How to select an Internet Marketing firm


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  • How to select an Internet Marketing firm

    1. 1. Internet Marketing ? How to select an Internet Marketing Firm Questions to ask. Expertise required. Are they qualified.
    2. 2. Introduction Having been in the Internet Business since 1996 while producing 100‘s of millions of dollars in sales and seemingly endless streams of lead generation, I have employed countless strategies for my own businesses as well as for our clients numerous successful forms of internet marketing strategies. For small business these methods can be very daunting and somewhat perplexing at best, especially when trying to decide on the right marketing firm for your business. Here are three well-known beginner strategies: 1. Try it yourself with little or moderate success. 2. Try to use a best friend or neighbor with little or moderate success. 3. Try a local self-professed Guru with little or moderate success. Please understand, I have prepared this “How To Manual” as a professional marketer who is often amused by the self-professed but hardly ever proven guru’s and am growing very tired of seeing small business owners lose their hard earned dollars and time trying to understand or hoping to profit on the true ability of Internet Marketing. Stephen D Gross Consulting
    3. 3. So what should you do or ask? A business owner who is attempting Internet Marketing is often confronted with words or terms like: Search Engine Optimization, PPC, Page Rank, Back Links, PHP, CSS, Link Juice, Keyword density, and so on. Have you heard these terms yet? No worries. Let me address some questions we hear the most when interviewing potential customers. How do I know that you know what you are doing? (ouch!) Questions to ask... 1. What are your steps or processes for marketing? 2. How long have you been in business? 3. Can you show me a typical campaign plan or structure? 4. What Internet Marketing Channels do you typically recommend? 5. Can I call on references? Like most small business owners you probably make most of your decisions based upon comfortability with the vendor. Are they honest? Do they have your best interest in mind? Make sure whatever words, terms, and marketing channels they suggest are well thought out and easily explained to you without any technical geek- speak meant to confuse you. Oh, also ask them if they have ever given a marketing seminar or spoke to a large group about their expertise. Stephen D Gross Consulting
    4. 4. Aren’t all marketers created equal? Would you hire a painter for the inside of your house believing they are all created equal? Heck No! The fact is Internet Marketers come in numerous varieties. Here are the basic three: 1. The Guru (know it all). 2. The Developer (unbeliever). 3. The Professional (tried & proven). The Guru is often impossible to work with. They have yet to grow ears and believe the small portion of the Internet Business they profess to know gives them the right to deem themselves as Internet Conqueror. Run fast from these people! The Developer is typically a website designer, graphic artist, or a software developer that has hatred for marketing people. Why? Because marketing people actually do the analysis to make sure their work does what it is supposed to do, make something happen. They view marketing as a lower form of business and use it as an add-on service to get your money. Run! The Professional is someone who has the confidence and a demonstrative ability to work with you and other Internet Specialists to achieve your expected results. They also have the guts to tell you when your goals are too rich. Stephen D Gross Consulting
    5. 5. What expertise should I look for? Research: What experiences and what tools are used to identify Keywords and Keyword phrases used in further research and future content? What practices are used to identify people and tribes of potential customers? What mechanisms are in place to identify optimum response rates? Online Sales: How many years of experience and how much and what have they sold for their clients? Copywriting: Copywriting should take into the consideration the language and the way of thinking of the online reader. The Internet is separated into groups or tribes. How many years of experience in writing copy specifically for the Internet and the vertical tribes? Social Marketing: Is it known and understood how to connect and compound not just Twitter and Facebook but also other media marketing channels such as LinkedIn, Articles, Social Bookmarking, Blogs, Forums, Smart pages, Websites, Press Releases, etc.? Stephen D Gross Consulting
    6. 6. What expertise should I look for? (cont.) SEO: When writing and submitting direct, indirect, and linked content, is there knowledge and experience with using search engine and reader compliant internal and external outbound and inbound links to maximize SEO and conversion? Is there proper use of title, meta and anchor tags and text within web pages and all submitted content? Is there knowledge of keyword structure and density and how they relate to recency, relevancy, and other important SEO and conversion criteria? Lead Nurturing: What is the experience in writing and conducting an automatic lead nurturing campaign? What email and affiliate software and services have they employed? What are the sizes of the client bases for the campaigns? How much experience is there with rapidly growing and maintaining an active prospect and customer list? Are their campaigns connected with auto-response campaigns? Analytics: Are analytics being employed and are they trackable and reportable across any and all marketing routines? Are there practices and experiences in place to navigate through the data and make intelligent based recommendations and decisions? Stephen D Gross Consulting
    7. 7. What expertise should I look for? (cont.) Conversion: Are there experiences and current talent in place to maximize conversion? Is conversion being measured? (lack of conversion can drastically reduce the ability for the anticipated ROI). Is there an accurate understanding of the marketing conversion components? Creative Offer Content Navigation Connectivity Cart Relevancy Mapping Linking White Space & Color Message Web 2.0 and up-to-date Page Design Split Testing Multi-Variant Testing Monitoring: It has been said that monitoring any event, campaign, function etc. is as much a matter of identifying the thorns before they grow as it is identifying the flowers. With that said, is there demonstrated evidence that the knowledge and experience are in place to provide a timely alerts of any impending or rising negative issues? Is there also experience with providing a timely alert for areas positive in nature? Can the benchmarks for negative and positive issues be knowledgeably established? Stephen D Gross Consulting
    8. 8. What are your responsibilities? First and foremost make sure you have a given set of goals in mind for your marketing. Here are a few suggestions you should use to identify if your marketing vendor and you can produce results: 1. Analyze your market: Understand your Internet competition and general marketplace. Make sure the marketing firm has the capability to analyze and report your opportunities. 2. Traffic: How much website traffic do you need or expect to recieve? 3. Conversion: What actions and how many actions do you expect to achieve per 100 visitors? 4. Sales: What, if eCommerce, do you expect to achieve in terms of revenue including phone sales? 5. Budget: What can you afford to spend for how long. 6. Resources; What internal resources do you have to devote to your own effort. Include items such as providing images, content, products, descriptions, and more? 7. Education: Who or how much time do you have planned to learn the marketing processes? Stephen D Gross Consulting
    9. 9. Above all, do it now! The Internet is your source to grow your business. The only true failure is the act of doing nothing. For the first time in history, customers and business alike have the real time capability to research, search for, and find, on a real time basis, alternatives for their desired goods, services, information, education, and analysis. “Good Luck!” Stephen D Gross Consulting