Online marketing grows bigger day by day. As internet becomes more accessible and inclusive, more people will be its users, and marketing will always exist in a place where people gather, even if the place is only virtual. The more people you’re able to reach after all, the more market to sell your product or service. Internet marketing becomes a promising business.
If you want to be a part of the growing business, you don’t have to be a graduate of internet marketing program, you don’t have to get employed in a tech firm and quit to start up your online marketing business. Why, you don’t even need to have your own product or service – you can if you want, though, and most people usually do, because it’s more profitable to sell your own product or service than other people’s.
In online marketing, you can do two things. First, you can sell your product or service. Two, you can promote other people’s product or service. The third option is, to combine both. Each has its own benefit and problems. Selling your own product or service means additional cost, stress, time spent to work, and energy. However, the profit you get from selling your own product is definitely bigger than commission from selling other people’s product.
Promoting other people’s product or service is also a normal activity for online marketer. Most commonly, they do this by selling advertisement space in their blog or website, accepting paid review and sponsorship, posting link, or even take one step further and do affiliate marketing. They will get income from the advertisement and commission. While these marketing method isn’t as stressful as making your own product, the profit is usually smaller than selling your own product, although it’s not always like that.
Whichever you want to do, you will need the same thing: a large number of followers or subscribers, so you can give better exposure to the product or service you’re promoting and have better chance to have customers. The real question here is, how do you get a large number of followers?
In marketing, exposure determines many things. Brand awareness, website visitors, even the number of sales, all begins with exposure. Even if you have the best product in the industry or even the only product in the industry, people won’t buy if they don’t know it exists. So, in online marketing, the very first thing you should do is to make sure people know you exist. How do you do this?
You can improve your visibility in the internet organically. One of the most effective ways is by doing SEO so your blog can appear in search engine search result. Google determine the rank of websites in every keyword with criteria like keyword choice, quality of the content, post length, visitors, and so on. You can learn about SEO using material in the internet. Don’t be shy to join a forum and ask for help if there’s something you don’t understand during your learning process. Being proficient in SEO is a must for blogger and internet marketer, or whoever who wants to make money via internet.
You can do other efforts, like setting up social media and gain followers from there. People love social media because they can eat bit-sized information from Facebook status, tweet, Instagram post, and so on. Having a social media linked to your blog will definitely redirect some of the more interested followers to your blog subscribers.
Another way to increase exposure is to make it easy for visitors to share your blog. In the end of every blog post, don’t forget to add Share Button in social media where your target market is likely using.
The moment you gain a follower, you have additional task: to keep their trust. People follow your blog because they think your blog is interesting and useful, so keep it that way, or even improve it. Quality content is usually the main reason why your followers stay. To be able to make quality content about a subject, you should either have learned it before, or experienced it. Therefore, pick a niche for your blog that is specific, unique, and personal to you.
The personal bit is important, because it sends messages to visitors that you are a real person, not a scammer. It also makes visitors believe more in your review (if you decide to do some paid reviews) and your experience.
Another way to maintain trust is to keep contact with your followers. Email marketing is one of the ways. Once in every period – you may decide once a month or once a week or everyday – send your followers update about your blog. The purpose is to remind them that you are still existing and still active.
Give extra attention by sending them greeting card during special moment, like Christmas, New Year, or Thanksgiving. Make them feel special by sending them greeting card on their birthday – if they provide one at least.
When trust is established, your followers will show less resistance towards the product or service you sell. If they are loyal followers, they may even get show interest toward your product first. When you finally decide to sell your product, make sure to give out full information about the product – from the spec, the function, the materials, the benefits, and so on. Full information helps future buyers to feel secure when they purchase your product or service.
If you blog to sell space for advertisement, you only need to focus on increasing visitors and retaining them. If you do affiliate marketing, you have to make a convincing post to help people decide that yes, they will buy the product you recommend. But if you sell your own product, you need to focus on the purchase process and after purchase service as well. Make purchase process as simple and as smooth as possible, help your customers to have pleasant experience while purchasing your product.
Basically, there are three important things in online marketing, and they are exposure, trust, and sales. If you’re just getting into business of online marketing, make sure not to miss learning any of these three, to avoid failing too early.