Creating the Right Online Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing has become necessary for a company to survive the competition. The following is the five step strategy created to improve your digital marketing efforts. This makes sure that more people visits the website, allowing connecting with new and returning customers, hence creating more traffic and clicks, which will eventually result in high sales and success.
Step 1 - Define Your Customer
The first step towards any marketing plan is defining the customer as the customer is as important as defining the products or naming the business.
The other main task is to determine who will be visiting the website i.e., who will be target audience and what will be their requirements. We need to know the target audience intimately. Where do they hang out, which newspaper they read, which blogs they follow, which websites they visit?
We cannot develop a marketing strategy without knowing our target customer. Identifying an ideal customer is the absolute key for building an effective and targeted marketing strategy.
An online marketing strategy which is created for a group of people, instead of a specific profile, should be avoided. For this very specific information and to understand the needs of the target customer, research forums; ask questions, run surveys and test launch products can be used.
Step 2: Keep an eye on Competitors
Competitor analysis is also an important step in making a successful strategy for online marketing. There are several ways to check out what the competitors are doing, or not doing, and then using that information for our advantage.
Observing a competitor's marketing strategy is a great way to understand their strengths and weaknesses. The first step is to determine who the main competitors are. Once we have determined the competition, we can sign up for their emails and newsletters, connecting with them on social media, check their social media strategies, exploring their website to get insights of their new products, positioning and special promotions, uncover the keywords that they are targeting, then a SEO tool can be used to track their progress against our own.
The goal here should be to make sure that the marketing experience that the user gets from your brand is better than that he gets from the competitors.
Step 3 - Make a Strong First Impression with your Website
All online marketing tactics drives prospective and existing customers to your website. A strong and professional website with excellent content and usability is the foundation of a good online marketing strategy.
Your website is the first thing that a user will search for when they hear about your business. So a very strong impression should be made, as online customers can be easily lost because of slow loading speeds and poor designing of the website.
Website is the center of all digital marketing activities, if the page is not easy to read, clean and interesting, all the efforts will go in vain. It will not matter how much time is invested in strategy development - the customers will be lost. Therefore, the website has to be up-to-date, attention-grabbing, and most of all, mobile friendly.
Step 4 - Creating and integrating Digital tactics and strategy
Using tactics like Social Media, SEO, Content and Email Marketing allows staying connected with clients and prospective clients.
When considering a website, social media network or newsletter for your advertisement, factors such as traffic on the site, search engine placement, external and internal linking, and quality of current ads should be considered.
• Content Marketing - Online content marketing includes blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, online press releases and even video games. Poor quality of content is the most common problem as it affects the ranking and cause damage to the brand. The content you put on the website is the first impression a prospective customer will get of your company.
The basic purpose of maintaining a blog is to consistently post new keywords. Along with this, the blog acts as a platform where you can offer advice, share information, and connect with your customers.
• Social Media Marketing- Social media can be an effective way of engaging prospective consumers and building brand loyalty, LinkedIn and Twitter are usually better for B2B while Facebook is better for B2C.
Social media is becoming the primary way by which the content is shared. Sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Stumble Upon allow users to share content with others on their network.
• Email Marketing - Email marketing is a great avenue for businesses trying to increase retention or brand loyalty. Newsletters can be sent to the email list providing these potential customers with news updates about your company, special offers and upcoming events and, of course, reminding them that your business exists and that it's time for another visit.
• Search Engine Optimization - SEO is used to create a site with the top most ran given by search engines in terms of the most relevant page for a given term. Building a solid SEO strategy consists primarily of selecting most relevant keywords and providing content related to them. It should include relevant keywords, valuable shared content, a website that loads quickly, both images & content and backlinks from respected websites.
Step 5 - Tracking & Monitoring or measuring Results
Tracking and monitoring the advertisement campaign's successes is critical in maintaining an effective marketing strategy. We can learn volumes about your advertisements by PPC statistics and website's statistics.
Taking out time to review whether marketing tactics are driving results regularly is very important. Performance indicators that are quantifiable and measurable should be created. For example, increase in online sales by 25% from x to y, or increase in natural search traffic by 25%.
The conversion rate is directly related to what is working and what is not working. If needed the ads can be tweaked or modified as this is a continuous process in until the best results are found. This should be noted that an ad may work amazingly in one place but may not work in another.