Are You an Internet Marketing Genius?

Not many people are, so it shouldn’t be an embarrassment saying that you are not.

Internet marketing can be hard and even confusing. At least, it seems to be for the novice who just wants to get as many people as possible to see their website.

So what about internet marketing do most people find difficult?

Understanding how it has changed in the last decade. Traditional marketing used to be a relatively simple process. Maybe some mailers to people around town, a small space in the local Yellow pages, maybe even a spot on local radio. All of that has changed with the internet boom. Now you can market globally… if you understand how. Sure, it can make your business visible to a much larger audience, but how?

Making the best to use your time. Most small business people wear multiple hats. As a comparison, internet marketing is the cheap baseball cap compared to the expensive fedora of trying to manage the business. Internet marketing seems to take up way too much time for the tangible/measurable benefits it brings.

Spending the money. Marketing is just one of many costs, but because modern internet marketing is completed on so many fronts, it is difficult to know where the money is going. Keeping track of most expenses is easy because you have a direct relationship. But, marketing costs seem so ethereal.

Determining what is effective. In traditional marketing, you can do studies to determine exactly (or at least close to exactly) how effective your marketing dollars were. There was more of a direct link between marketing and sales. Now it is seems like it is very difficult to tell.
What is the answer to this dilemma? You know you have to market in order to be seen by as many people as possible.

So to get the most out of your marketing dollar, you can take one of two actions. Let’s look at them.

#1. Learn How to do Internet Marketing Yourself (effectively)

Computers are as necessary to business these days as buggy whips were at one time. Of course, the buggy whip manufacturers either adapted or they went the way of large wooden sailing ships. It is possible to find some of each in museums these days, but they aren’t in use anymore.

If you are hoping that the same happens to computers and the internet, you are probably also betting your business on a coin at the wishing well. Neither are a good bet.

So, computers are here to stay and you need to learn how to market using one. You know your business won’t grow itself, but learning a new task when your time is already precious is not efficient. But, internet marketing is necessary.

You could take one of the online courses, spend time just reading as much information as possible, or you could take the second alternative (at this point I am going to say that it is the better of the two).

#2. Outsource Your Internet Marketing

You have just reached a milestone and you want to show your employees how much you appreciate them. A party sounds like a good idea, something that they will remember for a long time. Something that will motivate them when they are doing their jobs tomorrow. What do you do?

Well, if you’re smart, you let an expert take over. You know what you’re good at and it isn’t planning parties (unless you’re an event planner or caterer, then think of a different example). You call the local Chucky Cheese (or other favorite venue) and let them do the planning.

Looking at this example, why would you then believe that you can be an effective internet marketer when it’s not your specialty?

Some would have you believe that internet marketing is as simple as putting up a Facebook page, sending out a few Tweets and writing something in your websites blog every two or three weeks. If that was true, why aren’t the orders flowing in?

Effective internet marketing is complex. You need to understand how to reach people using modern technologies and you need to understand the possible benefits of many different resources.

Why would you try to tackle such a complex system without some type of help? It would be insane.

Outsourcing works for companies in need of a service that is better done by someone else. For example, many small businesses turn to someone else for such services as human resources, payroll, web design and, yes, internet marketing. Because these are all specialized services, small business owners understand that they actually save money while outsourcing some aspects of their business.

Time is just too valuable!

You can find a company that specializes in internet marketing which could include handling your social media marketing, promoting your blog, etc. These companies have years of experience, keep up with changes that are always occurring in internet marketing and use proven marketing strategies to help their clients succeed.

In addition, just think of that extra time you would have on your hands if you didn’t have to do these tasks yourself and could concentrate on other important areas in your small business. Yes, it costs money to hire someone to handle your internet marketing, but remember… Time = Money.

Outsourcing may seem like something that large businesses can afford to do, but they have the money to have in-house departments. It pays for a small business to think creatively when they cannot afford to provide internet marketing services for themselves.

The original question was “Are you an internet marketing genius?” If not, then outsourcing your internet marketing chores may be the best way to go!

Internet Marketing And Offline Marketing Combined

I know for me, when it came to making money in my offline business, internet marketing was totally out of the equation. I didn’t even know how to build a website as opposed to selling products on my website. But now I can officially say that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to interne marketing. It took me 10 years to learn but, I’m still happy that I knew how to make it work.

So are you looking for way to make your business work on the internet? Well believe it or not, it’s not that hard to do at all. In fact, I want to show you some of the benefits of marketing your business on the internet. Here’s the first tip:

1) PPC

PPC stands for “pay per click” advertising, and it’s the fastest way to start earning money from the internet. What pay per click does is that you put up an ad to run on the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing), and you get charge a small fee for everyone who clicks on your ad.

If you’re operating in a local market, you can easily scoop up all of the traffic that people will search for when they type in a query related to your business. So someone may go to Google and type in “Chicago dentist”. When someone types in this search query, you will show up first in the results. Here’s another way to operate your business online.

2) Google Places

Again, when someone types in a query related to your business, you want to be first on something called Google Places. Make sure you fill out everything that you can including pictures, images, and even videos. Plus, you will want to do the same thing for something called Yahoo Places.

Here’s another tip for using the internet to market your online business.

3) Email marketing

With your own email newsletter, you can send periodic updates to people in your niche, and interact with them on a weekly basis. Consider mailing to your subscribers once a week. This is a great time limit to put on following up on your market. I think to make email marketing very effective, you need a lot of subscribers, and people who will follow you no matter what you say in your email newsletter.

To build an email list like this, you have to do all kinds of unusual things to make your newsletter a success. You will want to tell your prospects about yourself, you have to make jokes, and you have to keep them informed of your personal life. People will pick up on this, and will interact with you on a daily basis.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these tips to have the kind of business success as possible. I think once you put them into action, you’ll be able to have the kind of success that you dream of. So start putting them into use today.

Good luck with using these tips to have the kind of marketing success that you crave for.

Making Direct Mail Work for Small Businesses

If you own a small business, then you know the value of affordable and effective marketing. Unfortunately, many traditional and online advertising methods are becoming quite expensive. This article will explain direct mail guidelines and methods.

Direct mail is an often over-looked method that can be very effective if executed properly. There are three guidelines to follow when conducting an effective direct mail campaign:

1. Catch the reader’s attention immediately. You only have a few seconds to do this before your mail ad is thrown away as junk mail. Therefore, opt for postcard mailings instead of sending your offers in an envelope. If your business is relatively small and unheard-of, the reader will never open it unless your company’s name is familiar to the reader. Envelope advertising is cheaper than postcard advertising, but is only effective if you have already built up name recognition.

When using the postcard method, you will need to be able to print images on the card. I highly, highly recommend investing in a quality home photographic printer. You will end up saving money in the long-term, and your printer will be right where you need it whenever you need it. Whenever you have materials printed professionaly, you pay for labour, expensive inks, and expensive equipment.

When searching for images to print on your postcards, remember the the point of this first guideline: catch your reader’s attention. Of course you don’t want an offensive image for your cards, but you do want one that is slighly “controversial”. When choosing images for your cards, ask yourself these questions:

Does it stand out among the rest?

Does it contain bold colors (but isn’t an eye-sore)?

Does the image relate to my business or current offers in some way?

Does the image request user interaction? (ex. a face staring directly at the reader, someone pointing at the reader, etc.)

Does the image have enough white-space for some large text?

2. Offer the reader an incentive for responding. Unless the reader is and has been genuinely interested in your services/productsfor a period of time before receiving your postcard ad, they will never repspond unless you offer some sort of incentive. For instance, you postcard could also serve as a coupon; tell you reader to bring in that post card for a discount. Also, you could use the postcard ad as an announcment for a storewide sale. Be creative when offering incentives to your readers.

Be sure to make your incentive very visible on the postcard. Let’s say, for example, your postcard is also serving as a coupon for 20% on your products/services. Print that “20% off” in large text with the image, along with your product type, such as “20% all dog beds”. Then, on the other side of the card, usually with the recipient’s address, print the discount again with any terms that may apply.

3. Target your readers. The best way to waste advertising money is by sending your direct mail to random people, paying no attention to whether they would actually buy something from you. This is much easier when dealing with business-to-business advertising. When it comes to consumers, find out their interests is a little difficult.

Test out the waters first. A good place to try first is InfoUSA. They sell mailing lists of consumers and businesses and may provide targeted consumer lists. You may be able to create interest in someone who has never heard of your products before, but when you are starting a new direct mail campaign and you have a very small budget, keep your list targeted. You don’t want to try to sell a web site to a business that already has one, or try to sell a dog bed to someone who only keeps cats.

I hope this article has given you some ideas on making your next direct mail advertising campaign more successful.