1. MARKETING IN THE INTERNET ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES A DIFFERENT APPROACH
If you are using methods and strategies proven to work in the real world in the past, these old school strategies will most likely not work much at all in an Internet marketing environment. Even if you are using that old marketing model perfectly, you can still fail miserably here. The old saying 'Build it and they will come' has been changed to 'Build it and they will likely ignore you'. 2. THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED MARKETING STRATEGIES FOREVER
Recent studies show that an extremely high percentage of buyers state that the Internet is not just a choice - it is instead the ONLY choice. Even those who intend to buy in the 'real' world often do their research on the Internet before venturing out into the real world to purchase products and services. The Internet strategy must be based upon how buyers actually react in the Internet environment.3. INTERNET MARKETING REQUIRES A 180 DEGREE CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE
In the 'old days' (just a few years ago), the strategy was to tell as many people as possible about a product and hope that a percentage of people responded by buying the product (outbound strategy). But the Internet is search engine driven (requiring an inbound strategy).
The potential buyer begins by typing a phrase into a search engine, in essence saying 'Here is what I'm looking for'. Your business is then indexed by the engines based upon how important it appears to be in regards to the phrase entered. This is 180 degrees from the old style model.
Search engines rule this environment and are the equivalent of the real world Yellow Pages. However you will only be listed in THIS one-of-a-kind gigantic online yellow page directory if you understand and follow the rules given you by the engines. And, if you are not listed here, no one is going to call you. Imagine having your business banned from the yellow pages in the real world. Not having a great search engine strategy is the same thing. As far as the searcher – the buyer - is concerned, you will not exist.4. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION IS NOT A CHOICE – IT IS REQUIRED
Myriad studies have shown that hardly anyone goes beyond page 3 of search engine results. That's just 30 listings. If the searcher does not find what they are looking for by the end of page 3, they will likely NOT continue on and on and on to find your page - most will instead go back and change the search phrase and start over with a new page 1.5. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION IS NOT A CHOICE – IT IS REQUIRED
Yes - again. Example: Typing the phrase 'childrens book' into the search engine returns 28 million hits (as of today's date). This means that hardly anyone sees more than 30 listings out of a possible 28 MILLION. Again, if write children’s books and YOU are not there - on the first 3 pages for that GENERIC PHRASE - you are invisible to nearly everyone. Search engine optimization is not a choice - it is a requirement. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.6. THE GENERIC PHRASE IS THE KEY TO BEING VISIBLE
In most cases, the searcher does NOT know your name, your title or your business name. They WILL instead search using that very generic phrase. Guess what? Nearly everyone is number 1 in the engines for their own name, unless they have a very common name. Assume no one knows your name, title or business name. A laser sharp keyword strategy based on generic phrases is of paramount importance. If you don’t have one, you are finished before you even begin.7. A VISITOR IS NOT A BUYER
If you take the time to get to those top 3 pages of results for that very generic phrase, you can still fail. Once the searcher finds you, they MUST see what THEY are looking for. Therefore, you must understand very clearly what it is THEY are looking for (not what you believe they should be looking for).
All marketing sites are websites, but not all websites are marketing sites. Your site must be sharp, clean, clear and it must brand you and position you better than the competition. You must provide a logical, step-by-step map for the visitor to follow and you must have compelling calls to action in all the right places. If you do not do this, you will end up with visitors. A visitor is not a buyer.
A website is a website is a website. Anyone can build a website. A marketing website, on the other hand, is a results-producing machine.8. SOCIAL MEDIA DOES NOT PRODUCE A HIGH NUMBER OF SALES
There. It's been said. Why is this so?
In the pre-Internet days, we ran two types of advertising:
'Awareness advertising' and
Awareness advertising created nothing more than awareness of our presence. Results advertising created results - sales. If you rely on social media to produce sales, you are asking an ‘awareness’ tool to do the job of a ‘results’ tool. This won't happen and will result in lost time and effort. Social media can be used to create awareness. Don’t expect a lot of sales. Sales are usually made elsewhere.9. YOU CANNOT FORCE A FISH TO BITE
When fishing, no one jumps into the water and shoves the hook into the fish's mouth, expecting it to bite willingly. Fish are not stupid. The fish will always attempt to escape.
Yet this 'forced fishing' what most marketing strategies are like. If you yell in people's ears all day, attempting to jam your hook in their mouths, don't be surprised when they run away. (Think about how you feel about spam, pop up ads, Twitter-blab and commercials). Instead, in this environment, you must (much like fishing) offer irresistible bait instead. The fish will then come running, they will tell all their friends and they will bite willingly.10. YOUR WEBSITE – GOOD OR BAD – IS YOU
Don't put up a website and believe people will magically just show up. They will not.
Don't put up a website and expect people to buy, (if and when they visit). They will not.
Don't put up a website and believe you are finished. You are not.
In the real world, building a successful business takes years and a great deal of effort. In the Internet environment, building your online store will take just as long - perhaps longer. It will require just as much work to make it succeed - perhaps more. The Internet is not a magic bullet. It is a different style of business. A real world business may have a few competitors just down the street. Your Internet business has millions of competitors, all right next door, just one click away.
In this environment the whole world is your potential buyer base. But this will not matter if you don't learn how marketing really works in this environment. If you are not getting good results, don't complain - instead, start learning.
More information is available at the Free Publicity Focus Group