5 Web Marketing Lessons to Live By

Silver BulletIt is amazing to watch as web marketing takes leap after leap into new and uncharted territory. Who would have guessed that consumers would be taking more and more control of the net? We now live in a time where companies are reaching out in unprecedented ways to the public to build relationships, open up their business practices, and invent better products and services. The best companies are already there; however, a large number of companies are still stuck in a world where the web is about building a static website where their content remains unchange for months on end and prospective customers have few, if any, ways to interact. Here are several keys to consider if you are still stuck in a rut:

There is no such thing as a silver bullet.

It is amusing to think that many companies look to the web as their way to become something great. For some reason they believe that by building a website, every consumers will flock to them. This thinking becomes more acute when businesses are faced with the problems presented when trying to advertise and market to younger generations.

The problems with silver bullets is that they are focused on short-term gains. Our sales are soft, how can we build them over the next several weeks or months. Silver bullets are fleeting; too much short-term thinking and planning leads to many long-term vulnerabilities.

Shiny objects are just that – shiny objects.

“We need a widget” came the latest techie cry. “How about a Twitter account?” “Our company must get on facebook.” The web and online social tools have led many companies down some strange paths. They get caught up looking at shiny objects, while not putting enough thought into what to do with them once they have them. The lure is understandable.

  • Free tools
  • Large communities of consumers
  • Relative ease of entry.

Let’s face it – you can build a facebook fan page in 30 minutes or less; Twitter accounts take about 3 minutes; a free-hosted blog takes about 5 minutes. It’s so easy to do. But just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will will come.

You must figure out where your customers are, what they will use, and then plan, plan, plan.

It will take a lot of hard work.

Once you have identified your “tools,” you should take the time necessary to build a decent amount of content before launching it. It is not enough put an ad online. If you want to keep customers coming back and spending a significant amount of time on your site, you have to give them a reason to be there.

This is where the hard work comes in. Once you have built your online marketing platform (along with the relevant real-world content), you will need to spend time adding content to your site. Content should include everything from how-to articles to relevant promotions and contests.

You must dedicate resources to your online initiatives.

One of the biggest online mistakes companies make is to build a website and leave it. No matter what platforms you choose, it is imperative that you dedicate the adequate time, budgets and man hours to keep it relevant and updated.

People don’t talk about stuff that’s boring.

If you’re not changing your site or updating it with fresh content, no one will talk about you. Worse yet, even if you are updating your content, they will not talk about you unless you give them a reason to. Have some fun, be controversial, take a stand, challenge your readers, do something wild.

We live in a time where word of mouth is looked upon as the most reliable source for information about products and services. You have to reassess how much time you are trying to interrupt people’s lives with commercials and such and start thinking about how you 1) create fans and 2) get them talking about you with their friends and family.

Waiting is not an option.

Your competition isn’t waiting. If you are, you’re losing. Forget the expensive web-consulting businesses. You and your team know what to do. Dig in, figure it out and move forward.

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