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The Best Internet Marketing Solutions

What Every Business Should Know About Selling Online

posted under Convert Traffic into Leads and Sales

Everyone says you should be marketing your product or service online. But how? Where do you begin?

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It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the numerous choices open to today’s internet marketers. Should you:

  • Buy PPC (pay per click) ads?
  • Build a better website?
  • Create targeted landing pages?
  • Start a blog?
  • Produce a video?
  • Work on your social media presence?

There’s no best answer and pursuing any one of those marketing tools could easily become a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

You need to create a solution that is right for promoting your product or service and works within your available resources.

Pick It and Stick It

Get focused on a single strategy and make it work. Trying something casually or for a short time will almost guarantee failure. Master the skills needed for whatever strategy you choose and give it your best effort.

Don’t jump from idea to idea. You could be quitting one just before it succeeds. Instead, pick it and stick it. When you’ve got one thing working, build on that foundation.

Blaze Your Own Path

You want to see what your competition is up to, but don’t copy their approach. What works for them might not work for you. A customized strategy will get you the best possible results from the Internet.

Get creative. Be a maverick. Fill a niche your competition ignores. Originality will help you stand out.

Make Your Message Precise

It’s not enough to simply say your product is good quality. That’s what every company says. Reaching out to your customers and establishing your own identity is a critical element of online success.

Recognize that you can’t be all things to all people. That’s a formula for failure. You’re much better off choosing a specialty, something upon which you can build your brand.

Answer these marketing questions:

  • What is most important to customers?
  • How does your product solve their problem?
  • What is its most important feature and benefit?

Pick your focus and flaunt it at every opportunity. The more specific, the faster it will gain traction in the market.

It’s Not About You

As you craft your marketing message, use wording that is customer-centric. Your customers don’t care about you and what you do. They care about what you can do for them. That’s a small shift in thinking but a significant one.

In your marketing copy, don’t talk about yourself. Instead focus on how you can help your customers solve their problem or accomplish their goals. Everything you write should demonstrate how you meet their needs.

Company-focused copy uses “you” and “your” far more than “we” and “our.” Instead of saying, “Our jewelry store has a wide selection of diamond rings,” say “Here you’ll find the perfect engagement ring, the one that will have your girlfriend saying, ‘Hell, yes!'”

Can you see how the change in perspective makes the message more appealing to your reader?

Choose Your Words with Care

Well-crafted copy makes an impact.  The right phrases are attention grabbers that will keep your readers engaged and nodding “yes.”  Think of them as your surrogate sales team, conveying the qualities of your product or service and illuminating its benefits.

Just as a good salesperson chooses her words with care, you too should be selective in creating your copy.  Consider this chart identifying the strongest words used in marketing today.

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Your primary goal is to sell your product or service.  Your writing must persuade and motivate in delivering your message.  So don’t fill your copy with empty phrases. Instead, use phrases that initiate action and move the sales process along toward a successful conclusion.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Armed with information on customer behaviors and purchases, you can make marketing decisions with confidence.  As businesses realize the power of information to create successful promotions, data is becoming an integral part of marketing.

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No longer is it enough to rely on gut feelings or take guesses. Instead, look at the analytics, particularly for your paid ad campaigns, and check real-time results to gain insight into what’s working and what’s not in your marketing mix. Data-driven decisions are better decisions.

Here are some of the individual stats you should be watching:

  1. Revenue Per Lead — To get this number divide your total revenue by your total number of leads. This metric represents how much a lead is worth to you. Revenue Per Lead = Total Revenue/Total Leads
  2. Average Order Value — This is the total average revenue of a prospect across your entire sales process (also known as your sales funnel), when averaged with all other buyers in your prospect “pool.” Average Order Value = Total Revenue/Total Buyers
  3. Conversion Rate — This refers to the number of leads it takes to produce a conversion/sale.  Lead to Conversion Rate = Number of Leads/Number of Sales.
  4. Time to Break Even — This metric is the number of days it takes until your sales funnel returns the amount you’ve invested in your paid traffic (advertising) campaign.
  5. Return on Ad Spend —  This stat will tell you how much time it takes to recoup the investment of paid traffic you’ve driven to your sales funnel and measures how much revenue is realized for each dollar spent on paid advertising.  Return on Ad Spend = Total Revenue/Total Ad Spend
  6. Lifetime Value of a Customer — For this metric, you’ll need to project the amount of revenue you can expect from a prospect over the entire time he or she is your customer.  Without this number, you won’t know how much you can afford to spend on advertising to acquire that customer.
  7. Earnings Per Click (EPC) — This final number refers to the average earnings generated per click within your sales funnel.  EPC = Total Revenue/Number of Clicks x 100.

These seven metrics should serve as benchmarks in determining your paid advertising campaigns.

Test, Track, Adjust

Test everything you can, from components of an ad campaign like different headlines or visuals to your choice of media. A/B testing is a reliable and easy-to-implement method for making changes to your landing pages, website and campaigns. It’s also one the fastest ways to produce an increase (or decrease!) in conversion rates.

Track onsite and offsite metrics to remove all guesswork. Gauge and quantify your success with actual numbers. Use statistical proof to analyze behavior. Identify opportunities to continually improve how you convert prospects into customers.

Test variables. Track results. Finally, make adjustments to capitalize on what you learn.

Pay Attention to Trends

Internet marketing today looks worlds’ different than internet marketing just a few years ago. You have so many more choices and tools you can use.

The way consumers interact with online environments is continually evolving. Perhaps more than any other industry, marketing is often about “the next big thing.” Here are some of the major trends unfolding these days.

Going mobile – Look around and you’ll quickly see that everyone is staring at their phone. People are attached to their mobile devices nearly all day.

That means if your website or landing pages aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re likely missing out.

Video – The use of video is exploding. YouTube has over one billion users. Over four billion videos are viewed on YouTube each day.  And over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute!  It’s staggering, isn’t it?

Need further proof? Watch what your kids do online. Given the choice between watching a video or reading a page, they’ll choose the video every time. And they’re not the only ones. An engaging video appeals to just about everyone. Consider using video to demonstrate your product or service.

Content Marketing – It’s not enough to build a website that describes your product. Now you need to be creating high-quality content relevant to your industry to get attention and to become perceived as an authority.

Website development

Blogs, e-newsletters, videos, e-books, infographics and white papers are all great ways to showcase your expertise and attract prospects to your brand. Whatever content you decide to create, make sure that it’s not overly promotional. It must have value to the reader.  If it doesn’t speak to your customers’ needs, it won’t have the desired effect.

Social Media – Companies are realizing they can’t ignore social media marketing. They must participate because their customers are looking for them there. And their competitors are likely doing everything they can to be found.

Paid advertising on networks like Facebook and Twitter is exploding. Best of all, it’s affordable.  The low cost of admission opens the door for small- to medium-sized businesses to participate. When combined with all the free ways to get publicity on social media, they can achieve a level of exposure and traffic that previously went only to their bigger competitors.

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Visibility isn’t the only benefit. Businesses are discovering that using social media gives them increased brand recognition, positions them as an industry authority, provides them with useful customer insights and improves their conversion rates.

The Evolution of Internet Marketing

The opportunities available to businesses to attract customers via internet marketing are exploding. Keeping up can be a Herculean effort.  But here’s the key: you don’t have to do them all, and you certainly don’t have to do them all at once!

Develop your strategy or hire a marketing consultant to assist you and then get busy. There’s no better time than today to create, deliver, measure, analyze and repeat!

Need help with internet marketing? Contact Susan Greene today!

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