7-Step Internet Marketing Roadmap

By: John Elder posted in Internet Marketing

Hello good people!

Today I want to start talking about a broad Internet Marketing Roadmap.

It’s hard to lay out a roadmap that covers everyone…because everyone is different; everyone’s business is different. Marketing needs to be specific to your exact business. Still, there are a few broad generalizations that everyone should sort of start with and that’s what I’ll talk about today.

Going forward we’ll get into more specifics, but today we’ll stay broad.

Step One: Identify Your Market

When you want to do any sort of Internet Marketing, the first step is to identify your market. Who do you want to sell to?

You can’t market to people if you haven’t identified who those people are. For example, if you are trying to sell stuff to retired war veterans, advertising on snapchat is probably a bad idea.

…You get the idea.

So identifying your market is crucial. Once you’ve decided who you are selling to, or who you want to visit your site, things get much much easier.

Step Two: Identify WHERE Your Target Market Hangs Out

So you’ve figured out WHO you want to market to, now you have to figure out WHERE they hang out.

This might be as broad as “Facebook” or “Google” or as specific as “they hang out on such and such model airplane enthusiast website”.

The narrower you can fit these things, the easier it is to market to those people and the easier it is to get them to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

Step Three: Map Out Your Media Buy

Back in the day you could rely on word of mouth and organic SEO to drive traffic…but not anymore. These days you’ve got to spend some money on advertising. That’s just the way it is. But you can minimize your spending to a surprisingly low level, then roll profit back in to increase spending as you go.

Once you’ve targeted your market and have a pretty good idea of where your people hang out, start mapping out a plan.

Sticking with the model airplane example….maybe you find a couple model airplane groups on facebook you can target with facebook ads; maybe Google adword ads are available relatively cheaply for the keyword “Model Airplane Enthusiasts”; and maybe you’ve found two or three model airplane websites that seem to have decent traffic and will sell you some cheap ad space on their site.

Start moving the pieces of the puzzle around to fit whatever budget you have available.

Step Four: Have Your Site Ready!

Before you buy media and start the flood of visitors flowing to your site, you need to have a special page of your site to send them to. Very rarely will you send a potential customer to your main webpage; simply because direct marketing dictates that you send them each to a special page dedicated to selling them a specific item.

All distractions need to be removed from that page and everything should focus on getting them to do just one thing.

That one thing might be to sign up for your email list (so that you can continue to market to them), it might be to get them to download some free thing, or it might be to get them to flat out buy whatever you’re selling.

This delves into the world of conversion and we’ll be talking a great deal more about this in the near future. This also goes hand in glove with tracking and analysis, which we’ll talk about a lot too.

Step Five: Pull The Trigger

Once you’ve got your media lined up and your website ready to roll, the only thing left to do is pull the trigger and start your ads running. If you’ve done everything right up till now, you should immediately see people start rolling in (especially if you’ve spent the majority of your ad dollars on pay per click types of ads).

Step Six: Analyze the Results

What do the number say? How many people came to your site? How many of those visitors converted to whatever action you wanted them to take (be it signing up for your email list, downloading your freebie, buying your product, or whatever you wanted them to do)?

The numbers will tell us what we need to tweak going forward. That might be something on your site, like the headline of your sales letter, or the way your email form works, or something like that. Or it might tell us that the people you targeted for your ad buying weren’t especially suited to your product.

We’ll talk a great deal more about tracking and analysis later on.

Step Seven: Tweak and Repeat!

If everything worked out well, simply roll out more money for ads in the same general way. If everything didn’t quite work right, figure out what went wrong and fix it, then try again.

The great thing about Internet Marketing is that it allows you to test things relatively cheaply and make changes until you get it right…then you can scale your efforts with confidence.

In the days and weeks that follow – I’ll break apart the sections of this roadmap and really dive into each step and give more details and exact steps to take.

Talk soon!

-John Elder
The Marketing Fool!

John Elder is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Writer with over 21 years experience creating & running some of the most interesting websites on the Internet. Contact him here.

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