This is the first in a series of articles on Integrated Internet Marketing. Integrated Internet Marketing is a process, but more importantly it’s a strategy.
This strategy involves all the features of Internet marketing. Plus, this strategy crosses the entire spectrum of the Customer Lifecycle. It’s complex and it’s involved! However, it provides a basic guideline to help a small business owner determine their Internet marketing strategies to fit their individual needs and determine how it all fits into their specific business plan.
Here is a simplified diagram to show the flow of the Customer Lifecycle.
The goal or purpose of developing in Integrated Internet Marketing strategy is to nurture and develop loyal repeat buyers to your business. By creating loyal repeat buyers, a small business is completing the client lifecycle. More importantly, it is driving new customer to your business through referrals. Today’s buyers want to be nurtured. They want to be involved in the process. More importantly, they base their purchasing decisions on social proof. Social proof is extremely valuable to small business owners. People make buying decisions on recommendations by their friends, business associates, family and social/religious groups.
Here are the topics that will be covered in this article series:
Integrated Internet Marketing: Small Business Website
A small business website is critical to a small business’s Internet marketing success. It’s the first and most fundamental step in developing an Integrated Internet Marketing strategy. Your small business website needs to be search engine friendly. In other words, it must include the basic fundamental criteria of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Every other component of Internet marketing will build upon this premise. This is a process, and it warrants careful attention, testing and occasional updates.
Integrated Internet Marketing: Drive Traffic and Attract Leads
Once you’ve developed an SEO’d small business website, you must learn how to drive traffic to your website and attract leads. Local Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Mobile Marketing are key elements to this strategy. Video Marketing and EMail Marketing are two other ways to drive traffic to your small business website. Other forms and methods toward list building will also be covered.
Integrated Internet Marketing: Nurturing Leads and Converting Sales
There are lots of different Internet Marketing strategies that a small business owner can employ to nurture leads and covert them to sales. The fundamental concept covered in this article will focus on “providing value” to potential clients to convert them to buyers. No doubt you’ve seen the explosion of coupon marketing in the past few years. There’s a reason for this. It works! However, it only works in driving customers to a business with the expectation of saving money. This article will show you how to capture these customers and turn them into loyal repeat buyers.
Integrated Internet Marketing: Getting Referrals
Satisfied customers are more than willing to provide referrals, but a lot of businesses just don’t know how to effectively ask customers for referrals. This is “social proof”and it completes the client lifecycle. This article will cover easy to use techniques for small business owners to use to generate referrals for their business.
A small business website is critical to a small business’s Internet marketing success. It’s your cornerstone in developing an Integrated Internet Marketing strategy.
A small business website is your virtual office on the Internet. You own your small business! You also want to ensure that you own your website. That means you want to own your own URL (Domain name. For example: http://einternetmarketingservices.org is my URL/Domain Name.) A small business website also needs it’s own paid hosting (more on that topic in my next article). The cost of these basic services is surprisingly low if it’s managed properly. There are several other advantages to having your own small business website as well! Before I get into those other advantages, first let me put this into perspective as measured against the Customer Lifecycle that was used in the first part of article series. As shown in this diagram you cannot start to drive traffic and attract leads on the Internet without having a location to drive traffic! A website provides that location. So, that is where we have to start… with a small business website. First of all, a small business website allows you to brand your business. When managed as described above, you should automatically get access to professional email accounts. This is a standard feature with most hosting accounts. So, what exactly does this mean? It means that each employee in your small business receives their own professional email account. For example, mine is firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a separate email account set up for “service,” “info,” and my employees all have their own business email account. This is essential for branding and professionalism. And, this can immediately place you in higher regard than your competition. On the other hand, if your competition is using a professional email account, they are positioned better in today’s competitive market than your business. While you may use Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail for your personal accounts, it’s time to move into the professional world! Ask yourself this question: if you were looking for a orthodontist for your children who would you trust more, Don_Little6834@hotmail.com or Don@DrLittleOrthodonist.com? In today’s market, people want to deal with professionals; and, appearance and perceptions count. Can you afford to overlook these small details? These email accounts are easily set-up within the back office of your hosting account. Furthermore, they can be forwarded to personal email accounts. This is a simple process and one we manage for our clients. Secondly, your small business website needs to be search engine friendly. In other words, it must include the basic fundamental criteria of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of getting found, indexed and, more importantly, ranked by the major search engines. (See: Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Websites.) Every other component of Internet marketing will build upon this premise. This is a process, and it warrants careful attention, testing and occasional updates. In the third part of this series on Integrated Internet Marketing, I will continue the discussion on Small Business Websites. However, this time I will focus exclusively on establishing a domain name and hosting.