You already know that traditional marketing, web 2.0 SEO tools, and a pinch of common sense make great recipe for Internet marketing success.

The job now is to stand out against everyone else as a market leader.

If becoming the market leader is what you’re looking to do to take your website to the next level, then you’re in for an absolute treat. Below are five steps that will let you harness the wonders of the Web and put the spotlight on your business.

Okay, you ready? That mouse you’re holding right now has some serious power in it, all you have to do is get clicking to be on your way to market leadership…

Stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Step 1. Be In The Know
For a business to sit tight in the top spot, it’s imperative to keep tabs with up-and-coming trends within your competitive marketplace. If you can, opt-in to industry newsletters and feeds to stay ahead of the curve so changes don’t come as a shock. As a business owner myself I’m tapped into resources and make a habit of spotting trends every day. Keeping an eye on what competitors do, what the market’s doing, and searching the horizon for opportunities ensures you’ll stay in the know. With all that said, do you know what market you should be “in the know” about?

Step 2. Research Your Niche Market
Your business can’t be all things to all people. So, how do you identify your niche market, determine the best ways to help them, and ultimately gain their attention? Simple: become your target market. Get that mouse a-clicking and do a little research, because you need to identify who exactly is going to buy your product or service. Think to yourself: “If I were shopping for X, what would lead me to my business?” “Am I a single professional with expendable income?” or “Am I a married couple with children?” Asking yourself these questions will help you explore where to direct your strategies, as well as the info you’d like to communicate. More importantly, know where your prospects like to hang out (a little birdie told me they’re heaps of them in the Social Media universe!).

Step 3. Engage Through Social Media
Now you’ve peeked into the mindset of your potential customers, set your business up to meet and greet them in a way they’re going to love. I can’t stress enough how being accessible to potential clients through interactive social media can help your business. Having them comment, interact, and share your products and services on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (to name only a few) is pretty much free advertising of the best kind! Just be mindful, once you set yourself up, make sure to engage them by asking questions, posting updates, and sharing photos and links to create an ongoing dialogue – always invite them to respond with their thoughts and opinions, too. Once you start, you’ll find yourself coming back and taking your turn to provide answers and comments to your fans/followers – watch it, you may just have a little fun, too! What’s more, by interacting with customers and prospects via social media, you’ll gain first hand access to what they’re interest in and what their problems are…helping you be the business that can solve their problems…

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to solve problems.

Step 4. Think Big & Solve Problems
While people generally go online for a variety of reasons, a big driving factor would be their need to solve a problem. That problem could be as simple as “what to wear to a job interview” or “what to cook for Thanksgiving,” but how do you know what problems to solve for people? By engaging with people via Step 3 of course, and also by constantly hopping onto online discussion sites (eg. Forums) where users address issues and concerns. I myself get to the bottom of my market’s problems by simply recording audios and making videos whenever a recurring question pops up in our support inbox or when I spot something that will benefit my target audience. Start gradually, and through your willingness to solve problems and offer helpful information to your market, you’ll build a strong following with regular interaction – and that’s a good thing! But not all avenues will suit your business, so do a little testing before you spend all your time trying to save the world…

Step 5. Push For Results Consistency
As you play around with different ways of interacting with your audience, weigh those tactics against each other by measuring which ones yield results and which don’t. The last thing you want to do is spend all your time interacting on a social media site or forum, yet no one’s listening. Once you work out which avenues produce the interaction you want, just focus on that… and don’t be afraid to go deep into the whole process. And remember, having fun with this is part of the process. If you have fun, you’ll be good at it – so good, they’ll be waiting to see what you do next.

As you can see, gaining market leadership is a simple 5-ingredient recipe – one that can easily work for you. And although the road to a totally successful and integrated Internet marketing campaign can be a knotty one with the right tools and skill set you’ll end up as one of those businesses sitting tight at the top! Walking through those five steps above will be a great start for you. But if it’s all looking a bit too involved, of if you prefer to use experts to reap maximum rewards, contact us so we can tailor a process that’s unique to your prospects. Or if you’re happy to DIY, access more cutting-edge ideas on market leadership by clicking here.

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