Saturday, July 16, 2011

Learning Online Marketing

Two people in one day have asked me for info to get them started on online marketing. One is a training partner at my dojo, the other is one of my engineers who is trying to learn about SEO.

So I thought I'd write up a general response to the question of how someone learns about online marketing so they can get started.

My first reaction is that its a great career move for people to learn about (actually, maybe not for engineers who might do better as programmers than marketers). But for most people, it's a good career area so learning about is seems worthwhile. The flip side is that learning it can take make years and is never fully finished. There's a lot to learn and things keep changing.  And there are rapidly emerging courses and even degrees in this area. But they still tend to lag state of the art.

Where does one start?  First, you should think about how broad the concept of online marketing is.   What are the areas within online marketing?

Social media - Learn how Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, endless forums, Ning Groups, Yahoo groups, blogs, even YouTube, and so one can be marketing tools.
Email/Newsletter Writing and Management
SEO - Search engine optimization. The art of trying to get your website to appear in a good position in natural (ie non paid) search results.
PPC - Paid advertising in which you pay for each person who clicks on your advertisement. Google's adsense is the biggest program.
Affiliate Marketing or PPA - Advertising in which you pay per action (usually signup) of the visitors. People offer their programs and the publishers pick which ones to put on their site. Big ones are CJ, Ebay, Amazon, AffiliateFuel, etc.
Sales funnel - A part of a website designed to convert interested visitors into paid customers.
Network marketing - A type of online advertising.
Google Analytics
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Optimizer
Web design

One thing that I should mention is that trying to "learn online marketing" is a Heruclean task. I have taken it on since I felt it was key to my career and future but most people prefer to think of their business as soemthing else and just to pay others to do the online marketing.  I instead think of marketing as everything I do. Like as they say in the film: "everything is kung fu!"  This one of my types of analogies.

One you can read through this blog, take a course, or otherwise go reading about the web.  You can also just start giving it all a try. Locally, you can join groups and go to their meetings listening to the speakers. I did a lot of this for years. There are meetup groups on SEO and online marketing and social media.  Locally, there is SFIMA and the Interactive Direct Marketing Group and other local groups.

Here's a hint. Try doing things.  For instance, if you are reading this post, write a comment.  Summarize the one thing that you learned, or would have liked to learn, from this post. It'll help you retain and process what you've learned. And you will have started to be active online!

Here's a  free ebooks on online marketing. It's a Hubspot marketing piece but as agencies and services go, they are topnotch.  (no, they did not pay me to say that although I'd appreciate a little link-love from them).

There are some good newsletters (websites) to read current and back issues such as:

Note to self. It would be fun to build a online marketing term game on VSC.

Another interesting point about marketing is the advantage of being a little controversial. I fear that this is one of the problems with the Common Core, too many people just like to talk about it to foster controversy.


takeshi007 said...

Online marketing offers a great deal of options in terms of distributing the promotional advertising that an entrepreneur may want and need and also has many downright benefits compared to offline marketing strategies such as ads in newsletters, promotional videos on television broadcasting or flyers that make most people angry due to the fact that common sense obliges anyone to accept a gift from a smiling person only to throw it away in the next second just by looking at a wrong chosen title or introduction.

Michelle Bryan

Unknown said...

What an interesting post. I have been doing some research on SEO companies for my marketing class. I have been really starting to search for things like “Webimax customer reviews” and “SEO company reviews” I really haven’t found any company that doesn’t sound great to work with. Your article gave me some more topic ideas to think about for my paper. Thanks for your article.