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Monday
Oct192009

Internet Marketing That is Affordable and Really Works For You - Part 1

First of an 8-part series that you can get here by A.C.T.'s Web Marketing Mentor Robin Sagara:

Your website, online marketing, and printed marketing materials are just part of your total marketing efforts, you shouldn't have to go broke just to get them and keep them updated. 

Deciding where, and when, to spend your time and money on marketing can be confusing and scary. Costs can escalate quickly. How do you know what you need and what you don't?

I can help you unravel the mystery and confusion of website and both online and print marketing so you can make informed decisions. After ten years in the internet trenches helping clients figure out what they want to do, and then helping them get it done, it's a bit of a personal mission for me. It doesn't have to be oh so expensive or terribly time-consuming. I mean, you've got other things to worry about, right?

This blog post is the the first of an eight-part series covering:

1. Why a Web site, online marketing, and digital AND print marketing materials are now necessary to successfully market yourself and your business.

2. What a Web site, online marketing, and marketing materials can, and cannot, do for you.

3. How you can get a great Web site, and update it often, without going broke.

4. How to cost-effectively create marketing materials for online and print use.

5. How online marketing and social networking sites fit into your overall marketing plan.

6. When to "do it yourself" and when to invest in getting help.

7. Myth busting: "If you build it, they will come."

8. Search Engine Optimization: what's all the buzz about. 

It's now a product, and for only $29.95 it's a wealth of info you can use right now. Click here for more info.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Why a Web site, online marketing, and digital AND print marketing materials are now necessary to successfully market yourself and your business.

It seems obvious but, hey, we have to start somewhere. And still I get arguments from people about how websites and internet stuff doesn't work or how it doesn't apply to them.

Back "B.W." (Before Websites), before the internet, there were plenty of ways to market a business, and those ways still do work: Ads in magazines, catalogues, postcards, brochures, word-of-mouth, social and networking events. Lots of ways.

Then came the internet. That's where everyone IS these days, as you know. They're at their computers looking stuff up, reading, writing, socializing, buying, selling, and working. All the stuff we used to do BW, now it's online as well.

It's just a reality now, it's part of your success (or failure).  As a starting point you'll need a website as an online brochure so your potential clients and customers can get information on you and your company. Because whether YOU think you need it or not, lots of other people will be online Googling you for information. You might as well have some control over what they see. What if they Googled you and you weren't there?

But you'll need more than that, you'll need a well-round assortment of marketing strategies combining both online and more traditional methods.  A multi-faceted approach because each facet supports and reinforces the other and it gives you more exposure. You want to be remembered, and it takes more than one, or two, or even ten "impressions" before you really stick in someone's brain. And then you'll want to stay visible so they don't forget about you the next time they want, well, whatever it is you have.

Here's an example of how this all works. Let's say you're a fine artist wanting to sell your art. There are lots of ways to do that (both online and traditional ways).  But let's be realistic. I mean, it's not like people are sitting around on a Saturday night saying to themselves, "Hey, I think I'll go online tonight and spend thousands on some fine art." Doesn't really happen like that.

More likely it happens like this:  People who like art like to attend local shows and galleries where they see some of your work. You're there talking to people and demonstrating how you create your work. You have business cards, of course, and some colorful postcards of your work, both have your contact information and website address on them. You also have a signup sheet for your mailing list. The people who saw your work, and hopefully spoke to you, take some of the info and go home where they go online and look through your website. Perhaps they sign up for your mailing list there, if they didn't at the show. Maybe they Google you, and see other website where people have included you and your work. Then maybe they go get a pizza. "Oh darn, they didn't buy anything" you say?  Well, no they didn't buy anything YET. Patience, Grasshopper, we're just getting started!

So, anyway, in a month or so you send out a postcard and an email newsletter announcing your new work now on your website, and maybe you've got some shows and events coming up. They see the card, remember how nice you were at the art show, and remember that one piece they liked so much. That night on the computer they go to your website again and see your twitter link and they start following you (or facebook, whatever). They begin to feel that they know you. They like you, and they like your work. Then they go get a pizza.

Still, no sales, but that's okay. You're out there, you're marketing in a variety of ways and you're staying on their radar. Eventually, they may buy. They may not, but someone else will and maybe they'll come to another show and bring friends, and so on.

In the above example there are 16 different marketing strategies there, all working together and reinforcing each other. What are the 16? They're there, really, I counted on my fingers:

  1. Participating in a local art show
  2. Talking to potential customers
  3. Demonstrating what you do
  4. Business cards
  5. Postcards
  6. Mailing list signup sheet at event
  7. Website showing your work
  8. Mailing list signup on website
  9. Listing in Google and search engines from links to and from your site
  10. Inclusion on other's websites showcasing your work
  11. Postcard mailing
  12. Email newsletter
  13. Events page on your website
  14. Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites
  15. Personal referrals
  16. Oh, missed one, but you get the idea.  Or just count Twitter and Facebook as two separate marketing strategies. ;-D

Get the whole series here.

All my best to you and yours,

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Reader Comments (3)

My comment would be that Search engine optimization has two parts. The first part is all about content: if your site is constantly updated with fresh and useful content, Google (or MSN, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) will pick it up. The second part involves making it easier for the search engines to find your site through simple coding and website design.

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBookmarking Submissions

I would comment that Offline or direct marketing strategies still have great importance but for small business set-ups it may prove to be quite costly. Internet marketing stands head and heels above the direct advertising methods on the grounds of affordability, efficiency and productivity. If properly planned and executed, online marketing strategies deliver great results and benefits to the every kind of business being advertised or featured online.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEbiz Graphics

I agree with you. SEO does have two parts. The sites we design are optimized and updated regularly so the search engines will pick themup. We also design clean sites, with coding to help in SEO. For people who need a higher level, SEO specialists can be a huge benefit and, if they're good, worth every dollar spent.

Offline marketing CAN be costly if not thought out and budgeted. But it works well in combo with internet marketing and supports it nicely. Thanks for the comments!

October 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterRobin Sagara

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