The Internet. Let’s be honest, we cannot resist the lure of the Internet. Everyone is using it for marketing. It is impossible to resist!
However, with the sheer volume of people and businesses using the Internet, my suggestion is to try and be different in the way that you use it. Be helpful and that means offering interest and/or value. A web site that offers data or offers training/instruction or even a game is one that will stand out. In return that site may gain the one and only thing you are really looking for – visitors.
Although results are still a little unclear, I see the Internet as a platform that has evolved incredibly quickly and this brings fresh challenges to its users. To help, I have put together what I see are the 3 ways it has changed:
Yesterday – the first era of Internet Marketing.
This was the web brochure era. If you were on the web you were cool! Just showing your brand or company on the web was deemed state-of-the-art. Most websites were full of hip graphics – and that was about it. The price of a website was huge and very few actually worked as they all suffered from the same syndrome – the “about us” syndrome. They all looked the same and did nothing to add value to the browser.
Today – the second era of Internet Marketing
Here is where people started catching on that “about us” needed to become “about you.” These sites then started to build traffic and relationships by giving access to information. The “whizz, bang” design element started to tone down and sites became easier to use; quicker and more user friendly. They also became cheaper.
Tomorrow – the third era of Internet Marketing
I see the main purposes of a website is to crystallise a brand and get a business’s personality across. The best sites in my opinion, provide a rich, interactive experience making their companies appear like an old friend. The very best ones, look good, work well, capture data and drive enquiries.
To sum up my last 4 posts on advertising and now the Internet; my advice is that these are both initiatives that I would advocate using for marketing, but only if you can do them well and can justify using them. There are literally thousands of businesses that can help you, but I would always suggest working with a business that is independent i.e not just offering the one initiative that you are reviewing.
After all, if you approach a graphic designer or a website designer, this is what you will get – graphic design or a website. Dont be afraid to talk to a consultant or someone who can look at the bigger picture of how these initiatives can be used together.