Internet marketing can be maddening.
No, seriously frustrating.
Like, OMG-blow-my-brains-out infuriating.
It’s the kind of thing you can pour your heart and soul into but still end up failing miserably, confused and disoriented: Where to start? What to say? Who to say it to? How does it result in sales? What…am I doing?
There are so many different websites, blogs and social media platforms it can seem impossible to wrap your wits around internet marketing at all, let alone come up with any logical strategy. You start out with the best of intentions to get something launched, but soon end up wandering around the web, your plans to take over the world dropped for the time being. #cantfocusanymore #givingupinexasperation #watchingfunnycatvideosnow
Yet, small business owners feel guilty for not doing enough internet marketing. They may have no idea what they should be doing, but still feel guilty they aren’t doing it. It’s sort of a nagging feeling in the back of their mind that they should be “advertising on Google or getting likes on Facebook or something.”
You hear incredible success stories of people making millions on the Internet and you kind of feel like you should be able to get a little of that action for your own business. Yet, often people end up spending a lot of time with no measurable results.
What do we mean by “results” in internet marketing? We mean the same thing as in any other marketing. We mean leads and sales—not likes, tweets and shares. Don’t get me wrong, those are groovy. However, you can’t pay your mortgage with a tweet.
It’s amazing though. People get so confused about this. They honestly believe that there is validity in measuring internet marketing by “brand awareness,” “social engagement” and “reach.” While these are great things to watch, they’re only as valid as they result in real leads and real sales somewhere along the way.
Internet marketing has to serve the purpose of the company—it has to sell.
Let’s, for a moment, discuss the distasteful side of this whole thing—the elephant in the room, if you will. We’ve all seen that guy on Facebook barraging his friends with posts about his business: “Buy this!” “Free that!” “Learn about the amazing benefits of this incredible multi-level marketing product!” His friends are running away as fast as they can while he basically turns himself into one long online commercial. What about this guy? Is he doing internet marketing?
Noooooooo. He isn’t.
He’s engaged in what’s called “doing internet marketing wrong.”
Unfortunately, people see this guy and don’t want to be like that themselves, so they get sort of paralyzed and don’t do anything. I run into this all the time with my clients. This isn’t what we’re talking about. Real internet marketing is legit. It results in real sales. It isn’t cheesy. It makes money.
The Problem With Internet Marketing
The main problem with internet marketing is that people don’t understand it.
But literally, they don’t understand it. They don’t understand basic words about the Internet, let alone social media. They don’t know how to use Facebook and LinkedIn for marketing. They don’t know what to blog about. This whole Internet thing is rather new, so they don’t have guiding principles and are missing key terminology in a lot of cases.
Really, internet marketing is just marketing, period. The tools are different than traditional marketing. The core principles of marketing are, of course, the same. In order to be effective, you just need to understand this new medium.
Who Am I Talking To?
You’re probably the exact person I wrote this for.
If you’re a business owner or someone who wants to know about internet marketing, this post was written for you. I’m writing it to dispel some of the mystery and confusion and to provide a simple guide anyone can follow to get up to speed rapidly.
It took me a long time to figure all this out. I had to read a lot. I struggled a lot. I messed up a lot. I wandered around a lot. My goal is to boil it down so that the basics are all right here and everyone doesn’t have to go through the same learning curve.
I regularly end up discussing these exact strategies with my clients. I find myself talking about them so frequently that I finally decided I just need to write it down. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to put it in a book, but right now I just want to get the information out there as quickly as possible so that it can be used.
A Series of Articles
I started out to write one single post explaining internet marketing. This grew to two posts…and then three. I’m not done yet and I’m at more than 6,000 words. Not good for one article! Therefore, I’ve broken this whole thing down into a number of different articles. Each one has a different topic. They are:
I’m going to lay the whole thing out in black and white, defining terms and explaining strategy. This isn’t going to be fluff. It will be hardcore data, but I’m going to try to make it intensely understandable—even for someone with absolutely no background in the subject at all.
I’m going to lay out definitions of basic words and I’m going to show how to use various tools in internet marketing. I’m going to discuss basic strategy. I’m going to help you figure out how to get a real campaign going and I’m going to help you put your team together.
Stay tuned and check back regularly as I get these published. Subscribe to the blog and follow me on social media. If you have any questions at all as I publish these, write to me and I’ll try to answer them.
My goal is to help you do better in life and in business. Feel free to comment below or send me your feedback.
See Part 2 of the series here: Internet Marketing Definitions