ONLINE MARKETING: WHAT’S THE FUSS?
A lot has been said about how Internet can be a great platform to promote your business. While it’s rare to find anyone who disagrees with this, it is surprisingly uncommon to meet someone who actually knows how to use the online space for brand promotion – the right way. One reason maybe that those who know are busy minting money for themselves and their clients.
This article could be that humble effort to demystify the awe surrounding Online Marketing. So, let’s get to it.
What comes first is a Plan
If you want to achieve your business goals, you first need to learn how to create an online marketing plan. Sounds simple? Let’s put things in perspective. Here, you aren’t just creating a simple plan, you ought to make a smart plan that works and works big. For this you need to do two things
- Write a plan of action
- Define a marketing budget
Your plan of action then leads you to ask yourself a set of questions on your most important goals
So, what’s your Goal?
- Making a Sale?
- Promoting your business?
- Promoting a discount? or
- Increasing Traffic to your website?
Whatever your goal is, it has to be specific, actionable, realistic and time-bound. Example -
- Sign-up at least 300 new customers for free consultation in 3 months
- Selling 500 units of a particular model within 2 quarters
- Collecting at least 20% qualified sales leads from 1000 customers within 6 months
- Driving at least 500 unique visitors to the website by the end of the month
Every goal has to be created with your business growth in mind. But make sure you refrain from having too many of them at one time.
How do you accomplish these Goals?
The action-plan that you’ve created has the answers. First of all, you need to determinethe online presence you need to achieve your goals. For this you need to get a decent SEO friendly website,or add a blog, or a social networking site.
- If your goal is to build sales, you need to drive more traffic to your website.
- If you want to build a stronger relationship with your customers than a social networking site will be good for you.
- If you want to make sure that your potential customers in your local area can find you easily, then you should consider local offerings such as local online listings.
Whichever paths you choose, just make sure that your potential and existing customers can find you easily. For this you need to answer the question -Where are my customers most likely to look for me?
Time for Action
The ultimate aim is to point customers in the right direction. There are a number of different ways you can promote your online presence to your customers. For example, you can -
- Give your website and content a face-lift so that it appeals better to your customers
- Create ads that link to your website promote your offers and specials
- Include your business on Google’s local listings to drive local sales
- Create a social networking site for your business and share updates, coupons and more with your followers
- List your deals or discounts on coupon sites
- List your business on review sites and ask your customers for referrals
Setting Marketing Budgets
That’s the biggest dilemma of all. In order to determine how much you want to spend you need to ask yourself how much your new referrals/online leads are worth to you. Also factor any cost that is associated with your action steps such as cost of hosting your website, listing your deals, running ads online. Just make sure that you set the budget that works for you. You can always modify the budget for many components of your digital plan at a later stage – for example the campaign budget for online ads.
Online marketing is about finding your voice in the online space, reaching your most relevant target audience through relevant platforms and also being very clear on your marketing objectives. You may hit a few road bumps before you get it right. You can always approach professionals who have the required expertise in this domain to make life easier for you. Have any specific question regarding your online marketing plan – drop us a line at