How to Plan Your Online Marketing
Planning your online marketing strategy can seem like a complex undertaking. Mostly because it is! We will not sugarcoat it, this article is not meant to be a one-stop-shop for how to setup your online and digital marketing, but it is a start!
At the end of the day, HOPE is not a marketing plan.
Establish Where Your Business Stands
How much marketing your business needs and even the sort of marketing it needs, depends on how long it has been in business and how much it has penetrated the market.
If you’ve been around for a while and already have a solid customer base that considers you an option whenever they think of making a purchase, then your focus should primarily be on branding. Clarify what your voice and what you stand for so that your true fans can identify themselves and follow you to the ends of the Earth.
If you are just starting out and you’ve got a great product but nobody knows you then your primary goal should be to increase exposure.
Understanding where your business stands will help you narrow your focus and tell you where you should be investing the majority of your marketing dollars.
Get to Know Your Audience
How well your marketing is going perform depends heavily on how well you know your audience. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Invest time and resources into knowing all you can about the people who matter most to your business. Data you want to prioritize include demographic information like gender, age, profession, income level, educational background, etc.
You also want to pay attention to psychographic data to better understand what motivates your audience to buy and what turns them off.
Do Your Research
Getting to know your audience and what resonates with them best will require extensive research. You can get a lot of what you need from meticulously using your favorite search engine or prowling relevant social media platforms and forums. However, for a more complete picture you have to go beyond such basics and talk to the experts aka your audience.
Nobody knows your audience more than your audience themselves; send out surveys, ask questions, gather focus groups; these are all effective ways to get important, authentic information you may not find on any blogs and social media posts.
You can also research your competition to see what works for them and why. Doing this can help you identify where your audience resides, and also enable you to hit the ground running with the right marketing channels.
By researching the competition you may easily stumble across gaps in the market which you can easily fill.
Mobilize and Allocate Your Resources
Marketing requires the investment of time and money in order to work. Depending on which (time or money) you have to spare, you can choose a mix that promises results.
For example, if you have time to spare, then long term approaches like blogging, SEO, and social media marketing may be good options to pursue.
On the other hand, if you money and the expertise available, you can delve into paid advertising to start seeing nigh-instant results.
Remember to stick to what you are comfortable with, though. Usually, your marketing mix will involve both time-intensive and money-intensive strategies.
Plan to Connect the Various Marketing Channels
It’s important to understand that your marketing channels can and should work together towards reaching your marketing goals. You are working with an interconnected system, and it is your job to see which parts of that system work together to best effect. Possible marketing channel groupings might be:
- Social Media-Focused: Social media posting, social media advertising, influencer marketing, events and promotions
- Search Engine-Focused: Search engine marketing, search engine optimization, landing pages, and blogging
- Cost Effective: Blogging, social media, and influencer marketing
- Time Saving-Focused: Paid advertising and word-of-mouth
Decide Important Metrics and Measure
Some metrics are going to be more important for your marketing success than others. It is absolutely crucial to discover them, and the only way to can do this is by measuring and interpreting the data that comes in from your efforts.
Without measurements, you can never be sure whether you are getting the best returns on your investment or not.
As with most worthwhile pursuits, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. You are going to have to try and see what works. If you would like to hear more about marketing and how you can make your website the greatest ROI for your business, reach out to us at Eternity today—we love talking about this sort of stuff and we would love to hear from you.