Internet Marketing – The Amazing Ron Paul

Wow, check out Ron Paul’s Internet Marketing campaign!

Without doubt, Ron Paul’s success on the Internet is nothing short of amazing. His team’s approach has been ground breaking in the way they’ve applied Internet Marketing techniques, not only to reach potential supporters, but to attract a significant number of contributors.

Although not currently one of the frontrunners, Ron Paul is now being called an “Internet Phenomenon” by many political strategists.

While the Internet Marketing strategies being used by Ron Paul’s team are not necessarily unique, the dedication his team has shown in reaching potential supporters online has been outstanding. By deploying a very aggressive Internet Marketing campaign, Ron Paul’s team has attracted a flood of contributors and a huge number of avid supporters.

In a very short period of time, Ron Paul’s team has developed an enormous Internet presence. In fact, anyone who’s been online in the past six months has certainly seen multiple references to Ron Paul on the news or social media sites.

If you consider the raw numbers, Ron Paul’s Internet Marketing strategy leaves his competition in the dust – and it’s a big reason he’s still in the race:

Consider the facts …

· Last month, Ron Paul’s site had well over a MILLION visitors, more than all other Republican candidates combined!

· In one day, Ron Paul’s team raised over $6 Million dollars on the internet.

· They raised approximately $20 Million Dollars in the 4th quarter of 2007 alone.

· On YouTube, there are 109,000 videos currently available about him.

· And in the past month there have been over 89,000 blog posts about him, according to Google.

The bottom line … Ron Paul’s focus on Internet Marketing is changing the face of political campaign strategies.

Ron Paul is not the only candidate making use of the Internet … on the other side of the aisle, Barack Obama’s team has deployed a very well designed Internet Marketing strategy – over 728,00 visitors last month – and has been very effective in reaching potential supporters and contributors in his own right.

An Objective View

My analysis of Ron Paul’s internet success is purely driven by curiosity; I have no political affiliation or opinion of Ron Paul’s political platform.

What intrigues me about Ron Paul’s Internet strategy is not only the response he’s received (over a Million visitors last month), it’s the number of contributors he’s attracted and the dedicated constituency he’s built on the Internet. With a major part of his communications being conveyed via the Internet, Ron Paul’s campaign team has demonstrated beyond any doubt that Internet Marketing is a formidable tool in building a successful political campaign strategy.

Perhaps the Ron Paul campaign chose to focus more on Internet strategies and less on other media simply due to budget constraints. Whatever the reason, their decision to use the Internet as an integral part of their campaign strategy is undoubtedly a big reason he’s still in the race.

This is not the first time we’ve seen a candidate deploy an Internet Marketing strategy as a part of a political campaign strategy – but it may be the first major campaign that has used the Internet as a primary part of their campaign strategy.

So, what does this say about future political campaigns and the tactics that will be developed to exploit the enormous potential of the Internet?

Political campaign teams can be very creative in developing marketing methods and I have no doubt we will learn a great deal concerning Internet Marketing by watching the successful political campaigns.

If ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, then the Internet Marketing strategies being developed by political campaign teams like Ron Paul’s will no doubt be leveraged by other organizations to help build their own visibility and success.

Ron Paul’s Internet Strategy

So, what does Ron Paul’s team do differently?

The short answer lies not in what his team does, as much as it does with how his team ‘works’ their strategy.

First, the Internet Marketing strategy Ron Paul’s team has implemented focuses on some very basic Search Engine Marketing tactics:

· Website optimization,

· Compelling content,

· Intuitive site navigation,

· Social Media,

· Press Releases,

· Videos,

· Blogging,

· RSS feeds

· Email Marketing, Newsletters, & Breaking News

Pretty straight forward, right? No real surprises here with the exception that Ron Paul’s team does not really use of PPC strategies to any great extent.

The real difference lies is the way Ron Paul’s team implements their tactics, especially when compared to other Presidential contenders’ strategies.

The body of the site contains very compelling content that is easy to find and leads you to endless amounts of interesting information concerning Ron Paul.

Maybe the most obvious difference is Ron Paul’s site is constantly being updated and changed; the team adds new information daily and continually works to improve their Search Engine visibility using well attended blogs, Press Releases, and Social Media.

Web Site Optimization

Overall, the Ron Paul team has deployed a very solid website in a short period of time. Not that every part of the site is perfect, but the good points far outweigh the bad. In fact, with just a few slight changes, the Ron Paul website could serve as a great model for other political candidates.

One somewhat insignificant difference, but one that I personally like about Ron Paul’s website, is that his team does not use an annoying Splash page as many other candidates do.

I know splash pages look good to the website owner, but they’re almost always a waste of time since most people just want to get to what they came to the site to see – in this case, information about Ron Paul!

The ‘home’ page Ron Paul’s team has designed is very intuitive and easy to navigate. They’ve placed breaking news, volunteer sign up, Blog access, and an excellent menu of choices that covers everything from Ron Paul’s position on the major issues to videos and recordings of his major appearances.

Looking at the foundation of the website, Meta Title tags are the same for all pages. Concerning the Meta Descriptions, they’re also identical across all the pages of the website, so the Search Engines choose their own descriptions to display with the Ron Paul listing. Not recommended, but it probably causes no real harm in this case.

Looking deeper, the site could use some fine tuning, adding Alt tag descriptions that contain more keywords would help; as well as adding unique Meta Descriptions for each page.

Links into the page are almost non-existent and I would recommend adding a number of related, quality inbound links to the site. It couldn’t hurt and would probably drive even more traffic to the website and/or Blog.

The site could also use some additional keyword research to help Ron Paul key in on the potential voters who are not familiar with him, and to present his message to more of them.

The Ron Paul interactive videos on top of the ‘Issues’ page are a great addition. It seems to me if more detail were added concerning Ron Paul’s stance on the issues, it would be a more valuable contribution to the site.

Although there are some obvious opportunities for improvement; given the website’s presentation, the information available, and ease of use, I give Ron Paul’s team very good marks in the SEO category.

Social Media Strategies

Ron Paul’s team’s approach to social media marketing has made him a Republican powerhouse. His campaign team understands social media and knows how to use it.

From photos and videos to networking, Ron Paul can be found across the Internet.

Most candidates’ teams have begun to use social media sites but most of them don’t seem to be very active on them. Ron Paul’s team excels

here because they are very active – they make continuous updates on his social media profiles all hours of the day.

Increasingly, as new generations enter the voting ranks, social media is becoming an indispensable part of successful political campaigns. The current generation of younger voters has grown up using the Internet as their primary means of communication. It’s second nature for them to use the Internet to gain and share information.

Currently on MySpace, Ron Paul shows over 273,000 friends, Facebook shows over 205,000, and YouTube has over 109,000 videos under his name.

On the Ron Paul Blog, links to submit posts to Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and others are available. Also helpful, is the RSS feed button that’s displayed in the upper part of the left column. Having an RSS feed signup on the blog helps to promote the blog even further in the social media outlets.

When you look at the popularity of Ron Paul on the social media sites and compare the other candidates to him, he is definitely using the social networks more than other candidates to promote his grassroots efforts.

Blogging Strategies

Ron Paul has a very active Blog [http://people.ronpaul2008.com/campaign-updates]. His team consistently posts new information and breaking news all hours of the day. The Ron Paul team knows they have a very active and captive audience on the blog and they actively cater to them.

There’s an RSS button to easily subscribe to blog updates and links to YouTube and other social media are scattered throughout the page to promote Blog entries.

Overall, Ron Paul’s campaign team has done an outstanding job developing and deploying a very effective Internet Marketing strategy.

Summary

Internet Marketing is quickly becoming an integral part of nearly every political campaign.

Increasingly, the Internet is becoming a news and recruiting source that is irreplaceable in major political campaigns.

Pressed for campaign funds, both Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul have used the Internet as a very cost effective way to get their message across to potential contributors and voters.

Without their efforts on the Internet, it could be argued that very few people would have ever heard of either candidate. While both candidates are underdogs, they probably would not even still be in the race without their well orchestrated Internet Marketing campaigns.

How much of Ron Paul’s or Mike Huckabee’s success is due to their Internet Marketing efforts? There’s no doubt Internet viewers looking for information concerning these candidates have had no problem finding it on the Internet.

The real question is how many potential voters will actually be affected by the Internet Marketing they come into contact with? Judging from over a Million visitors to Ron Paul’s website and the amount of contributors he’s been able to inspire, there can be no doubt many potential voters have been directly affected by the Internet Marketing strategy his team has deployed.

It’s now clear Political Internet Marketing is a very effective campaign tool and will continue to be an increasingly important part of successful political campaigns well into the future.

By Scott Porter

MarketBuilders

2008 All Rights Reserved

Ron Paul Page [http://www.ronpaul2008.com/]

Internet Marketing Pt 1

The Internet is a great place to do business, whether you’re a retailer selling a particular line of products or a service provider making your living on the Internet. There is, however, one age-old problem with business that never seems to go away: people won’t buy what they don’t know about.

This is where Internet marketing comes in.

Internet marketing basically involves using various tools and services to let your business reach a wider base of potential customers. Good Internet marketing will bring in a significant number of clients, keep them interested and then make more than happy to purchase more of your products.

A not-so-good Internet marketing program, however, will be a complete waste of time and money. In the worst case scenario, you could even end up doing more harm than good to your business if the marketing strategy is poorly thought out.

Strangely enough, most people actually fail in their Internet marketing strategies not because they lack the knowledge or the technical capabilities to make good use of Internet Marketing.

SEO, HTML, opt-in lists, landing pages – all of this will not matter if the would-be marketer does not know how to actually succeed with the tools at his or her disposal.

Let me be clear: this article is not a technical manual on the finer points of Internet marketing. No tutorials, no tests, no benchmarks.

This article aims to supplement your technical know-how and give you an idea of what to do with your skill and knowledge. It will allow you to channel your efforts and create far-reaching plans.

In short, this article will teach you how to be successful in your first year in Internet marketing.

The Mindset of a Successful Internet Marketer

A successful marketer needs a vision to be able to succeed.

No, I am not talking about some grand, messianic vision or something. I am talking about a vision that will define where all the Internet marketing efforts will go to.

This vision will allow you to focus your efforts into something more productive, and will allow you to truly succeed in Internet marketing. But before you can define your vision, you must first assume the mindset of a successful marketer.

This mindset is in turn composed of different frames of thought. Here are some of the more important ones:

Honest and Sincere
The very first thing I have to tell you is that no truly successful Internet marketer is a sham and a fraud. The stereotype of the Internet marketer that sidelines as a ruthless vulture and snake-oil salesman is an image that is, sadly, more commonly adopted than I would like. But let me tell you that being a successful Internet marketer means being successful for the long run – and you cannot be successful in the long run if you start your career as a fraudster. The rewards from fraudulent sales or deceptive marketing strategies are immediate and attractive, but you cannot build a marketing empire with foundations laid on lies and deceptions. An Internet marketer with a name built upon reliable business and customer satisfaction will yield more rewards in the long run than an anonymous ghost who has to change names every now and then lest he/she face criminal charges.

Willing to Experiment
One of the marks of a successful Internet marketer is the willingness to try things out. Many would-be marketers spend months (even years) studying how to be effective in Internet marketing. This is all well and good, but all this will be for nothing if you are not willing to put your skills out on the open market where it will be actually tested under pressure. The truth of the matter is that there is not absolute recipe for success as an Internet marketer. You just have to grit your teeth and dive into the whole mess. You learn faster, and you will be able to find out what works and what does not in your particular line of work. Even your mistakes cannot be considered as failures if you learn from them and use that knowledge to better yourself.

Reflects and Learn From Mistakes
Just because an experiment of yours fails does not mean you should just up and forget it. The whole point of experimenting is to find out what works and what does not. If something you just implemented does not work, like a weak landing page or faulty search engine optimization, then you have to go back and trace where the mistake stemmed from. This is why it is absolutely essential that you reflect upon any problems you encounter in your Internet marketing campaign. What went wrong, how did it go wrong, how can I fix it and how can I improve on it? These four questions are staples when it comes to reflecting on and learning from any mistakes.

Seeks Excellence in All That Needs to Be Done
Good enough is a far cry for very good, even though both are “good” in a sense. Excellence is when you give your best to everything you do. This excellence is not optional if you want to be a successful Internet marketer. You don’t cut corners, you don’t do a sloppy job and you don’t say “this is good enough.” Excellence is basically about making sure that you do as good a job as you can. This pursuit of excellence will always drive you to find better and better ways of doing things, greatly increasing productivity and efficiency. Best of all, your customers will immediately recognize your this excellence and will be more willing to at least check out what you have to offer.

Sets Competitive Standards to Meet
There is another reason you need to seek excellence – the best and most threatening of your competitors also do the same. You must always understand what your competitors are up to. You have to know what they offer, how they do things, how they market themselves and even how successful they are. If excellence will push you further up in your marketing efforts, then your competition will define the bare minimum you need to work with. This is especially useful when you are new to Internet marketing. Your competitors will most likely have been around for quite a long time already and will have spent a significant amount of time and money to get where they are now. All you need to do is analyze how they do things and you will be able to benefit the most from your competitor’s existing practices.

Understands the Needs of the Customer
This is cliché, I know, but it is something so many new Internet marketers overlook that it is worth pointing out once again. All people have needs. If somebody comes along selling something that will satisfy my needs, then I will be more than happy to part with my hard-earned money. This simple fact underscores the importance of spending time, money and effort reaching out and understanding the needs of your target customer base. Many first-time Internet marketers also have this frame of thought where they believe that exploiting their customers and wringing money from them as quickly as possible is the only way to survive. This thinking cannot be more flawed. Any kind of business, Internet marketing included, will only survive if trust is built between customer and client.

Reaches Out and ‘Touches’ Customers
This is another cliché, yes, but it is nonetheless important: your customers must feel that you actually give a hoot about their satisfaction. I have come across so many marketing tactics that look and feel stale and too focused on selling a product. The marketers here have made a fatal mistake: they got too absorbed with exploiting the needs of the customer rather than connecting to these needs. You must always show that the products and services you offer are solutions to a problem, not just tools you use to squeeze money out from customers. It is also worth note that you should not try too hard to “sell” your product to a potential client. I have come across numerous sales pages with a ton of testimonies, videos, promos, guarantees and smiling faces all promising one thing or another. The marketers behind these pages were trying so hard to convince me to buy their products that I simply got turned off and left the page before even finding out what they wanted to sell to me.

Transparent About Everything
People will be more willing to buy a product if they know exactly what they are getting. Many marketers love to use fancy prose, grand promises and technical jargon to bedazzle potential customers. This isn’t such a bad thing in most cases, but all this grandstanding will be for nothing if the potential client does not understand what the heck they are looking at. Be as transparent as you can about what you sell and you will find customers much more willing to do business with you. This is especially important for product pricing and fees. You would be surprised at how many sales pages exist on the Internet that do not list the actual costs of purchasing a product or service. Lots of promises and lots of testimonies, yes, but the lack of information on something as basic as pricing is enough to turn most people away from the site.

Builds a Network of Partners
Internet marketing is not a one-man (or one-woman) job. You will need the help of a lot of people to make yourself truly successful in this field of work. Once you get down to the more complicated aspects of Internet marketing, you will inevitably find yourself working with a whole host of people: content creators, writers, shippers, reviewers, accountants, customer care etc. Everyone you meet is a potential partner, so always take the opportunity to create and expand your network whenever you can. Even fellow Internet marketers can prove to be useful partners. You could swap customers by selling products and services that complement the business of the other market. For example, marketer A sells fiction ebooks via Amazon while marketer B sells leather covers for the Amazon Kindle. Both marketers could work together to promote each other’s products; effectively sharing their customer base with each other.

Emotionally Balanced About the Business
Nobody is a heartless machine, but breaking down into an emotional wreck all the time can’t be good for business. A successful Internet marketer needs to be completely objective when it comes to making business decisions. Your personal life must not seep into your work, especially when your marketing efforts start to get distorted in the process. Beliefs, opinions, biases and even political affiliations must be kept separate from work, otherwise they could blind you from seeing things as they really are.

This also goes for the success and failure of your Internet marketing ventures. Internet marketing is a fast-moving world, which means things die off as quickly as they are born. Look long and hard at your marketing programs and be impartial about which ones are worth spending energy on and which ones need to be dropped.

Uses Money Productively and Efficiently
One of the more common problems with Internet marketers is that they do not know how to use their money wisely. Let’s say you have earned a cool thousand dollars in sales from your most successful marketing campaign. Bills and taxes are paid, and you still have $500 left over. What will you do with this money? Will you purchase educational materials, obtain marketing tools and hire people to handle the time-consuming tasks, or will you blow it all on a fancy tablet PC? Remember that the money you earn is not something you have to spend right away. It is a resource that you can use to make your marketing campaigns even more successful in the future. You could even use that money to save up for retirement or as a mortgage down payment. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that you always ‘invest’ your money in something that will be truly beneficial to you.

Willing to Innovate and Create
There are a lot of marketing programs out there that can introduce you to the basics, but do not ever forget to be creative. There is often no need to reinvent the wheel, and there are plenty of instances where you can learn from the experiences of the successful (and not-so-successful) marketers out there. But you do have to remember that people are constantly learning and evolving as well. What might have worked two, three years ago will be done to death by now – especially considering the breakneck pace of evolution over the Internet. It is for this reason that a successful marketer is always willing to try out new things. These new things may not always be successful or turn a profit right away, but they will always impart valuable knowledge to the marketer at the end of the day. This is especially important when you consider the next frame of thought that is present in the mindset of successful Internet marketers.

‘Hungry’ for More and More Knowledge
The last but most certainly not the least of important mindsets of a successful Internet marketer is the ever-increasing desire to learn more about his or her business. You must never, ever stop thinking that you know enough to keep you on top of your business. The world of business is ever-evolving, with new players (and competitors) coming in with their innovative and creative methods. The last thing you want to do is to fall behind the competitive curve simply because you are not on top of the latest news and information regarding your business. It is for this reason that you must always be hungry to learn whatever you can about your business.

Talk to your customers. Know what makes them happy and what frustrates them.

Find out how you can be operate more effectively on a day-to-day basis.

Learn how to make more with less.

These are but a handful of areas that you can focus on.

Be hungry for knowledge, and you will be able to stay on top of the game at all times.

Internet Marketing Strategy