Sure, you have a website, and you may also have a Facebook page. That’s a good start, but it’s only a starting point to creating an effective internet marketing campaign. Nowadays, there’s really no excuse for generic, one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns.
Although an unlimited budget does open up your options, an effective campaign is more about being smart with your money rather than throwing unlimited dollars around. In fact, an effective online marketing campaign is often just that – a campaign.
It often involves a number of elements coordinated toward the goal of reaching the audience that is most likely to want – and use – your company’s products or services.
Know Your Audience
A large part of your efforts should go toward determining just who your target customers are and directing your efforts toward the outlets they use. It’s possible segment your ideal customer by age, geographical location, educational level – different demographic categories will be more important depending on your product. For instance, if you’re promoting the next hot rock group, you’re not going to run a banner ad on the AARP website. This is an extreme example, of course, but the point is that if you’re targeting young people, uploading videos on You Tube just make more sense.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, use different approaches that appeal to various thinking and communication styles. For instance, no-nonsense, fact-based content appeals to many analytical thinkers. A softer approach that appeals to emotions as well as minds is more effective in reaching more extroverted members of your target audience.
Harness Cross Platform Messaging
Many people who post updates on Facebook and Twitter all day are not spending hours on the Twitter and Facebook websites. Instead, they’re uploading photos from their tablets or posting tweets by text message. A smart outreach campaign encourages cross platform usage, because it keeps your target audience engaged with your product or service even when they’re not visiting your website or Facebook page.
Allow potential customers or clients to subscribe to your blog through Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Make it easy for them to share content from your blog on Tumblr or StumbleUpon. By allowing customers or clients to interact with you through whatever means they prefer, you are naturally promoting greater engagement with them.
Once you have identified your target audience, the key is to engage them in an active interchange. Effective internet marketing campaigns can, and should, open two-way conversation between your company and its customers or clients. Twitter is an excellent vehicle to generate real time interactions.
If it’s feasible, establish a live IM chat feature on your website with liberal hours of operation. If that’s not an option, allow customers or clients to leave comments on your blog or Facebook page. Provide feedback forms on your website, and make sure that responses that request a response actually receive one. At the very least, make it easy for customers or clients to sign up for newsletters or blog updates via RSS feed.
Back in the day, many SEO practitioners were all about keyword stuffing. Reading their websites was sometimes headache inducing. Post-Panda, mindless keyword stuffing will result in your site sinking in search engine results. In extreme cases, search engine administrators may even de-list your site.
This does not mean that search engine optimization is dead. You just have to be smart about using it. SEO is still an important tool for bringing in customers who might not otherwise never find you. Backlinks are a valid strategy; however, seek out sites that are well-regarded and relevant to your product line or service. The copy on your own site or blog should also read naturally rather than as obvious link bait.