After spending 13 years helping clients with their Internet marketing, I’ve got a confession to make…
I personally don’t like being “marketed” to.
My email inbox is essentially bulletproof. Meaning, I try to keep it spam-free. As for the emails I subscribe to, the moment they become irrelevant or out of context I immediately “unsubscribe” from them
I rarely “click” online ads. The only time I do is when I can’t find what I’m looking on the first page of Google’s organic search results (Note: online advertising can be useful when it is both targeted and extremely relevant to it’s intended audience. It’s also be very useful when testing out new products or ideas by running “marketing experiments”)
I personally use social media, but try to curate the content I receive as much as possible
When my wife and I watch TV we always mute the commercials
We never answer our home phone when it’s a 1-800 number
Our house mailbox has a “no junk mail” sticker on it
That said, I do…
Search for and read online content I feel is both useful and action-oriented (based on my current situation)
Listen to certain though leaders or people I know or trust
Make purchasing decisions only after I’ve done my research online (read reviews or have talked to people who actually use what I’m intending to buy - offline)
I know I’m not alone
When it comes to Internet marketing, I don’t feel I’m alone.
I’ve never meet anyone who wakes up in the morning excited about all the marketing messages they’re going to get assaulted with during the day.
I think the problem can best be described this way.
In life and business, we set both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals give us an immediate reward. Long-term goals, however, don’t reward us until later.
Clearly, the best way to approach our goals is to align our short-term goals with our long-term goals. In marketing, however, we often find that short-term goals dominate the decision-making process, which leads to a short-term solution that under performs.
For instance, buying an email list, is a short-term solution.
Yes, you might get rewarded for growing your e-mail list, but in the long-term your list will shrink significantly along with your reputation.
The long-term solution for the same goal–growing your list of email subscribers–can be achieved using an opt-in policy and a compelling offer that appeals to subscribers who are interested in your content and expertise. In this case, your content is not only useful but also relevant because the person has actually “asked for it.”
This is much more powerful and effective than the short-term solution because, in addition to becoming a subscriber, this person is a potential customer and advocate of your business.
That’s why, as an Internet marketing company in Toronto, we made a commitment years ago to care more about long-term solutions that work - rather than short-term - by creating marketing that people will love (not only for our clients, but also for ourselves).
Love might be a strong word, but - to me - it simply means creating marketing that people find useful or helpful.
Of course, this approach isn’t something you can achieve in a week or two. It’s something that requires thought and consistent effort month after month and year after year. But it’s worth it. In the end, the real metric you’re trying to increase is “trust.” You’re trying to gain people’s trust.
As we all know this takes time. By using short-term solutions, however, you lose people’s trust and as most of us know when this happens it’s hard, if ever, to regain it back.
How to create loveable Internet marketing
People, including myself, love marketing that is:
1. Educational and helpful: This type of Internet marketing tries to provide answers to a question or need that you might have. This is also the marketing you love when you’re in research mode and trying to obtain certain information in order to achieve an objective or tasks. Examples of this are: how-to blog posts, video tutorials.
2. Be consistent: To be successful with your Internet marketing, you must consider the experience of the user across different lifestyle cycles–from the first time they visit your website to the point where they become a client or customer. By making this transition from stage to stage consistent and fluid, you remove hurdles and even encourage your audience to become evangelists for your company. This is something Apple has been able to accomplish very successfully.
3. Find the right format: It’s important to create content that matches the needs and preferences of your target persona. Looking at Landing Page analytics is a great place to start. For example, if the conversion rate for a specific content offer (i.e. Landing Page) is lower than average, the marketing offer might not be appealing enough to your audience. Examples of this might be: eBooks or Whitepapers versus Video tutorials or Webinars.
We can do better.
Yes, Internet marketing takes work.
Reaching prospects can be a challenge at times.
The answer, however, is not to think short-term, but instead, use long-term solutions that will gain people’s trust overtime.
I truly believe that if a company puts their energy and resources toward creating marketing people love, they’ll produce better results.
And when I say we all can do better, I’m of course, including Fruition too.