The rate of change in Internet marketing has always been extremely quick, and the process only seems to be accelerating. For instance, a lot of tactics that would have been considered "best practices" search engine optimization just a couple of years ago can actually harm your search engine positioning now. The same is true for a lot of notions we only recently held about web design, e-mail, and social media.
All of that continuous change can make things difficult for business owners and executives. Amidst all of this turmoil, however, it's important to remember that one thing about online marketing never changes; it's still just a form of marketing. Marketing by its very nature tends to be uncomplicated - you just meet new people and tell them about your company or products. The rest, as they say, is window dressing.
When you keep that perspective in mind, it's easier to roll and adapt with the changes as they come. Because your goal is consistent, it's only the specific tools and activities that have to be shifted from time to time. To help you understand why that principle is so important, here are a few good pieces of advice to follow in your online marketing regardless of what the current trends or fads might be:
Know your market. Before you can meet your most important prospects and customers, you have to know who they are and what they want. Luckily, this is getting to be easier than ever with social media. Just get in touch with a few of your most important buyers and see what they have in common. Then, you can use that information to find others like them.
Have a great website and bring people to it. In this context, a "great website" doesn't necessarily mean any particular programming platform or layout feature - it just means that your website is easy to read, use, and understand. Clarity is a vastly underrated marketing skill.
Don't be generic. Even before the Internet you had competitors all around you; the web has just brought them closer. The key isn't to run from all the other businesses who want to steal your customers, but to distinguish yourself from them. In other words, don't be generic in your marketing. Embrace your business's personality and set yourself apart from the crowd.
Keep trying new things. As we hope you understand by now, marketing principles are fairly constant while tactics are changing all the time. Keep in mind what it is you want to accomplish, but don't be afraid to experiment with different methods. You never know when you'll stumble on something new and exciting.
Be the best. It's almost clich, but the most reliable way to market your business is to be the best at what you do. When you're at the top of your game, others will seek you out and give you referrals. Aim for the leadership role in your industry or market and the process of finding customers always gets easier.
Marketing might not be easy, but it isn't rocket science, either. The more things change in our industry, the more you realize that reaching out in getting to know buyers is all about understanding what they want and giving it to them. Keep that idea front and center and you're always likely to do well, regardless of which specific marketing tools you use.
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