Sometimes clients have problems grasping all of the aspects of online marketing. This challenge is, of course, only natural. Any new in-depth topic is hard to understand in the beginning. If an internet marketer decided to take a look at structural engineering or corporate accounting, they’d get lost in the beginning. (Actually, they’re likely to be lost for a few months or even years).
A decision needs to get made as to how deeply you want to learn. When we go to the doctor, it’s good when they can explain a problem in simple terms, and this helps us feel comfortable. To have full knowledge of the doctors thought processes and experience might take at least a medical degree, and possibly many years of experience as well.
When developing your online omnipresence it helps to fully understand the basics and the result that you want to achieve. You don’t need to know every aspect of the digital world. This mastery will take years that you don’t have available.
So in the vein of knowing the basics, and what you want to achieve, let’s break it down.
Internet marketing 101
Q) What’s the internet?
A) A network of digitally displayed information with links to even more information.
Q) What’s marketing?
A) A set of tactics to achieve the goal of putting your companies offers in front of more potential customers.
Q) How’s that different to sales?
A) Sales are one on one, one to a group, or a group to a group. Marketing is sales but in a volume model.
So, internet marketing is about getting your sales message or value proposition out. You want it in front of as many relevant eyeballs as possible. Excellent internet marketing makes sure that most of these eyeballs belong to your target customers.
Public relations/ advertising 101
Q) What do we want to achieve with PR or advertising?
A) We want messages about our values and market positioning in front of as many people as possible.
If we can make these messages appear in front of people who might do business with us, then this is called targeting.
Q) What is the difference between internet marketing and marketing in the real world?
A) Nothing, the internet IS real, the people looking at your website or advert are real as well.
Where do we want our message to appear? Everywhere! Or at least in as many places as possible. If these places are where your target customer hangs out, then this is perfect.
Let’s draw a comparison to traditional PR or advertising. If you came up with a remarkable product and a buzz started to occur, how many news channels would you want it to appear?
… All of them?
… All news channels all over the World?
Unless you’re as amazing as Apple, global domination is unlikely. So you start with as many channels as possible and try to target them.
If you created a billboard advert, where will you want it to display?
… In your local city?
… In every city?
There are too many news channels, and too many cities to make global domination viable or cost-effective for most businesses. This challenge means that you pick the most relevant to your niche. You choose places where your target audience is most likely to see them and take action.
Finding customers or them finding you. Push/Pull
Just as with traditional marketing, in the online space you can create ways for your customers to find you, or you can go to them.
For example, imagine that you create a helpful infographic about geology. It helps a geology student visualise a typical cross-section of the earth that shows the likely rock formations that contain hydrocarbon deposits. You might help them pass their exams. If when they visit your website, they also see that there are other valuable resources, and a mailing list- they might sign up. Someone like this will keep being ‘pulled’ back to your website because it is so helpful to them.
Over time, geology professors might link to your helpful information from their blog, or from their university resource page. They’d do that to allow their students to find it, and your SEO backlink profile will become more powerful. Your geological formation infographic will feature high in the search results, pulling more visitors to your website.
An example of push advertising is paying for a Facebook adverts or Twitter adverts that appear right in their stream next to the updates from their trusted friends and colleagues. They see your message in a trusted place.
Just as in the ‘real world’ of newspapers, leaflets and magazines, online there are better places to put your message. (Most places would be a waste of time, due to targetting). Due to the inter-connectivity of ‘the web’ online efforts can be continued on a steady basis, the results will be cumulative.
The goal would be to have mentions, write-ups or links on every news site, every industry site, every related blog. You’ll never be able to appear on them all. If every month you create or find a few new places to put your message, you’ll build momentum.