That's right. The most effective way of advertising your business on the net is FREE and mostly ignored. And yet it's so easy to see why it is so effective. We just need to ask ourselves two simple questions.
Question 1- What do most people use the internet for?
Answer - For email and to seek information to solve problems.
Question 2 - How do you get information from the net?
Answer - I go directly to certain web sites or I use a search engine like Yahoo or Google.
So shouldn't it be obvious that a free article on the net that mentions your business after providing valuable information free will be seen by hundreds of thousands of your eager prospects over time?
The biggest marketing mistake that many businesses have made and continue to make over the internet is treating this new medium as if it were just an extension or advancement of the last new medium to change the marketing world, namely Television. In Television, advertising is king. And therefore many assumed that the internet was the next big thing in conventional advertising with predictably disastrous results.
The internet is primarily an information medium. So is it any wonder that people get so upset when somebody tries to interrupt their search for information with an advertisement?
Being an information medium, it stands to reason that you will only attract attention by providing information - free, valuable information.
So the most effective way to advertise on the net is to give away free information of a very specific nature. The free information will of course have something to do with your product or service. But it should be written in such an interesting way and should focus on solving a problem or need of your potential clientele that it will be of great value without them having to purchase your product immediately.
For example, somebody selling anti-glare gadgets for computers or headache medication or whatever service or product that deals with the problem of headaches, can post the following useful free information;
1) An article about the different types of headaches caused by sitting in front of a computer the whole day.
2) He can post yet another article hinged on a case study of a headache that refused to go away despite medication etc.
3) How a deadly type of headache feels like e.g caused by a developing brain tumour etc.
In all the articles, no direct reference should be made to the product or service except in the resource box right at the end which should have your web-site, email and any other contact information.
An article on the web is a very powerful advertising tool that will do more for you than any conventional advertising or email list. Firstly you are guaranteed that many of your target market or people who may be interested in your product or service will read your article and the name of your business. Most so-called advertisements on the net, never get read at all, even by the people targeted - they get deleted long before.
Secondly, you create a very favorable image of a knowledgeable and competent person or business and you do this instantly. Offline this is rather difficult to do even over a longer period of time. In fact articles can't even be posted as easily as they can on the net. For example it will be virtually impossible for any newspaper or magazine with a decent readership to find the space for any of the suggested headache articles above.
There are various ways one can post articles on the net. You can do it on your web site or you can do it at a wide range of different sites. Actually the idea here is to get it posted in as many different places as you possibly can (remember it's an advertisment.)
The real power of the internet is in its' ability to reach a colossal number of people within a very short time, who are interested in the subject at hand.
Most of the people you reach may not be in the market for your offering right now, but they will have heard of you and will already have a very favourable image of you.
Some of the people who will benefit from your information will be in the market for your product and will request for more information, visit your web-site and so on - still they will not buy immediately. A fraction of these people may buy from you one day in the future. They may also like you enough to tell others about you.
The last group of people may end up being a very tiny decimal fraction of the total but these are the people who will become your customers shortly after benefiting from your FREE information. Still there will be a steady and constant flow of these wonderful people who put money in your bank account, as your articles get posted in newer web sites all the time.
Can you sincerely think of another marketing weapon on the web that even comes close to this one in terms of effectiveness?