Constantly evolve your online marketing

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Online marketing can be confusing because of its constantly evolving nature. Here I offer a few marketing tips that have helped me to build my own company, ToneFuse, into a top 10 growth site, according to comScore rankings.

Do

Be granular: Use the power of the Internet to custom tailor your campaigns as much as possible. If you're buying search ads on Google for blue widgets, then make sure your text ad creative is about blue widgets, and once the user clicks this ad, the landing page should be all about blue widgets too.

Google is not your only friend: While Google is a great way to build your sales, it's not the only game in town. FaceBook, MySpace, Yahoo  and MSN have great self-serve products as well and generally there is less competition on those platforms for you to make a bigger profit, especially if you can be creative.

Bring them back: You may have noticed that after you visit a commerce site, their ads start showing up all over the web whenever you are doing your search for weeks afterward? That is behavioral targeting (BT) at play, and one of this strategy's major features is retargeting. A number of companies allow you to display ads to users that visited your site but didn't buy. The idea is to target users that have expressed interest but for some reason didn't checkout. Give them a better deal in your retargeting efforts.
 
Don't
 
Go home: To your homepage that is. In most cases you should be linking your ads to specific product pages. Internet users are bombarded with information, and if they don't see the content on their first click, chances are they will not spend the time searching or browsing to your site to find what they were looking for.
 
Miss upsell opportunities: What makes Amazon so successful is their ability to upsell. They are the masters of selling your complementary products and products “you might like”. Your shoppers have their credit cards out, make sure you take advantage of it.
 
Ever stop testing: John Wanamaker, the father of modern advertising once famously said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." This quote is still true in most cases today—except when you advertise online. The Web gives you the ability to split test ad creative, multiple offers and multiple landing pages, all in real-time. If you're not constantly split testing and optimizing, then you're not improving your metrics. Besides generating more profits, stronger metrics allow you to outbid your competition for ad inventory, spend more on advertising and affords a broader range of ads to build up your market share. 

Val Katayev is the CEO and cofounder of ToneFuse, a marketing company that specializes in high-traffic music properties.

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