“Online marketing” is a fairly broad term. It covers many methods, avenues and channels. In short, if you’re using the internet to spread awareness about your brand, products, or services, it counts as marketing online. Without expertise, however, it can be difficult to determine what direction you should be taking.
Basics Break Down
The six basic categories of online marketing are:
- Search Engines – Search engine marketing, whether paid or SEO, targets the visitor actively searching for information.
- Content – Content marketing supports the visitor after the search, engaging their interest and providing desired information.
- Social Media – Social media allows your audience to share articles and posts to broaden your reach organically.
- Email – Email campaigns reclaim customers and subscribers after they have left your site.
- Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate Marketing allows others to profit from sales by marketing your brand for you.
- Traditional Ads – Traditional Advertising interrupts the visitor elsewhere to redirect them to your site. (Keep in mind these options tend to require larger budgets.)
Analyze Your Audience
There are three basic steps to internet analysis:
Step 1: Determine what problems your product or service solves and what leads to these problems in the first place.
If your product is an unbreakable pencil, are they breaking under normal circumstances? Are these pencils designed to withstand construction conditions? How is the market currently conducting business? If the usual route is through catalog order, shifting customers to an online experience may be required.
Step 2: Learn about your competitors.
Walk through their websites or sales process as a customer. What are they doing successfully you could use in your own practices? Be aware of the flaws and hiccups you can improve or avoid. Do a competitor analysis.
Step 3: Outline your customers.
What demographics do they fall into? Marketing to construction workers is a different prospect than to students or writers. What is their level of technical proficiency? Using your website should be intuitive and easy for your customer. What are their online preferences? Knowing where they spend their time online helps target them more effectively.
Implementing the Information
Using tools like Google Analytics to track your web pages, you can compile reports and compare your current efforts with the analysis above. This data takes time to build before it’s useful. When you have regular traffic, look for the long-term averages to reveal the area most in need of improvement.
Consider why you are marketing. A few common motivations are as follows:
- New products or services
- Expand to new customers
- Reclaim subscribed visitors to convert into customers
- To encourage repeat sales
Does your motivation fit the area in need of improvement? You might be able to adapt the campaign to suit both. If not, decide which to focus on first, based on the data, and save the other for later.
Prepare A Plan
Developing a strategy is much easier when you know your company’s situation analysis, target market, and marketing focus. At this stage, establishing reasonable goals for the campaign and setting the budget are two necessary elements to any campaign, and should be determined before creation.
Another consideration is where you want your customer to be in your sales cycle for a particular campaign. Every business will have a different sales cycle, but there are three basic stages:
- Cold visitors
- Visitors not converted
Once you know where you want your customer in the sales cycle, you are ready to begin creating with confidence.
From the six basic marketing categories, choose the one that best fits for your goals and customers. Make each campaign as simple as possible, and be sure to track all the links, emails, pages and posts involved. This might mean creating duplicate pages to differentiate between SEO traffic and your marketing campaign. Know exactly where your traffic is coming from to eliminate the guesswork. This data can be used later for future campaigns.
Checking for Changes
The internet is always changing. What works today may not be the case later on. Monitor traffic and conversions on your site. Enroll in courses, sign up to media channels or newsletters to stay informed about changes that affect your market. Google’s SEO or YouTube updates may impact the effectiveness of your campaigns as well.
Don’t just experiment and hope for the best. Do the research and gather the data to create a confident campaign. Blindly marketing without this process can lead to unnecessary failures. Follow this formula for success and reap the rewards!
Online marketing can be an extensive endeavor. Call us when you need new eyes on your SEO and marketing campaign. We’ll get you rolling again.