3 Critically Important Fundamentals Of Internet Marketing
Much of what I've learned about Internet marketing over the years, I've learned through trial and error, from reading articles like this one and books (both real world and electronic).
Am I an Internet marketing expert? I guess some people would call me an expert. However, I would never call myself an expert. Let's just say, I consider myself extremely knowledgeable.
That said, here are the 3 Critically Important Fundamentals of Internet Marketing:
1. Copywriting: Copywriting is the words you write on your website, in salesletters, press releases, e-mails and even in articles like this one. The purpose of effective copywriting is two-fold. First of all, you want to attract the readers attention so that they'll read what you've written. Second, after they read what you've written, you want them to take a definite course of action like sign up for your mailing list, purchase your products or both.
However, you can not just write a bunch of words and expect to be successful. Your words have to be cleverly crafted, psychologically powerful words. Why? Because copywriting is an art that very few actually master. The good news is, you do not have to master the art of copywriting to be successful. You just need to become competent.
Now I'm not going to give you a tutorial on copywriting because quite frankly, there are plenty of excellent articles that have already been written on the subject. Just go to Google and type in the word "copywriting." NOTE: At the time of this writing, there were 12,300,000 pages on copywriting, so there's plenty to read on the subject.
ALWAYS remember this about copywriting: Effective copywriting ALWAYS starts with the headline. If you focus on writing a spelling headline, I GUARANTEE people will read what you write. Need proof? You're reading this article are not you?
2. Marketing: Many people confuse marketing with advertising or vice versa. Ask 20 experts what the difference between the two is, and you'll get 20 diverse responses. Let me explain the formal definitions of each and then I'll delve into how marketing and advertising differ from one another:
Advertising is the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.
Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.
After reading both definitions, I think you can see how the difference can be confusing to the point that people think of them as one-in-the same, so allow me to elaborate further.
Advertising is but a single component of the marketing process. It's the part that involves getting the word out about your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as banner placement, frequency, etc. Advertising includes the placement of an ad in ezines, on websites, etc. Advertising is by far the largest expense of most Internet marketing companies.
Here's an easy way to distinguish between advertising and marketing. Think of marketing as a pie, within that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer service and support, sales strategy, etc. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. All of these elements must not only work independently but they also must work together towards the larger goal.
Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between the company and the consumer.
3. Test: I can not emphasize enough how important testing is to your success. You MUST test everything. Your copywriting, advertising and marketing. Why? Because if you do not test, while you can still be successful, you're going to leave a heck of a lot of money on the table. Test various headlines in your sales material. Experiment with different colors on your website. Try different marketing techniques. Try different advertising mediums like direct mail and offline magazines. Try running ads on different days of the week. Test different software for maximum efficiency. TEST! TEST! TEST! Just be sure to closely monitor your results, so that your findings are as accurate as possible.