As consumers turn away from traditional avenues of marketing such as print and television advertisements, marketing online becomes more and more necessary for all businesses. Seemingly everyone who has a product or service for sell is representing themselves on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like with the message “hey, now that we’re online pals, go to my website/store and buy my stuff…oh yeah, and tell your friends”. Typically this message is delivered in a helter skelter, arms flailing kind of way and generally proves highly ineffectual.
While marketing on the fly and real-time marketing has proven to be a very effective approach to online marketing (think Oreo’s “you can still dunk in the dark” Super Bowl blackout Tweet), if handled incorrectly, in-the-moment, off the cuff internet marketing can have damning consequences for your company’s online reputation (think Kenneth Cole’s Cairo Tweet).
How do you make sure your marketing efforts lean more toward Oreo’s success than Kenneth Cole’s insensitivity? A large part of that is the talent you employ to handle your marketing efforts. A bigger part of your success with online marketing is the careful planning that needs to go into what you are going to do long before you even create your Facebook page.
When it comes to online marketing, it is best to have a targeted plan of attack as you seek out and engage your audience. Here are the steps necessary to plan and get the most out of your internet marketing efforts.
The first step in your online marketing strategy is going to be deciding what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase your profits in a specific area by a certain percentage? Do you want to make your brand more recognizable? Are you hoping to set up a successful e-mail newsletter as a means of direct marketing? Whatever your goal, make sure it is clear and concise with an exact timeline for when you expect to reach your goals.
Later, as you implement your online marketing strategy, the timeline you developed will play an important role as you utilize online metrics.
Your online marketing efforts are going to be most successful if you figure out who your audience is and where they are spending their time online.
Think about who your business will be most appealing to. If you’re a hotel chain, for example, think about what the appeal of your hotel will be. Are you a five star resort? If so, your target audience is most likely not made up of recent college graduates looking to backpack as inexpensively as possible through Europe before plunging into their adult lives. Instead, you’d be looking to target a wealthier demographic who will appreciate your resorts luxuries and delicacies.
By defining your target audience, you are finding the segment of people online who are going to be most receptive of your message and most likely to listen to you. These are the people who are going to give you the kind of online engagement which is most likely to turn into profitable interaction and growth.
Once you have spent some time defining your target audience, it is important to find out where this group of people are spending their time online. Reaching them in places they are already willing to spend time makes it easier for them to form a relationship with your business or brand as it requires less of a commitment from them.
Taking the time to discover who and where your online community is will show you how to best market to your target audience and where to reach them.
Now that you have figured out what you want to achieve, who your target audience is, and where you are going to build your online community, it is time to figure out the “how” of your online marketing strategy.
To figure out the “how” of your internet marketing efforts, we suggest doing some keyword research relating to your business or brand. Once you have compiled a list of well thought out and practical keywords, think about them in terms of content you will create to engage your target audience. For each keyword you come up with, create a unique piece of content, be it a blog, a video, Facebook post, or what have you which exemplifies the keyword as it relates to your business.
Organize your content along a comprehensive timeline which you will stick to as you post each piece of content.
As you begin to implement your internet marketing strategy, it is important to measure your progress along the way. Utilizing web analytics gives you a clear picture of how your online marketing campaign is being received. As you post content, you will be able to see which posts where successful and which ones fell short of your expectations for them.
As you measure your success or short-comings make sure to alter your online marketing campaign accordingly. If a blog you posted was successful, post another along that same vein. If your Twitter persona has been bringing people back to your website in droves, celebrate the team in charge of your Twitter, and focus your efforts on this social media platform.
Be sure to measure your successes right from the beginning, and check your web analytics every step of the way.
Developing an online marketing strategy can be tricky business. Guaranteed SEO helps our clients work out a strategy that is best for your business. We will help you plan every step of your internet marketing campaign, and offer support with analytics. For more information on how we can make sure your online marketing strategy is a good one, contact us or call 1-866-588-8282!