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Internet Marketing: Paid & Free Channels Reviewed: VIDEO OVERVIEW

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Internet Marketing: Paid & Free Channels Reviewed

This video is intended to inform neighbourhood businesses on the paid and free options for Internet Marketing.
Keywords: Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business Marketing, Coupon & Voucher Marketing.
Video Script: Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to find the video script.
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I am Alan Mackenzie the CEO of Webo.
While researching the topic of Internet Marketing one soon realises that it is akin to building a puzzle with a changing number of pieces. Perhaps, the pieces are building blocks. As you add to your plan, so it will enhance the chances of your product or service gaining height in the rankings for the top spot.
Your game plan needs to focus on an intended playing field. Playing fields for internet marketing include Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Having focus is a good first step, but you need to define your objectives, the measurable inputs that you will execute, the measurable desired outputs that you hope to achieve and the subjective outcomes that you hope for your campaign. Having a comprehensive plan will allow you to track your progress towards the defined goals.
Exactly what products, services, deals, coupons, videos, webinars or other attractive offers are you going to create to secure their interest and entice them to share with their friends, followers and business connections.
Internet search results are the product of keyword or keyword phrase queries. Facebook advertising is structured around the profiles and interests of “friends.”  LinkedIn advertising is organised around the job profiles and work interests of “connections. Facebook and LinkedIn also offer refinements relating to groups and more. Before spending your budget you need to know exactly what audience you are going to address with paid advertising.
Focus and playing field inform each other within a plan to capture the attention of a defined audience. Internet marketing is the execution of a plan that is tracked, measured and redirected to achieve defined results.
This video is intended to inform a local business discussion, at a non-technical level, on internet marketing.
Advanced micro perspectives will differentiate between internet marketing, digital marketing, online advertising or marketing, social media marketing, small business online marketing, online network marketing, online promotions and online coupons, etc.   I have bundled these topics together under the broad umbrella title of Internet Marketing.   
Small to medium business seek to grow their businesses by way of extending their market reach to expand their customer base, increase conversions and build relationships with customers to increase customer lifetime value.
The information sought by new customers is likely to focus around “about us, our products and services” and they will look for reviews in an attempt to gauge how the offerings perform against the market competition. New customers also seek to establish the level of trust that can be placed on the validity of the information supplied.  Existing customers, on the other hand,  will seek appointment availability, product implementation guidelines, deals, coupons, help, webinars and more.
New and existing audiences have different needs, wants and desires and they should be treated differently.  New customers need to be engaged and converted to being active buyers. Existing buyers need to be offered alternatives by the business so that they buy more and more often.
There are many layers to defining an online audience of customers. Firstly, as discussed, they may be existing customers or prospective customers. They may be buyers who know what they want, or they may be browsing for a solution. Are the answers one-click away? A linked List on an App will get them to their "candy" - fast!
You can enhance a user's experience by tailoring landing pages to suit their specialised needs. New customers are likely to be seeking reviews and "about us" information on products and services - take them to the home page. Existing customers, on the other hand, are likely to be seeking "how to" information, guidelines, detailed maintenance and operating information - take them to an App on their phones and PC's that delivers content instantly and conveniently.
 Prospective customers should be encouraged to become subscribers to newsletters and deal reviews - are signup options on your home page? Are you offering more information by way of an eBook giveaway?
Internet marketing can be split between paid and free channels. Paid channels take less time to set up and deliver results more speedily. Free channels, on the other hand, take time and tend to be less spontaneous. This said the free channels discussed below have the potential of exceeding the reach and effectiveness of paid channels by going viral.
I often encounter the advice that business needs to assess the lifetime value of a new client in determining the cost benefit associated with any advertising campaign. Absolutely the net present value of the future contribution is relevant, but it seems the practical impact on current cash flow is forgotten by many. Yes, long term profitability may be assured but can you, right now,  afford the ad campaign cost?
When giving focus to a campaign, research user needs, desires, wants, pain points and solutions. Crafting calls to action (buy now, our daily deal, etc.) around conversion triggers will enhance your chances of getting prospects into your sales funnel.
Affiliate marketing; getting someone else to pay for your ad campaign in return for a per sale success fee, may cost more, but it is likely to relieve the pressure on your be cash flow. Getting awareness exposure via PR or Article Spinning is another route for cash-rich marketers.
Free channels are centred around the idea that something worth having will be shared; that is if sharing is convenient and easy.  Where websites are optimised for social sharing the critical ingredient to social sharing is the level of desirability of the offer.
In another video, I discussed the value of coupon marketing and thus will not repeat the detail here. Suffice to say that a coupon deal that offers volume pricing, such as with a buy one, get one free offer, costs the vendor nothing where the variable cost of delivery is less that 50%.
It need not always be about pricing and deals. Information is an attraction. Consider organising a webinar, for example, on pets. Host an expert panel who discuss user questions.  Those that participate gain free exposure and the option of offering deals on the forum may just land an advertiser a new customer. Certainly, it will add credibility and trust to the panellists, who could be service and product providers, to a local neighbourhood.
Getting a group of product and service providers together is a way of collectively advertising the group to a targeted neighbourhood audience.
Ask yourself:
- Can we establish a group of suppliers that service a niche audience and - can we do it with no to little cost versus
- the standard paid options as individual businesses?
Can you mount an opt-in e-mail campaign to the subscribers to each of the businesses on the panel and cross market?
Bulk e-mail is arguably the most cost-effective push marketing opportunity available. It is noticeably enhanced where an incentive is offered such as a free e-book. The opportunity to attend a webinar too is an attractive offer.
Consider a long game in e-mail marketing. Give something, build trust and a relationship before you attempt to get readers to be buyers. e-Mail campaigns need careful execution so as not to be spammy and build negative impressions.
Having a one-click, Link and List Communicator APP, driven by push technology is a groundbreaking idea. Button bookmark APPs that service the needs of existing customers in an efficient and effective manner is a game changer for the user experience of existing customers.
In the game of attracting eyeballs, maintaining a blog on a popular area of interest is a free channel that will, in the medium to long-term, pay handsome dividends. Where budgets are not an issue, the use of a ghostwriter will help maintain the quality and consistency of posts.
Users that are aware of the fact that new posts will be released on Monday's at 1 pm will be relaxed about the weekly delay in much the same way that you are relaxed about your favourite TV series airing on a weekly basis. Sure, there is anticipation and eagerness but just imagine what it would be like if you had no idea of when the next episode is to be aired. A shared and consistent timetable to blog posting is essential to building a subscriber list.
Blogs can be content reading rooms designed to answer questions frequently asked by prospective new customers, or they could be conversational relationship builders driven by consistent quality content and regularity.
Remember that when blogging you need not always generate original content. Consider curating (sharing links to content on other sites) and invite others to be guest bloggers.
While marketing implies telling, advising, promoting, etc. it is equally valuable to include the opportunity to harvest feedback and to respond to feedback so as to show that you have the capacity to listen and react to constructive suggestions.
Another effective approach is to tell your story by telling the success stories that relate to existing customers. This approach adds credibility also allows you to create a conversation by asking and answering questions which are far more effective than a disguised lecture.
The free channels are mostly driven by users sharing what they believe to be of value. Users can also participate via blog comments and by you promoting #hastags.
Set out above are the basics of internet marketing and the role that websites, blogs, stores, coupon marketing, webinars, APPs and communicators can play in the growth of your business.
The script for this video is on the blog that is referenced below. Please feel free to post questions, or you can chat to us about joining us as a richly rewarded affiliate marketer. 
Link to our website and follow the links to our Hub and Site Builders, Link and List App builder, WhatsGood and Meetings Communicators and our Voucher & Coupon Marketing Manager. You can connect on LinkedIn where you can read more about me, and the projects that we are progressing.
Thank you for your time.
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