Internet marketing is one of the most popular advertising options available these days. Having the ability to reach a worldwide audiences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is unprecedented in world history! This is the reason why more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to research products and services before making purchases. With more and more potential customers turning to the Internet for information and purchases, it is very important for small businesses to establish an online presence that is geared towards their target market. Failure to take action online, results in competitors gaining the edge in the sales competition. Though the Internet is fairly new from a business marketing standpoint, businesses must realize basic advertising principles still exist and must be dealt with appropriately.
Know Your Target Market
As with any good marketing campaign, business owners should do market research before they launch any Internet marketing campaign. Ideally this would involve hiring an SEO Expert to work along side of the lead marketing person of a small business. The results of this research should clearly determine the basic demographic information of the target market. The research should also include a strategical plan on how to reach this target market. Small businesses that cannot afford to hire a marketing consultant should still make a concerted effort to obtain this information on their own. This can be done through informal polls of current clients or through online market research papers. The more comprehensive and formal the research, the more insight will be gained as to the best way to reach that target market.
Information is gained through your market research, should then be tailored to appeal to the target market. There are a numerous different variables which can be modified to ensure the right message reaches the right people, in a manner that they can understand and relate to. Some of these ways in which an Internet marketing campaign can be tailored to a specific target market include: the aesthetics of your website (i.e. colors, layout, fonts, etc.); advertisements where the wording of your copy becomes important; or through the use of more advanced design features such as audio, visual and interactive tools.
Visually Appeal to your Target Market
The aesthetic-appeal of your website greatly contributes to how your website is viewed by the members of your target market. An example of this would be a website which is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes, would include muted colors, clean design (that is easily read) and conservative graphics. Thought and design placed on things like this, help to ensure the target audience of your market enjoys the website. Conversely if you were looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints you might chose a website design with bold, bright colors, eye catching graphics, videos and other creative design features.
The copy you include within your website should also be written with your target market in mind. Consider the examples of the conservative and liberal target audiences listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy within your website should appeal to your target market. When targeting a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language, research-able facts to back up all viewpoints. However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience you should consider using less formal language which would likely to appeal to the target market. Focusing more on emotional copy can go a long way to persuading the website visitor to your viewpoints.
In conclusion, your website should be created with the sole purpose of appealing to the target market. You may wish to include audio and video clips on your website but these clips should appeal not detract the website visitor from the purpose of the website. For example if your website is selling dirt-bikes you might want to consider incorporating audio and video clips of rock bands into your website, as opposed to say a acoustic bands. True there may be some dirt-bike riders who enjoy acoustic bands but, in general rock bands more closely represent the dirt-bike culture.
Convert Your Target Market
Keeping these seemingly small details in mind when designing an Internet marketing campaign, goes a long way. Traffic is great but, converting your target market should always be the goal.