Developing Timely Marketing Strategies Around Successful Trends
In many ways the web is a giant shopping mall, complete with shops, vendors, and information kiosks. A person can even order food online, a virtual food court. People the world over are attempting to capitalize on the enormous earning potential of the Internet. There are some people online who just throw up a scammy program and hope a few dollars will stick to it. On the other hand, there are several legitimate marketers and businesses trying to earn an honest living online. To succeed, a business needs to be flexible enough to adjust its marketing strategy to the changing landscape of the Web.
Successful online business are focusing on a smaller demographic, rather than approaching all of the Internet marketing world as a whole. By focusing on a narrow niche, a company can devote its efforts to providing the exact product or service to best fit the needs of that small demographic. By being more attentive to the small group rather than the mass market, the company can concentrate on reaching them through their marketing efforts. The result will be a more devoted following and a better return on marketing investments.
There are main topics of interest in each niche. Good marketers will pay attention to the niche and learn what matters most to them. They will then connect through those issues. Examples of what may concern members of a niche would include either side of hotly argued controversies, such as politics, the vaccine wars, and health care.
Companies that offer guidance related to a current topic will gain a readership to whom they can market their products. As an example, a gardening website might address rising food prices by offering a free ebook about backyard canning, or offer sales on canning supplies. Additionally, the gardening company could publish a series of free articles explaining the benefits of hydroponics for increased year-round food production. Their actions reveal that they are listening and are willing to meet the needs of their market segment.
Current online consumers are not as naive as consumers were as little as a few years ago. Consumers expect solid content on sites. They also demand a user-friendly interface and accessible information.
The demands of the modern Internet user leaves little room for hyped-up sales pages requiring the reader to scroll through pages and pages of fluff. Companies that are not willing to give customers up-front information are unlikely to convert those visitors into customers. Most people who buy from hypey sites that promise the moon, but only deliver a moon rock, will return the product and share their negative experience with others. Honesty is still the best policy.
An excellent tool for reaching a target audience is an online video. Pages with videos are far more attractive to the average viewer than plain text. They cause people to stick around a site longer. The extra time the potential clients spend there gives the marketer precious moments to present the highlights of the company, product, or service. Another perk of the video is that they help build a sense of familiarity, making a person feel more comfortable with the company.
Attracting a customer to a site is only the first step in online marketing. With customers and sales come glitches. No business is perfect. Most customers have a certain amount of tolerance for errors as long as the situation is dealt with promptly and to the customer's full satisfaction. Dealing with customers courteously and quickly is a crucial component to every business.
Ideally, a 24-hour chat line would service a large company. Most online businesses, however, can manage an email contact form and an FAQ, or frequently asked questions page. Autoresponders are fine, but a real person needs to send a real response as quickly as possible. Companies that do not properly respond to customers are going to lose those customers. There is no business that can survive without customers.
After attracting customers, businesses want to turn them into repeat customers. This can be challenging as brands increase and customer loyalty decreases. Building relationships with customers and establishing loyalty can be pursued through online social media sites. Businesses are making use of Facebook, Twitter, forums, and other social interfaces to nurture longterm relationships with customers. Social networking sites are particularly powerful in spreading the word about the company in a word-of-mouth, often viral manner.
Companies wanting to succeed online must be prepared to mold their marketing strategies around the needs and focus of the community. By reaching out to customers where they are, and addressing what is currently relevant to their lives, companies can and will thrive online.