Internet marketing is not magic. It is just like offline marketing, except a bit more specialized.
Unfortunately, online marketing is not covered in many school programs, universities, or other sources of traditional education. There is a lot of BS out there and not a lot of solid information. That’s a big problem for people who haven’t been working in the field for a significant amount of time. It provides business owners with a barrier of entry that can’t always be easily overcome.
A lot of internet marketing information out there falls into the “common sense” or possibly even “scam” territory. In fact, a lot of people make it seem like there is some sort of black magic ritualism involved in creating a good marketing plan online (some of them even use this in their pitches to businesses). The basic dos and don’ts can be summarized pretty easily. Obviously the application will be a bit more difficult than merely stating them, but the first step is always the hardest.
Without further ado, the list:
- DO: Create a dedicated landing page that you can send your ad and marketing traffic to.
- DON’T: Link your ads to your homepage. Doing that would mean they are not targeted, and you know they have to be targeted, right?
- DO: Use customer focused language. “You, you, you”. Frame yourself and your company in terms of what you offer the customer.
- DON’T: Talk about yourself or spend too much time talking about your company. Unfortunately, customers don’t care. It will just alienate them.
- DO: Tailor your content to your ads. Use the same language and follow through on the promise of the ad with the content the ad leads to.
- DON’T: Have nonmatching ads, headlines, subheads, and content. Don’t spend your time crafting a great ad and then not following through with your content.
- DO: Talk about benefits first. What is your product or service going to help them do? Why is it going to help them? How will it improve their life?
- DON’T: Just talk about features. Those are useful, but not everybody wants to know a bunch of technical specifications. They would be better served knowing how it will help them.
- DO: Have a great hero shot on your page that shows your product or service being used in the best light possible. Ideally, one that shows it imparting a benefit.
- DON’T: Use a crappy stock photo or a low quality one. Honestly having no photo at all is better than having one that makes you look unprofessional.
- DO: Have a clear direction for your customers to go once they get to your landing page.
- DON’T: Have a ton of outbound links for them to go to instead. This won’t lead to conversions, it will lead to wasted time for both you and your customers.
- DO: Have a clear call to action that explains what is about to happen when someone clicks it.
- DON’T: Say “click here” or “submit”. These terms are so overused that they turn people off more often than not.
- DO: Be concise with your copy. Be clear. Use easy to understand language. Spend time on this, it’s important.
- DON’T: Be too verbose. Don’t present the customer with huge walls of text or too much information.
Tell them what you need to tell them and nothing more. A senior thesis isn’t going to convince anyone to buy anything.
- DO: A/B test your content, marketing, and everything else. This will ensure that you get the best of all possible options and won’t be inadvertently settling for an inefficient one.
- DON’T: Leave your pages static and unchanging for months (or years). Tons of sites do this. The best ones are constantly improving.
- DO: Be flexible in your plan. Being too rigid and unchanging can undermine your entire marketing strategy. Be willing to change if you need to.
- DON’T: Be so flexible that you don’t even have a plan. Also don’t be so rigid that if the market demands a change you are unable to pivot.
I hope some of these do’s and don’ts tips will help out. If you have any marketing do’s and don’ts put them in the comments below.