Posted by Ephran Price
By: Tiva Kelly
The Internet is here to stay, and it's only going to become larger in the lives of businesses and their customers. In the 21st Century, it's simply not possible for a business to avoid it; if you're not marketing on the Internet, your competitors certainly are, and you will lose out.
Of course, many of the old-fashioned marketing models can still get the job done, but only to a certain extent. Television and radio advertisements will still reach some customers, but technological advances such as TiVo, satellite radio, and the Internet are quickly rendering these modes of advertising obsolete. Meanwhile, fliers and mass mailings can be effective in the short-term, but do not earn respect from customers.
In short, the Internet is the only advertising medium that is growing in effectiveness. The smart business owner will accept this reality, and use it to her advantage. Yet for many, the Internet is mysterious territory. How can we use the Internet to increase our market size and get ahead of the competition?
First, know your marketing budget. If you are a small business, you might not be able to afford many of the advertising techniques that larger companies use. This can actually be to your advantage, as many larger companies are incapable of changing with the times. This is why the Internet is our greatest tool. The purchase and maintenance of a website is a very affordable alternative to old-fashioned advertising mediums such as billboards or television commercials.
Second, know your target customers, and know where to find them. We may not think about it very much, but the Internet is, in reality, not a single medium -- rather, it is many diverse mediums. If you're advertising to a younger demographic, youth-centered social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook are essential starting points. To target the slightly older generation -- Gen-X'ers and younger baby boomers -- start a blog, and update it regularly.
Middle-aged to elderly generations are, in general, on the Internet far less than their younger counterparts -- yet their Internet presence is increasing. Think local newspaper sites, medical sites, and political sites that deal with older people's issues.
Also, on the Internet you want to associate your business website with other websites that your customer base would tend to browse. For example, if you sell vintage clothing, you might want to advertise on independent music websites. If you sell pet supplies, try advertising on a site that contains articles about pet issues.
Whatever the age and character of your target customers, you can find them. The key is to figure out where they are, and to contact website owners about advertising.
Third, there are countless ways to generate hits on your website, and advertising on other sites is only one of them.
Consider this: If you are confident in your expertise of your field, consider article marketing. If you do a Google search for "how article marketing works" you'll find some great info on how the process works, and where to start. You simply need to generate the content -- which should be easy, as you will be writing about what you know -- and submit it to the distribution service.
You may be asked to make revisions, which is not a bad thing. These services exist to help you increase your market size. Also, it's important how you categorize your articles. Think of what your customers are looking for, and categorize your articles as such.
With each of your articles that is accepted for publication, your business's website will be linked in your "About the Author" section. If your articles are well-written and insightful, you should generate thousands of hits to your website, which will lead to a higher ranking on the search engines.
In the 21st century, we must respect the importance of the Internet and, particularly, search engines. The simple use of keywords will no longer get you ahead. Article marketing is one of the best new Internet marketing techniques that can put you ahead of the competition.
Keyword Articles: http://www.keywordarticles.org
Tiva Kelly is an expert at article marketing and offers support to authors at Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Learn how to market your small business when you submit articles through Article Marketer. www.articlemarketer.com