Internet marketing is a minefield. There are so many different marketing options, and so many things to worry about doing, that you could end up in a position where you are burning through your budget on PPC, spending endless hours Tweeting, but have no idea what you are really trying to achieve.
It’s possible to spend a huge amount of time and money on online marketing, but you don’t always get good returns from mindless promotion. It could well be that you would be better off if you focused your efforts on a few specific areas – Web 2.0, for example.
How can Web 2.0 help you? Well, those social properties (here’s one on getting your ex back) have something that a lot of other parts of the web lack; a dedicated user base. They are ideal for people who want to grow their audience, and who are looking for a focused, targeted group of users to talk to.
With web 2.0, you can pick your niche (we recommend skin bleaching or a guide on how to get a girl to like you), and find a social property full of user generated content, then market to that. You can send your message out to the people who you want to talk to the most, and have them give you near-instant feedback.
This is a truly special thing, and something that a lot of other properties lack. A lot of brand owners forget that marketing is not a one-way thing any more. It should really be a two-way conversation, with your users telling you what they like (and dislike) and you responding and then making your product or service better.
If you want to try Web 2.0 marketing, or build up a brand presence on some of those social properties, you need to do it through engagement. You cannot afford to spam, because that will get you blocked (or ‘sent to coventry’ in forums) quickly, or get you in a position where you are flagged by influential users, downvoted and ignored. It is very hard to build up a good reputation once you’re in that position, so rather than chancing it, try to learn the rules of the community before you really dive in and get involved.
Social properties can do wonders for your brand. Even if you don’t directly acquire customers from them, you can get a lot out of them by simply positioning yourself as a market expert. You can also benefit from the idea of working with bloggers and online media – many of which trawl social properties looking for popular experts. Take Quora, for example – this is the perfect place for you to show that you know your stuff about whatever your chosen subject matter is. Answer enough questions on there and you will be contacted by the press for opportunities to make more public appearances and to be interviewed in the press.
Social properties can be hard to work with, because it takes investment in each one to get a good reputation – but that time investment will pay off.