Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Edmondson, an author, speaker, and Founder/CEO of Internet Income Coach, http://internetincomecoach.com/ an online business training and education company that shows business owners how to get more traffic, subscribers, and sales. Since Brian is always up-to-date on the ever-evolving landscape of internet businesses, I asked him what was the MOST important online marketing tactic.
When it comes to modern Internet Marketing, people's thoughts immediately turn to social media in its various forms. Do you think it is important to develop relationships with prospects and clients via Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram and Pinterest?
From an online entrepreneur's perspective, I am increasingly skeptical that social media is delivering the goods, or results we need. I realize that the behemoths of modern e-commerce like Google, Apple and, Microsoft continue to devote “super-cool” mobile and wearable technologies, which aim to make the social media experience more intimate. However, early indications are that increasingly crowded social media spaces actually limit a company's visibility.
My other big concern with social media is that we are handing over control of our traffic, prospects and customers to Facebook and other companies.
What about online advertising?
Search engine marketing is another option worth considering, but as algorithms become more complex, it is getting more difficult (and expensive!) to get it right. After deducting the cost of the ads and the time to manage the campaigns, it can be tough to get a good return of your investment – depending on your business.
So what's left? So what is an Internet marketer to do?
Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, people are going back to the one tactic that many marketing experts still believe is the cornerstone of a successful Internet business – tried and true email marketing. It is the best way to develop personal relationships and make them scalable. You control the type of people that you'd like to attract to your newsletter, and have the means to define your ideal candidate and prospect.
And with email marketing you can repurpose content you know is valuable in other contexts to attract new prospects and customers. For example, e-books, white papers and recordings of past webinars and events are great opt-in incentives that build up your lists.
But isn’t email marketing a bit overused and ineffective as well?
Make no mistake; I am not talking about your father's text only e-mail marketing campaigns. Text continues to be effective, but rapidly evolving technologies allow you to embed images, graphics and video links into your messages.
Solo entrepreneurs in particular can use e-mail marketing to differentiate themselves from the competition, by emphasizing relationship building and information giving over the hard sale. Done well, you can keep that personal touch and tone. The ability to relate to people for mutual benefit never dies, which makes brushing off the e-dust off your lists worth your trouble.