E-Marketing Strategy: Avoid a Major Mistake in Online Marketing
Over the past 12 years, I've built websites and Web strategies for countless companies, organizations, books, authors and publishers. During that time, I've seen hundreds of Web marketing tools come and go. Some of these tools remain impressive and helpful—others are entirely worthless. All of them, I've learned, are temporary. Today's hot, new Web marketing tools are tomorrow's geeky jokes.
This column will not dazzle you with summaries of the latest tips and tricks of Web marketing wizards. Instead, it will teach you time-tested steps required to build a solid Web marketing foundation that will serve you, your organization and your Web projects well—now and in the future.
The Goals of Web Marketing
Any marketing effort's goal is to sell more stuff. Marketing on the Web is no different. However, unlike the traditional one-way marketing channels of television, print and radio, where an advertisement is sent into the throngs of millions, the Web is interactive. The rise of social media has given customers a voice and changed the expectations of the Web user for good. Your Web marketing efforts must be designed not only to sell to the throngs of millions, but to listen to them as well.
Your Own Site
Too often, when launching new Web marketing adventures, organizations rush to create accounts on every social media site imaginable, or buy up expensive pay-per-click advertising, only to find themselves stumped a few weeks down the road, saying "It didn't really work."
There are a few things wrong with this "guns-blazing" method, but I'd like to address the first—and most common—mistake by asking: Would you throw a giant dinner party without first cleaning your house, or better yet, having dinner planned?
Your own website is the most important piece of your Web marketing effort. For example, if you find yourself basking in the glow of success on Twitter—and it has tripled your Web traffic—your website must be as effective as possible at giving these new potential customers exactly what they need. If you're directing this new stream of folks to an out-of-date, cobbled-together, or loosely thought-out website, you're wasting time and money.