4 Marketing Tips for Competitive Internet Brands

Your business might not have much local competition, but online competition is fierce. On the internet, you compete against dozens of other online companies vying for search engine visitors, customers and ad clicks. It's hard to stand out, but once you gain visitor trust and provide good customer service, you can obtain even more customers based on word-of-mouth and basic promotions. It's easy to get caught up in the shady side of online marketing, but here are four ways to keep your efforts "white hat" and avoid penalties.

Disclose Any Paid Reviews or Support

Many online buyers are cynical and expect reviews and comments to be paid. This creates a level of distrust among buyers who are always looking for an honest deal. Online marketers pay bloggers for positive promotions, buy reviews on Google and other feedback sites, and they even pay for Facebook likes and shares. Paid reviews have become a plague on the internet, and even Amazon has taken legal action against providers that write paid, fraudulent product feedback.

You can fight this distrust by disclosing any paid advertisement and reviews. If a blogger gives you a review, you can disclose that you provided him with a free account or service. Add some transparency for your customers, and you can gain trust over competitors who use more shady tactics.

Set Your Expectations in the Beginning

Bloggers are flooded by site owners that want reviews or even just a backlink to their site. You want bloggers and other influencers to genuinely like your content, so they then pass the good word to friends and family. You can offer incentives, and bloggers can pass them along to their own readers. It's important to set expectationsĂ‚ so there are no questions of what the blogger gets in return for marketing your site. One of the worst things you can do is offer a percentage of sales and then steal a bloggers commission. Build trust with your advertisers, and they will choose to advertise your service over your competitors.

Just remember to disclose any paid reviews or promotions, which gives your users the ability to decide for themselves if a review is impartial. Blogger traffic is huge in today's online market, so always network and reach out to them when it's time for promotions.

Don't Make Everything About Your Wallet

You've heard the saying that it takes money to make money. This saying is true with online marketing. Be prepared to give product away, offer free accounts to bloggers and advertisers, and find ways to get your brand information in front of visitors instead of just generating revenue from every click.

You should determine how much money each customer is worth, and then incorporate this value into your own advertising campaigns. If you're making $20 in revenue for every new customer but spending $10 on advertising, you're making a profit. This should be the goal - making a profit even if it costs money for customer conversions. You might hear of the rare site owner who made millions off of his idea with little advertising, but these stories are a rare breed. For most online businesses, it's necessary that there is a huge marketing budget to make a brand popular.

Always Stay in Contact with Customers

Once you've converted a customer from random visitor to paying client, you should have their information. EmailĂ‚ is still one of the cheapest marketing techniques available even decades later. Many marketing techniques get saturated, and they are no longer effective, but email continues to be a great promotional tool.

You can send discounts to customers or incentives for them to invite new customers. You can always keep them engaged as long as you have a valid email. Don't send too many emails, because it frustrates users and you find that your emails are sent to their spam box. However, you can send users an email once or twice a month to promote product using sales emails or newsletters.

You might be a dominate force in your local community, but the internet is much more competitive. Always keep in touch with your customers, and network with bloggers to find the right influencers. The right influencers can bring thousands of visitors to your site a day.