Why do you need an online marketing strategy and what can it do for your business?
If you aint got a map how do you know where you are going and more importantly why are you going there?
Hands on business owners can be too close to really see the next move. being involved with the day to day running distracts from stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. An online marketing strategy is a blueprint to expand and grow your business through wider exposure and new channels.
A clear defined marketing strategy will create growth and revenue from increased exposure online.
Step #1 define your market and create customer personas
This can be an eye opening exercise in itself. You need to know who you are targeting before you can sell to them. Read the content creation page, What’s your UVP? How to create a persona part 1 and How to create a persona part 2
“Speak to the dog, about what matters to the dog in the language of the dog.” Jeff Eisenberg, Call to Action.
A website that has been designed and targeted with the use of a persona will be more appealing to your consumer; because it is designed directly to them.
Step #2 keyword research – where do you find your market?
Keywords are how customers find your website; you have to get this right if you want to achieve online success and have high volume traffic. But, you also want the traffic to be relevant to your service. Don’t just guess what keywords you think potential customers are using to find your site. Research, check stats and research again. The major side benefit of good keyword research are the new ares of businesses to explore: new products, ebook titles, downloads and add on services. Read this article on keyword research here.
Step #3 create a content strategy
Following major search engine updates (Panda 2011) having a website with wow content and information is essential for online promotion and ranking competition. Watch this video from SEOmoz which explains what happened to change the game; How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever.
Also think about what content you need to create to achieve authority links back to your site. A content strategy will outline guest articles, ebook giveaways, resource sections and viral marketing content such as infographics. Link building and content strategy go hand in hand.
Step #4 promotion and link building
How do you get good positions in search engines? answer: with links.
How do you get links to your website?
answer a: buy cheap, bulk links from a spam link builder, these have little to no value and even if they do work in the short term a new update can wipe out your rankings at any time. See Panda update above.
or answer b: by looking for relevant sites within your niche and ways to network and link with them. Look for trusted authority sites where your potential customers may be hanging out and then devise creative means to get a link from their site: this will involve a content strategy and hard work.
The aim of link building is not just to improve your search engine positions but most importantly to put your site link in the places where your potential customers are likely to see it. A wide network of links from relevant sites likely to pass traffic will ensure you are not dependent on search engines for traffic and your site has long-term stability for visibility online.
Remember the link building golden rule: The harder a link is to get, the more value the link will have.
Step #5 measure what you are doing to see if it is effective or a waste of time
The classic marketers such as David Ogilvy, Claude C Hopkins, Victor Schwabb and Drayton Bird to name a few, all followed a simple rule: write your advert, test, tweak, test again, tweak again and so on until you have an advert that is pushing serious traffic.
Analytics are an important part of the process: if you don’t measure what you are doing, how do you know if what you are doing is a waste of resources?
Test your strategy
Tweak where necessary
Rinse and repeat
Online Marketing in Five Steps Summary
- Define your market: persona + UVP
- Create a plan: marketing strategy
- Content strategy: content that says WOW
- Raise awareness: link build + promote
- Analytics: test, tweak, rinse, repeat