Strategic Internet Marketing
Once you have established your business with a client base of loyal customers it's time for more strategic Internet marketing - and to expand the business and attract different users. No matter how large your core group is they are unlikely to have a need for your service every day. This is why you must raise brand awareness to attract a new type of user.
Thinking outside the box and being in the right place in the right time is essential to strategic Internet marketing.
How many new customers can you reach with your current product line? Would adding one or two more products open up more doors? Let's take Nike as an example. In 1983 Nike were not even one of the top three trainer manufacturers in the US then they decided to sign an unproven basketball rookie to an endorsement contract. That rookie was Michael Jordan and Nike able to benefit from his extraordinary success and popularity to the top of the trainer manufacturer charts. Analyzing this success, Nike realized they could use this method of endorsement to make and market specialized trainers for sports such as soccer, tennis and athletics without much extra cost. Other trainer companies soon followed suit but Nike, as the initiator, still leads the way. The lesson here is that doing your industry research will help you predict what new trend will happen next - you must then get into a position to benefit from it. Use the Internet to keep abreast of industry developments, and see if there are news stories or endorsements on which you could capitalize or publicly comment. Publishing industry news on your own site will attract the press and market analysts.
Be sure to listen to your existing customers too - find out what they need and want, and use this information to attract new custom. Provide them with a forum to ask you questions and complain or compliment as required. This is the best business input you will ever receive: YOUR customers telling YOU what THEY want - if a comment comes up more than twice it means that many more people are thinking it.
Finally, maintain a presence on web forums and industry newsgroups. They allow you to comment on discussion, see what potential customers are interested in and allow you to respond to any online criticisms of your product. They may also provide information of upcoming events and meetings, do get involved as soon as possible - these branding opportunities can prove priceless.