The Problem With Not Having An Online Strategy And How To Create One
We hear all the time as small business owners that creating an online presence involves building your branding and promoting trust with your prospective leads, but to do this we need to have a strategy as without on, we are doomed to failure.
The online marketing process requires a structure and consistency, without either it becomes less effective and more time consuming. A lot of us are already online and have a website, perhaps a blog/news area and social media properties that have been developed over time. However, if you had the ability to start over would you do anything differently? I know I would.
For starters, I have been online for a very long time, from the late 90’s in fact. During this time I have evolved and changed as the internet has grown. Social media was not a part of early marketing, nor was content management something that was a must do. These day’s, we do things so differently and things change so rapidly that we all run the risk of being overwhelmed if we have not thought out a strategy to keep us on track.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Any old strategy is not a guarantee of success, but there are ways to make your online marketing more effective by using the right strategy for your business.
First we have to start with the following questions, who, what, why, when and how.
- Who is your ideal customer
- What can you help them with
- Why would they buy/follow/be interested in you
- When are they most likely to be online
- How are you going to get in front of them
Once you have this basic understanding, it’s time to create a strategy that makes this as effective as possible.
This is where the structure and consistency comes into it. When you know who your ideal customer is, where they hang out and when, what the message is you will be presenting them and how you will be doing this in the best possible way, it is time for you to create a strategy that will put all these things into play.
Say, just as an example, you create handmade jewelry to sell online.
You have worked out your ideal customer is a 20 something professional female, she hangs out on Pinterest and Facebook after work every night and is always looking for ideas on what accessories to wear when going out socially.
From this, you could create a strategy that involves the following:
- posting pictures onto Pinterest early in the evening of your jewelry with outfits that suit going to both formal and informal venues
- create competitions on Facebook that encourage buyers to share photos of themselves wearing your jewelry
- set up an email auto-responder that provides tips and ideas on how to choose the correct jewelry type for different occasions
- create content on your blog once a week which creates discussions about what styles go with what sort of social event.
Each step of the way, ask yourself what the end result should be and encourage your viewer to follow a pathway built using your strategy. IE: when someone sees a photo on Pinterest there should be a call to action encouraging them to click a link to your email list sign-up form, which then allows you to send them an auto-responder series that provides information and subtly links to items you have for sale.
If you can do this, create a strategy that follows a clear pathway using the best information you have, then you will be well on your way to being more effective and efficient in your online marketing.
Have any other things you can add to this post? Please let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this with your friends, sharing is caring.