Internet marketing is a multi-faceted discipline that is becoming more and more important as time goes by. Every year the online economy grows, and businesses that don’t compete online are missing out on a real opportunity to grow and prosper.
The problem is that most businesses aren’t masters of Internet marketing because online marketing is simply not their core business function. In other words, there’s a barrier to entry because, in order to make the most of an online presence, it is necessary to first compete for a “place in the sun“. Simply having a web presence is not sufficient to drive traffic and sales.
Building a competitive online presence then sucks up resources, in terms of time, money and effort, because someone in the organisation has to learn how to “compete for business” properly.
To save you a bit of time and effort, here is a list of the most important things you can do to streamline your Internet marketing campaign and maximise its ROI (return on Investment):
- understand your offering and value proposition well
- understand your target market and its constituent segments
- tightly focus blog and article content
- build online relationships with authority sites
- create an online following
- target marketing content on the smallest interest groups possible
By sticking to the above guidelines you can save a lot of wasted time and effort. It may help to read over the following transcript of a live Internet marketing and business consultation. Note how the transcript content flows from “understanding what you offer“, to “knowing who you want to market to“, to “working out what the best way of reaching them is“, and so on.
At the risk of sounding cliched, I’d like to preface the remainder of this article with a quote by Philip Kotler:
“Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master.“
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, taking the time to teach yourself to become an Internet marketing guru is a rewarding (in multiple senses) undertaking, but it’s not always the most efficient way to do things. Often, leveraging the experience and knowledge of an industry expert can both guide and nurture your business’ success faster, while consuming less resources.
It is vitally important you take stock of what your business requires from you in order to thrive. If your time is best served making business deals, speaking to people, guiding the direction the company takes, then in order to compete online you are going to need to get an employee to handle your Internet marketing, or hire expert counsel to either market for you or provide strategy and guidance. On the other hand, you may find the challenge of learning to market online brings you Independence and growth in the long term.
As with all endeavours, deciding whether to become a master Internet marketer, consult with one, or simply hire one, is just one of the many important choices you have to make on the path to success.