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Best Internet Marketing Strategies- Part I
2006-12-12 14:59:02

Best Internet Marketing Strategies- Part I

 by: Christian Del Monte

Researching the best Internet marketing strategies is a bit of a task. Why? Because most Internet marketing companies don’t want to share their strategies with you! Instead they want to sell them. So scouring the Web usually leads to lose ends and service puffery. So what are the best Internet marketing strategies?

Well honestly, the question itself is flawed. Lets think about it. What works best for one, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another. So lets start with the basics, shall we?

What exactly is your business model? Are you selling a product? A Service? Or trying to promote an affiliate? If you’re trying to promote a product or service, generally speaking your strategy will be very similar. If you’re an affiliate, that is one that is promoting a product or service that you don’t own, the basic strategy is related in that you are still trying to promote “widgets”, however your web strategy will be fundamentally different. Lets discuss products and services (part I). We’ll discuss affiliate-marketing strategies more in detail in part II of this writing.

Products and Services

If you’re trying to promote a product or service, we must first look at its stage in the product life circle. (I know, you didn’t want to get the marketing book out, but we are!). If you’re offering is in the midst of the introduction stage, the need has not been fully identified yet, even though one may exist.

This is important because most Internet marketing experts will tell you to start with “xyz” no matter what your offering is. Generally (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO) being the culprit. The reason is usually their general effectiveness. Yes, search engine marketing is effective. No two ways about it. However may not be best if no one knows that your product is in existence. If this is the case, you might be better suited for some push strategies such as:

1. Press releases


2. Display ads (banner)


3. Articles


4. Podcasting


5. Traditional push vehicles such as radio or TV

If your product offering is in the growth or maturity stage, search engine marketing can be highly effective. When considering search engine marketing, here are some basic items you may want to evaluate when creating your strategy:

1. Budget


2. Regionality of market


3. Target audience


4. Core competencies


5. Website (functionality, ease of use, and conversion friendliness)

Budgeting

Without getting into great detail into each item, budget comes to mind for most. On limited by budget, determining what to spend your money on can be a daunting task. I recommend that even the most budget minded start with pay per click advertising. My reasoning is that you can easily test the business model before you devote massive financial resources to it. In addition, if your paid advertising strategies soar, this can be a great guideline to base your search engine optimization efforts on.

Regionality, Target Audience, and Competencies

Regardless of budget, your website should include a regional focus (if applicable) and speak in a language that resembles your target audience. In addition, content is best utilized if it describes your core competencies that give your visitors a reason to buy from you.

The Website

Website functionality and ease of use are a good foundation to any successful strategy. As a general rule of thumb, your website should be in keeping of your competitors and direct the target audience to the action you would like them to take. The KISS principle (i.e. keep it simple stupid) cannot be overstated enough in the above items. Concentrate your efforts on benefits to the end user and you will reap rewards of victory.

Search engine marketing nevertheless, does have limitations such as:

· Low regional search traffic resulting in slowed results


· Local targeting issues (which at the time of this writing is being best served by Google)


· Keyword targeting issues


· Budget constraints


· Competitive saturation

Shortcomings Of Regional Traffic

Regionally based strategies may fall short due to low search volume followed by targeting issues. Currently, Google paid advertising does offer some great local targeting tools due to their unique ability to target end users via their IP address. Yahoo! on the other hand, relies on local keyword filters that are based on cities that you include in your service area.

Whether you decide Google or Yahoo! as your regional search partner, you will likely find that some industries suffer from low traffic volume.

Keyword Targeting Issues

Keyword targeting issues arise when a keyword either has multiple meanings or the market is sticky to a particular offering within the keyword scope. For example, the keyword “marketing professionals” could imply a business looking for one or an industry professional looking for a job.

In the case of keyword stickiness, the website owner can find the market stubborn to buy its offering if its not tailored to the masses. For example the keyword “pottery” could imply any price range. However, if 99% of the market is looking for pottery priced from $1-2 and your selling exotic pottery for $500 a pop, you may find yourself paying too much for what the market doest want.

Budget Constraints and Competitive Saturation

Budget constraints are pretty self-explanatory and are usually tied to competitive market saturation. An interesting fact about search engine marketing is that keyword prices are typically tied to market ROI. In addition, industries that are tough to compete in generally have a high ROI arbitrage model to blame.

You probably have run across a few of the Websites in question yourself, such as the “Fill out xyz for 4 free quotes” or travel websites. Those companies can afford the high keyword costs due to the fact that they are reselling the same “xyz” to multiple vendors. This in effect makes it very difficult for companies marketing exclusively to compete against the giants.

In Summary

The above only describes some basic guidelines for effective Web marketing strategizing and is in no way intended to be the “law of the land.” However, what does come to light is that basic marketing strategies are the foundation for triumph in almost any business model and cannot simply be “cookie cut” from one grand Pooh-Bah of all online mediums. The best strategeer’s will continually employ new, measure results, and refine their strategies according to what provides the greatest overall benefit. If your looking for the best internet marketing strategy, scour the web no longer, because the best Internet marketing strategy lies within your grasp. Now its up to you to sell them!

About The Author

Christian Del Monte: creator of http://www.iblogmarketing.com Internet Marketing Blog and Director of Operations for http://www.tmaemarketing.com is a well-respected authority on Internet marketing.

cdelmonte@tmaemarketing.com



Source: Best Internet Marketing Strategies- Part I

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Best Internet Marketing Strategies- Part I-Online Business,Kheir Consulting provides small and medium sized businesses with consulting in the areas of marketing and strategy.