Internet marketing is meant to attract people to your website, enhance your products and your company and eventually increase customers for your business. If you want your online marketing strategies to succeed, then you must utilize the 3 C’s of marketing, that is, create, capture and convert. They are fairly simple yet logical ideas that can help any newbies trying to venture into internet marketing to get a head start.
Below is a detailed explanation of what these 3C’s of marketing are.
The first step that you should take if you hope to make money out of your blog or website, is to create traffic. That"s where the SEO comes into play. It will give your website a better chance of appearing in the search engine results for queries related to your business. You have to capture the attention of your audience in such a way that they will want to visit your website over and over again.
One way that you can create traffic is by creating quality content. The content should be useful to the customer otherwise they will quickly lose interest in what you have to offer. For instance, if you have launched a new product, inform the customer what it is. They want to know more about the product. What is the product all about, how is it useful, how is it different from the others, what do they stand to gain from buying your product and so on. If you are trying to introduce a service, tell the customers what service you offer and how they can get it.
Once you have created traffic, you have to devise a system whereby you can capture your leads or traffic. This is to enable you to sustain a long-term profitable online business. This is the part where your patience, practice, and experience will be tested. You need to come up with a strategy where you can build your own list. A list is important in that it helps you to keep your customers informed about a new product or opportunity.
You can use an email-auto responder service which allows your customers to sign up to your list so that they could be receiving information from you directly. Again, this comes down to the quality of your content. If your readers like your content, they will want to sign up for your list.
Convert To Sales
If you have managed to create traffic and you have captured leads but you are still not converting them to sales you will not make any money. You have to develop trust and build a relationship with your prospects or leads so that they will want to hear what you have to say, be open to your offers and be willing to purchase what you are selling to them.
There are two ways that you can convert sales. First, you can make money in your sleep by incorporating a system that can convert sales on autopilot or secondary, you can simply become active and convert sales personally.
There you have it, the 3 C’s of marketing. Once you fully understand these three concepts, they will be etched in your subconscious as you go about every day promoting and making money from your online business.
In any market, a good product rarely needs advertising to sell well. People will love any product that does well what its description says it will do. In the online business world, content is the good product that delivers a great return on investment, allowing businesses and individuals to gain publicity and make sales without spending a dime on traditional forms of marketing. The publicity gained also comes with brand loyalty as people interact with the content. Indeed, as of 2013, content marketing has become the biggest technique used by anyone who wants to dominate a particular niche in the online marketplace. Although it all appears merry on the outside, content marketing is not an easy endeavor, and any mistake done at the initial stages may cost you a chance at converting your visitors into customers in future. To aid your plight in understanding content marketing, here is a complete beginner guide.
What is content?
The first thing you need to know is what entails content. As per this guide, content refers to any multimedia or text that you place strategically on the internet to direct or inform people about your business or organization.
The content can be:
– a video
– an audio file
– or a combination of all.
Content is the substance that holds your marketing message. It does not matter whether the message is hidden or direct, whether it’s long or brief, as long as it’s contained therein, then you are talking about content.
Where should you place content
The next thing to note is where the places that should hold your content are. Once you have your video, or article, you can place it on your website or on other websites. Placement of content affects the reaction you get from the target audience. If you place content on a popular site, you can expect to get more reactions and views than you would when you place the same content on a relatively unknown website. You also need to have a home that will act as an anchor on all your content online. As you place content on popular sites, link those pieces with your anchor. Anyone who has an interest in your content will then get to your anchor for more.
For best results, your anchor should be your primary website. Have the most relevant content about your niche and products placed on your primary website, and then use other sites as signposts to direct people to your website. You can then place various ‘call-to-action’ messages on your primary website. For example, you can have a YouTube video that provides a link to your website. As people watch that video, they will learn about your website and may visit it for more information or entertainment. Social networks and blogs also act as great places for placing your ‘signpost’ content for people to consume and eventually land on your primary website.
How do you create content?
By now, you have an idea of what content is and are wondering how one comes up with great content. The simple answer is that great content fulfills an appetite for information or entertainment. Your content has to deliver value to the audience, irrespective of where you place it. To create such content, you need to pay attention to what people are looking for, what they keep talking about, and what they think.
Practically, it is impossible to just wake up and decide that a particular subject captures what people are looking for. You need to engage people to know what they want. To do this, you will need to hang out where the people are hanging out online and learn how to use various analytical tools for interpreting web trends.
Trace the traffic that is getting to your website, and take note of the content that is contributing to that traffic. Notice whether such content has a seasonal demand or is timeless. Create profiles on discussion forums and social networks and then participate in those sites. If you are a firm, you may have different employees handling specific sites, to gather information on what is relevant to your niche. They will also tell what is likely to benefit your target audience. Once you have an idea, create content based on that idea. Remember that the purpose of your content is to help someone in need of that information or entertainment value.
Telling good and bad content
You can tell good content by the attention it gets after you publish it. An informative video will get many views and comments because people find it useful. It may also go viral on social networks as people share it with others. Bad content, on the other hand, tends to stay static. No one shares with others or comments on it. This is not to say that you need to remove bad content from your website or online profiles. You may just have to assign a different purpose to the content. You can use it as link bait, so that is becoming a source of inbound links to your website. This will help your website rank. You can repackage together with your good content to provide fresh content for distribution in easy to consume formats such as eBooks that will refer people back to your primary website.
A big chunk of content marketing involves monitoring and evaluation. For every content piece that you place strategically on guest blogs, article directories, social networks, your primary site, video sharing sites and web directories, you must be able to tell how that content is a contribution to your marketing and SEO goals. Traffic tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends that are available online (see links above) can show you how the particular links on the content are driving people to your websites, as well as give you the sources of those visitors who interact with your content.
As you take up content marketing, you need to know that this form of marketing does not interrupt the user but instead offers them what they are looking for, in return for the permission to include sales pitch within the content. The goal is not to sell a product on the first interaction but to create a positive association with your brand so that it will be the first choice when the targeted person wants to buy.
Three things govern any business relationship online and offline. In the online world, the rise and fall of your business can be very fast, so you need to take all the precautions you can, to avoid an unfortunate outcome. When you start, you will need to set up your brand, and once you establish it, you will need to defend it. The second part is what reputation management is all about.
The first thing you need to know about branding and reputation management is that you need people to succeed. You cannot succeed on your own. You need to make people believe in you so that they can support whatever you are offering. In the simplest sense, branding is all about putting a good show of yourself so that people believe in you. It can be a personal show or a business show, but the bottom line is that you want to get the trust of the people you target.
Reputation management is a little wider than branding; it involves the care of the relationship that you make with people. It can be your personal reputation or that of your business and it comes after you brand yourself. The essence of reputation management is to align the perception that people have on you with the brand that you project on them. Once the two aspects align, you will have no restrictions on selling your product to your target audience.
The best professionals and businesses make most of their sales through word of mouth referrals. Great lawyers, content makers, salespersons and the like have very strong personal brands and a reputation that matches what they do. As a result, their clients are more than eager to recommend their services to anyone. On their part, the professionals are able to charge premium prices just to keep their workload bearable so that they can satisfy their clients.
Below are practical suggestions that will expose your branding efforts to different types of blogs.
You will need to build your brand first, and this is all about creating content that relates to what you offer. You do not need to have an online business, but an online presence for your business is necessary. SEO is a great way to expose your business to people who are interested in your products or services. A blog is important because it will let you tell others about what you do, as well as the different aspects of your business or profession. Blogs allow you to highlight your talent and services. They let you talk about your clients and your capabilities. Blogs are a great way to reach out to people when you are not actively working. They are excellent forms of advertisement and they complement word-of-mouth marketing in a great way. Without a blog, it will be difficult for people to refer others to what you do. It will also be difficult for them to give you feedback on the tasks you handle.
How blogs help in branding
Blogs let you connect to other people through your thoughts, solutions, and opinions. They let your content travel around the internet when people share it; thus, work as a salesperson on your behalf. With blogs, you increase your abilities to listen, corresponding, and meeting new people who might turn to become your clients.
Why websites are not enough for branding?
Many people will say that they or their businesses do not need blogs because they already have websites, but that is far from the truth. Websites offer what you do, but people will not buy from you just because of what you tell them, they need to hear it from others. In the same way, other blogs will not feature your business just because you ask them to do so, they need to see what remarkable things you are doing that are worth talking about. People need convincing facts. They need to know that you understand what they want, and they will buy only from people and business they trust. The only way to win the trust of people is by developing a relationship with them. A website is only a signpost of what you offer, but a blog is an invitation to listen, learn and benefit from what you offer. A blog builds your reputation.
What to do when clients are not using blogs and another web 2.0 tools
Even if your target audience does not use blogs and social media, some of their family members and friends use them; besides, the media uses these tools too. It pays to have a presence at a place where people come to search for you or your business.
Finding time for branding and reputation management
You may complain that blogging will take much of your productive time, but that is not the truth. It may seem unproductive if you do it the wrong way, or when you fail to commit enough time. Think of blogging as a way of developing your business services. All the content you put out there helps someone to build trust in you. Your ability to convince people grows as you provide more relevant and helpful content. You can use your money to hire bloggers who understand your business, and they will be happy to manage your reputation.
Using branding and reputation to get exposure
Before you read ahead, you should know that a good reputation only comes when people:
(1) have a reason to trust you/your business
(2) believe what they hear from others about you
This means that you will only get away with verifiable claims and the credibility given to you by others will cast out any feeling of humiliation for making the wrong choice.
Once you have your brand up and your website and blogs running, you need to get in touch with people. The best place to find them is on other blogs in your industry and on discussion forums. Take part in them, comment often and thoughtfully, and when given a chance, always mention what you do. If possible, give them a link to useful content that you have put up on the internet.
Other than your blog posts and website, you can create informative eBooks, podcasts, and tutorial videos or write guest posts on other blogs. Once you come up with any form of content worth sharing, you should distribute it as widely as possible.
List your eBooks on file sharing sites, pitch your guest posts on blogs that talk about the same topic as your blog, take part in offline meet-ups that let you meet other bloggers in your industry and all these efforts will enhance your exposure, and help build your reputation as a renowned professional or business. In return, many blogs will be happy to feature you in their posts. They will talk about you, together with what you do, and how you do it. They will also link to the materials you provide. As they do so, they will be providing you with the third-party validation that your branding and reputation management efforts need to grow your business.