Perform a Google search for any variations of “internet marketing best practices” or “online marketing best practices” and you’ll find millions of results. Countless articles have already been written on the topic and you’re likely to find several articles touting the same best practices.
Create epic content. Promote your content. Build an email list. Nurture your list. Pitch your products or services. You know, the usual. But there are several newer best practices that often go unnoticed, at least by most internet marketers. Well, that is, until now.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that best practices become ineffective when more people join the bandwagon to use it. So you need to keep testing and refining your tactics to beat your competitors at this internet marketing thingy.
Here are some of these tactics, though not entirely new, you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Russell Ruffino’s method
Like I’ve mentioned before, most of what you’ll hear revolves around the words “content marketing.” Sure, content marketing works, but it takes some time to see results especially when you factor in other variables like SEO for search traffic, building an email list, or your competitors.
However, Ruffino, CEO of Clients on Demand has used an entirely different strategy for reaching customers. Instead of creating different types of content and using it to get subscribers to an email list he can later sell to, he creates what he calls a “signature piece of content” that speaks directly to the biggest problem his target audience is facing in the form of a webinar. He then drives traffic to that content by using Facebook ads.
When a prospect clicks on the ad, they are taken to the webinar. At the end of the webinar, they can schedule a time to hop on a call with Ruffino to determine if they’re a good fit. And if they are, they become a client.
Here’s the sequence of events in a nutshell: Facebook ad>webinar>phone call>client. As proof that it works, it grew his business from $10,000 per month to $1.3 million per month. And he currently earns back $10 to $15 for every dollar he spends on Facebook ads.
This isn’t criticizing content marketing because it has been proven to work in diverse industries or niches, but depending on your niche, if you have the budget for ads on Facebook, this is a tactic you should try. And it wouldn’t hurt to add it to your content marketing arsenal either.
2. Start selling from day one
When you’re running a blog or site on a budget and you’re barely taking care of your hosting and other expenses, you need to make money fast.
Like Iniobong Eyo put it on Problogger:
“The earlier you start selling, the earlier you start making money, and the earlier you can hire needed help to handle parts of the business you suck at.”
There’s a lot of research studying the relationship between money and motivation, especially among employees, with many agreeing that pay alone isn’t sufficient for motivating employees. After comparing several such studies, the Harvard Business Review says that “income goals based on the pursuit of power, narcissism, or overcoming self-doubt are less rewarding and effective than income goals based on the pursuit of security, family support, and leisure time.”
That means when you start making money on your site as soon as possible, you’re more likely to be motivated to keep at your business especially when you’re spending the money on pressing needs.
Create a “Services” page on your site if you haven’t already done so and offered a service you’re good at. You can be a writer, programmer, virtual assistant, or just anything people are willing to pay for over the internet. When people land on your site for the first time, especially on your home page, it should be obvious you’re offering a particular service.
Don’t wait to get to a certain email subscriber or visitor count to start offering your services. Do it now. Products can always come later.
3. Build a following before creating content on your site
If you’re risk-averse like I am, then you should try this. Don’t launch a blog and start creating content on it so you can promote it later and build an audience via the content promotion.
Buy a domain name, create a landing page with an opt-in for email subscribers, and offer a freebie or “bribe” to encourage visitors to give their emails. After doing that, drive traffic to that page by:
- Using social media ads (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn especially)
- Writing guest posts
- Commenting on other sites in your niche
- Commenting on groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
- Sharing your freebie on your social handles
- Answering questions in forums or Q&A sites
There are many other ways to drive traffic to your site or landing page and you can find brilliant ideas here. The point is, do not start your blog and create content for it before you begin promoting it and seeking readers. Popular blogger Jon Morrow calls it “speaking to an empty classroom.”
Build a list/following of people interested in your content. So while some of the older best practices are still great, you won’t go wrong with trying these tactics in your online marketing strategy.