I deal with so many frustrated Internet Marketers daily. Their complaints are all similar:- Our results are poor and quite frankly a total waste of time!
The number one reason for unsuccessful marketing on the Internet is simply a lack of understanding of the big picture. Few understand the various components, systems and tools that are in fact integrated.
Internet Marketing is a mind-set change that must be adopted by the entire organization. No longer are we marketing to promote the business, we are marketing to empower the customer. All Internet Marketing activities are focused on who the customer is and what their needs are. It is a process that follows a logical systematic approach using various different components, skill sets, systems and tools.
The step-by-step Internet Marketing process is:
- Define who your customer or buyer is. It is called a buyer or customer persona and must be detailed as much as possible. You need to understand everything about your customer, not only market sector, and must include buying habits, preferences, location and most importantly their problem or pain that you have the solution (product or service) for. This problem or pain must be from the customer perspective and not your product as the solution. In other words you need to understand the full anatomy of the problem how it is experienced and how it affects your customer.
- Detail your customer journey by researching how the customer solves their problem. Remember the customer journey consists of 3 stages namely identifying that the problem exist, searching for possible solutions and then matching the best product or service to solve their problem. You need to fully understand and detail this journey as it will affect your Internet Marketing process further on.
- Create a website or blog in order to be found by the customer. A website or blog is similar to that of an office or a shop. It is a meeting place where you will invite customers to come and find solutions to their problems. Your website or blog must be designed, developed and managed with the customer, their persona and journey, in mind not your business. Is blue the color of choice for your business or your customer, as an example. Also you must apply Search Engine Optimizing (SEO) rules for the search engines to rank your website or blog well which ultimately will ensure that your business solutions will be found.
- Once you have a clear understanding of the customer you need to start the education process which is called content marketing; writing and publishing articles and blogs. Once again this content is not promoting your business, products or service. Content should meet the customer on their journey. Now what to write about is simple, you need to write about the customer problem and solution. Meet the customer on his journey, identifying the problem they experience and offer the solution – not your products or service but rather what your product or service will do to solve the problem without mentioning your business, product or service.
- Now you have implemented the foundation structure to meet the customer on his journey. You now have to ensure that the customer will find your business, your solution, with ease. So we enter into the distribution phase of Internet Marketing which consists of:
- Landing Pages. Landing Pages are one page websites that details the customer’s problem and offering the solution. There is no mention of your business, product or services Text is limited and videos or pictures are always recommended. Landing Pages always have a form to capture your visitor’s details. The form can ask for more customer information if you provide more value. Landing Pages offer solutions in the form of ebooks, email ecourses, articles and others. Here is an example of a typical landing page:- http://training.tillydavies.co.za/internet-marketing-ecourse/
- Social Media Channels. There are various social media channels available like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. Contrary to the general believe social media in fact is just a distribution channel to offer your customers solution, not your business, products or service, to their problems. This is where the relationships formed in that the customer learns to trust you. Ever heard the advice: don’t sell on social media channels? This is why! Social media channels will typically distribute the content available on your website or direct your followers to your landing pages.
- Email Marketing. So many think that email is dead! It is not, spamming is. Those that use unsolicited emails clearly display their non-understanding of Internet Marketing. Emails are used to send more information to those customers that provided their details on your Landing Pages; giving you permission to provide them with more information regarding the solution they are seeking. Just as with social media, this is not the time to sell and is also used to direct them to your website’s content or landing pages
- The last component of Internet Marketing is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is where the marketing department hands over the marketing qualified leads to the sales department. The sales department will now contact those leads and turn them into sales qualified leads and ultimately customers of your business.
As you can see Internet Marketing is not social media marketing and requires a detailed strategy. What is more important is that the each step within your Internet Marketing strategy requires a separate strategy complementing the overall strategy.
What is excluded in this Internet Marketing explanation is analytics and reporting. You need to do your analysis and reporting of each step daily. The daily internet marketing activities are as such that to stay on top of your game, you need know what happened that day – not that week, month or year. It is very important that if something goes wrong that you are aware of it immediately in order to take the appropriate action.
Please leave a comment and let us learn from each other.