Five Steps to a Cost-Effective Internet Marketing Plan – Part I

It is time to start implementing an internet marketing campaign, if you haven’t already done so. Or are you just going to sit back and hope for the best? A well planned marketing campaign can be easily implemented and put into action with some good organization and the use of the right tactics.

Set aside a day to plan your marketing campaign and decide how you will go about it. After all, one day’s investment of time can equal much improved sales and generate increased traffic, and traffic=profits. Organic traffic is always welcome, but sometimes traffic needs to be jump-started with the right campaign.

By creating an effective campaign, you can target the holiday market, for example and with email capture, you can increase your business for years to come. The following Five Step Marketing Plan will help you plan your marketing campaign in an efficient, quick and effective manner:

1. Define Your Customer

You must know the demographics of your targeted customer, if within your business model you have not already set up a marketing plan, you should do this quick exercise. If you already know your targeted audience then you can start on Step 2.

Action:
Answer the following questions as best you can. Be realistic, and don’t just hope you’ve got the answers right.

  • Is my target customer male or female?
  • Does he or she work at home or not?
  • What does my target customer do for a living? Is he or she a stay-at-home parent, a blue-collar worker, a manager or entrepreneur?
  • What is his or her net household income?
  • What level of education did he or she attain?
  • Does my targeted customer have a budget that could include spending money on my product or service? Occasionally, only once, or on a recurring basis?
  • How is my product or service used? Personally, or for a gift?
  • How much time does my targeted customer spent on the internet?
  • Can my target customer find my product or service both offline and offline?

As soon as you can ascertain the answers to these questions you will begin to get a picture of your target customer and can write your articles, copy, content or emails accordingly.

2. Choose Your Target

Consider where you will place your advertisements. Once you have the demographics collected in Step 1, you will have a better idea in your mind. The more you can spread yourself around, the more effective your marketing campaign can be. High visibility will create an interested audience and cross-promotion across a range of places will bring increased traffic. A number of well-promoted and cross-promoted sites aimed at Holiday shoppers are always a great idea.

If you are considering an internet site or perhaps a newsletter for your ad, look at traffic stats, where your site stands in the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages), how many incoming links there are and the quality and actual messages your current ads contain. Do you have a lot of competition in your targeted area? Are your competitors’ ads complementary to your business, or totally unrelated? Once you have figured this out, you can word your message to fit better.

You might consider PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising for your internet marketing campaign, but this should be done very carefully. If you are new to PPC, it is a good idea to set a daily budget. Google allows you to do this with their PPC advertising. They have trained assistants than can help you; don’t be afraid to call them. It can cost you a lot of money if you do it wrong. You will need to know the most effective keywords to use within your campaign, so research thoroughly before you implement any PPC campaign.

Conversion rates are also extremely important. If you have run a successful internet marketing campaign before, take a look at your conversion rates from that campaign and use those figures as a benchmark. The conversion rate is the number of click-throughs divided by how many times you have made a sale, so 10 click-throughs and 1 sale is a conversion rate of 10%.  If you had a total of 1000 visitors to that site, you may want to aim your campaign at converting the other 990 people who didn’t click through!

You must monitor your conversion rates in order to tell which ad campaigns are effective.  On the internet, change is quick, cheap and easy, so do not be afraid to change your tactics.  If an ad works on one site, but not another, get rid of it and try something else. Eventually you will find something that works.

Action:

Create an Excel spreadsheet or similar on which you can enter daily stats to monitor your campaign.

To be continued …

Gabriele Cramer-Knebel
Internet Marketing Training

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