In a recent issue, Inc. Magazine published its annual list of the 5000 fastest-growing, privately held companies in the United States and the Internet marketing industry has a major presence on the list.

“It’s quite an interesting journey to build an Internet marketing company, and as I review Inc.‘s list, I’m so inspired by what other founders in our industry have built,” wrote Larry Kim.

There are many large Internet marketing firms across the country as shown by Inc. Magazine’s list. However, there are also different types of industries and businesses across the county each requiring a unique type of Internet marketing strategy to meet their needs.

For career colleges the use of Internet marketing can be critical. However, its also crucial that that Internet marketing strategy have a specific plan to meet your specific needs.

It’s crucial for your career college to have a sophisticated and strategic Internet marketing plan, especially as the shift today is toward marketing strategies that focus on search engines and web-based platforms.

A goal of your Internet marketing strategy should be to correctly use social media, because, if used properly, social media is accelerating a trend in which buyers can increasingly approximate the experience of buying in their local, physical communities, wrote Bill Lee in an article for Harvard Business Review. Lee goes to say that “For instance, when you contemplate a major purchase, such as a new roof, a flat screen TV, or a good surgeon, you’re not likely to go looking for a salesperson to talk to, or to read through a bunch of corporate website content. Instead, you’ll probably ask neighbors or friends — your peer network — what or whom they’re using.”

The same is true for career colleges. Most prospective students are not going to pick up a phone or stop by your office for information. They are going to access your website.

Less also writes that businesses and schools should find your customer influencers.

“Many firms spend lots of resources pursuing outside influencers who’ve gained following on the Web and through social media,” Lee said. “A better approach is to find and cultivate customer influencers and give them something great to talk about. This requires a new concept of customer value that goes way beyond customer lifetime value (CLV), which is based only on purchases. There are many other measures of a customer’s potential value, beyond the money they pay you.”

Finally, Less says that an Internet marketing strategy should help you build social capital. “Practitioners of this new, community-oriented marketing are also rethinking their customer value proposition for such MVP (or “Customer Champion” or “Rockstar”) customer advocates and influencers,” Lee said. “Traditional marketing often tries to encourage customer advocacy with cash rewards, discounts or other untoward inducements. The new marketing helps its advocates and influencers create social capital: it helps them build their affiliation networks, increase their reputation and gives them access to new knowledge — all of which your customer influencers crave.”

Now is the perfect time to increase your use of Internet marketing, if for no other reason that your competitors most likely already are. Career Colleges are finding success in using digital marketing strategies to recruit more students, and Paradigm Digital has had lots of success helping schools find unique strategies for getting their message out to potential students.

Achieving a personalized strategy to marketing can be challenging, which is why many career colleges and trade schools and looked to Paradigm Digital to help develop an effective plan. A successful Internet marketing plan means not only getting your message in front of prospective students, but engaging them in such a way that they seek out additional information.

Personalization involves more than just an understanding of stats and trends. It requires an understanding of what your specific goals are and how to connect trends with your goals. At Paradigm Digital we work to create an Internet marketing plan that is unique to your school and helps promote your message to the exact demographics you are trying to reach.

The first step is to understand what your goals are, followed by understanding what demographics you need to reach. That’s followed by a strategy and plan that is specialized for your career college that is designed to get results.

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