I am a pretty big fan of internet marketing (and the Princess Bride), obviously. It is the most measurable form of marketing that there is. If I am giving up time, money and resources, I damn well want to know if it is doing any good moving the bottom line.
I could write all day and night about internet marketing tools, tips, case studies, making plans, measuring results and more but there are a few things you need to take stock of when you are investing in marketing your company online.
- Who you are online must match who you are offline – I am not talking about design (even though that is important too), I am talking about who your company is – what your goals are, what your mission statement is… If your website and Facebook page totes that you are an organization based on customer service, you better be pretty sure when someone calls your office they feel that customer service there as well. You should also make sure your sales people, return policy and full organizational structure are up to status quo on what you consider good customer service.Pretending will only get you so far. I would say I have met hundreds of online personalities and when we meet for coffee, or I go to their office I feel like I was given the old bait and switch. Playing nice will only get you so far and your real life reputation will come back no matter how fantastic you say you are online.If you are Miracle Max and you say you can perform miracles – you better perform a miracle when someone comes to you for one!
- Many promotions work best when paired with offline – I heard a nice detailed case study at Social Media Breakfast Bangor last month that documented Facebook likes and website interaction spiked when it was paired with an offline event like an open house, fundraiser, sale, meet and greet etc. Think of your internet marketing as an extension of your other marketing – not a stand alone item. I found this really nice post breaking down how one company applied Facebook advertising to their marketing. One of their major takeaways was that campaigns around events were more successful than branding or website conversion ads.
Again, if you are Miracle Max your Word of Mouth or Internet Marketing will only get you so far, at some point you are going to need to live up to the hype.
- If your product or service stinks, all the marketing in the world won’t save you – If what you have does not work or does not help people out in the way they expect it to, all the marketing in the world will not fix that. Start first with your product or service. Determine what it does, who it helps and how it helps them – then you can target the right people with the right message.We live in a pretty cool time when customers are giving feedback all over the place and we can now ‘hear’ it. We can search for our product on Google, read reviews, see what people say about us in blogs and in forums. If the word on the street is you stink, you should probably work on that first.If Miracle Max performs a miracle and brings a man back to life, the customer is going to notice if that man does not come back to life. With new tools like blogs and social media, we don’t just tell our closest friends if we were wronged by a company, we can tell the whole world.
A lot of common sense here, I know, but these are things we all need to think about. The World Wide Web is a pretty crazy place but it isn’t a miracle worker. Keep your messaging honest and use the internet to reach the right people!
Have fun storming the castle!