More than ever before, people buy from people they know and trust. Being trustworthy -- and able to convey this trait to others -- is critical to being a successful online marketer. Garish, over-the-top landing pages; blatant self-promotion on social media; and spammy, keyword-laden copy will inevitably damage or destroy your online reputation. Being authentic and trustworthy is what will set you apart, helping you build long-term relationships with your customers and clients.
With offline marketing, it's very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people's behavior before they've reached the final stage in their buyer's journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.
Professor Clarence Lee is an assistant professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, where he is a Breazzano Family Sesquicentennial Fellow. Professor Lee’s research examines the drivers behind consumer adoption, usage, and purchase dynamics of digital goods, where he models consumer behavior using Bayesian statistics, structural econometrics, and machine learning techniques. Digital products and platforms, such as the ones produced by many Silicon Valley and NYC tech start-ups, are increasingly present in almost all consumer interactions. In such settings, understanding consumer choice and the dynamics of engagement and usage become critically important in order to acquire, serve, and retain consumers. He currently teaches Digital Marketing and Data Analytics & Modeling at both the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses.
This is especially important if you have superiors to which you must report about Internet marketing. Although you may be able to turn data into a strategy easily, reports and graphs are essential in order to communicate that data to people who control the budget. Spend time making comprehensive reports and perhaps making a PowerPoint presentation based on your research.
In a number of recent articles, where I've interviewed some of social media's rising stars such as Jason Stone from Millionaire Mentor, Sean Perelstein, who built StingHD into a global brand and Nathan Chan from Foundr Magazine, amongst several others, it's quite clear that multi-million-dollar businesses can be built on the backs of wildly-popular social media channels and platforms.
For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it's a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.
There are many entities that need Internet marketing, but only budget a small amount for the work. If you’re willing to volunteer or offer a discounted rate, you can find projects. Non-profit entities and political campaigns need marketing help, but don’t have much money budgeted for the work. These types of organization may present an opportunity for you.