Tag Archives: internet marketing

7 Common Lies about Social Media that Can Affect You Severely

31 Jan Lies

The Internet is congested with lies, half-truths and truths. So also, as social media continues to evolve, all kinds of information are being spread.

All these lies and half-truths have slowed down the pace of success for many people. You need to begin to separate the rights from wrongs in order not to be caught in the traffic caused by the indecency of other people.

Some of the lies and half-truths you need to avoid in social media are: Continue reading

How to Master Selling on the Internet: The 6 Irrefutable Principles of Persuasion

23 Apr Principles of Persuasion

Competition today is tough! Learn to lock in your customers’ interests.

Persuading your prospects more easily and quickly is necessary to get ahead of your rivals. More importantly, understanding the principle that locks in customers’ interests will help you gain competitive advantage in the face of stiff competition. Your competitors on the other hand can only imitate after you have made huge sales.

Fortunately, some people find it easy to implement these principles without thinking. However, many others struggle endlessly not knowing these fundamental Continue reading

How to Upgrade Your Internet Marketing Strategy to Gain Competitive Advantage Using ‘Strategic Positioning’

5 Apr

Most individuals and companies owe their initial achievements on the Internet to unique positions. However, this is blurred with time if the individual or company lacks the knowledge of this powerful force.

Obviously, most competitors on the Internet can always provide products and/or services of the same quality, efficiency and satisfaction as you. One thing they usually fail to accurately imitate is your strategy.

Strategic Positioning in the Internet Business

Strategic positioning involves engaging in different sets of activities from your rivals or performing similar sets of activities in a different way from your competitors.

It is what distinguishes you from all others. These differences in activities should be those that you can preserve. They may not be immediately obvious, but Continue reading

10 Subtle Internet Marketing Tips to Win the Business War in 2011

1 Apr Picture of a Tiger

We live in an age of extremely stiff marketing competition, unparalleled complexity and constant change in the business world. Consequently, small & medium-sized businesses fall victim most of the time.

Picture of a Tiger

You probably have heard that, ‘you must prepare for war if you want peace’. To be successful in 2011, you need to find your way out of the crowd.

Every business has an Internet cycle, whether they admit it or not. The major challenge is, standing out and carving a niche from the saturated Internet market.

Below are 10 tips that will help you avoid failure and gain competitive edge in your business in 2011.

1. Constantly Publish Very High Quality Promotional Materials.

You may have been publishing some newsletters, white papers, special reports and so on. It’s time to broaden your reach.

The freedom on the Internet has created too much room for junks. You need to re-emphasize your expertise through your own publications by adding more value than others. Work on the overall quality of the materials using the top player in your niche as a model.

2. Upgrade your Marketing Plan.

Most business started this year with a marketing plan, but ‘3 months’ is enough to give your plan a face-lift. Take some time to think about what has worked in the last 3 months and what is not working. In most cases, you need to put in more effort where they are yielding good results.

Also, you need to focus more on repeat purchases. Customers that have purchased your products in the past are more likely to return to buy more.

3. Automate Manual Activities.

Today, technology has advanced to a level where most aspects of Internet marketing can be automated. Fortunately, they often cost very little. Perform a quick Internet search to get the most suitable for yourself.

4. Finish up Abandoned Projects.

Perhaps, it’s time you take a break from endless activities. Go through your archive after a long time. Re-read some of the projects you have abandoned. Flip through your old diaries. In short, try to remember some of your old ideas. It will surprise you how they can actually generate newer and better ideas for you.

5. Enter a New Territory.

You may need a coach to achieve this.

Look beyond your present level or places where you presently have influence. Come up with a totally different but viable niche and move in forcefully. For example, you may need to begin to promote female products because statistics has revealed that women are more active on the Internet than men.

Alternatively, find a way to satisfy rising Internet users like the Indians and Chinese. They have large populations in the world and are becoming very active on the Internet.

6. Perform a Research & Focus on Customers.

When last did you get feedback from a large part of your audience?

Set up an opinion poll on your site or invest in thorough research itself. The value of research is usually far-reaching. Sometimes, it does not bring immediate results, but oftentimes it repositions you and strengthens your grip on your market.

You need to focus on the needs of your customers. Give them all the information they need to know:

  • How much your product costs.
  • How reliable your product is.
  • Its variety of packages, sizes, colors etc
  • Payment options
  • The products duration of use and whether it can be resold

7. Get into the New Age

You can’t do everything, but you must do what must be done.

Social media is evolving fast; search engines algorithms are changing; online video platforms are becoming more relevant; mobile communication has come to stay and Internet users are changing their habits.

Make the necessary changes to get into the Web 2.0 age. Leverage on the power of the big 4 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

8. Set Bigger Goals. Measure & Monitor your results.

Think bigger!

The size of your goal will indirectly influence your level of thinking. A bigger goal will open up your mind to greater possibilities.

Set a bigger goal and go for it.

Goals become useless when they are not being measured and monitored. Remember, goals must be SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

9. Get the Media to Publicize You

The media has a way of boosting your reputation and bringing more clients.

Do not stop at churning out newsletters. Get interviewed by the press & make sure you were prepared for the Interview.

10. Improve on Your Infrastructure & Invest in Learning

You may still be using the infrastructures you began Internet business with. Revamp your infrastructures; move to better platforms.

Learn how to use newer tools if you have to – it’s worth it.

Get books or multimedia tutorials from experts to learn something new for your business.

Join professional bodies & attend conferences and seminars,

Lastly, check your own PR – your profile on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube. Check your ‘about’ page also. When was the last time you edited it? Create a professional image. Put in more professional and friendly tone into all your PR materials.

Further Reading on Internet Marketing

1)  Social Networking Vs Blogging & Email Vs SMS – Struggle For Existence.

2) Maximizing Your Social Media Strategies: Advice from Thought Leaders in Internet Marketing.

3) How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2011: What is Right & What is Wrong?

4) Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet.

5) Internet Entrepreneurs: Meet the Millionaire Dropout that Founded WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.

1)Social Networking Vs Blogging & Email Vs SMS – Struggle For Existence

2)Maximizing Your Social Media Strategies: Advice from Thought Leaders in Internet Marketing

3)How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2011: What is Right & What is Wrong?

4)Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet

5)Internet Entrepreneurs: Meet the Millionaire Dropout that Founded WordPress, Matt Mullenweg

Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet

14 Mar Dare to be different

Learn how to differentiate yourself in spite of fierce competition. Take small leaps towards greater credibility.

Dare to be different

The rapid growth of social media on the Internet has made self-branding easier than ever. The coming of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn has created greater avenues for self-branding.

What is Your Brand?

Your brand is simply the way you are perceived by others – what they think of you. It will amaze you that you can build, maintain and cultivate a brand for yourself by taking some little steps.

This is important because your brand sets you apart from the competition and gives your customers reasons to return from time to time. For most people, their self-brand evolved messily. They did not consciously build, implement, maintain and cultivate their brands effectively.

To effectively create and cultivate your self-brand, you may follow these steps:

1. Define or Create Your Personal Ambition

Without a definitive personal ambition, self-branding will lack direction and thus be messy. Also, having a definitive personal ambition will ensure you do not build a controversial brand i.e. a brand contrary to your actions. To avoid this, you need to define your own vision, mission and roles in life.

Consider your dreams in life and how you intend to achieve them. Then, formulate a goal that will encapsulate what you want from life. Secondly, have an action plan (mission) that will help you achieve your goal in life. In short, decide where you are presently, where you intend to go and how you intend to get there.

2. Define or Create a Unique and Genuine ‘Promise’ for Your Brand

Create a brand promise that will form the core of all your activities – a yardstick that you can always weight your actions against. Your brand promise should be the dominating interest of all your services and products.

Moreover, your brand promise should be an offshoot of your personal ambition – your vision and mission. All your objectives and plans should reflect your brand promise.

3. Develop a Personal Balance Sheet or Score Board

Your score board needs to put a few things into consideration: your goals, strategies, monitoring methods and feedback. It is meant to measure your day-to-day activities against your brand promise.

First, you need to ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound). An unachieved goal does not contribute to your self-branding. Thus, your personal brands can only be expressed in the goals you are able to achieve.

Also, ensure that your individual goals are integrated into the whole and well-balanced. Put your social, financial, economic, physical and spiritual life into consideration when creating your self-brand. When all the pieces of your goals fit together, it makes implementation flow sequentially.

4. Implement and Tend or Promote Your Personal Brand

Now that you have a plan, you need to begin implementing it immediately. Take your goals one after another and execute them. As you execute, ensure they tally with your brand promise.

To get better opportunities, you need to develop your personal brand and USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or Unique Value Proposition. This will help you create and attract new opportunities.

Your self-brand cannot be built overnight, you need to begin now and continue to cultivate it.  Aside time, personal branding requires that you consistently check your actions against your brand promise.

5 Internet Business Tips: How to Plan Your Internet Marketing Process

10 Mar A picture of someone pointing to a group of people

Learn the basics of Internet marketing before heading off to tackle the technicalities.

These Internet business tips will give you a background understanding of marketing process that will help you strategize and execute better.

A picture of someone pointing to a group of people

Internet marketing itself appears very difficult because of the too frequent changes in the web space let alone the technicalities of search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, social media and others.

However, by understanding the ground rules of Internet marketing, you’d be able to scale these boring hurdles with less stress.

There are a few steps you may follow.

Stage 1: Analyze the Opportunities in the Market

A good start towards a superb overall Internet marketing process is to begin by analyzing the market opportunities; the demand and supply; and the extent to which demand or supply is being met.

For example, consider the wider niche of your Internet business area, and research the opportunities that are still untapped.

To start with,

Identify the customers you intend to satisfy (your target customers) including your existing and potential customers. You may need to ask,

    • Who needs my product(s)? Are they individuals or organizations?
    • Why should they, he or she buy my product(s)

    Get to know the needs of your customers; their cultural, social and psychological influences and age.

      This will help you determine what exactly you should offer them.

      You can discover the customer behavior through various means. You can,

      • Check your own data
      • Gather intelligence in your area by visiting forums, reading white papers and reports
      • Do research by yourself. You can use a ‘poll’ to do that.
      • Follow trade journals and publications of established web portals

      Keep a keen eye on your competitors. You need to analyze your competitive strengths.

        • Find out your competitive threats: These are people offering similar products, products that can substitute your product, completely new players, options available to your customers and the extent of your supplier’s power.
        • Check out your competitors’ strategies, goals, business models, strengths and weaknesses.

        Stage 2: Formulate an Internet Marketing Strategy

        As you analyze your Internet market, you’d likely find loopholes where you can come in. Note down all these loopholes, and use it to develop a marketing strategy for yourself.

        To do this,

        • You should brainstorm to get new or creative ideas
        • Define the advantage of your product or service you are offering over others.
        • You can test your ideas within a smaller niche

        As you strategize, you need to put a few things into consideration,

        • What is the size of my target market?
        • What is their typical behavior?
        • What are my long term plans?

        Please note: The test of an effective internet marketing strategy is the ease of its implementation and not its sophistication.

        Can you explain your strategy to a novice in two or three sentences? If not, check again to see if your strategy is not too complex.

        Stage 3: Have a Sound Internet Marketing Plan

        After strategizing, your ideas may appear scattered. What you should do at this time is to create a plan to guide you from one step to another. A good plan often precedes a sound execution strategy.

        Choose exactly how you’d position yourself or business in the market place. Decide your pricing strategy, advertising platforms and products promotion plans.

        This is very important.

        You may need to constantly develop new products to sustain the interests of your customers. Your success in marketing typically depends on your ability to constantly create innovative products and services.

        As you already know, customers like to have new choices. To retain them, you need to constantly research and develop new offerings. Secondly, you know the popular theory of a ‘product’s life cycle’. As soon as sales trend begins to stabilize, your new product should be on its way.

        For example, consider the overwhelming amount of innovation that has changed Facebook into what it is today? Little wonder, Six Facebook billionaires make it on to Forbes’s latest rich list.

        Stage 4: Execute Your Plan Tenaciously

        Tenacity is required in your execution process. From time to time, you’d be faced with little problems (in Internet marketing) that would appear difficult at first. In cases like this, you should focus on getting results.

        Importantly,

        • Ensure you follow already established standards, and focus on your customer experience.
        • Monitor the readiness of your market before launching your products.
        • Tailor your marketing strategies along with your product life cycle.

        Stage 5: Monitor Your Results Constantly

        Lastly, you need to constantly monitor your results and improve on your previous position.

        A strategy is bad until it involves monitoring and improvement. Monitoring helps you see the loopholes in your Internet marketing strategy, and it opens your eyes to more opportunities. As you monitor, adjust your plan according to the trends you notice.

        I wish you great success in your internet marketing efforts. Bear these tips in mind so that you won’t have to reinvent the wheel.

        Maximizing Your Social Media Strategies: Advice from Thought Leaders in Internet Marketing

        24 Feb Image of special boxes & a group of people

        Internet marketing has taken a sudden shift since the beginning of growth in social media and networking. Every aspect of internet marketing has brought more challenges as the web continues to change very rapidly. Competition is stiffer, and internet marketing itself has become more complex.

        Image of special boxes & a group of peopleSurprisingly, internet marketing is more interesting in theory; the execution is what actually separates the men from the boys.

        Lately, there is a lot of contention about the role of social networks in internet marketing and the relevance of previous marketing strategies.

        Scott Monty wrote on his blog that,

        “The focus on Twitter and Facebook is understandable: they’re nearly universal, they’re easily accessible via mobile devices, and there’s the ability to instantly connect users’ thoughts, actions, & comings and goings via those platforms.”

        Other thought leaders in the area of internet marketing have been compelled to continue to gather more knowledge and adapt to changing times.

        Experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing of ClickThrough noted the recommendation of Bradley Little of Nielsen McKingsey Company that,

        “Using social media as a marketing channel can be very effective and one of the best ways to understand the impact networking sites such as Facebook can have is by looking to the past.”

        Stephan Spencer’s position is that,

        “If you are going to get involved with a new technology, don’t just jump head first without taking the time to understand what you are about to get into”

        Thus, careful planning and tactical execution of social media strategies is totally unavoidable in order to successfully market your business on today’s world wide web.

        To begin on the right foot, here are some very insightful questions posted by Lee Odden in his article, ‘10 Questions for Social Media Measurement Success’.

        1. What goals do you hope to achieve from a social media marketing effort?
        2. Are web and social media synced?
        3. What measures of success (KPIs and Outcomes) will be used?
        4. Is there a strategic plan for coordinating and measuring social media efforts across the organization?
        5. What are current measures?
        6. Where to start?
        7. What’s the current tactical mix?
        8. Is a dashboard and social media marketing management tool used for content promotion?
        9. Moving forward, what will it take to transition from fragmented efforts to something more coordinated?

        10.  Is there an internal social media council or group tasked with assessing social media strategy, and how will their role affect defining goals and ongoing performance reporting?

        Though these questions are directed to well-formed organizations, individuals and small businesses have a lot to learn from them. Until you begin to focus on what exactly you want and how exactly you are trying to achieve it, you may be wasting too many resources.

        Moreover, in order not to lose in the end, it makes good sense to ensure you secure and control your fan base, and then turn them into loyal customers.

        In an article on Marketing Profs written by Jessica Shieh, a digital strategist, she posited that,

        You should supplement your social media strategies with a strong content driven website to strengthen your relationship with customers while getting more customers at the same time.

        She made it clear that you have to,

        • Chart a roadmap, focus on your goals, get the right team in place and remain flexible;
        • Bring all your fans to your own site to gain control over them;
        • Create strong relationship with your fans and;
        • Continue to find new segments to enter.

        She wrote,

        “In our fully connected world, it is no secret that the Web is changing every day. Considering the possible shift away from Facebook, marketers are beginning to spot reasons to work to bring their fans back home. Doing so will give the brand a better chance to initiate a compelling, collaborative—and ultimately trackable—Web experience”

        From the above assertions, the golden advice is to have a practicable roadmap for your internet marketing. Hence, you should find a way to integrate all your marketing efforts and secure your visitors one way or another.

        Very importantly, ensure your strategy includes a content-driven site to gain control of your fans rather than leave them to their fate in a web space filled with contradicting information, especially on social networks.

        Talking about content creation, Adam Singer gave us 6 rules of great content:

        • Non-promotional
        • Relevant to reader
        • Closes a gap
        • Well-written
        • Relevant to your company
        • Gives proof

        However, there are situations where social media may be difficult to use in business promotion.

        Adam singer reported a presentation by Kipp Bodnar during the 2010 MIMA Summit. Kipp Bodnar gave instances where social media doesn’t make sense:

        • If you have a tiny customer base (perhaps you have only 5 customers).
        • If the people you are trying to talk to can’t access the internet.  Many people in regulated industries can’t access the outside internet from work. (I.e. some military/electric industry).
        • If you or your business don’t have an advocate that can help you.
        • Velocity and volume – tough for social media in the beginning.  You can potentially create quick velocity but quick volume would be difficult.
        • If you have a lack of resources you shouldn’t engage in social media.  This seems like a big pain point for organizations.  If you lack the time or resources it makes it difficult to be successful.

        In the light of these facts, please check your current social media strategy. Ensure you have charted a roadmap and you have an overall objective; and then remain flexible.

        Further Reading on Business Marketing

        1. 9 Tips You Need to Write and Respond to Emails Professionally
        2. Social Networking Vs Blogging & Email Vs SMS – Struggle For Existence
        3. How to Upgrade Your Internet Marketing Strategy to Gain Competitive Advantage Using ‘Strategic Positioning’
        4. Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet
        5. How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2011: What is Right & What is Wrong?
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