Let’s face it, having a strong Internet marketing plan is vital towards building a business online. The problem is there are so many strategies available to use as marketing platforms that, for those who are completely new or oblivious to online marketing, it can be overwhelming.
Yet, there are fundamental tactics that should be applied across the board, regardless of the type of business or specific niche. You see, certain key elements are needed in order for any of your marketing campaigns to go smoothly.
When these strategies are used as a base, you are positioned in the best way to leverage the endless world of the Internet to draw your audience in, generate quality leads, and convert sales.
The following guide includes five criteria that every small business should consider for their Internet marketing plan to create a solid foundation.
#1 Having a well-defined target market
Who is your ideal audience or target market that you are aiming to reach? Ideally, your blog readership should be consistent with your customer profile. Think about their interests and what they enjoy doing. What are their pains and problems that your business solves?
Knowing what your target market wants helps you to create content that speaks directly to them and leads you in the direction of what marketing strategies to use (more on this later). The goal of your blog is to attract likely prospects and customers to you. Sharing value is the best way as they will start to view you as an expert and one they can refer back to for future solutions.
#2 List building
The sole purpose of marketing is to build a list of leads from people within your target audience. Growing your subscriber list is crucial because essentially, this is where you’ll do most of your selling and promotions. When you have a group of people who are already interested in your business, the final process is moving each lead closer to making the buying decision.
Giving your subscriber something free (as a gift) in exchange for their contact info is the best way to build your list. It should be valuable and relevant to their wants. Maybe a 20% coupon when they shop on your site within the first 14 days…or perhaps a downloadable eBook that gives step by step instructions on completing a task…or finally a video boot camp series that illustrate a how-to. Anything enticing that persuades them to give the goods; their name and email!
Unlike social media posts, a business blog gives more exposure because now you are increasing your presence in the search engines (like Google and Yahoo/Bing). Additionally, you are giving your brand more authority and can build rapport with your audience. It is essentially your “home” on the Internet and you want people visiting you constantly!
Building a successful blog is not hard. As mentioned, when you are clear on you target market, you can create content that provide solutions. Likewise, you can talk about any trending news in your niche, funny stories, testimonials, share videos, highlight an employee or team member, have themed days, and so forth.
In each post, don’t forget to include call to action that tells your readers what to do next. Whether its to opt-in to your list, comment below, or share the post with their friends. The key is engagement and getting them to make decisions…even if it’s as minute as leaving their thoughts below!
#4 Marketing Strategy
Free strategies such as social media and video marketing are wonderful mediums to establish rapport with your audience. The goal is choosing the ones where your market hangs out. If you are marketing towards business professionals, LinkedIn is great for that, for example.
Video marketing is an excellent strategy to quickly connect with your customers. YouTube is the 4th most visited site on the Internet and they’re owned by Google (Source: Alexa). In other words, Google gives YouTube videos a bit more weight than they would other video platforms. Great source to generate free leads and build your online presence.
In addition to free marketing, it’s best to mix paid marketing strategies such as pay-per-click and solo ads, to give you faster results. Because these can become expensive, it’s suggested to learn more about these avenues first prior to testing. For guidance regarding paid marketing and choosing the best one for your business, please contact us here!
#5 Email marketing
Now that the leads are coming in, you’ll want to nurture your list to boost sales conversions. But keep in mind that it’s not all about promoting. Continue to pour value into your subscribers by sharing your blog posts, giving them exclusive access to events (like webinars or Google Hangouts) or membership sites…anything that makes them feel special.
Utilizing email marketing strategies is where you will generate your most sales. In fact, the average ROI is $45 for every $1 spent! Therefore, learning and implementing key practices such as email segmenting will be beneficial to your overall campaign.
What to do next
Make sure that your Internet marketing plan includes each of the components listed for a complete, solid business blueprint. By implementing these tactics, you will shorten your learning curve on what it takes to build a business online.