Internet Marketing Strategies to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

Internet marketing is one of the fastest growing online sectors and least understood. If done strategically, it gives you exposure throughout the Internet for your products and services and will deliver a high rate of return for your efforts. However, since there are so many moving parts that you might not know what to do first, second, and so forth – I have developed an Internet Marketing 101 Checklist:

1. Search Engine Optimization of Content: Content is where it all begins. It engages the visitor and makes them react (buy, read more, bookmark, navigate, etc.). Make certain it is easy to read for people and for search engines to index and rank.

2. Create New Relevant, Keyword Rich Content: Once your website is optimized, you need to be proactive in producing more and more relevant keyword rich content. Again, all content must be relevant to searches and optimized.

3. Utilize a Pay Per Click Campaign: Paying for traffic (visitors click on your online ads) is search engine advertising. You bid for keywords that are related to your products and services which you promote in your website content. It is one of the fastest ways to drive traffic if you are not well ranked on the free or organic side of the search engines.

4. Article Marketing: Writing articles and them more articles is an effective way to drive traffic to your site, position you as an expert in your field, help create more incoming links, and keep your rankings up on the search engines. Once written, articles should be submitted to directories, online PR publishers, and RSS feeds. Every article should be published on your website in an articles or resources page with a bookmark button.

5. Social Media Networking: Face it, we are social creatures. The social media networking explosion is an extension of our egos or ourselves. Just think Facebook or MySpace. Of course there are many networking vehicles you should have a profile on to deliver more information to hungry readers. It is not just for friend to friend interaction. Companies are taking it to the next level and business is being conducted through this social media.

6. Create and Maintain a Blog: Because the online consumer is more in control of what they read and decide, companies must connect with them on a more personal emotional level. In essence, develop an online personality. Humanize your products and services and blog about their direct features and benefits, peppered with testimonials. And the more you blog, the more content is created about you.

7. Video Marketing: With the growing popularity of video, people are more responsive to it than to simple audio or static web pages. Now there are even Internet Television websites where you can post your videos. Having video on your website and placing it on directories will bring your offerings to life and create a greater click through rate.

8. Web Widget Marketing: Widgets are small icons that reside in HTML and highlight specific content from your website. They have the ability to quickly introduce products and services to their target markets. They can reside on websites or blogs, ready to be downloaded to a desktop with a click and are a new marketing technique to build brand awareness.

9. Mobile Marketing: This will take a little time to develop, but it is good to prepare for the next web wave. Websites will emerge that can be easily accessed and read by mobile devices. Your website will in essence be a mobile advert.

10. Email Marketing Strategy: Continue to develop an online relationship with you visitors through continued email marketing campaigns and to grow your online client base. You want to engage your list with relevant content – newsletters, special offers, and information to enhance their lives. Email marketing is still alive and well as long as it is permission based. Customers will continue to look forward to your communications and doing business with you.

Implementing These Strategies: Following these 10 Internet marketing strategies will help you stay ahead of your competition and position you to succeed online.

Where to Get Internet Marketing Help

One of the most common questions beginners ask is where they can find Internet marketing help. Everyone needs help once in a while and more often than not, most beginners share the same questions or problems when starting out.Finding help is not a difficult task if you know where to look. The amount of help and information you can get online is abundant, although you will also find lot of useless information that could lead you in the wrong direction. So you need to know how to filter out unnecessary information.So where are places you can go to get help?You can go to Internet marketing help forums for starters. Forums are a place where a group of like minded people gather and discuss about their common interest. There are usually a lot of sections inside the forum where you can browse through for information or help.You just need to find an marketing forum to get help, simple as that. Chances are, you’ll find that your questions or problems have already been asked by another person. You can go through the forum threads to see what other’s have replied and whether or not it has helped the person who asked the question.One of the best forums you can go to for Internet marketing help is the Warrior Forum. It’s a very well known forum where a lot of marketers hang out – from complete beginners who just can’t seem to make his first dollar online, to the gurus who rake in millions a month.Many marketers have also set up their own forums, although most of them are for paid members only. However, chances are you will be able to get better quality information since members are usually more focused and helpful. One such forum is ProBlogger Community forum.The next stop for you to get help would be Internet marketing blogs. You can get updates on what is happening in the online marketing world and what are the new methods that are being looked into.Marketers often posts tips, suggestions and sometimes just to share a few stories that could inspire you or to give you the hows and the whys of doing Internet marketing. Don’t be surprised if you sometimes find a simple blog post to be more valuable to you than some of the Internet marketing products being sold.Don’t be afraid to leave a comment asking for more clarification, or even contact the blogger or marketer directly if you have a more specific question. The worse thing that can happen is that nothing happens. But you might just receive a reply, or even find a blog post addressing your issues.Most bloggers are very open and friendly, especially to their readers. You’re also doing them a favor if you can bring up a question or problem that the blogger has not addressed before – it’s a fresh idea he can use for his next blog post!Thanks for reading!To your success

How To Cut Your Business Expense by Using Direct Mail Successfully

Now that Pay Per Click marketing is becoming so expensive for most business owners, it is apparent that if we want to generate more qualified customers/leads, we need to find other alternative tools to help market our business.

P.P.C or Ad Words is Google’s platform for advertising on the internet. P.P.C is great and can be complicated for the masses. Most people have discounted the appeal of direct mail. Direct mail has been around for a long time and still is the most cost efficient way to advertise.

When direct mail is used properly, it can save you time and money and it is easy to track its results on your business. In addition, most gurus are using more direct mail than P.P.C advertisement because it cost less and you can target a larger portion of your market just as efficiently as P.P.C.

Just last week, I got a post card from Google offering me a discount coupon to advertise on P.P.C. I suspect many of you reading this article also have received a similar post card from Google.

Furthermore, if you compare a 45-cent stamp for a targeted customer verses $5.00 or more average acquisition cost per person on Google, it is very apparent that we, as business owners, need to implement more direct mail advertising.

Simple put, depending on your level of expertise on P.P.C, the average cost to acquire a qualified lead is about $5.00. In addition, some media platforms where there is higher quality of leads will cast you twice as much. For example, the fox distribution channels or entrepreneur magazine. If you tried to advertise on anyone of them, the cost would be considerable higher.

The examples above are sites where you would find entrepreneurs that “hang out” there. As a business owner of any industry if you wanted target highly qualified leads you want to advertise on media platforms where your market resides.

Direct mail is still the most cost efficient and easiest to use. In the article, I will give you some simple solutions to get your message across using direct mail.

To stay in business we need to offer our services/products to the customer who has express and interest in our product/service. There are over 300 million people in the United States but not all 300 million are interested in your product/service.

The question remains where are these customers. The first solution is to stop thinking like a business owner and start thinking like a marketer who owns a business. A marketer looks for ways to increase his/her sales in their business. Therefore, when searching for those highly qualified customers you need to know where they are and market to them.

One solution to finding these qualified leads is to use a direct mail or e-mail list broker. A list broker is an easy way to get a list of names, address and e-mails of customers in your industry.

As a marketer who owns a business, your job is to contact the list broker and give them your ideal customer (avatar) and the list broker can give a very specific list of name, addresses and e-mails of individuals who match your criteria.

For example, you are selling vacation homes in California on the coast of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a very expensive place to live especially near the ocean. As a marketer that happens to own a business, you would ask the list brokers of a list of names, addresses from the top 25 metro areas whose income is at least $300.000 and who has inquired about vacation homes in California in the last 6 months.

The example I have just given you is considered a much-targeted list. A real-estate broker in California, who has acquired this list, could perform infinitely better than his/her peers in the same market.

The typical price for a list of 5,000 names and address is estimate to be $500.00. If you do the math that about a.10 cent, acquisition cost of highly targeted leads.

Moreover, if you write a compelling AD and put it in the mail with a 45-cent stamp the cost is much cheaper compared to what it would have cost you online. Moreover, a marketer who owns a business could also put a solo AD in a trade journal of that particular industry to generate leads by simply putting a link directing the customer to your website.

The take away is this direct mail is not going away in-spite of what you may think. Direct mail is easy to test one campaign against another it is cheaper to acquire leads. You can be as creative as you want in your mailing piece. Most of the credit card and insurance companies have increased their direct mailing budgets.

Finally, the longer a piece of well crafted advertisement stays around the longer your name stays out in print and the higher the probability it will be shared with someone else.

Tim Mason