To successfully grow your business online, you need to master the basics of Internet marketing and skillfully use the tools it provides. The starting point and guarantee of success is always a good plan.
A strategy for promoting your business online allows you to identify your target audience and where they hang out, as well as choose the right marketing tools. Without promotion, no business will be able to realize its full potential and grow. Therefore, before you do anything, develop a plan of action. In this article we will suggest how to do it in 6 steps.
Step 1. Analyze your current strategy and business
Try to determine what your business currently looks like – what tools you are using and what results they produce. Analyze in detail your main marketing channels, for example:
- social media;
- paid advertising;
- email blasts; and others.
Evaluate the effectiveness of each channel by looking at how many leads and traffic they generate.
Also analyze your product (or service). Consider demand, seasonality of the industry, product mix, reasons for returns, and customer feedback. At this stage, it’s also important to understand how your communication with customers is going.
Step 2. Set a goal
Before you start developing a strategy, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve with it. It sounds simple, but this step requires setting very detailed and specific goals and objectives. The best way to do this is to use the SMART method, according to which goals should be: specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound.
Your strategy can contain several goals, but they must be compatible and complementary. It’s a good idea to divide the main goal into smaller ones so that you can more easily adjust your action plan if necessary.
Step 3. Analyze the market and competitors
Pay attention to trends in the development of your industry: develop topic resources, analytical articles, assessments, industry reports – in a word, anything that will help you understand the market situation. Then study your biggest competitors.
Step 4. Analyze your target audience
Good digital marketing strategies are based on detailed buyer personas. The first thing you need to create them is information on demographic characteristics (location, age, income, etc.). Next, consider what your customers’ goals are, what they gain from your product or service, what their concerns, “pains” and needs are. Finally, you need to determine your customers’ interests, and understand where they spend their time online. By combining these details, you can create accurate and highly valuable portraits of your target audience.
Step 5. Choose promotional channels
Based on your goals, audience, and allocated budget, determine the channels and tools you will use:
- social networks;
- targeted and contextual advertising;
- YouTube channel;
For each of these, it is necessary to define KPIs.
Step 6. Implement the strategy and monitor the results
Nowadays, with the increasing number of channels you have to manage and the amount of information you receive about your customers, it is very important to use marketing automation tools – be sure to take a look at these options. Since most marketing plans involve 60-80% repetitive tasks, it will become easier to streamline the process over time. By constantly monitoring the results of your marketing efforts, you will be able to identify weaknesses in your strategy, correct it, remove or add channels, and ultimately improve results.
main photo: unsplash.com/Carlos Muza