No marketing platform has ever offered the kind of global access to potential customers that the World Wide Web does. But how do you get your message heard? Here are five guidelines to follow as you develop your online marketing campaign.
Web 2.0 – the new, feature-rich World Wide Web – is all about participation. Prospects don’t just want to visit websites and read promotional copy. They want to get involved, to express themselves. The explosion of the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are a testimony to this. Give your customers an opportunity to interact with your company. Build a page for your product on Facebook, and let your loyal customers sign up as fans. Give visitors to your site a chance to review your products, or encourage them to review you on other sites. Listen to what your customers are saying. You may just learn that your company appeals to a niche you weren’t even aware of.
Post Informative Content on Your Website.
Web surfers are looking for information, not ads. Posting brief, informative articles about your products and the market they serve can attract the attention of surfers and drive them to your site. Find out the keywords your prospects are searching and integrate these keywords into your articles. You can find a variety of keyword analysis options by typing “keyword research tool” into your favorite search engine. Don’t overdo it though: stuffing your content with keywords makes your copy difficult to read and might just get you banned by the search engines.
Build Your E-mail List With a Free Report.
Again, a great segment of the web surfing population is looking for free information, and you should give it to them, even if information is what you have to sell. Offer visitors a brief but informative report on some aspect of your business in exchange for their name on your mailing list. They’ll be glad to have the free information they were looking for, and you’ll have another name for your list. But won’t you lose business if you teach everyone how to do it themselves? Not a chance. You won’t be giving them an exhaustive textbook that bestows the benefit of all your experience in the field. You’ll give them a brief overview, just enough to get started with. From reading your report, they’ll often see just how much they don’t know about printing and decide to buy printing from you.
Start a Blog.
This is another great way to provide good information for your customers and give them a chance to interact as well. A blog is a website designed to be added to on a regular basis. On it you can post interesting information about your field and your products and encourage your readers to comment on your posts. Readers to your company’s blog will see how passionate you are about your industry and will be glad of the chance to post their commentary in a public forum. Since you can provide a link to your company website on each new post, posting regularly will build the number of inbound links to your website, which is an important factor the search engines look to when determining page ranking.
Stay in Touch.
Blogging, e-mail, social networking, all of these make it easy to stay in touch with your customers, and to make sure your brand is in their sights and minds when buying time comes. Post regularly to your blog and follow up on comments. Send out regular e-mails. Offer your customers even more information if you can and not just a list of products and what’s on sale. And again, don’t overdo it. Customers who get tired of seeing your marketing materials day after day will put you on their spam lists. If you offer helpful information on a regular basis, though, they will be eager to hear from you.