If you ask any successful offline world entrepreneur how it’s possible to build a great business without a proper strategy, he’ll start laughing. But many internet marketing experts are trying to make money without even realizing what on earth they’re doing online…
If you believe that you can jump in, create a website, submit it to a few directories or blogs, sit down, relax & watch those thousands of dollars (that you’ve seen in many marketers’ checks) to come, then you need to stop right there. It ain’t gonna happen. You need to think: who you are and where do you want to be in the future. Whether offline or online, there are only two things that matter: “Buying” and “Selling”. Basically, to simplify, it all comes down to this:
- Who is your customer?
What is he or she specifically looking for? You must know their problems or desires. You must be in their shoes and find out what is that would make them feel better (an offer).
- What is your offer?
Why should they buy from you? How come you’re better than the rest? Why should they trust you? Are you offering your own or someone else’s product? How will you create an irresistible offer so they beg you to sell it to them?
Before you even start creating internet marketing strategy for your website(s), you need to do a research. That’s where it all begins actually. Just like in any business, you have to understand where you are and what can you do.
#1 Phase - Online Research
In this phase, you must research your market. Who are your main competitors? What are they doing online? PPC, SEO, press releases, develop their own products, do affiliate marketing or Adsense? What are their weaknesses? Do they offer a guarantee? Is their product really good? Do they build links constantly or not?
Who is your favourite customer? Where do they hangout: MySpace or YouTube? Are they freebie seekers or desperate buyers? What forces them to buy one or another product? Read reviews, forums, testimonials to find out as much as you can about your target market.
#2 Phase – Data Analysis
If you’ve performed a thorough online market research, it’s time to systematize the data you have. Write down what are the main strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Maybe you have more time than your competitors? Or maybe you know some targeted traffic source that others don’t. How might this affect your business?
Which are the places your target market usually visits? What are their main concerns? Maybe they’re not satisfied with the products in the market. Can offer something better, maybe in a form of a bonus? After that, you come to the next step, which is developing your internet marketing strategy.
#3 Phase – Strategy Development
It involves a little bit of planning. What marketing methods you’ll use and which ones you can afford? PPC, SEO, email, blogging, podcasting, video blogging, webinars, viral traffic generation, link building, banner exchange or others…? You must prioritize your web marketing tactics. Find out what’s going to bring you positive ROI in the shortest time possible.
Do you have enough time to perform search engine optimization? If so, then sit and do everything you can, day in day out, to rank at the top in search engines. Don’t have time? Then buy PPC traffic and start testing your landing pages effectively. Or buy resell rights to products and sell them on ClickBank with the help of JV partners.
Don’t have time AND money? Then you better get one or another, otherwise you’re dead.
Seriously, you must find ways to get time or money. You need to think about how you can exploit other people’s time and money to build your own web business. That’s what rich people do and that’s what you must do if you want to survive in this competitive world.
#4 Phase – Monitoring Performance
When you have an internet marketing plan, you can start implementing it right away. The last step is to start monitoring your internet marketing campaigns. Which keywords people typed into search engines to find your site? Which keywords brought you the most money in PPC marketing? Are you satisfied with your SEO rankings or not? Do majority of your visitors leave your site without even spending 30 seconds? And so on…
Only with the help of close monitoring you can discover what works and what doesn’t. Testing landing pages, testing Adwords ads against each other (A/B split testing) can show you some amazing results. And remember – you never know for sure until you TEST it!