There used to be, only one kind of marketing to promote your business. You found an appropriate media outlet (TV, radio, outdoor, or magazines) to advertise in, and you paid your money. Then, you created your advertisement so people would call, order, or visit your business. This is when advertising was “marketing.”
Now, you are the media outlet because the internet allows anyone who wants, to build a platform and generate attention. And your “advertisement” had better be quite useful to your readers / listeners / viewers, or you’re wasting your time.
That’s the whole idea behind marketing online, and how you can use the concept to both attract an audience and actually sell something.
In the online space you think in terms of guest blog posting with links back to your website, search engines ranking your quality content and directing traffic to your website, postings in interest groups and on forums that notify members and prospects to visit your website, hosting and participating in twitter chats with a profile linking back to your website, Google Hangouts broadcasting your website, recommendations of your expertise on LinkedIn and Yelp, emailing to friends instead of strangers (the people who raised their hand for learning about the topics covered on your website), writing articles for other sites in return for links back to your website, showcasing your website in your email signature, advertising online to entice people to visit your website, preparing an online version of your media kit to publicize your website online, and connecting with as many other online influencers as possible, all in a quest to make your website a relevant and valuable part of the online community, an online landmark to your prospects, a very important feature of the internet.
This is one kind of marketing.
The second kind of marketing is achieving top-of-the-mind awareness of your website in the offline space. Some of the older population’s attention still resides there. That’s where they continue to get most of their information — for now. And that’s where you’ve got to let them know of your online website — shining with relevant and valuable information that can shower them with benefits —for their business or personal lives.
This involves advertising your website in your ads, on note cards, on your business cards, on signs, on brochures, fliers, Yellow Pages ads (If you dare), unconventional advertising, packages, business forms, gift certificates, reprints of public relation articles, in your catalog, newsletter, and classified ads. Mentioned in your radio spots, mentioned on your television spots.
Learn More: How to Build Credibility with Your Marketing
Don’t forget to direct people to your website in your direct mail materials, postcards, in all your faxes, almost anywhere your name appears and your communication materials come into contact with a prospect or customer. If your prospects and customers begin to think that your last name is dotcom, you’re going about your offline marketing activities in the most effective way.
Know well that your website will succeed or fail based on how much of an intersection there is between your content and the needs of their target audiences. Realize that polished design and spectacular promotion are meaningless if your content doesn’t fill the needs of their market.
Learn More: How to Create Content that Builds Your Business
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About the Author: Patrick McFadden is a marketing consultant/coach for small businesses and midsize organizations. He’s also an American Express OpenForum Advisor. He develops marketing plans and strategies for getting and keeping profitable clients using low-cost but effective marketing methods.