This is Part 2 of a 3-part series “3 Steps to Online Success”. In Part 1, we discussed getting the right website for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss marketing online and why it should be apart of your marketing campaign and business plan.
There are three steps to online success:
- Getting the right website
- Marketing online
- Managing & maintaining
Why market online? There are several reasons:
- Many print publications are struggling with declining readers and subscriptions
- People turn to the Web more often for things they need and want
- People are are generally spending more time online
- Online advertising and marketing continue to innovate and improve
- Online advertising can be more focused and targeted
- Online methods can be found and accessed more easily
- Online advertising methods are track-able and measurable
We’re not telling you to give up on traditional methods of marketing and advertising to make a complete shift and go online. We’re saying don’t forget to integrate online marketing into your marketing strategy. Many small business owners neglect to include the online portion in their marketing plans and it often hurts business.
When it comes to marketing online, small business owners usually think “Facebook and Twitter”. If you ask a small business owner what to do with Facebook or Twitter, you will usually get a response that says “I don’t know”. Firstly, Facebook and Twitter are not the only methods a business can advertise or market themselves online. Secondly, they may not be the best channels to use. Thirdly, even if they are right for a business, if they are used the wrong way, you will produce little to no results. (Just setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account is the wrong way!)
The right marketing plan will be different for every business. For your online marketing plan, you should probably have a mix of the following:
- Several different social media sites your type of targeted-customer frequents
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Industry-specific websites such as forums for your type of business/industry
- Advertising on industry-specific websites, publication sites, social media sites, etc.
- Pay-per-click campaigns for search engines
- Product/service reviews by actual customers or users
- And more
If you’ve completed the first step to your online campaign and have gotten yourself the right website then congratulations! Now, you need to take the next step and make sure that website is doing something for you and not just sitting around and looking pretty. Setup your online marketing and let that website go to work for your business!