By Andrea Costantine
Internet marketing is an effective way to grow your business. However, many business owners get intimidated and overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. Here are a few ways that you can begin to integrate Internet marketing into your business. It’s best to pick a few, do them well, and grow from there. You do not need to do all of these strategies at once.
Websites: A website is a great Internet marketing tools, however, most websites are set up as an online brochure. While having information about your products or services is a great way for people to find out more about you, the main purpose of a website when using Internet marketing is to capture email addresses of your visitors. Statistics show that most visitors last only a minute or two on a website before they leave. If you begin to use your website as a way to capture email addresses, you will then have an opportunity to continually stay in touch with potential clients and build the know, like, and trust factor.
Ezines: Electronic newsletters are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletters that are sent to your subscriber list. Be sure to note that it is important to follow the SPAM laws and verify that everyone on your email list has given you permission to be marketed to. Email laws can be strict so never add anyone on to your list that has not given you permission. Example, don’t take business cards from networking and add them to your database. Use your ezine to provide value, share about your products and services, and to stay in touch with your database. This is a great way to develop a relationship over time and through the net.
Blogs: Some people don’t like receiving information in their email inbox but they may still like what you have to say and want to hear from you. Having a blog gives people a chance to read your postings without receiving it in their inbox. Be sure to include an RSS reader option on your blog so people can subscribe and get notified when you update it. Blog postings can be short, between 250-500 words and should be done two to three times a week to be the most effective. Additionally, subscribe to the blogs of people who compliment what you do and who touch your target market. Be sure to comment on their posts and drive traffic back to your own blog.
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are the most commonly used social media sites today. When used effectively they can produce great results. Be sure to put a picture on your profile, stay active, and build community. Comment on other people’s posts, share what you are doing and working on, and have a little fun too!
Forums: Many communities and forums exist online. When you are clear about your target market, it’s easy to find them online. For example, a realtor might search for their market and look for “insurance broker forums” or “realtor forums.” Be sure the communities are active before you start participating by checking when the most recent postings happened and the response rates. Don’t go in and try to sell yourself. Instead provide value and mention what you do. You’ll be able to attract clients just by sharing your expertise.
These are all easy ways to begin Internet marketing, all of which are free! There are some more advanced Internet marketing strategies like Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization and Ads but I advise you to seek professional assistance when utilizing these methods. If not done correctly, you could easily find yourself paying way too much for an ineffective campaign.
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Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life. She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences. Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.
Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
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