Posted Monday, January 31, 2005
Creatively marketing your corporate site takes time in the set up but you will learn that building your customers isn't about marketing your products but getting your name and reputation into the minds of internet customers.
I have randomly chosen Watkins to design a marketing approach but you will see how to apply this concept to any direct sales company.
Now let's sort through the steps of developing your online marketing plan.
Become an expert.
Be an expert on your products, your corporate website, and your current and potential customers. If you don't see yourself as an expert about your products, your company... that is your first step.
Don't try to market or pay for advertising without knowing your products and the people that would love them!
When you are comfortable with the products you offer on your corporate website begin to brainstorm about how to connect your products to internet customers.
On paper list the different categories of products with a list of potential "markets" you can target. You are ready to start your marketing plan itself.
Find your niche market.
In our example of Watkins, there is a potential market with women that are homemakers, enjoy cooking, love to entertain or create family memories with cooking traditions but remember men love to cook too.
There is a very wide range of the ages, the groups within that cook and entertain. By studying your potential customers, a theme will emerge.
Let's look at "cooking from scratch."
To know your customers, do this exercise:
Think cooking. Think old fashioned values. Think food and family traditions.
Where would they go on the internet for ideas, menus, recipes and more? Use search engines for your initial search to find a few solid popular websites. As most well built website have links within their categories, visit their links or resources to find other similar sites.
Look for homemaking, cooking, familiy focused and entertaining sites with message boards, newsletters and articles.
You are finally nudging closer to your niche market, your potential customers.
Once you have found a few websites that cater to your market, stop and study the sites. Read the articles and visit the message boards. Message boards often have posts asking for advice or recipes. Articles may have ratings by visitors which tell you more about what readers want to see. learn what kind of information your potential customers may be looking for, what they want to learn and do.
Sign up for the site's newsletter. You will learn a great deal from the newsletter. Read the articles, hints and ads in the newsletter.
Submit your articles, recipes and kitchen hints both to site owners that accept submissions but you can also contact the publisher of the newsletters too.
It's very important to remember not to write about your products Write about anything connected to the homemaking, cooking, entertaining site....keep your written article focused along the theme of the website you have found.
Your articles should reflect your knowledge, your passion whether it be crafts for kids or organizing a closet.
Sell outside the article.
You do not need to sell within the article or post. On the power of your words, your writing, they will learn about you, your business in your "resource box." When a reader enjoys your article, connects with your writing, they will feel compelled to click on your link.
You have made your first contact with your market through creative marketing.
This is your best marketing strategy for your corporate website. Continue to post ads on message boards that allow you to but often that serves you best with recruiting for your direct sale team.
Your products, whether it is Discovery Toys or Tupperware, are best presented online in your resource box as you build your reputation as fun, knowledgeable and credible. Over time and repeated exposure online, your name will become synonymous with your product and your company.
That once limiting corporate website will be the link between you and your customer. Your success with your business and corporate site will be based on creating a market for You.
About the Author
Owner of Wahm Connections (http://www.wahmconnections.com) - Publisher of Wahm Connections Weekly Online. Send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to her dynamic weekly ezine available in both email text or html online. Free weekly subscriber ads available.