I wanted to take the time to give you a big picture, 30,000-foot level view of internet marketing. The goal of internet marketing is that of all marketing – to get you more business by connecting you with prospective customers (clients, patients, whatever they may be called in your business).
There are really only a handful of things that add up to success in this. You could write whole books on each of them. Books have been written. But this short article should help. It should help you better understand where your marketing is and isn’t working, and, perhaps, help you improve or solve a problem.
The first big thing is VISIBILITY.
THE BIG THINGS
Just to get them down, here are the five big factors in the success or failure of your internet marketing:
1.VISIBILITY (or INTERNET PRESENCE)
Numbers 3 and 4 can be in either order or go on at the same time.
Let’s assume all these steps occur online. That isn’t necessarily the case. You could, for example, run radio ads that start the process, then send people to your website. But I’m going to talk exclusively about these as online factors in this article.
VISIBILITY OR INTERNET PRESENCE
It is kind of obvious. If no one is aware of you they aren’t going to be purchasing from you. The first requirement of marketing is visibility. On the internet this can take several forms. These include paid ads (Google, Facebook, Instagram ads, etc.), organic (unpaid) search, Local Listings (Google Maps, Yelp, and so on), social media, and other unpaid appearances such as in news articles, blog posts and directories.
This is measurable, it is called “impressions.” The number of times you appear on someone’s screen – whether they notice you or not.
Let me tell you something: The single biggest error you can make in your internet marketing is to underestimate what it takes. It takes a LOT of impressions to add up to a sale. In our company on the average it takes more than 20,000 impressions to get a new client.
Quality does come into this. If all your impressions are on screens in Russia – and you don’t sell in Russia – well, you can fill in the blanks. But don’t focus on qualify at first. First, get the word out in a big way. If volume is too low, quality doesn’t matter.
Fine. You’re getting a lot of impressions. Does anyone notice?
You’ve got to get people’s attention.
Consider the competition for people’s time and attention, it’s clear this is a big deal.
It’s one of the big areas of focus in all marketing: Coming up with innovative ways of getting noticed. As I’ve said before, the guy who thought up putting ads on the floors in supermarkets probably made a fortune.
It’s mostly simpler than that, in internet marketing. If you’re running Google Ads, there are certain things you do, like using “site links”. Words like “FREE” (all in capitals) tend to get noticed. Also repetition is a huge factor in getting people’s attention. People don’t really connect with an ad the first time they hear or see it. A famous study years ago found on the average a reader had to see a magazine ad 9 times before responding – but the ad had to run 27 times to get noticed 9 times.
Let’s say you have a volume of impressions, showing up where you they will be seen by the people who would likely buy your products or services. Nothing is happening. You know at once one of two things is lacking: You aren’t getting their attention, or you’re missing on the next item: Interest.
One big reason it takes thousands of impressions to get a sale: Not everyone is interested. If you are selling cars and the person isn’t in the market for a new car, you aren’t going to get past this step.
If their car just blew its transmission, your ad might get a response.
But let’s say the person is a potential purchaser. They need a new babeque grill. It’s still a huge step to get their interest in what you’ve got.
A lot has been said on this subject. People talk about “features and benefits” and “sell the sizzle, not the steak.”
Reducing it to its simplicity, there is something you are selling that the potential consumer would need or want – IF they understood what you are selling.
This is where a deep familiarity with the potential buyer really pays off. “You mean your lawnmower has a cheap replaceable blade guard? Why didn’t anyone tell me?” (Please don’t write to tell me that’s not a thing. I don’t even own a lawn.)
If this sounds like we are talking about an advertisement, we are. In internet marketing the term is usually SERP (“Search Engine Results Page”). When someone does a search on Google, what comes up on their screen is a collection of maybe 20 or more listings for specific websites. Essentially each one of them is its own advertisement, a text ad much like the classified ads of olden times (USA Today still has a Classified section).
So, as with any ad, it should be carefully crafted to grab the consumer and get them wanting to take the next step, which is usually to click through to the website or to call the company.
That’s what I’m talking about when I say INTEREST.
There’s a lot of know-how and often a crystal ball to figuring this out. The good news is with Google Ads (and Google Search Console) you have the greatest tool in the history of marketing for finding out what is going on inside your potential buyer’s head.
Because, as I said above, if you aren’t getting a response, and you have enough volume of impressions, and they (the impressions) are in the right place, and you are getting noticed, then this is where you are missing the boat.
There is a LOT to this point, and we don’t have time to dig more deeply into it, so let’s go on.
Sales runs on trust, and as I said in another recent article, this goes in a series of small steps. So does interest. Enough trust and enough interest gets them to click through to your website.
Now on your home page, build more trust, build more interest and they click through to another page of the website.
Again, volumes could be written on this point. Volumes have been.
Keep it up and you get to the last step. Pay Dirt country. ACTION.
If they get this far and take no action, well, you just wasted a lot of time and perhaps money.
Action can be in the form of a contact form filled out, a chat session started, a phone call, an online order, or even someone walking into a store. It’s a connection and a communication.
You have to make it as easy as possible for someone to take action. Realizing not everyone acts in the same way, you want to offer alternative methods of communication.
You have to encourage people during the process, as with testimonial quotes or incentives (“Order in the next 10 minutes and get 10% off).
And you have to continue to work to increase the almost-customer’s interest level and their trust in you and in the process.
There is nothing easier than losing a sale at the last moment. You wouldn’t believe the rate of abandoned carts in online stores (sales abandoned after the checkout process was started).
If you are getting a volume of people to your website, working on this point is often the easiest way to increase your sales.
And that’s it. A fast summary. I’ve previously written a lot more on some of these points individually. Hopefully, this article helps.