|The Internet has
the potential to become the most powerful marketing tool ever
created. Never before has a marketing tool been able to project the
influence of a company, organization, or an individual to an instant
With that in mind, the purpose of
this brief explanation about marketing on the Internet is by no
means meant to be a complete source, rather it is to provide you
with a basic understanding of how the Internet can be utilized to
make your marketing efforts broader and more effective.
- Build A Strong,
- Use The Search
Participate In Link Exchanges
Use Banner Exchanges And Banner Ads
Offer Free Stuff
Issue A Press Release
Create A Newsletter
Mesh The Web With Everything Else You Do
1. Build A Strong, Presentable Image
Before you can hope to effectively begin to market your site, you
must have something to market. This may sound like a "water is wet"
statement, but think about it -- how many sites have you only been
to once. The answer is likely a majority of them. Why? Because the
web sites lack anything that would draw you back.
Almost all good web sites share four
basic characteristics - content, consistent changes, value, and
In grammar school your English teacher likely spoke about making
sure each paragraph had a "main idea". To apply that same lesson
here, what's the main idea of your web site? There must be some
relevant content that visitors are searching for, that's why
they came to your site in the first place. Be sure your visitors
leave with what they came for - content.
Time for a little joke. What do you call a web site that never
changes? Give up? A cobweb. Have you ever seen one of those
before? Change in life is the thing that helps us grow, keeps us
vibrant and forces us to reach new heights. This is no different
on the Internet. Consistent change builds confidence with your
visitors, because they will know there will always be something
new to see.
What do you have to offer someone visiting your site? If you
can't answer this question easily, it is unlikely that your
visitors can answer this question either. You must offer
visitors to your site something of value, whether it be
information or a free offer. There must be something to draw
visitors that is more precious than the time that they could
have used to do other things.
Why are so many people "channel changers"? In most cases it is
because they are constantly searching for something better and
more entertaining than what they are currently viewing. The
Internet is the same - people go from site to site in search of
the latest and greatest entertainment available. In other words,
they are searching for fun. If you want to keep people coming
back, offer them something that is new and more creative than
other options every time they visit.
Your Internet site is the world's
view into your company. The site should appropriately incorporate
some form of the previously mentioned characteristics to build a
strong, presentable image for your company.
2. Use The Search Engines
Now that you have something to market, the key comes in marketing it
properly. The best place to start for most people is to publicize
your site to the popular Search Engines. As soon as your site is
online, be sure to utilize the listings that the search engines
provide for drawing traffic to your site.
3. Participate In Link Exchanges
Find other sites that offer complementary products or services and
agree to trade links. This process can be very effective in
generating more traffic to both sites alike.
4. Use Banner Exchanges And Banner Ads
Be honest, how many of you have ever clicked on a witty banner
advertising simply to find out more information. I think most of us
know that banner advertising can be a powerful means for generating
a considerable amount of traffic. Banner Exchange programs provide a
great way to get free advertising on the Internet. For those looking
for a more upscale approach, paid banners are available on many of
the most popular sites on the Internet. The price varies, as do the
results, but nevertheless, banners are here to stay and should be
considered for marketing the Internet services you offer and your
5. Offer Free Stuff
Who doesn't like free stuff? That's an easy question to answer,
because all of us have an innate desire to win something for free.
Whether the desire comes from physiological childhood need or is
simply the passing of the "free gene" from one generation to another
- the point is we all want to win something for free.
Visitors to your site are the same,
what do you have to offer them for free? The monetary value in many
cases is unimportant, the true value is it's "free". When planned
properly, your "free" prize can generate business for you in two
ways. First, it can often draw more traffic to your site, traffic
that brings along with it potential clients. Second, the prize
itself can be a means of securing more business.
Let's look at the telephone long
distance industry for an example. The big companies are battling it
out, offering months of free service if you switch to their service.
Why? Because if you stay for one month "free", you are more likely
to stay and "pay" in the future. Now try to apply that same lesson
to your Internet business. Make one lucky client, or make them all,
a "winner" by offering them a free month of hosting service. Once
the client is with you they are likely to remain with you. That
brings in monthly residual income that you may not have received
otherwise. Your investment will likely pay off very quickly,
bringing with it a loyal client - after all, you gave them something
6. Issue A Press Release
Many Internet Marketers have enjoyed success using this good old
fashioned technique for generating free publicity. By definition, a
press release is for the purpose of announcing a "news event" that
may be of interest to a specific group. A good press release will
concentrate on being:
usually no more than a page.
must focus on a newsworthy event such as the launch or redesign
of a new web site.
your press release should be sent to specific publications or
groups who would find it relevant.
press releases are for news, not hype. Although used for getting
free press, it is not free advertising and should not be used
7. Create A Newsletter
Distributing a free periodic newsletter distributed to subscribers
is another way to market your services to others. Your newsletter
could focus on topics such as HTML secrets, CGI programming, or any
other subject you are a specialist in. Newsletters provide a means
for building confidence in others about your expertise in a specific
area. Likewise, that trust may eventually translate into your
subscribers trusting you to provide them other Internet services.
8. Seek Feedback
Feedback, in the form of suggestions or criticism, can be very
valuable for informing you of your web site's strengths and possible
areas that may need improvement. This feedback can be invaluable in
making a site better and more marketable in the future. Encourage
feedback by providing a clear e-mail address where comments can be
9. Mesh The Web With Everything Else You Do
The Internet is not intended nor will it ever completely replace
traditional means of marketing that businesses use daily. The
Internet is simply one more, albeit very powerful, tool that a
company can use to supplement its marketing efforts.
In order to begin "meshing the web"
with other, more traditional marketing efforts, a company should
include its URL and e-mail address on all of its promotional
materials. These addresses should be clearly placed on company
letterhead, brochures, sales literature and even on your company's
cars. The more places you advertise your web presence, the greater
likelihood it will be used by potential clients to find you.
In many cases, Internet technology is
making order processing and fulfillment quicker and more convenient
for companies worldwide. Companies which fully implement Internet
technology would be wise to encourage customers to use the
technology by offering special incentives for doing so.
The End (?)
This brief explanation of online marketing is hopefully not an end
for you, rather it is simply a beginning for understanding how
online marketing may make your company more effective and successful
on the Internet. Additional information about online marketing can
be found online at many different sources. Simply use your favorite
search engine to find additional information that will better help
you with your marketing efforts.