Online Marketing In All It’s Glory (but not).
“When he zigs, you zag!”
Have you heard this being said before? I don’t know who said it but it’s great advice.
When the whole world is looking to Online Marketing as the single silver bullet, the ONE THING that is going to buy the business owner a new Porsche or a small island, I shake my head.
There is only really one thing that will give you any of the following:
- thousands of customers.
- millions in sales.
- big office.
- lots of staff.
- personal island with your personal chef.
And that is if you are:
Selling What Your Customer Wants to Buy.
Did you notice that I did not say “online marketing” in that list above. And I did not include “being on Facebook” or using so called “Ai messenger bots”?
If you did, congratulations.
Yes, Online Marketing is Powerful.
And I’ll give you some tips for online marketing in just a moment.
BUT! Online Marketing is only going to be good for YOU, if you have a good product, that a lot of people want. And that’s as simple as it gets.
Having a good product that a lot of people want, will remove a lot of obstacles for you.
- People will walk, or drive the extra distance just to buy YOUR whatever it is.
- Your customers will pay a little extra, because you’re selling the best version.
- A boring and almost ugly website can be ignored, if the visitor is only focused on buying the product.
Sometimes, if a business is trying to hard to sell something; they are making up for the lack of desirability.
Ok, so when you turn to online marketing for your business or product idea, this is what I suggest you focus on:
- A nice clean website (not fancy. Not over designed. Look at this website for example. It is what it is, and it’s not what it doesn’t need to be!)
- Focus on starting a professional relationship with 1,000 people, so you can get 100 customers.
- When you want 100 MORE customers, build a relationship with 1,000 more people.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t JUST build one website, with good SEO to get ranked high in Google.
- Also build a Facebook Fan Page, a Instagram account, also build an email list of your website. And so on. You will be glad you did when one of these gets wiped out without warning – and if you’re in the online business world for long enough, it will happen.
- Don’t try and sell to people on day one. Help them out first, and then they know you and like you and you haven’t ruined the “relationship” by trying to get too much, too soon.
How Online Marketing Differs
Well, from the perspective of the end result (making sales), online marketing (getting it done online) doesn’t change all that much.
The only difference is the tools you are using. With online marketing, you’re using a computer, the internet, your website, your social media accounts, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, these are great tools. It’s more cost effective to reach 100 potential customers using the internet, than what it is using pen and paper.
However, if you’re making two chairs, one out of bamboo and the other one out of plastic, you’re still going to end up with a chair. (the tools are different, but the outcome is the same).
If you have a hot product or service that sells well from your stand at the Sunday markets, it’s very likely that would sell online too. The exceptions would along the lines of:
- If you were selling live pigs (maybe)
- Something new that had to be tasted / felt (could still work though if you offered a money back guarantee).
- A car that has to be test driven, etc.
However, the first stage of marketing could be done online no matter what. This is just getting people interested. Perhaps it’s just having the individual to enter their name and number for a call back. Even if you’re selling live pet pigs, there would be a ‘front end’ online strategy for this business.
Typical Strategies for Online Marketing
- Having a website and telling everyone to ‘go to the website’.
- Using online PAID advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc) to send people from your Ad to your website.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is the long game, building a website, and then updating it and adding to it daily or weekly so overtime, your website is more like a hub for your topic/product/niche and your customers find it organically by going to google and searching for “how to raise a pig” (using the same example).
- Social Media. Over the last few years (I’m writing this in April, 2018), it could be feasible for a small local business to not have a website, and focus on building a following on Social Media alone. However, I’d warn against this for the reason mentioned later.
AND THEN – There’s several sub-strategies inside of Online Marketing
- Email marketing (building an email list)
- Focusing on Affiliate Marketing, where you convince OTHER people to sell your product for a percentage of the sale amount.
- Just being a publisher. Where you have or are building a popular website, and you allow other people to advertise their business and products on that. (you don’t sell any products or services of your own).
- And others…
Building an online business, no matter what direction you’re taking is just as difficult as building any business. Yes, it’s easy to get a website live, just like it’s easy enough to lease a small retail shop, but getting that shop or the website to spit out money on a regular basis is not as easy.
Most people come out of that experience relieved but also very careful not to try and do anything else, because the pain is all too real (i’ve been there, and had that thought!).
However, leaving all your eggs in one basket is a risky exercise. ESPECIALLY when that one basket is online in the digital world.
With online business and marketing; things change. rules change. no warnings get given, and accounts and people get banned.
You will think you are flying high and untouchable, until it happens to you.
I totally understand and know that you and 99% of other people will build one online presence to start with. When it’s done and stable, I urge you to maintain the first one and branch out to another.
These are some different highways (online assets) you can build, that will all lead to your product/service.
- Facebook fan page
- Instagram fan page (any others that pop up).
- Email list
- Youtube channel.
- A second website totally detached from your first (different url, different name, different content, different web hosting account too – 100% separate and new).
- Facebook advertising account and good converting campaign on it.
- A Google advertising account with a solid campaign on it.
- Radio Ad.
- SMS list.
- Flyer letterbox strategy that works.
- A sales representative on commission only.
While I also know that 99% of people will build one to begin with (i did too), I also know that only 96% of those people will build a second online asset to have if the other falls down, breaks, gets banned, gets hacked, falls out of popularity (e.g Like Myspace did, and Snapchat seems to be). etc, etc.
When you have a Facebook Fanpage with 2,000 fans in your local area, and everything is going great. And then a fake fan comes in and posts 20 things about “male enhancement medication” (with pictures to support it) and your page gets closed down by Facebook because of it, you’ll be wishing you’d built at least a second highway to your business.
If you don’t think it happens, just do a good search for “my facebook account got banned” – and read some of those sad stories.