This online marketing how to is meant for people searching for a clear and paved path for internet marketing. The reason I wrote this blog post is because there are many people out there who practically have no clue on what online marketing is all about.
If you’re dead serious about this, then I would advise that you to first go and read my previous article – Strategies for Online Marketing.
You see my friend… Online Marketing is Not Just About Making Money Online
Many think that online marketing = making money online. While there is some truth to that, online marketing requires more from you than just that. Making money is probably the bottom line for most but the process of getting there is what many people forget.
And here it is…
I. It’s All About the Brand
The first thing that you need to have is your brand. A brand is essentially the identity that you want people to know you for. In this blog’s case, my brand is myself – Mike Lopez. One of my other brands is CodersCult which is a community for web developers. Make your brand as relevant as possible to what you are doing. A bad example is naming a business about children’s toys “Strong Stuff”, just doesn’t match.
Make your brand easy to remember, that way people can talk about it over coffee without having to squeeze their brains for the name.
II. Build a Credible Online Presence
It’s not online marketing if you don’t have an online presence and mind you it has to be a credible one. Back in the days, having an online presence simply means having a website that people can visit and contact you but thanks (or maybe no thanks) to technology, the avenues for building your online presence today is as many as the stars in the sky — ok, maybe not but it’s still a lot.
First thing you’ll need is a website. Then Twitter, then Facebook, then Google+, then YouTube, then so on and on and on…
But credibility is more than having these sites and good numbers. It also means people talking good things about you so try to gather as much testimonials as you can. Warning: Don’t invent your testimonials. We humans can smell fishy scents.
III. Gain Followers, Not Just Buyers
I’ve been a follower of the Apple brand long before I got my first iPod. The beauty of online marketing is that it allows you to build followers through websites and social networking even if your followers don’t necessarily want to buy your product yet. Followers are loyal people, they will go with you wherever you go as long as you remain worthy to follow.
Needless to say, focus on gaining followers and you do this by starting a cause, creating a story (not a lie) or simply by being a fun brand… which leads us to my next point.
IV. Be a Fun Person/Brand to Be With
Nobody enjoys a boring person or brand. Stop talking about how cool you and your products are all the time. That’s boring.
Instead talk more about the fun things that’s going on in your business. You can also meet with customers and blog about your experience (with your customer’s permission of course).
Here’s an idea – do a contest. Have your followers post a video about why they love your brand.
V. Listen to What Your Followers are Saying
Here’s a secret. Did you know that many online marketing gurus let their followers create their products? They do it by listening to what their followers are saying. They pro-actively interact with their followers and actually discuss things either online or offline. By listening, you will hear what problems your followers are having and you can build products by solving those problems. Sometimes, you’ll even get a few bright ideas from them that can also be turned into products or services.
Another advantage of listening is retention. You keep your followers close to your heart and they will keep you close to theirs.
I realized that you may be expecting something different when you read the title of this post. Perhaps you were expecting a step-by-step how to on making money online. I also do realize that you’ve read this post up to this point which means you liked it and probably learned a thing or two from it.
Truth is, we mostly focus on the technical side of things (building a website, building a list, etc) and we end up being blinded to what the real gurus in the online marketing world really do – they build relationships.