Written by Sandi Hunter, Director of Website Development at Worldprofit Inc.
Today I am tackling one of the BIGGEST problems faced by new online marketers. The problem is this, the inability to market effectively. This causes so many marketers incredible frustration! The result, they throw up their hands in despair and quit long before they see any results.
This is what I hear from people day after day in my role as an online Home Business Consultant. "I am posting, and promoting but not getting any leads or sales! Help me!" If this is you, keep reading, I am going to tell you what you need to know about marketing.
It is true that you can be promoting every day but if you are making one or all of the 5 common mistakes I've outlined here, you won't get the results you want. Take note, this is important stuff if you are really serious about making money online.
1. The first mistake made by new online marketers is this:
Not knowing WHAT to market.
I talk to people daily, nice people who want to sell something online and earn some extra money. They sign up or this and for that, they get Affiliate Memberships all over the web hoping to get better results by being involved in everything they can get their hands on. There intentions are good, they are motivated but they stumble right off the bat by not knowing what to market.
Here's a quick guide for you on WHAT to Market: -Pick products to market that are DIGITAL. Digital products are those that can be bought and sold instantly online. You get your commission sooner, the buyer gets their product instantly! It's no-fuss no-muss and the best way to start your web marketing experience and see some results. -In most cases there is no cost to be a product Reseller or Affiliate - hurray!
-Pick Reseller products from a reputable long-standing company that specializes in helping vendors connect with affiliates to sell products online.
-Pick products or affiliate programs that provide advertising copy, banners, and sales aids along with referral links so you can easily promote the products.
-Pick products that catch YOUR EYE! Newest releases, products with catchy names, trendy topics, those with positive buyer feedback, and return guarantees are best!
-Look for Joint Venture releases so you can be one of the first to promote the products when first released for sale Finally, FOCUS! Keep your eye on the prize - profits - don't spread yourself too thin. Narrow your efforts to a few products and put 100% effort into your campaign.
2. The second most common mistake made by new online marketers is this:
Not knowing HOW to market.
I am always surprised at the answer people give me when I ask how they are marketing online. They look at me perhaps thinking what a ridiculous question that is! They tell me they are sending out their website address. When I look at their website I see a site that is oh so boring! It reads like a brochure with company history, and a few pages of fluffy copy. Yes, of course it is important to promote your website address BUT if you wish to capture leads you must do this - get the prospects contact information!
Getting the contact information from a prospect is often very difficult to do with a standard corporate site. The answer to this problem is to create what are called LANDING pages, or Squeeze pages. These are single page sites that have one purpose and one purpose only - get you a LEAD - and better yet lead to a sale! Some companies provide Landing Pages for you when you become a Reseller for their products.
Landing pages help you build your marketing list. Every person may not be a buyer today, but on your mailing list they may enjoy future products you offer. Offering an option to join your mailing directly on your Landing Page gives people 100% control over opting in to your mailing list or not. You build your list while ensuring that people have voluntarily joined your mailing list.
Here's a quick guide to creating responsive landing pages:
-They should be FAST Loading! Skip any animation, video or annoying distraction that just makes people click OFF! -Use images that are colorful, directive, and related to the theme of your product -Your copy MUST be short, punchy, laden with benefits - speak directly to the reader -Your copy should tell readers what they get if they ACT now! Limit the offer, even better! -Capture the contact information of the reader so you can deliver what they asked for -The more goodies, freebies, offers, and cool stuff you can give people the BETTER the response! -Always include an option for people to join your mailing list and give them GREAT reasons to want to do so!
Unlike a website, a landing page should be EXCITING, BENEFIT-LADEN and accomplish this:
Look reader! You get this! Do this to get it! Do it NOW and also get this BONUS!
3. Here is the third most common mistake I see new marketers making:
Not KNOWING WHERE to Market
Marketing is NOT simple but if you know what you are doing it can be. The key is to find the sites, the niches where you can target your market. Market to the right people instead of the masses with solid products and you will get instantly better results.
Here's a quick guide to knowing WHERE to market:
-Do a Google search to find sites related to what you are promoting, then target those sites for your marketing campaigns.
-Use every available niche market you can find and post there, this includes Forums, Classified Ad Sites, Banner Exchanges, Twitter and Social Networking and Bookmarking sites.
-Do not discount FREE and low cost advertising options like Safelists, and Traffic Exchanges. These are excellent ways to target a specific market.
-You do NOT have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising. Find the sites where your target market exists, then place low cost ads including safelist posts, banners, and classified ads. Don't even think about buying pay-per-click ads at sites like Google unless you have deep pockets and know what you are doing.
-Learn what backlinks are and why they are SO VERY important to generating traffic and achieving better search engine indexing for your site, products or business. -If any of the terms above are foreign to you, you have some homework to do, I have included some resources below.
4. Are you ready for the fourth and perhaps most fatal mistake made by new online marketers?
Not knowing how to TRACK your promotional campaigns
If you are going to spend time and money to promote a product or service you MUST, you absolutely MUST know where you are getting your results. Ad Tracking is a 100% requirement! If you are not tracking your ads, and the clicks you get and from where, you are promoting blindly. What happens when you don't watch what you are doing? You can fall in a hole! Online this can be a hole where you fall in and throw your money into wasted ad campaigns. I've seen more people allow paid advertising to eat up their entire budget than I want to think about. Smart marketers that get results know exactly the ad campaigns that get results, and the sources they came from.
Get an Ad Tracker Tool.
Some advertising sites provide you with data on number of clicks to your ads, or impressions. This is important, just be sure you understand what those terms mean. A click is usually far more powerful for you then a "view".
You want ACTIVE respondents, real people actually clicking on your ad to see it. This is much different than an "exposure" or a "view" with the latter being considered passive and very weak marketing, often provided free. For best results you will ALWAYS get better results from paid advertising than from free advertising but don't discount free promotion, it is a good way to earn advertising credits if you have a small advertising budget.
If you buy advertising be SURE you get some kind of way to validate the promotion, the click rate, and actual IP addresses of unique respondents to ensure the hits are legitimate and not computer generated. Make sure your respondents will be geographically specific too, from countries that you wish to target. For example, Canada or the USA. If you have your own domain you are fortunate, as you can benefit from an Ad Tracking tool that tracks all your promotional activities and traced to your website domain address.
5. The fifth common mistake I see online marketers making is very straight-forward.
Not being realistic or giving it enough consistent time and effort to see results.
I know we live in an instant gratification world but if you are new to online marketing you will need to be more realistic. Promotion takes a lot of CONSISTENT effort using a number of strategies at a number or web sites. By tracking your ads you can see instantly where your efforts are being productive. Be prepared to try various copy, be cognizant that some products will sell better than others, some advertising resources will deliver better than others. Vary your offers, change up your products as needed, update landing pages, post to a number of sites and track the results. Take some time to learn about some of the terms used in this article. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing. Are you serious about earning money online or are you doing this as a hobby? Your level of hunger and ambition to succeed will be your motivator. The good news is that once you have built your mailing list, and found niche sites and advertising resources that work, your job to promote gets easier but NEVER goes away.
Sandi Hunter is the Director of Website Development at Worldprofit Inc., a company specializing in hosting, online tools, training, ad tracking, and marketing resources for small and home business. Established modestly in 1994 off a kitchen table, today Worldprofit is known as the Home Business Experts and the number one resource for all things related to home business. Republished with author's permission by Robert King.
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