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December 17, 2012
10 Is A Pretty Good Number 

It seems like I have an affinity for creating lists in 10s. I mean really, people say that 3 is the perfect number. Well, sometimes you need more than 3. That's why I try to give you at least 10. So here's another list of useful information for you. 

I am usually giving up all sorts of information about internet marketing to people. I am certified/licensed professional when it comes to that. Most of my posts deal with marketing online. Many times the info I give is directed specifically at a certain subject or question. However, there are times when a person may ask me a general or ambiguous question and I don't know where to start so I just have to assume they want tips on a starting point. That's the beauty of this post. The suggestions and advice are for those who are basically starting to be serious about their online marketing. Whether you're just beginning or have been trying to market online without much success, this list of suggestions may offer you insight or a different perspective on what you think internet marketing is and how to go about it. 

These are the 10 steps to think of when setting up, and engaging in, your online marketing plans.
  • 1.) Consider your website as your throne...the center of your online kingdom. Everything you do online should ultimately lead to driving traffic to your site. Keeping people there requires creating content that users want to engage with. Create a branded circle of online outlets (your kingdom) that directs traffic to the middle of the circle which is your site. 
  • 2.) Content is king. Its like your cash flow. The more content you can produce consistently, the better it looks to your traffic and to search engines. Content can be blog posts, pics, video, audio, ebooks, white pages, slide shows, webinars, free downloads, contests, eZines, giveaways, infographics, games, and more. 
  • 3.) Know your target market. This would be whomever you consider as a customer, supporter, or member of your community. Create a list of the types of people you plan to market to. Stick to that list to build a quality community over a quantity community. Look at your competitor's community to get inspiration for your list if need be.  
  • 4.) Use the pillars of successful marketing - SEO, Keyword Lists, Landing Pages, Calls To Action (ex: SIGN UP NOW!), Website, Blogging, Email Marketing, Social Media, Mobile, Link Building, Analytics. Create your marketing campaigns around these pillars. The analytics will show what works and what doesn't so you know where to place your time, efforts, money, and resources. 
  • 5.) Market to your audience, don't advertise to them. People really hate being advertised to. If all you do is advertise, chances are your voice and efforts will fall on deaf ears. Marketing online is more like learning about your target customer base, finding out what makes them tick, then aligning yourself to that aspect. Get involved with your community, dive into their conversations and add your input. Show them that you care about them almost more than you care about what you're doing. If you see users in need, try to give them relevant info that can help them. They'll love you for it! 
  • 6.) Stick to the 90/10 and 20/80 rules of promotion and creation - For every 8 or 9 posts you make about anythingother than your brand or message, make one or two posts about your brand or message. Create content 20% of the time and promote that content 80% of the time. You can vary these two rules based on your customer and community base across the internet. So maybe your Fan page would be a 60/40 as far as posts, but your Twitter profile would stick to the closer to the 90/10 rule. These aren't set in stone but offer a good starting point and you just have to determine how to go about it based on your internet presence. I don't suggest straying too far from the 20/80 rule starting off or you may burn yourself out trying to create tons of content all the time. 
  • 7.) If its free its for me - There are tons of ways you can grow your presence online organically. Many sites and services you can use that will aid you in your marketing quests for free. Put in as much time and effort as you can without paying for anything to increase your web visibility then determine what to pay for and what not to pay for based on results. This is the extent of organic growth and it will last longer than growth you pay for. You'd be better off using the cash in your budget to pay people to put in the time and effort to market and promote organically than potentially waste money and resources on something that may or may not work for you over time. Personally, I'd rather have man power than no power.
  • 8.) Brand across the internet consistently - Meaning, keep your bios and profiles the same across the board. That goes for your employees as well. If necessary, have them make separate profiles specifically for your brand. The profiles don't have to sound all businessy but should include your business endeavors in the bio and your logo in the Avatar or profile pic. And smile! Remember, all profiles should point back to your website.
  • 9.) Address concerns immediately - Anyone that has a complaint or praise about your business, get on it quick! Do not be afraid of negative comments about your company or brand. You can turn a frown into a smile just by being attentive to your community's concerns over what your company is doing or have done. You can't please everyone, that's not the aim, the aim is to be attentive to the feedback. All feedback is good feedback because if no one was giving you any kind of feedback, that means no one is talking about you. You want people to talk about you. 
  • 10.) Find where your target market is and go there - I should have stated this earlier but it almost slipped my mind. Whether online or offline, you should always know where the people you plan to market to are at. There are websites, little known social networks, groups, bulletin boards and forums where people go to so they can discuss the stuff they love. Offline there are communities as well. People will find ways to be social and commune together. Its human nature. If you're paying attention to your online community, you maybe able to find out where they flock offline. This is different than just regular networking at industry events, showcases and concerts. Its a step out of your usual zone. For instance..some people in your community may have regular meetings at the local Cafe Shop, library, or any other public place. You can even create your own community meet up that you can invite your followers and their friends too. Just make sure your followers know who you are and are interested in attending your little event. People want to discover you because you offer something no one else does or you offer the same thing only better and they will talk about you.
I hope that what is written here can offer you general insight on what you should be doing as far as marketing online. Each of these suggestions can be broken down to specifics depending on what you're doing or want to do with your brand, company, service, product, or message online.

Good Hunting!


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