Internet Marketing: How-to

This post is both a strategy and practical guide based mainly on my experience and those I’ve worked with for the purpose of allowing anyone to understand how to execute a complete Internet Marketing campaign for any type of business or organization.

The structure of this guide is strategic, in that I look at each component of an Internet Marketing campaign from a high level. But included in each component are resources that will give you the necessary information and tools to execute, whether you want to do it yourself or hire help.

Please feel free to add to this guide in the comments section or at the public Social Media Marketing Wiki. In both cases, I will provide a do-follow link to your website in thanks.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

One of the best ways to avoid project failure is to spend the time up front to clearly define the goals and expected results. These goals should be defined with the following in mind:

  • What specific results are expected and by when?
  • Who is the target demographic and where do they hang out online?
  • What keywords would be used by your target demographic to find what your are offering?
  • Which competitors are going after your same results? How are they doing?
  • What metrics are related to the desired results? How will you track those metrics?
  • How and when will the metrics be reported on?

Be sure to schedule time to review the reports to adjust your strategy and tactics as necessary.

Once you have defined the above, create a first report that measures all of the metrics you will track.

Measurement Tools, Products and Services:

You should always consult your goals and results when executing any of the following suggestions.

Now it’s time to determine your strategy. I suggest that you spend time reviewing case studies that achieved the results you are looking for.

Spend time at for the latest in strategy and tactics.

Web Site

Your web site is often the first impression of your company and you must make that impression count. I suggest that if it’s possible, you should design your website from the ground up for the purpose of achieving the goals and results you expect from your Internet Marketing efforts. Here are some questions and ideas to consider:

  • Does your home page compel your visitor to want to complete some action that leads to the completion of a desired result?
  • Do you have an easy way for your visitors to tell their friends about your website?
  • Has your website been optimized for your target keywords?
  • Do you have product or service specific landing paged designed for conversion? (see the landing page section under PPC below)
  • Do you have a means to collect data from leads on your website?
  • Is it easy for your users to get customer support from your website?

When choosing the design firm, you may want to hire two different firms. One person or firm to create the look and feel of the website (or you can run a contest) and the other to create the website. The latter should have verified experience with Internet Marketing and SEO.

Once the website is up and running, you will need to regularly adjust the design and SEO based on the analysis of the metrics defined earlier.

Opt-In (Permission) Email Marketing

Seth Godin popularized the concept of Permission Marketing. The main idea is that you can make a more efficient use of your resources by making offers only to those who are interested in your product. The primary way of doing that is to create a database of opt-in emails. Following are some great ideas on how to build your own e-mail database of opt-in subscribers:

Also, remember that customer service inquiries are a powerful way to not only strengthen relationships, but it’s an excellent opportunity to obtain referrals, whom should be directed to a special landing page where you should attempt to get them to opt-in to your email database.

Be sure to make sure that all of your e-mail correspondence conforms to the CAN-SPAM act.

Now that you have that valuable list of e-mails, you want to make sure that you take advantage while not causing too many people to opt-out.

Here are some ideas on how to maintain contact with your opt-in customers:

Here is a 7 step process to help you create your next campaign:

  1. Determine what you want the result of the campaign to be
  2. Put measurements in place to track results
  3. Determine the attributes of those who would be interested in the campaign
  4. Trim your mailing list to those most likely to be interested
  5. Craft copy that marries your objective with your customers needs
  6. Make sure you make it very easy to take action
  7. Analyze the results and apply to your next campaign

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Go to and type in some keywords that you think your customers would type in order to find your business. Whoa … that’s a long list of competitors! So how do you show up on that coveted Google front page? The general consensus is that one of the most important influencers is the number of quality links that link to your web site via the key words you desire. So how do you get people to link to your site?

  • Search for web sites that have a Page Rank of above 4 that are related to your niche
  • Submit your web site to directories
  • Create value packed articles or blogs (posted on your own web site or on another site via guest blogging) and submit them to Social Media Bookmarking sites
  • Create press releases and use online distribution services

Check out these resources to help you get started:

The tips in the SMM section below will also be helpful for building quality links. Social Bookmarking sites are a great way to find popular blogs where you can ask to guest blog.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM has become the most popular Internet Marketing buzzword since “Multi-Media”. One way to get a crash course on the subject is to study successful social media marketing campaigns.

The main areas that you will want to work on are: Micro Blogging, Blogging, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, Video Marketing (Webcasts) and Audio Marketing (Podcasts). Following are resources for each facet.

A Blog is a broad tool that can have a fantastic short and long term ROI. There are two aspects to using blogs for marketing. First, there is your company blog which is usually hosted at Then, there is getting other bloggers to write about your company or guest blogging on blogs relevant to your target audience. It’s not always necessary that you guest blog on a blog specifically targeted to your market, as long as the Google Page Rank is good (greater than 3) and the content in the post relates to your product or service in some way.

Here are resources related to internal blog marketing (blogs posted on your company blog):

Here are resources related to finding blogs to query for a guest blog post or to write about your company (use, and Google Page Rank to get a rough idea of the popularity of the blog):

While you build confidence, I suggest you spend time commenting on the blogs of others. Most blogs allow you to leave behind a link to your web site. But be aware that most of these links within comments are tagged with “no-follow” so that you don’t get the SEO benefits of the link, although interested people may click through. You can use the “view source” feature of your browser to find out if the comments are “no-follow” tagged.

The following sections have more ideas on how to get people to read and pass your blog post along to others.

Micro Blogging has become popular because of Twitter. If you have not jumped on that band wagon, now is the time.

Social Networking was popularized by MySpace, but now is dominated by FaceBook. For business purposes, you want to be active on FaceBook and LinkedIn at a minimum, then you can either join other niche social networking sites or create your own.

Use these resources to jump start your FaceBook and LinkedIn campaigns:

Here are some resources to help you find niche Social Networks to participate in and engage your potential target market directly. Always remember the golden rule of social media “Give, Provide Value and Give some more”:

If you want to build your own niche Social Networking site, here are some of the more popular platforms:

Social Bookmarking (or Social News) sites are a great way to spread the word about your company through your blog or articles. I recommend you spend at least one month interacting with the community that you want to contribute to, before submitting content.

Here are some strategic and practical resources that will help you get started:

These are the websites and tools that will be useful for executing your strategy:

Forums & Chat Rooms may not be considered New Media, but they share most of the major attributes of Social Networks and are still effective marketing tools. Especially since these venues typically revolve around some sort of niche that may be applicable to your company.

Video Marketing (or Webcasting) is becoming an increasingly vital marketing tool. You need to know how to create the video and then how to distribute it. For distribution you can use the same tools as for the blog (you can embed the video inside a blog post) but you have some additional tools at your disposal.

Here are some resources that will help you produce your own videos:

These tools will help you distribute your videos and leverage your videos for SEO purposes:

Podcasting is similar to video casting, but without the video part >:p

Pay Per Click (PPC)

While you wait to dominate the search engine rankings, you can buy your way to the top. The big players are Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. It may also be worthwhile to target niche ad networks if you are willing to spend some time in research mode. You can also gain valuable data regarding which keywords lead to conversion using tools like Google Analytics.

Here are some resources to help you get started on your own:

Now that you have traffic coming to your website, you must be sure to take full advantage. Here are some resources to help you with compelling landing pages:

Targeted Display Advertising

Banner Ads are one of the earliest forms of Internet Marketing (don’t you remember all those flashing AOL ads?). There are three main components to display advertising; (1) creating the advertisement, (2) placing the ad and (3) measuring and analyzing results. The landing page tips from the PPC section apply here also.

For creating the banner advertisement graphics, you can either hire a graphics designer, use a template, or use a design contest site. I recommend a design contest since you will generally get a wider array of design choices.

Here are some resources to help you get started with a successful banner ad campaign (you may want to get your feet wet by using Google Adwords):

Research web sites where you think your target demographic hangs out, then ask that web site’s owner directly about advertising.

Affiliate Programs

You can either join an existing affiliate network like or you can create your own affiliate program. I suggest that you do both. Basically, you are providing a monetary incentive for people to virally spread your products and services.

Here are some resources to utilize existing affiliate networks:

These resources will help you build out your own custom affiliate network:

Online Classifieds

Online classifieds like Craigslist to local online classifieds sections can be a valuable tool to spread the word about your product and/or service. The first thing to do is to understand the terms of use of whatever services you decide to use to avoid making avoidable mistakes that incur the wrath of the community.

Here are some classifieds sites you may want to consider:

  • – Local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, personals, services, local community, and events.
  • – eBay’s entry into the online classifieds market.
  • – free classifieds.
  • – free classifieds with photos.
  • – the online version of the popular print magazine.
  • – another online version of a popular classifieds publication.

Here are some services and tools to help with execution:

  • – a cookie cutter service for doing a classifieds marketing promotion.
  • – a free service that automatically distributes your ad among several classifieds and social media sites.

Don’t forget to check the local newspaper websites of your target demographic for localized advertising opportunities.


What did I miss or FUBAR? Please add your tips, tricks and advice in the comments or at the public Social Media Marketing Wiki and you will gain fame, fortune and good will (well maybe .. at least you’ll get a do-follow link to your site).

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