cannot sign up and start off in social media thinking everyone is just going to come and follow you. You must be a follower. Social marketing isn't about flying solo, participate.
    It's important to realize that social media marketing does work, but as with any marketing strategy, there are the core pieces of that strategy that you must implement. You must find the right social media marketing vehicles that will work for you and your industry, as well as design the campaigns that will present you with the results that you desire. It is a low to no-cost marketing option, but you will need to invest your time. If you are not willing to do that, consider selecting another marketing option or outsourcing your social media marketing with a company that can help you create and implement your social media marketing strategy. If you decide to outsource, just be sure to select a company or a consultant that has an idea of what they are doing.

Men and Women Use the Internet Differently
When it comes to marketing online, you must understand your consumers. This means learning what they look for, and how they use the internet. This can help you grab their attention and get your marketing message in front of the right audience.
It's also important to realize that when it comes to online habits of men and women - they differ. I know, surprise! In the past there has been a lag with women when it came to the adoption of the internet, that is no longer the case. Truth is, studies show that women under the age of 65 are quicker to use the internet than men. As women we love to use the internet for research, where men prefer to use it as an entertainment tool. Do you see how this information can help?
When we review studies that have been done on the different ways that men and women use the internet, we can gain a greater deal of knowledge on how to position our products online.
Let's take a look at what a past study done by Pew Internet and American Life showed, while this study was done in 2005 I still believe much of the knowledge is applicable and can be used today.

Men are more likely to use the internet to:

    • Read the news
    • Buy travel services or make reservations
    • Check sports scores and gather sports information
    • Stay updated on political news
    • Participate in online auctions, such as eBay
    • Write content to publish online
    • Download music
    • Buy and sell stocks, bonds and mutual funds

A Forrester study done in 2007 also showed that on the average men tend to stay online longer and devote more time to online entertainment and researching technical gadgets.

Women use the internet to:

  • Get health information
  • Read spiritual and religious information
  • Gain access and participate in support group websites

A few other interesting statistics that were provided in a different study done by Burst Media in the beginning of 2009 stated the following:
•62.3% of women use the internet as their primary source for information on the products they were considering purchasing.
•51.7% of the women studied use the internet as the primary way to keep in touch with their families

As you can see men go online to be entertained and hunt down information, where women tend to go online to gather information that assists them in nurturing, themselves and those around them. Clearly while both men and women generally spend allotments of time online, gender stereotypes are prevalent in what they do with their time online.
Putting it to Use: Think about who your potential customer is online. Is the majority male or female? Can you see how this information can assist you in not only where but how to position your product or service in order to increase the conversions you gain online? How will you use this information in upcoming marketing campaigns?

Your Exercise
Go to www.facebook.com , login and create you company free of charge. You can invite your friends and customers to it by using the free facility available. Check out how other companies EPC, KLM, Citizen have used social media on www.facebook.com/epckenya, http://www.facebook.com/KLM and http://www.facebook.com/KLM#!/pages/Citizen-TV-Kenya/261061365404 respectively.

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