5 Steps Internet Marketing Plan

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: Michelle's Intro, SEM, SEO, Web 2.0 |


Internet Marketing Plan Step 1 – Defining Your Customer

Defining your customer is as important as defining your products or naming your business. Answer these questions as honestly as you can. In other words, don’t project your expectations or hopes on them. What is your perfect, solid customer really like?

  • Is my perfect customer male or female?
  • Does my perfect customer work out of the home or in the home?
  • What is the job profile of my perfect customer – an executive, manager, worker, entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, etc.
  • What is the net household income of my perfect customer?
  • What level of education does my perfect customer have?
  • Does my perfect customer have room in her spending budget for my product/service on a one time, occasional or constant basis?
  • How do my perfect customers use my product/service – do they buy it for themselves or as a gift?
  • Does my perfect customer spend a lot, some or minimal time on the Internet?
  • Where does my perfect customer look for my product/service? Both online and in physical locations?

Once you have this written out, you should have a good picture of where to start looking to place your message and how to write your message copy.

Internet Marketing Plan Step 2 – Choosing Your Targets

Now, where are you going to post your ads? A coordinated effort across several sites and venues commonly frequented by your customers is the most effective marketing campaign. If you are seen in several places your visibility and retained message is much stronger. Complementary sites that you can help cross-promote to your visitors, who will then see you there too, will provide excellent reinforcement of your message. Holiday specific sites that are well promoted are excellent areas to consider.

When considering a site or newsletter for your ad, look at factors such as traffic, search engine placement, external linking (how many places link to it), quality of current ads and types of messages being presented in current ads. Are there many competitors of yours already or is the advertising of a complementary nature to your business? Are the ads completely unrelated to your business and to the intended traffic of the site? These are all clues to measure a best fit of your message to the traffic of the site.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is another consideration for your Internet marketing campaign but can be daunting for someone new to this form. If you’re new to PPC, stick to places that allow you to set limits on daily expenditures. Google is a good example. This will also help you to experiment and determine the most effective keywords by paying close attention to the statistics of the PPC campaign.

Conversion rates are an important measuring tool. What you need to do is determine what exactly you want to measure for your marketing campaign. Is it sales orders? Newsletter subscribers? Downloads of your free e-book? A conversion rate is the number of click-throughs it takes to achieve your target measurement. Your page may have 1000 hits, 14 clicks and 1 sale in a day. Your conversion rate is 1:14 or 7.1%. In other words, 7.1% of the clicks are generating a sale during this period.

Close monitoring of your conversion rates will quickly tell you what is working and what is not. Don’t hesitate to change, tweak or modify your ads if needed. This is a process in constant motion until you find the best fit. Remember too, an ad may work superbly in one place but not in another.

Internet Marketing Plan Step 3 – Budget

While some folks think this should be the first step, realistically you can better create the budget for your marketing plan when you have a good idea of the costs involved. That can only be done once you’ve figured out your targets. You probably already have a figure in mind of how much you can really spend, so go back to your marketing campaign sheet and total up the costs of all the ad spots you’d like to do. Chances are that total will exceed your overall spending limit.

Internet Marketing Plan Step 4 – Creating Your Ad Content

Internet marketing works best when you focus only on one or two things. You may have a variety of products but pick one or two items that are good sellers and have a solid appeal to your target market for your marketing campaign.

Next ask yourself, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty.

The most successful ads use words that relate to the customer. Use You and Yours and never put the focus on Me, Mine, Our, My or We. Create several emotional words associated with the product – fun, comforting, relaxing, stimulating, addictive – and use at least one of them in the ad.

Coupons are also an effective marketing tool. They can be easily tracked either manually or by an automated shopping cart system. Use different codes for different advertising locations and you’ll quickly see which ones get the best attention.

Internet Marketing Plan Step 5 – Tracking & Monitoring Your Ads

Tracking and reacting to your campaign’s successes are critical in maintaining an effective marketing campaign. From your website stats to PPC stats, there are many ways to determine what is working and what isn’t. By paying attention you’ll learn volumes about your ads and how to hone them for best results.

 

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