Whether you have a well-established business or you are interested in setting up a new company or scheme, you need a digital marketing strategy. Without effective online marketing you will struggle to compete – and simply creating a free website or blog and putting some content on it is not enough.
You need to attract people to your website and blog. You need to convert these visits into sales. And you need to reach your audience through a variety of social media channels. If you want to create an online marketing strategy from scratch, here’s what you need to do.
1) Focus on your Audience
The first step in any marketing strategy, for any product or service, is to identify your audience. When you do not know who you are selling to your marketing strategy will end up being scattered across the internet. You need to understand who your customers are. What makes them tick? What problems do they have that your product will solve? How do they use the internet? What makes them happy and what inspires them? When you have a good knowledge of who your customers and your market are, you will be able to target them more effectively with your online marketing strategy.
2) Research Different Social Media Channels
It is important to have a broad reach over a variety of media channels when you are plotting your marketing strategy. But how do you know whether to target Facebook primarily, or Instagram or LinkedIn? Start by looking at the first step – know your audience. Understand your market. Where do they like to hang out online? How old are they and how much time do they spend online? Where do your products get most “likes”? It is a good idea to test out multiple social media channels and measure the results you get from each, then decide where and when to focus your social media efforts.
3) Build a Loyal Following
You may get lots of visits but do your visitors hang around, and do they come back? Repeat visits are important, and building a following is crucial, particularly if you are selling certain types of products that are purchased after a great deal of consideration. You need to keep people in the loop and attract them to return, and to keep purchasing. Building mailing lists, offering subscriber discounts and other offers, posting news items on your blog, and sending tailored messages to segmented portions of your mailing list help to create brand loyalty and give people reasons to keep coming back.
4) Write Excellent Content
Creating a blog is not enough. You need to keep it updated with good quality, readable content that gives your visitors information and value. You will keep people interested and you will also keep the search engines interested as new content shows your site is busy and current. Good quality content also helps to cement your reputation as a leader in your field and an expert – this creates sales and helps develop confidence around your product.
Once you have drawn up a calendar of online activity, and you have developed a strategy for where to post and when, make sure that you test how well your efforts are working. It is easy to see how many people are visiting your website and what they do once they are there. A variety of analytical tools helps you stay up-to-date on where you are succeeding and where you can improve. Once you have set up a strategy, test each change and look at how it works. You can then adjust the strategy so you are doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Without analysis, a digital marketing strategy is not effective. Thankfully it is easy to analyze aspects of a digital marketing plan.
In every case, start by figuring out who you are selling to. Look at where these people are and which online resources they consume. Work out what they like to share and read. Develop a timetable of content for blog posts, social media updates, videos, forum posts, website content, and more. Once you have started posting and sharing, follow up to see where your efforts are paying off. Do more of what helps you grow, and less of what turns out not to be so successful. Keep tweaking your digital marketing plan so you remain flexible and innovative across any new channels that show up.
Image via Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net
Image via adamr/ freedigitalphotos.net