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In our opinion, success in online marketing requires three things: creativity, technology, and systematic effort.

You have to have an element of creativity because online marketing is still marketing – you still have to use words and imagery to convince the visitor to your site to do something. We’ve noticed some big search marketing firms use very formulaic approaches when writing ad copy for pay-per-click ads. That is not the way to write ads that convert. You have to use creativity to write interesting ad copy, and then combine that with lots of testing to fine-tune your ads. Your web site will needs interesting copy and possibly some graphical elements to convince the visitor to order a product, fill out a form, or whatever you want him to do.

There is a certain level of technological proficiency that must be achieved to engage in online marketing. Even if you hire outside firms to build and promote your web site and engage in other marketing activities, you need to be able to read and understand the reporting those firms will provide. If you can’t understand the performance metrics that your vendors are providing you with, then you will have no idea if they are doing a good job or not. If you do all of your own online marketing, the use of technology such as automatic submission software and search engine optimization software will make your life much easier and more efficient. For example, if you use articles to promote your site, you will likely need to submit your article to dozens of article directories. If you do this manually, you will spend hours submitting each article after spending hours writing it. In this situation, automated article submission software would be an excellent investment.

Probably the most important of the three things necessary to be successful in online marketing is systematic effort. If you begin a marketing campaign but then slack off, you may see temporary results, but they will be fleeting. You need to have a set of activities you do every day/week/two weeks to promote your site, without exception. For example, every day or every other day you should update your blog. If you use articles for promotion, you should write an article every week and then submit it to the article directories. If you use pay-per-click ads, you must monitor their performance – what keywords are performing, which ads or landing pages are converting, etc., and make adjustments as necessary.

So keep those three keys in mind – creativity, technology, and systematic effort – and your online marketing will be successful.