Like A Baby... Online Marketing

online marketing 

Like a Baby.

It was once believed that websites had to be long to be valuable, but the increased awareness of the precious nature of time is causing online marketers to rethink this concept. Websites narrowly targeted to specific groups are brief and valuable. Guerrillas know the value of being concise.

An overall website may be vast, but within it are tiny segments targeted with precision for small niches. In this way, huge guerrilla companies can have the warmth and close connection of small guerrilla start-ups.

Once you’ve got even the spark of a notion to go online, let that spark ignite thoughts of how you’ll promote your site. Have the insight to know this means thinking imaginatively about two worlds.

The first is the online world, where you’ll think in terms of multiple links to other sites, in terms of banners leading to your site, search engines directing browsers to your site, postings on forums alerting onliners to your site, chat conferences heralding your site, recommendations of your site by internet powers, emailing to parties demonstrably interested in learning about the topics covered on your site, writing articles for other sites in return for links back to your site, mentioning your site in your email signature, advertising online to entice people to your site, preparing an online version of your press kit to publicize your site online, and connecting with as many other online entities as possible, all in a quest to make your site part of the online community, an internet landmark to your prospects, a not-be-missed feature of the web.

The second world in which your imagination should run rampant in a mission to achieve top-of-the-mind awareness of your site is the offline world. Most of the population of the real world 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 site -- teeming with information that can shower them with benefits -- for their business or their lives or both.

Tout your site in your ads, on stationery, on your business cards, on signs, on brochures, fliers, Yellow Pages ads, advertising specialties, package, business forms, gift certificates, reprints of PR articles, in your catalog, newsletter, and classified ads. Mention it in your radio spots, on television. More than one company now has a jingle centered on their website. Never neglect to direct folks to your site in direct mail letters and postcards, in all your faxes, almost anywhere your name appears. If the world begins to think that your last name is dotcom, you’re going about your offline promotional activities in the right way.

Some companies think that by including their site in tiny letters at the bottom of their ad or by flashing it at the end of their TV commercial, they’re taking care of offline promotion. They’re not. All they’re doing is going through the motions. Talk about your website the same way you’d talk about your kid -- with pride, enthusiasm and joy. Make people excited about your site because they can see your pride. Will local or industry newspapers write about your online site? Of course they will if you make it fascinating enough for their readers. That’s your job. Promotion will get them to your site. Killer content will get them to make return trips.

What people want online is a question guerrillas ask themselves a lot. Whether it's for fun or work or something else, understanding a consumer's motives once he or she logs on is a necessity. But the experts don't seem to agree on what people want. Some folks see the web as a vast, new field for advertising messages, assuming that while people may want to do something else, if we can entice them with flash, we can sort of trick them into paying attention to our products and services.

Guess what. That’s not gonna happen.

Other folks seem to subscribe to the notion that people online are looking for entertainment on the Internet and therefore they construct messages aimed at persuading while playing. And, in other cases, the time-honored direct-response model wins out: Grab people when you can, get 'em to take an action, and then market, market, market. The answer may be that the consumer has and wants a lot more control than we give him/her credit for.

Today, webmeisters are in control. Sort of. In a perfect cyberworld, people will be in control. Sort of.

Two studies shed light upon this dilemma. One was conducted by Zatso. The other was conducted by the Pew Research Center. Zatso and Pew. Those guys didn’t spend much time reading “how-to-name-your-company” books, I guess. Still, both of their studies illuminated the answer as to what people want to do online.

The answer, as most answers, is very utilitarian: People want to accomplish something online. They're not aimless surfers hoping to discover a cybertreasure. . Instead, the average Net user turns out to be a goal-oriented person interested in finding information and communicating with others – in doing something he or she set out to do.

Look at the Zatso study. "A View of the 21st Century News Consumer" looked at people's news reading habits on the web. It revealed that reading and getting news was the most popular online activity after email. The guerrilla thinks, “That means email is number one. How might I capitalize on that?”

One out of three respondents reported that they read news online every day, with their interests expanding geographically — local news was of the most interest, national news the least.

Personalization was seen as a benefit, too. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that they wanted news on demand and nearly two out of three wanted personalized news. The subjects surveyed liked the idea that they, not some media outlet, controlled the news they saw. They feel they're better equipped to select what they want to see than a professional editor. Again, control seems to be the issue. Again, guerrillas think of ways to market by putting the prospect in control.

The Pew Research Center study revealed that regular net users were more connected with their friends and family than those who didn't use the Internet on a regular basis.

Almost two-thirds of the 3,500 respondents said they felt that email brought them closer to family and friends — significant when combined with the fact that 91 percent of them used email on a regular basis. That’s 91 percent. It took VCRs 25 years to achieve such market penetration.

What did people in this study seem to be doing online when they weren't doing email? Half were going online regularly to purchase products and services, and nearly 75 percent were going online to search for information about their hobbies or purchases they were planning to make. Sixty-four percent of respondents visited travel sites, and 62 percent visited weather-related sites. Over half did educational research, and 54 percent were hunting for data about health and medicine.

A surprising 47 percent regularly visited government web sites, and 38 percent researched job opportunities. Instant messaging was used by 45 percent of these users, and a third of them played games online. Even with all the hype in the media, only 12 percent said they traded stocks online.

What does this mean to e-marketers in tough times? It means that if you’re constructing a site for goal-oriented consumers, you'd better make sure you can help facilitate their seeking. Rather than focus on entertainment, flash, and useless splash screens, the most effective sites are those that help people get the information they want when they need it. Straightforward data, information that invites comparison, and straight talk are going to win the day.

A client buddy of mine showed me his website which heralds his retail location and attempts to sell nothing online. He said it has been the biggest moneymaker in the history of his 35-year old company. Then he apologized for its lack of glitter and special effects. He asked how his site could be so successful even though it lacked anything to add razzmatazz and dipsydazzle.  

Now, you know the answer.

  1. Write down the three questions you are asked most by your prospects and customers. The answers to those questions should be the starting point for the content on your website.
  2. Answer this question: why do you want a website in the first place? The more focused your answer, the more valuable your website will be to you.

  3. List what you have on your website that will involve visitors? Is it a free newsletter to which they might subscribe? A sweepstakes they may enter? A daily or weekly tip that is emailed to them regularly?

  4. Make a list of the other media you'll use to promote your online presence.

  5. Review the eight steps necessary to create a winning website and ask yourself if you've paid enough attention to all eight.

    Put a checkmark next to each of the eight that you've emphasized.

     

  • Planning
  • Content
  • Design
  • Involvement
  • Production
  • Follow-up
  • Promotion
  • Maintenance

Don't forget, you must equally emphasize all eight -- or else.

 

If you'd like to speak to Bruce Doyle 'Global Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer' and the Team about 'Your' Marketing Apply for a Complimentary Strategy Call where we'll conduct a Marketing Audit for You.

 

About the Author

Bruce Doyle

Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer (personally mentor by Jay Conrad Levinson)

Global Business Coach of the Year Hawaii 2003, Author of 4 Business Books, Entrepreneur and Founder of UnlimitedBusiness.com

Bruce has worked with 1000's of Business Owners over the past 20 years plus he's owned and operated over 30 Businesses across a range of industries. His focus is teaching business owners how to dramatically GROW PROFITS and GET MORE FREEDOM IN THEIR LIVES. 

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