According to the 2010 Compete Online Shopper Intelligence Study, 94% of consumers use the internet to research products and services worldwide.
This figure makes for a pretty convincing argument in terms of employing an internet marketing strategy. There's no longer any doubt that modern day consumers use the internet to research and make their purchasing decisions.
Inefficient or non-existing online marketing can cost you dearly as chances are that your competitors are already attracting your customers.
The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. With the help of the Google Engage Program, I have compiled a short list to help and hopefully inspire you to move in the right direction:
Determine what you want from your web site. Set one or two goals for starters. Do you want to:
Who do you want to attract? Who are your customers? What are their problems? Are they currently doing business with a competitor? Answering these questions can help you successfully channel your marketing efforts.
If you have a web site, run a survey, or simply pick up the phone and ask your customers where they found your web site. This is where accurate reporting from a statistics program such as Google Analytics can also help you get more insight into your customers.
Learn from your competitors. See what they are doing to attract their customers, but also be vigilant to learn from their mistakes.
Consider everything you have found out about your current and potential customers and take the time to plan your approach accordingly. Plan it properly! Include your online strategy into your marketing plan and set a budget.
Be prepared to revisit this strategy, as most online marketers generally take a "test and repair" approach, which works best. However, the more accurate your research, the more accurately you will target your potential customers.
Online marketing is unique in that it is measurable. You can almost immediately see whether your strategy is working or not by simply tracking each and every link pointing back to your site.
Google Analytics has proven to be the leader in this field and best of all, it's free!