Blogging, social media, search engine marketing, content marketing, online publicity, banner ads, daily deal sites, and social bookmarking. Each of these categories of Internet marketing offer at least three alternatives for driving traffic to your website-- in an effort to increase sales of your products and services. That's 24 ways you can market your business online!
So, how do you know which types of Internet marketing will work for your business? Part of it is trial and error. The other part is human psychology.
If you use the 80/20 principle-- you can imagine that only 20 percent of Internet marketing options actually drive real traffic and sales to online businesses.
Knowing this should decrease any feelings of overwhelm about the number of online marketing choices available.
When deciding which option works for your business, there are a few things to consider: your target market, goals, budget and time commitment.
Target market: Where do your ideal customers hang out online? Are they more likely to be on Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter-- or none of them? Do they spend a lot of time reading online publications such as Shape Magazine, Parenting Magazine etc.?
Goals: What is it that you want to accomplish with your Internet marketing efforts? More customers for a specific program? More sales of a particular product? Registration to a seminar, workshop or other event?
Budget:There are free Internet marketing platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and there are paid ones (Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing). Options like banner ads and pay-per-click can get expensive, so decide on your budget before beginning (also test to see which ones give you a better return on your investment.
Effort: How much time can you invest in Internet marketing each day? There are tools like HootSuite.com and TweetDeck.com that enable you to automate your social media efforts.
That's it! Once you determine these four things, you'll be able to determine how to approach Internet marketing with more confidence.
Below is a Social Media Cheat Sheet by Flowtown (it includes the major platforms, however, it doesn't have LinkedIn which can be valuable for some businesses -
(here's a LinkedIn infographic)