Home Internet Marketing Business ABCs

Almost everyone nowadays wants to have his very own profitable home internet marketing business that can ease his financial burdens and help him sail smoothly through the ravages of the global financial crisis currently engulfing the economies of the world. Understanding of the ABCs or fundamentals of internet marketing is essential to the success of any online home business.

Internet Marketing

Different people of different profession and stature have view internet marketing in different perspectives. People in one hand consider internet marketing as simply the act of placing banner ads or inbound links on other websites. On the opposite hand, there are many companies claiming that it is the secret to exponentially increasing one’s wealth overnight. Caution should be exercised however, because most of these many companies only try to make you buy some sort of internet marketing program that they proclaim will make you rich by morning.

At the present, internet marketing or online marketing has successfully evolved to a higher stage which now involves a combination of many components a business can utilize to increase sales regardless whether the said business is being executed fully online, partly online, or fully offline. Internet marketing is fully discretionary and it can’t be fully said that it is strictly needed for success but its recent popularity has caused those who don’t use it get left behind by those who do. It can provide a vast and unique competitive advantage to any company. It is for this reason that some companies even rely purely on online marketing to promote their business, its products, and services.

Internet Marketing Objectives

Internet marketing is being employed to make use of the Internet to do at least one of the succeeding:

1. Communicate a company’s message about itself, its products, or its services online.
2. Conduct research as to the nature (demographics, preferences, and needs) of existing and potential customers.
3. Sell goods, services, or advertising space over the Internet.

Internet Marketing Components

Internet marketing is made up of many components which may be summarized into the following:

1. Making a business website and getting it launched and published over the Internet. It may consist of text, images and possibly audio and video elements that broadcast the company’s message to visitors, informing current customers and prospects of the features, benefits, and value-for-money of its products and services. The website may also include additional features that extend its capabilities like the ability to capture and store leads from potential customers or the function to directly sell a product or service online. A website may very well be the best way to establish a company’s own internet persona and business entity. Websites can always outperform their offline equivalents – brochures and mail order catalogs.

2. Marketing a website over the World Wide Web via search engines otherwise known as Search Engine Marketing or SEM is the process of helping a website shop up in the top search engine pages whenever one makes a search with certain defined keywords through search engine optimization or SEO, pay-per-click or PPC advertising, or pay-for-inclusion or PFI advertising in which a website is listed in online website directories, the same way as with yellow page listings.

3. Email marketing is the technique of getting information about a product or service out to customers or getting feedback from customers about a product or service through the use of emails. Email addresses of customers or potential customers can be collected through the use of the company website or purchased from lead generation specialists. Email marketing is simply the online version of direct mail marketing. There are different methods that can be utilized to do this form of online marketing like the regular distribution of newsletters or mass mailing of offers related to the company’s product or services.

4. Banner advertising is the online marketing equivalent of the traditional ads in newspapers and magazines. It is the free placement of ads on a website usually known as free ad directories.

5. Online press releasing is the placement of a newsworthy story about a company, regular distribution of newsletters or mass mailing of offers related to the company’s product or services on online wire service or online press release directories.

6. Blog marketing is the process of posting comments, expressing opinions or making online announcements in a discussion forum or blog directory that can be done by hosting your own blog or by comment and link exchanges with other blogs whose content is related to your product or service.

7. Article marketing involves the syndication or online publishing in article sites or directories of freshly written or unique articles that tackle things related to your business, products, or services. These articles have the potential to spread and circulate over the internet since online article hosting services allow the re-publication of articles so long as all links in the articles are maintained. Traffic boost can be the primary result of article marketing, together with the promotion of your brand to a wider audience through the syndication of these articles.

Internet Marketing and Home Business
A website is an element that all internet marketing components, prospective customers, and clients anticipate a business to have. Through the years, having a website has become one of the best ways to get a consumer’s trust and interest in a company and its products and services. Having no website may even cause a prospect to lose interest and head to a competitor. Up-to-date information available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week something that can best come from a website. And the all-encompassing use of online means has cased many prospects to decide to transact only with companies that have a good and useful website.

Engaging in online marketing and having a website is so comprehensive in scope that it can benefit even a business that only has very local customers like a single location food store or clothing store. Internet marketing offers a very cost-effective and comprehensive way of attracting customers and it also gives a business a worldwide reach with its own Web presence that can be very hard to get from other methods especially in the case of businesses whose customers are not restricted to ma single geographical area only.

A website though in some instances is not a complete necessity, can definitely provide a home business operator various benefits due to the virtual nature of most home businesses. A website can act as a storefront for direct selling of products and services as well as serve as a very inexpensive means of getting prospects as well as clients know what your business does or what products it sells especially to those home-based businesses that do not have a physical location.

The internet has been one of the primary drivers that fueled the growth and expansion of home based businesses because it has paved the way for starting and maintaining a web presence with reasonably low cost. It is therefore a must that internet marketing becomes as integral part of your business plan and marketing strategy.

Finding the Right Internet Marketing Mix

Determining and utilizing the right marketing strategy is essential to business success. Defining the percentage of marketing efforts that should be done online, the needed Internet marketing elements and the amount of focus to be given to the website are all vital to the formulation of a marketing plan that will work. The nature of business, the budget, and some personal traits may all affect the marketing mix. All these, and many others influence the development of an internet marketing business blue print.

Using Offline Elements with Internet Marketing Strategies

Only businesses that transact 100% of their business online can make use of a fully online marketing scheme. All others should utilize a marketing mix made up of both online and offline efforts. Traditional methods can greatly supplement the effects and benefits of web marketing. In fact, there are even businesses that conduct all their operations completely online and yet employ the placement of traditional ads on newspapers and magazines to drive prospects to visiting their website and participate in online transactions with the firm. Perfect examples of business that integrate offline elements as components of their internet marketing strategies are Expedia, Travelocity and Monster.com. These firms shell out huge investments in radio and TV advertising as well as other traditional means of advertising to get consumers visit their sites where the real businesses dealings are being transacted.

Develop Internet Marketing Strategies You Like

Only incorporate in your strategy the marketing techniques you like or those that do not annoy you whenever someone does them to you, because most people probably feel the same way. The most hated marketing tool as regarded by many is spam. This is why many companies nowadays do not include email marketing in their arsenal of promotion methods.

Many forget the fact that email marketing does not necessarily mean the sending out of unsolicited emails to every email address you can find. Email marketing can also be accomplished by incorporating a visitor registration webpage on your site. This page then works as a tool to gather email addresses of interested prospects. You can then create a newsletter which you can send to all who have registered in your site. You may also consider updating your newsletter and sending it periodically to your prospects. You may also create a schedule for sending regular emails just to see how your prospects are doing, if your company can be of assistance in any way, or if any of their wants or needs has changed since when you last had a conversation. This is a very efficient way of utilizing email to boost your business promotion even without engaging in email marketing.

Your Budget and Internet Marketing Strategy

The budget plays a very important role in any marketing strategy as it lays out which components and techniques you can develop and exploit. A website for example needs you to select a domain name and then register and purchase it from a web hosting service. Due to the growing demand for web hosting services, the competition has greatly tightened and many now offer discounts. There are those that offer domain name registration for as low as $1.99 per year – provided you also purchase other services, like hosting, which is now also available for less than $10 per month. Next is the design and content of your website. Your can design and write your won content or your can hire a graphics artist for the design and a web content writer for the content. You can also opt to make use of the online website builders that can be found all over the internet.

After your site is all ready to go, getting it found is the next task, because no matter how good or useful a site is, it is of no value if people cannot find it. This is the point where search engine optimization or SEO comes in. SEO is vital to every website. You can either learn and do the SEO yourself or you can hire search engine optimizers to do it for you.

Web content should be search engine optimized from the time it was written. Same goes for the web design as the manner in which a website is designed can either enhance or limit the site traffic it will be receiving in the future. SEO should definitely be a major part of any internet marketing strategy. You can opt to do things faster but more costly or vice versa, depending on your perspective and your budget.

Once your website is up and running, you’ll either need to maintain it yourself or outsource the duties to an independent Webmaster to do it for you.

Google AdWords and similar pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services can be a good choice as they go easy on your budget due to the fact that you can specify the maximum amount you are willing or able to spend. You also get to decide how much you will be paying whenever someone clicks on your site as well as the limit of how much you will be paying per day. You also get control over whether the pay-per-click ads appear only on major search engines or on other related websites as well. Geographic and time restrictions regarding when and where your ads run are also at your disposal, making the said ads quite easy to update. Real time tracking of the benefits is also possible with PPC services. You can also use images and/or videos with PPC advertising, which may even be less costly than placing banner ads on other websites. You can also, on the other hand, utilize pay-per-click advertising to earn money with your website to such programs as Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher or Microsoft AdCenter.

Tracking the Results of Internet Marketing Strategies

Putting up and operating a successful home-based business is not that easy especially for the average home business operator. Tracking is very important especially when you spend money on strategic Internet marketing initiatives. You should know the effectiveness on such initiatives to be able to make the right decision on whether to go on or discontinue with them. If you are satisfied with the performance of the currently implemented techniques, continue using them. If you are not satisfied, learn from your mistakes. Determine why such approaches did not work and find other means that can work better. Such practice is sure to improve your skills and enhance your chances for success.

Your business will mature and grow faster and more efficiently if you know which internet marketing strategies are worth spending your money.

Remain patient in tracking the performance of your internet marketing efforts and they will surely pay off. Always keep in mind that effects do not occur overnight and a significant amount of time is usually needed before you can feel the benefits. The same is with revenues, at first your efforts may seem to be in vain but after some time, more revenues will surely materialize.

Strategic Internet Marketing Needs to be Flexible

There are millions of people wanting to succeed with their own home internet marketing business and most of these also engage in strategic internet marketing. It is therefore vital that you make your marketing strategy flexible. It should be ready to quickly absorb changes and necessary adjustments. However, some knowledge, some capable assistance, and a well-managed strategic Internet marketing plan can increase your chances for success.

Internet Marketing Pt 1

The Internet is a great place to do business, whether you’re a retailer selling a particular line of products or a service provider making your living on the Internet. There is, however, one age-old problem with business that never seems to go away: people won’t buy what they don’t know about.

This is where Internet marketing comes in.

Internet marketing basically involves using various tools and services to let your business reach a wider base of potential customers. Good Internet marketing will bring in a significant number of clients, keep them interested and then make more than happy to purchase more of your products.

A not-so-good Internet marketing program, however, will be a complete waste of time and money. In the worst case scenario, you could even end up doing more harm than good to your business if the marketing strategy is poorly thought out.

Strangely enough, most people actually fail in their Internet marketing strategies not because they lack the knowledge or the technical capabilities to make good use of Internet Marketing.

SEO, HTML, opt-in lists, landing pages – all of this will not matter if the would-be marketer does not know how to actually succeed with the tools at his or her disposal.

Let me be clear: this article is not a technical manual on the finer points of Internet marketing. No tutorials, no tests, no benchmarks.

This article aims to supplement your technical know-how and give you an idea of what to do with your skill and knowledge. It will allow you to channel your efforts and create far-reaching plans.

In short, this article will teach you how to be successful in your first year in Internet marketing.

The Mindset of a Successful Internet Marketer

A successful marketer needs a vision to be able to succeed.

No, I am not talking about some grand, messianic vision or something. I am talking about a vision that will define where all the Internet marketing efforts will go to.

This vision will allow you to focus your efforts into something more productive, and will allow you to truly succeed in Internet marketing. But before you can define your vision, you must first assume the mindset of a successful marketer.

This mindset is in turn composed of different frames of thought. Here are some of the more important ones:

Honest and Sincere
The very first thing I have to tell you is that no truly successful Internet marketer is a sham and a fraud. The stereotype of the Internet marketer that sidelines as a ruthless vulture and snake-oil salesman is an image that is, sadly, more commonly adopted than I would like. But let me tell you that being a successful Internet marketer means being successful for the long run – and you cannot be successful in the long run if you start your career as a fraudster. The rewards from fraudulent sales or deceptive marketing strategies are immediate and attractive, but you cannot build a marketing empire with foundations laid on lies and deceptions. An Internet marketer with a name built upon reliable business and customer satisfaction will yield more rewards in the long run than an anonymous ghost who has to change names every now and then lest he/she face criminal charges.

Willing to Experiment
One of the marks of a successful Internet marketer is the willingness to try things out. Many would-be marketers spend months (even years) studying how to be effective in Internet marketing. This is all well and good, but all this will be for nothing if you are not willing to put your skills out on the open market where it will be actually tested under pressure. The truth of the matter is that there is not absolute recipe for success as an Internet marketer. You just have to grit your teeth and dive into the whole mess. You learn faster, and you will be able to find out what works and what does not in your particular line of work. Even your mistakes cannot be considered as failures if you learn from them and use that knowledge to better yourself.

Reflects and Learn From Mistakes
Just because an experiment of yours fails does not mean you should just up and forget it. The whole point of experimenting is to find out what works and what does not. If something you just implemented does not work, like a weak landing page or faulty search engine optimization, then you have to go back and trace where the mistake stemmed from. This is why it is absolutely essential that you reflect upon any problems you encounter in your Internet marketing campaign. What went wrong, how did it go wrong, how can I fix it and how can I improve on it? These four questions are staples when it comes to reflecting on and learning from any mistakes.

Seeks Excellence in All That Needs to Be Done
Good enough is a far cry for very good, even though both are “good” in a sense. Excellence is when you give your best to everything you do. This excellence is not optional if you want to be a successful Internet marketer. You don’t cut corners, you don’t do a sloppy job and you don’t say “this is good enough.” Excellence is basically about making sure that you do as good a job as you can. This pursuit of excellence will always drive you to find better and better ways of doing things, greatly increasing productivity and efficiency. Best of all, your customers will immediately recognize your this excellence and will be more willing to at least check out what you have to offer.

Sets Competitive Standards to Meet
There is another reason you need to seek excellence – the best and most threatening of your competitors also do the same. You must always understand what your competitors are up to. You have to know what they offer, how they do things, how they market themselves and even how successful they are. If excellence will push you further up in your marketing efforts, then your competition will define the bare minimum you need to work with. This is especially useful when you are new to Internet marketing. Your competitors will most likely have been around for quite a long time already and will have spent a significant amount of time and money to get where they are now. All you need to do is analyze how they do things and you will be able to benefit the most from your competitor’s existing practices.

Understands the Needs of the Customer
This is cliché, I know, but it is something so many new Internet marketers overlook that it is worth pointing out once again. All people have needs. If somebody comes along selling something that will satisfy my needs, then I will be more than happy to part with my hard-earned money. This simple fact underscores the importance of spending time, money and effort reaching out and understanding the needs of your target customer base. Many first-time Internet marketers also have this frame of thought where they believe that exploiting their customers and wringing money from them as quickly as possible is the only way to survive. This thinking cannot be more flawed. Any kind of business, Internet marketing included, will only survive if trust is built between customer and client.

Reaches Out and ‘Touches’ Customers
This is another cliché, yes, but it is nonetheless important: your customers must feel that you actually give a hoot about their satisfaction. I have come across so many marketing tactics that look and feel stale and too focused on selling a product. The marketers here have made a fatal mistake: they got too absorbed with exploiting the needs of the customer rather than connecting to these needs. You must always show that the products and services you offer are solutions to a problem, not just tools you use to squeeze money out from customers. It is also worth note that you should not try too hard to “sell” your product to a potential client. I have come across numerous sales pages with a ton of testimonies, videos, promos, guarantees and smiling faces all promising one thing or another. The marketers behind these pages were trying so hard to convince me to buy their products that I simply got turned off and left the page before even finding out what they wanted to sell to me.

Transparent About Everything
People will be more willing to buy a product if they know exactly what they are getting. Many marketers love to use fancy prose, grand promises and technical jargon to bedazzle potential customers. This isn’t such a bad thing in most cases, but all this grandstanding will be for nothing if the potential client does not understand what the heck they are looking at. Be as transparent as you can about what you sell and you will find customers much more willing to do business with you. This is especially important for product pricing and fees. You would be surprised at how many sales pages exist on the Internet that do not list the actual costs of purchasing a product or service. Lots of promises and lots of testimonies, yes, but the lack of information on something as basic as pricing is enough to turn most people away from the site.

Builds a Network of Partners
Internet marketing is not a one-man (or one-woman) job. You will need the help of a lot of people to make yourself truly successful in this field of work. Once you get down to the more complicated aspects of Internet marketing, you will inevitably find yourself working with a whole host of people: content creators, writers, shippers, reviewers, accountants, customer care etc. Everyone you meet is a potential partner, so always take the opportunity to create and expand your network whenever you can. Even fellow Internet marketers can prove to be useful partners. You could swap customers by selling products and services that complement the business of the other market. For example, marketer A sells fiction ebooks via Amazon while marketer B sells leather covers for the Amazon Kindle. Both marketers could work together to promote each other’s products; effectively sharing their customer base with each other.

Emotionally Balanced About the Business
Nobody is a heartless machine, but breaking down into an emotional wreck all the time can’t be good for business. A successful Internet marketer needs to be completely objective when it comes to making business decisions. Your personal life must not seep into your work, especially when your marketing efforts start to get distorted in the process. Beliefs, opinions, biases and even political affiliations must be kept separate from work, otherwise they could blind you from seeing things as they really are.

This also goes for the success and failure of your Internet marketing ventures. Internet marketing is a fast-moving world, which means things die off as quickly as they are born. Look long and hard at your marketing programs and be impartial about which ones are worth spending energy on and which ones need to be dropped.

Uses Money Productively and Efficiently
One of the more common problems with Internet marketers is that they do not know how to use their money wisely. Let’s say you have earned a cool thousand dollars in sales from your most successful marketing campaign. Bills and taxes are paid, and you still have $500 left over. What will you do with this money? Will you purchase educational materials, obtain marketing tools and hire people to handle the time-consuming tasks, or will you blow it all on a fancy tablet PC? Remember that the money you earn is not something you have to spend right away. It is a resource that you can use to make your marketing campaigns even more successful in the future. You could even use that money to save up for retirement or as a mortgage down payment. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that you always ‘invest’ your money in something that will be truly beneficial to you.

Willing to Innovate and Create
There are a lot of marketing programs out there that can introduce you to the basics, but do not ever forget to be creative. There is often no need to reinvent the wheel, and there are plenty of instances where you can learn from the experiences of the successful (and not-so-successful) marketers out there. But you do have to remember that people are constantly learning and evolving as well. What might have worked two, three years ago will be done to death by now – especially considering the breakneck pace of evolution over the Internet. It is for this reason that a successful marketer is always willing to try out new things. These new things may not always be successful or turn a profit right away, but they will always impart valuable knowledge to the marketer at the end of the day. This is especially important when you consider the next frame of thought that is present in the mindset of successful Internet marketers.

‘Hungry’ for More and More Knowledge
The last but most certainly not the least of important mindsets of a successful Internet marketer is the ever-increasing desire to learn more about his or her business. You must never, ever stop thinking that you know enough to keep you on top of your business. The world of business is ever-evolving, with new players (and competitors) coming in with their innovative and creative methods. The last thing you want to do is to fall behind the competitive curve simply because you are not on top of the latest news and information regarding your business. It is for this reason that you must always be hungry to learn whatever you can about your business.

Talk to your customers. Know what makes them happy and what frustrates them.

Find out how you can be operate more effectively on a day-to-day basis.

Learn how to make more with less.

These are but a handful of areas that you can focus on.

Be hungry for knowledge, and you will be able to stay on top of the game at all times.

The Benefits Of Internet Marketing

Whilst it is fair to say that Internet marketing has certainly had an effect on offline trading figures, the comparisons are not directly proportionate for the simple reason that the Internet has opened up huge new markets which were not feasible before this ‘information superhighway’ was born. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, and the low costs involved in distributing information and media to a global audience, makes a very attractive platform for any business model, regardless of size. Latest figures from credit card companies report a 15 billion dollar turnover from Internet sales in the last year, and rising rapidly. So it is not surprising that budgets for Internet marketing are taking a bigger slice of the advertising cake and the numbers of individuals earning their living directly from Internet marketing are ballooning off the scale.

Internet marketing draws together all the creative and technical aspects of the Internet, which include design, development, advertising and sales, and the techniques used in Internet marketing include search engine marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, online advertising and more recently, social media marketing methods as employed in blog marketing, and viral marketing.

Internet marketing is the process of building, growing and promoting a business individual or organization through any online activity including websites, blog sites, article marketing, press releases, online market research, email marketing, and online advertising. In order to fully comprehend the huge benefits offered by the Internet marketing process, it is difficult not to draw comparisons with offline marketing methods, but it has to be remembered that one is not a replacement for the other. Internet marketing and offline marketing will both have an important part to play in the future of any business, assuming it is not purely Internet based. Let us now look at the benefits that Internet marketing has to offer..

Low Cost

Since the Internet can be regarded as a ‘free for all’ activity center where information is shared freely with all interested parties, the cost involved in the overall Internet marketing strategy is relatively low. Apart from the obvious expenditure incurred in operating a web site, a large proportion of the budgets set aside for Internet marketing will typically be swallowed up by services and resources offering expertise in the various marketing techniques that fall under the Internet marketing umbrella. For example, Search Engine Optimization plays an important role in the positioning of a web site in search engine rankings and the larger organizations will often employ the services of a search engine optimization company to carry out this duty. Equally there are Internet Advertising Agencies available to handle all aspects of online advertising. Smaller companies or sole traders may carry out their own search engine optimization and advertising campaigns and would need only a few hundred dollars budget for marketing software tools. Either way, the overall cost of Internet marketing is much lower than the cost of a similar offline campaign.

Work From Any Location

All activities that fall under the Internet marketing banner can easily be organized from a laptop computer. Most communications are made using online contact forms, email or instant messenger, and payments for items such as web site hosting, internet marketing software tools and resource fees can all be paid online using a credit card. Web site design and management is also another area of Internet marketing easily managed from a laptop computer. The versatility of the ‘laptop’ means that these duties can be carried out from any location and therefore those involved in the Internet marketing fraternity can easily work from a simple home office, or even when away from home. Commuting is totally unnecessary.

The Level Playing Field

Unlike offline commerce, the use of Internet marketing techniques now make it possible for an individual or sole trader to compete with the larger organizations in his online business. It’s true that a larger company whose name was on everyone’s lips would have a head start in the marketing of their web site, and a larger presence in the search engine pages, beyond that the doors are opened and it’s quite common to see a smaller commercial outfit riding higher than their much larger competition in search engine results. Yes the online advertising budgets would be much bigger for the national companies, but there are many Internet marketing techniques and resources available to the solo marketers that would help them to stay in touch. There are literally hundreds of new Internet millionaires developed on a daily basis.

There are also many niche areas with good benefits derived from Internet marketing, but generally the process is attractive all round as a method of promoting any business, recreational or personal projects across the Internet. Internet Marketing is where the future lies for businesses large and small. The Internet has arrived and no-one can deny it!

Trevor Taylor