How to Promote your Products Online
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov
If you are an entrepreneur or have a small business that you’re actively trying to promote, then there is no doubt that you’ll be able to use online advertising to your advantage. Methods like search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and paid advertising can help you get your message to the masses in a big way when used properly.
BASIC ONLINE PROMOTION METHODS
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
While SEO isn’t a direct method of promotion it’s a very important part of getting your business noticed online. It’s a foundational process of getting your site listed in search engines like Google and Bing.
Search engines send out a spider (also referred to as a crawler or a bot) which is a software program that scans your page code for content and keywords. They then use this information to rank your website on their result pages.
SEO can be challenging, and it’s a topic way beyond the scope of this course, but the ultimate goal is to get your webpages listed on the first page of results for your chosen keywords in the search engine. To achieve this, you must maintain a good balance of keywords and content on your site. Then when consumers search for information on a topic related to your business they will be presented with relevant options which will hopefully include you.
Email marketing is essentially just like it sounds.
You send out promotional messages through email to a list of people who have opted to give you their email addresses. This is extremely powerful because you can reach people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Every time you send out a promotion you are giving the recipient another chance to take advantage of your products and services. The best part is that you can eventually get hundreds or even thousands of people to sign up for email list.
Another great benefit of email marketing is that you can use it to build a real relationship with your customers over time and once they become more familiar you and your business they will be more likely to make repeat purchases.
An effective email campaign will usually consist several email messages that will introduce your readers to benefits of doing business with you. You’ll want to make sure that you send them a good mix of quality content, usable information good offers that will lead them towards making a purchase.
PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING (PPC)
In case you aren’t familiar with PPC it is an ad service offered by companies like Google Adwords and Facebook. It is a great way to promote your business because you can start seeing results right away. The way they work is simple. The ad-serving network will put your ad on the search results or participating websites that are relevant to your site based on the keywords that you chose to target. Whenever a person clicks on one of your ads, you will have to pay a small fee, usually a few cents or more depending again on the keywords you’re bidding on.
With this method, you don’t have to worry about being charged too much because you set your own budget and once that runs out your ads will stop being shown until you are ready to start them again.
PAID INTERNET ADVERTISING
Many content-based websites sell very inexpensive ad space on their pages. This can be in the form of banner or contextual ads. When advertising on someone else’s website, do your best to pick a site that is relevant to the product or services you are advertising without being a direct competitor. This way you can get your ad in front of consumers who are interested in what you have to offer.
With this type of advertising you can go directly to the website, you want to advertise on or you can go through and ad network similar to Google Adwords. Perform a search for “online advertising networks” and you will find a wide variety of options.
Here are a couple places you can check out to help you get a better understanding of how these networks function.
Clicksor – This site will display your clickable text or advertising banners on the relevant websites and blogs for you.
Advertise.com – They offer tailored digital advertising solutions to increase your conversions, develop brand awareness, and build your targeted traffic.
That’s it for today’s lesson. We have a lot to go over in the next few days, so make sure you look for your next lesson soon. We are going to talk a little bit more about the different aspects of marketing online.
Before committing to or spending money on any type of online advertising, it’s important to research the potential profit of your product or service. It’s important to explore your advertising options, find out who is your target audience is, what they like to spend their money on and where they like to hang out.
Understanding these things will help you decide which marketing method will yield the best return on your investment (ROI). When you don’t take the time to do your research chances are you’ll end up spending more on your campaign than you’ll make. Worse yet your marketing message may never reach your target audience.
TIME & PATIENCE
The success of any online marketing campaign depends on how much time and effort you are willing to invest. Many people fail at this because they’ve hears all the fast cash, overnight millionaire stories and expect it to be quick and easy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. Most online campaigns take a lot of planning and testing before you see any real results.
It’s important to remain patient during the initial phase of your campaigns. While online marketing is much faster than more traditional forms of advertising. Depending on your end goal, you may need to give it at least 4 to 6 months before you begin to see a substantial increase in traffic or sales.
Know your competition. When it comes to being successful online, it’s important to know what your competitors are up to. All this take is a little bit of research. Start by looking for products, services and websites similar to what you have to offer. Knowing what they are up to will give you more insight into what you should or shouldn’t be doing in your own campaigns.
The real key to success in any business is good customer service. It is very important to reply customer’s questions and concerns as quickly as possible. The Internet makes this extremely easy and it is one of the best ways to build a solid reputation online. It will also help you develop lasting customer relationships, which will bring in profits for years to come.
HOW & WHERE TO ADVERTISE
A little reminder: The first place to start is always with research, because once you know the types of websites your target audience likes to visit you can find out how to advertise on them.
PAY PER CLICK (PPC) ADVERTISING
This is one of the most popular forms of online advertising. With this method advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than getting them organically through SEO. It’s similar to the paid advertising as discussed above.
Facebook and Google Adwords are both are excellent examples of this type of advertising. You simple set up an account, create your ad copy then they show it on targeted website and you only pay for ads that are clicked on by consumers.
Tip: Be aware that even though they are very effective they do have a big learning curve, so please make sure you educate yourself before you start investing.
Now I know this doesn’t seem like an important aspect of online marketing, but it is. Think about it this way; you wouldn’t put an ugly sign up in front of your store and call it effective advertising any more than you would run a newspaper ad that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re selling, right?
The same holds true with the content you post online, whether it’s on your website, blog or a social media site. Whenever you are posting content online to promote products and services you need to make sure that it is relevant to what you’re selling.
This is especially true if you’re using paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. When people click through on your ad you want them to land on a page that is ready to catch their attention and capture their contact information.
Great content is the one of the best ways to draw in customers, and let them know exactly what your business can do for them. It can be the difference between having click your ad and taking a quick peak before moving on, or getting them to read your offer and take action.
SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK
You probably already use it for your personal needs, but why not use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for your business as well. Using social networks can help you increase brand awareness and build a following of people who are eager to hear what you have to say.
Social media marketing is all about building connections with your audience so that they can see you are authentic and there to help. In the end, you will gain their trust and loyalty.
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE USED FOR PROMOTION
Social media promotion can be a very daunting task, especially if you are new to the process. Knowing what to do and not to do is the key to your success in this area. The techniques we are going to discuss in this issue will help you to maximize the results you see from your campaigns on any social network.
Take the initiative to follow your customers and reach out to them away from social media. If your customers have a blog and are posting about your company, engage with them and interact on their blog. Link to their content on your social media pages and this will encourage more people to follow you from the bloggers fan base.
Keeping track of comments, reviews, and blogs related to your business is an important part of social media marketing. There are many tools that you can take advantage of to alert you when new content about your business is posted. Keeping track of what others, particularly past customers, are saying about you is a great way to identify areas where your business could use improvement. It is also a good way to see which parts of your business have been effective.
Your headline is crucial to a good post. Most social networks encourage you to keep your posts short, and if you were to post a long article, chances are no one would take the time to read it. Try posting a link to your article with a good headline that both grabs your readers’ attention and explain what the article is about.
Make sure all your posts and articles have social share buttons or links. This button makes it easy for your readers to like and share your content. Most people won’t take the time to share your content if they have to go through copying and pasting a link.
Don’t neglect LinkedIn or Google+. While they may be less popular than Facebook and Twitter, you can find extremely influential users on these networks and it will help you cast a wider net, attract more followers and increase the odds that others will share your content.
Lastly, most social networks offer some type of paid advertising so take some time to learn how to use it. Facebook ads are extremely popular and promoted tweets and Instagram ads can work extremely well. I’ve also had some success with promoted pins on Pinterest.
When it comes to getting results with social one of the most important things to remember is to find out where your target audience hangs out and get your marketing message in front of them there, because they will be much more likely to respond to it.
OTHER TIPS & TRICKS
OFFER THE BEST DEAL
If you have an existing mailing list, tell them about your new ebook first! Offer them the best deal possible – a special offer that no one else will be getting. Treat your own list the best and tell them that you are.
OFFER AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Offer your customers an affiliate program so they can promote the product to others while they earn a commission.
If you don’t have your own list start sending out ‘joint venture’ offers to other businesses in your field. Offer them a nice-sized commission (at least 50%) and explain to them how they (as well as their customers) will benefit from the deal.
Send out at least one JV letter, per day! Joint ventures with other marketers and business owners can pull in amazing profits! They’re the best promoting tool available for writers and marketers — especially online!
USE HIGHLY-TARGETED EZINE ADS
You can also use highly-targeted ezine ads to get customers. Here’s a twist to this technique: instead of targeting customers, target affiliates who will help you sell the product! This strategy can grow your business very quickly!
If you don’t have an existing customer list here’s another strategy that can work well. Write short, focused articles and submit them to targeted ezines. Articles can be a great way to get viral advertising working for you.
There are hundreds of other strategies you can use. However, the ones listed above are some of the best and most effective. Always go for ‘quality’ traffic versus ‘quantity.’