|The Small Business Library|
September 24, 2000
Dispelling the Myths of Successful Internet Marketing
Well the reality is that just building a web site, no matter how pretty it may be, is simply not enough! Anybody who tells you otherwise is simply pulling your chain! The fact is that your Internet presence must be a dynamic presence. The Internet is an entertainment medium before it is anything else.
With that in mind, then, your web site must be a dynamic place where people come back to because they enjoy visiting and they get some form of value in exchange for their time. While there is an endless supply of things you can do to make a web site fun, entertaining and worth visiting time and time again, most web sites offer no entertainment value, nor do they provide any valid reason for a person to visit them again!
So, I ask you, how can you possibly expect these web sites to prosper? The fact is that they don't. And unfortunately, these are the people you hear most often complaining that the web is not profitable. Well, the web is just as profitable as television, radio, the newspaper, or any other media.
It's what you do with the media, not the media itself that makes all the difference. You can fail at radio or you can become an instant success. The difference? What you put on the air - the message - the offer - the price - etc.
So how do you build a web presence that will be profitable?
Let me ask you a question. Would you spend money advertising on the radio without first knowing who listens to the particular radio station where your advertising will run? Chances are that you'd never do that. You understand that in order to get response, your message, no matter how powerful, has to reach the right audience.
The first step to creating a profitable web presence is by knowing who your target audience is and then to find out where they are on the Internet. It's simply not enough to know who your target audience is, you also have to know how to reach them.
Why this is important at this stage is simple. You may know who buys from you, but if you can't reach them on the Internet, then this medium is the wrong way for you to market your products or services. Although there are many people on the Internet, the fact is, that there are still certain industries that do not have large groups of customers seeking them out on the Internet.
Once you've decided that you know who your market is and that you can reach them on the Internet, cost effectively, the next part of building a profitable web presence is creating your web site.
As part of your entire marketing program, the design and layout of your web site must be client-centered and benefit-driven throughout. You should get professional help with the copy, layout, and design of your web site. Remember, your web site must not only be clean, fast, and powerful, it must also be entertaining and offer value to your visitors.
Now that you have your web site built and your happy with it you have completed stage one. Great! Now all you have to do is get people to come to your web site! If you buy into the hype, many people will still try to tell you that all you have to do is "build it and they will come."
Let me fill you in. Building a web site is like opening a retail store in the middle of the Sahara Desert! If nobody knows you exist, they won't even know to look for you! Now you may consider becoming part of an Internet Mall, but don't be fooled, the traffic they generate is very different from the traffic in your local shopping mall.
There are no windows to browse and every time a person clicks on a new part of the mall, there is a delay as that new page downloads to your screen. In a regular shopping mall, all you do is turn your head to see the displays in the windows - no waiting.
So, here you sit with a really great looking web site. What do you really do to promote it so that people will find you? Well, again, if you listen to the hype, you may just think that you can go online and get your web site listed in all the major search engines, sit back, and begin to count the dollars as they come rolling on in!
Today it's simply not enough to list your web site in the search engines or even on the "free-for-all link pages" that have become so popular in recent months. It's not even enough to place advertising banners on other web sites. These promotional methods are so over-used, so over-whelming, that they simply don't work any longer!
Internet marketing is really no different in many ways to the marketing we've known for years - print and broadcast media. What you really need to do is create a web marketing program that includes all the same elements of a profitable business.
What does that really mean? Simply this. In order to be successful in any business, you've got to use the media in such a way that it reaches your market with the most powerful marketing message you can deliver. You have to pick your media and your message carefully. This may mean that you'll have to search the Internet day and night before you find just the right vehicle to reach your target market. The good news is that once you do find those vehicles, you'll be in a position to turn your web site into a real money-machine!
Great, so now you have people motivated to come and visit your web site. You have a powerful marketing message on your web site, and you're all set to take orders right there online.
Well, we're not done yet. The next part of web development is to figure out what to do to keep those people coming back again and again. There are literally hundreds of tools you can use to promote regular visits to your web site. Remember, if you provide value, you'll get those repeat visits. If you don't then you'll end up spending all of your time searching the Internet for new clients.
The goal is that once you motivate a person to visit your web site that they will become and active prospect - a prospect that you will continue to communicate with until they become a buying customer.
Again, there are a number of powerful tools you can use to accomplish this task. Which ones you will use depends upon both your product and your particular market.
So what do you do once you do convert a prospect into a customer? Simple, deliver more than you promised! Under-promise and over-deliver. And deliver your products faster than you promised you would.
But it doesn't end there! No, you never want to lose a relationship! When a person buys from you, you've just begun a relationship with that person and you want to make sure that you grow that relationship as time goes on.
This requires that you design marketing programs that take full advantage of what are commonly known as "back-end sales." So many people will only go after the single sale and never once even think about what may be there on the back-end! Too bad for them because all the real profits lie back-end sales!
Ask yourself this question, "what else can you offer to these clients to help them reach their goals?" By asking, and answering, this question, what you have done is created a marketing program that takes full advantage of every sales opportunity and at the same time creates a loyal customer base that you can turn to again and again with every new product or service you introduce!
Think about it.
Imagine introducing a new product, or service, or special pricing on the products and services you already sell, and not having to spend any money in order to begin selling your new concept? Never in the history of this world has that been possible, but right now, on the Internet, it is!
Believe it or not, most of the work involved in creating a profitable web presence comes after you make your first sale to a customer! Why do so many companies simply miss this fact is beyond my understanding, but now that you know about it, you'll never miss a single opportunity to sell your current customers even more!
With all that said, now you can see why so many people simply fail to create anything more than another set of bills for themselves instead of turning their web presence into what it is supposed to be - a new profit center!
Here's the formula in a nutshell. Decide who your market is. Locate them on the web. Build a web site that offers real value. Create a customer list. Keep in touch often. Constantly improve your web site, your offers, and your business.
If you can do all of these things, you will guarantee yourself a profitable web presence! Miss even one of these items, and you'll immediately turn your investment into a liability!
When I first spoke to many of the people I now work with, they all agreed that the web would be the way they could grow their business! And I've been able to show them how to do it, using the tools now available to us on the Internet - many at almost no cost at all!
Yes, the Internet can absolutely be an incredible profit-producing medium for you, if you approach it the way you'd approach any form of marketing. The truth is simply this; the Internet is really nothing more than a brand new, very young, medium comparable to when television was first introduced, that will continue to undergo many changes and improvements over the next few years.
You must always be aware of these changes and how they may affect your business. The truth of the matter is that this medium is changing so quickly that your best bet is to hire a professional person to completely handle your Internet or web marketing program. This person will be on top of the latest changes and will inform you when something happens that may affect your business.
Think of it this way, would you do a major engine repair on your car yourself, or would it be best to leave that to a person who is qualified for sort of job? The same logic applies to the Internet. It's best left to a professional.
The Author Robert Imbriale is an internationally known Internet Marketing Expert and the author of several books including his latest, "Getting Rich in America." Get your copy FREE by going to gettingrichinamerica.com and learn how you can use this powerful e-book to build your down line. Robert can be contacted at Robert@ultimatewealth.com or visit his web site at http://www.ultimatewealth.com.