Effective Online Marketing Strategies


The best Online Marketing strategies are the ones where marketers have a deeper than average knowledge or insight into how social networks behave.

A common and simplistic view on social media marketing, for instance, is that the larger your fan base and the wider your audience, the bigger your marketing impact is going to be. People who have a grasp of social network dynamics understand that this is at best a simplification.

The truth is that most members of your network or audience are ‘frigid’ or passive. Only a substantial few are active and highly connected to others within the network. I like using a model where the most important members in a network are divided into three basic types: The innovators, the connectors and the opinion leaders.

The innovators are those who come up with original and interesting ideas or content but most of them may be at the ‘fringe’ of the network with very few connections to others in the social network. The connectors on the other hand are people who are very socially active, well connected to others and tend to share a lot of content around. They are the heavy tweeters or Facebook users who are sharing content all day long. They are the ones who pick ideas from the disconnected innovators and push it mainstream inside theĀ centerĀ of the network.

Some connectors can also be opinion leaders and this means that they have a lot of influence and social clout. They are the trendsetters that basically turn those weird or innovative ideas at the fringe into a trend.

A very strong Social Media strategy is therefore one which targets those opinion leaders in your online community. They are the powerful few which can make your content go viral. The pertinent question is “How do we identify these opinion leaders?”.

Luckily there are a few tools which can help you do that. One of them is Klout. In short, Klout uses a series of algorithms and data analysis under the hood which as a result give you a ‘Klout score‘, a score from one to hundred indicating the overall online influence of a particular individual or brand. [click to continue…]


Anyone involved in marketing knows very well that the preparation involved at the prelaunch stage of a marketing campaign is ultimately the most important ingredient for success . Simply put, you need to get the prelaunch right. Banner campaigns are certainly not exempt from this maxim.


A lot of businesses do the mistake of overlooking the prelaunch stage of their banner campaigns or simply don’t get all the steps right. This is the reason why serious marketers always follow a check list of items they would need to tick off before a marketing campaign begins. These items are critical and determine whether a campaign will effectively work and bring about the desired outcome. It will certainly determine the degree of success – whether it will be a barely successful banner campaign or one that is highly targeted, bringing tonnes of high quality traffic and conversions.


I will show you a simple but powerful check-list you can use before starting off your banner campaign. The list is ridiculously simple but it will change any lame campaign to a rock-star one that will guarantee your bonus check and a solid ROI to your business.


Here it goes:


1. Ask the obvious question: Is a banner campaign the ideal marketing channel for my product or service? Yeah I know it’s pretty obvious…but is it? You might be surprised how we fail to see the obvious. I am a great advocate of ‘ask the obvious questions first’ because I know that we often get unconsciously ‘locked-in’ certain preconceptions without ever asking the obvious. Biggest failures usely arise from this and the smartest choices are the result of challenging established ideas.


Banner advertisement is not always the ideal marketing channel for a particular business. Many think that banner advertisement always works to some degree. This very much depends on the buying and decision-making pattern of your product’s customer base. If you are selling B2C a fast-moving product then a banner campaign is definitely your thing. If on the other hand you are selling B2B some specialized or high-cost product or service then display advertisement might not be the perfect candidate. There again it depends where you are displaying your banner and what is your expected outcome. It could be you are after leads and you are displaying a free webinar, report or white paper on a highly related site. In that case a banner campaign would suit fine.



2. Set your goals for outcomes before setting the budget: Quite often marketing executives start off by allocating a budget to a particular campaign without fully defining the goals or the expected outcomes. The process should be made in reverse. You first need to define what is expected from the banner campaign. Is it simply more traffic? leads? sales? brand awareness? dowloading a trial version of your software? And what is the context in which these outcomes fit? off-season promotions? product launch? pushing a slow moving inventory?


You get the idea but why is it important? Because knowing the quality and quantity of what you are expecting will allow you to set realistic budgets and realistic budgets are often accompanied by better planned tactics. By having your goals and expected outcomes defined you can clearly filter out the noise and be focused and specific about the right steps to take for your banner campaign – for example which niche or online source to place your ads on or which banner format, design or creative content to use. Unsuccessful banner campaigns are usually the result of unfocused and half thought plans because of poorly defined goals. [click to continue…]

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