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Strategic Online Marketing

Online marketing is like gold for those who know how to use it correctly and a black hole for those who do not.

The most successful endeavors are based on strategy. Decisions are made with the end goal in mind and follow a logical path based on available resources, opportunities and the personal characteristics of the target audience. This method offers more control, reduced expenses and most importantly, increased customer loyalty.

First Things First

Anyone can establish a website or blog but it is presentation that counts. On average, people make the decision to stay or leave a site within three to five seconds. Marketing and SEO strategies may drive visitors to a page; however, it is what they find that will entice them to stay or click to a competitors site. Marketers can turn casual surfers into loyal visitors by investing in the website or blog first and outside marketing venues second.

Make a good first impression by using colors that are visually pleasing and true to the site’s purpose. For example, yellow sings adventure, blue conveys trust and purple signals creativity. Avoid flashing lights and gaudy animations that distract and confuse. Grab the viewer’s attention with a headline or picture that is unique and engaging. According to the research, 80 percent of web users scan rather than read. Market to this preference by highlighting key points, using bulleted text and by maintaining plenty of whitespace between page sections so visitors feel relaxed rather than overwhelmed.

Market to Your Audience

Bypass the trial-and-error pitfalls by exploring the habits, likes and preferences of the target audience. Never devise a marketing strategy based on assumptions. For example, a Pingdom research study indicates the average age for Facebook users is 40.5 and trending up, whereas the average age of Twitter users is 37.3 and trending in the opposite direction. Marketers who assume everyone prefers Facebook are apt to fall far short of their marketing goals.

Rethink the Old

Once upon a time, banner ads, cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) and cost-per-click advertising (CPC) ruled the online marketing space. The story has changed. Today, these one-time favorites have a success rate of less than 1 percent. Perceptive Net users are on the hunt for the genuine and usually ignore the obvious and sometimes annoying. The real hate is reserved for pop-up ads because they are intrusive, disruptive and they block the content the visitor clicked on the page to see.

Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is a driving force behind current marketing trends. According to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, web surfers spend 27 percent of their online time on social networking sites. Pingdom reports that 22 percent of Net users make buying decisions based on recommendations from social media sites.

Knowledgeable marketers use these trends as an investigative tool. It is easy to find out what others are saying simply by typing the company name or product in the Twitter search bar and then reading the results. The same holds true for Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Every marketing dollar spent leads to an opportunity gained or an opportunity lost. Maintain a high effort-reward ratio by staying abreast of current trends and by devising customer-centric online marketing plans.

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Leon Edward
 "The main difference between internet entrepreneurs and work from home small business owners who succeed online and those that do not is having the correct information,awareness of powerful web business-building resources and most importantly taking action on this knowledge. " - International Association of Home Business Entrepreneurs

Leon Edward is the blog owner and webmaster of  http://www.HomeBusinessIT.com

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