If you aren’t doing online marketing, you’ll get left behind


The online world is too huge to ignore. In today’s internet age we are all becoming more and more comfortable buying almost any kind of product or service from people we’ve never met and products we have never seen. And if we don’t buy it online we will often view it there first.

In fact, according to The NPD Group, a global research company, approximately 4% of all Canadian transactions were made online in 2012, up 0.5 percent from 2011. The Canadians are more than a little behind Americans who made 11% of all transactions online and both numbers are growing.

All that adds up to the case for understanding online marketing. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s all very confusing. Here is a basic list of the many strategies of online marketing.

  • Advertising (banners, paid links, pay for click, directory listings)
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization (keyword ranking)
  • Email Marketing (eblasts and newsletters)
  • Social Media Marketing (free and paid online social networking)
  • Content Marketing (article writing, blogging)

If you aren’t using any of these yourself you are already a recipient of many different ads, articles, and searches. The internet is a very intentional well crafted maze of connections that lure us towards a variety of products and services. There is almost always something for sale.

Most of the strategies listed above work well together. An online strategy can contain all or any combination of these. Try not to feel overwhelmed, it IS overwhelming but you don’t have to do it all. Larger companies will do them all but who has the time and the money for all of that? As a small, grassroots entrepreneur you are probably looking for something that gets you the most bang for very few bucks.

Advertising is expensive and SEO is complicated to do yourself and expensive to hire someone to do regulary. I do think they have their place however, as well as with Email Marketing and Social Media, unless you have amazing content, you could be spending a lot of time and money to get prospects to your website but don’t have the substance for them when they arrive. That doesn’t convert to paid customers.

Can you tell where I am headed here?

No matter what business you are in, your customers need to see what you are all about and there is no other better way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise or the amazing features and story behind your product than through an effective content marketing strategy. It isn’t new. It’s a strategy that has been used for decades.

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.

You are basically drawing in prospects because you provide interesting and relevant information on topics that both you and your ideal customer care about with the goal of developing a relationship with them. If you keep providing excellent and valuable content to them they become primed to buy from you because they like you and trust you. You have proven your worth.

What is beautiful about it is that it helps you rank quite high on the search engines because search engines are always looking for activity and new content. Simply writing will automatically help you rank high. For eg, I have the number one spot for the search term “Vancouver business coach” simply because I blog a few times per month and my designer used that term originally when creating my website. The SEO doesn’t need continuous updating.

An effective content marketing strategy will also use social media, email or advertising or a combination of the three to spread the content far and wide. Once you do have amazing content use these means to get it out there to as many of your ideal prospects as possible.

Are you effectively online marketing? If not, what is holding you back and if so, what is working particularly well for you?

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Lisa Princic is a Business Strategist & Membership Expert who helps thought leaders & niche experts build wildly successful memberships while making a positive impact. She helps entrepreneurs scale with powerful positioning & profitable programs designed around their zone of genius. A staunch believer in simplicity, Lisa helps her clients accomplish their goals by focusing on what to do AND what to ignore.

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