by Patrick Zuluaga, PMZ Marketing [Download Article]
I am often asked by business owners about online marketing. What many perceive is that online marketing is difficult to master in achieving results. Frankly, this perceived difficulty has not changed when you explore their results with what many now called traditional marketing as compared with online marketing.
Why? Let us explore these difficulties and how you can achieve better marketing results for your business whether online and/or traditional.
We have three key challenges, these are:
- Focused targeting of your potential customers
- Compelling relevancy of your offer
- Call to action for your interested customers
Most marketing messages are of a shot-gun approach and are highly generic as they try to attract as many prospects as possible and succeed in getting none or very marginal results. Businesses are afraid they might miss out if they target fewer (focused) versus many. What they fail to realise is that a generic message resonates with practically no one, while a focus targeting approach allows you to structure your message so that the recipient will elicit an emotive response of “that’s me!”
When you allow your marketing piece this opportunity to be effective you will get much better marketing results for your efforts.
Effective online marketing requires that you are absolutely clear on your target market or potential customers. Running a mass online marketing campaign is ineffective if it is not targeted. It is best marketing practise to run smaller highly targeted online marketing campaigns to achieve the effective marketing results that you desire.
Next you need to consider where or what marketing communications medium/s your selected target prefer to use and where they are more receptive to receive your messages. This is so important – it is not what you are familiar with or what you prefer to use. It is what your potential customers use and prefer!
For online marketing you have a number of communications channels, some of these are:
- Email marketing
- Periodic eNewsletters
- Online search leading to your web landing pages or store
- Social media networks (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Search engine marketing (i.e. AdWords)
- Web banner advertising
- Online communities – Blogs & Forums
- Affiliate or referral marketing
Businesses must use the appropriate communications channels for their targeted customers to achieve effective online marketing. You fish where the fish are and not where you prefer to fish.
The challenge is sometimes difficult to overcome as businesses fail to grasp this reality – no one cares about your business or your products and services! Your potential customers are interested in only one thing ‘What's In It For Me’. Your compelling offer much be relevant and a powerful inducement for your targeted potential customers to take it up.
It is not what is convenient for you or perhaps what product you would like to move. Many a time I see half hearted offer that fails to trigger excitement and interest in the offer and the business owner wonders why the marketing campaign failed to achieve the results they desired.
How can a business owner find out what offer would be compelling and powerful? Find out by asking your existing customers and targeted potential customers. Structure your marketing message and offer around the information you have uncovered. Do not forget to test the offer as this will allow you to fine-tune to achieve effective online marketing results.
I have come across situations where the marketing piece failed to provide a clear ‘call to action’ for the interested customer to take. They are assuming that the customer would know what to do. This is totally ineffective!
Make sure your marketing message has a visible ‘call to action’ to inform your potential customers on what they have to do to take up your offer. Make it very clear and do not assume they will know what to do. The same rule applies for any communications medium you use from broadcast media, print advertisement, flyers, brochures, direct mail, emails and even the different web pages of your online business presence.
Some techniques you can use to make your ‘call to action’ visible and stand out is to use white space or a box around it with some sort of contrast to point out where the visitor needs to focus to accept the offer.
Finally, make sure you spell out exactly what will happen when your potential customer clicks on the ‘Call to Action’ link.
Get that experienced and expert marketing advice to help you achieve effective online marketing and secure better marketing results now and into the future for your business.