Numerous online marketing strategies exist for Internet business owners. To fully capitalize on each requires a dedicated marketing team capable of developing, implementing, and tracking results to evaluate return on investment.
Deciding which online marketing strategies are best suited for your business model requires market research. It’s important to understand the needs and wants of your target market, as well as the methods they prefer for receiving advertising messages.
Every Internet Business Needs a Website
A must-have marketing strategy for any online business is developing a company website. While technology has made it easy for anyone to build a website, it is best to leave this task to professionals. Websites are often the primary selling tool and should be optimized using SEO techniques.
Websites should be visually-pleasing, easy to navigate, and contain content that instantly captivates visitors. This marketing tool can be used to provide information; sell products or services; or present marketing videos or audio podcasts.
Websites are also an exceptional lead generation tool. Business owners can gather opt-in subscribers by offering complimentary newsletters, informative reports, discount coupons, or product giveaways.
Online Video Marketing
Video marketing has taken the world by storm. Anyone who owns a digital camera or cell phone with video capabilities can produce an online video. However, to fully capitalize with this marketing strategy requires careful consideration to content and distribution.
Videos provide business owners with the opportunity to build brand awareness through relationship marketing. When consumers enjoy video content they eagerly share with others via email or social media outlets.
Taking time to produce compelling videos provides companies with the opportunity for their marketing message to go viral and spread around the Internet within a matter of minutes. The secret to success is producing advertising videos that leave viewers feeling entertained, informed, and eager to share with others.
It can be beneficial to hire a video production company to film and edit marketing videos. Another option is to implement an internship program and reach out to local colleges and vocational schools. Working with students often provides fresh perspectives and is an affordable solution for obtaining professional marketing videos.
Audio Podcast Marketing
Audio podcasts are a great way to share information with the masses. They can be used as infomercials; for entertainment purposes; to share interviews with industry experts; provide insights into the inner workings of your business; or to produce Internet radio shows.
Producing podcasts is not a difficult task, but does require noise-cancelling microphones and audio editing software. As with all advertising campaigns, companies should first develop a podcast marketing plan.
It’s important to determine what types of podcasts will be produced; how often they will be delivered; and which podcasting directories are best suited for publishing. Internet business owners who consistently produce quality podcasts can develop a loyal following of subscribers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a dynamic online marketing strategy that allows Internet business owners the opportunity to easily reach the masses. Millions of consumers use Facebook and Twitter to connect with companies.
Every day consumers share company information with their friends by clicking on a ‘share’ button. Social media marketing is similar to word-of-mouth advertising, but can reach a substantially wider audience.
There are literally hundreds of social media outlets that allow business owners to connect with consumers. It’s important to conduct market research to determine which ones will effectively reach your target market.
It is best to combine multiple advertising methods to gain maximum exposure. However, to fully capitalize on these advertising methods requires a dedicated team. It can be beneficial to work with a marketing agency that can produce a variety of campaigns and track results.
Taking time to research available online marketing strategies can minimize risks and maximize exposure. Working with professionals and producing consistent ad campaigns can launch your business to a new level and substantially increase profit margins.
SEOMOZ: Social Media Marketing Guide