– the home base for your online operations –
you can start planning your online marketing strategy.
What is online marketing?
Online marketing is a multi-dimensional and integrated approach to sales and marketing for your business in the global online marketspace. It encompasses all of your efforts to attract and drive traffic to your website (and other Call to Actions) through a combination of organic, paid-for and partner marketing and advertising channels. It is flexibly designed so that you can meet your target audience at their level of knowledge and buying stage.
Online marketing campaigns allow for sophisticated targeting and customizations as compared with traditional, generally-focussed or print advertising. By developing multiple Customer Avatars to represent your ideal target market(s), you can highly focus online campaigns to attract and lead different types of customers through different types of sales channels.
Sound complex or overwhelming? This is only because there are endless and infinite avenues, possibilities and combinations from which you can choose. It is easy to get lost, become disoriented or overwhelmed with it all!
However, if you’ve done your marketing homework, it will be easier for you to select the right-fit options for your business. This is what we at Fun4business call Heavy Lifting. Heavy lifting includes all of the research, planning and strategizing that needs to be completed BEFORE you can effectively engage in online marketing. If you have created an Online Marketing Plan, each of your initiatives, campaigns and related tasks will be in alignment with your overall marketing strategy enabling you to quickly deploy both scheduled and spontaneous campaigns, increasing your chances of success.
The heavy lifting is generally glossed over in online training courses on various topics like Launching your First Webinar or Starting your Blog; these resources assume that you have already done your marketing research and have all of the information you’ll need at your fingertips. If not, it can be the missing link to feeling like you are ready to go with running Facebook ads, publishing blog articles and automating email campaigns. If you haven’t done the heavy lifting with marketing planning and research, then you’ll be stuck on how to get started or wander around directionless. Also, if you haven’t done your homework and you are currently experimenting with paid campaigns, you run the risk of being disappointed in the first few failed attempts, and then prematurely jumping to the conclusion that it’s just not for you and was a complete waste of money.
This is because there are two parts to Online Marketing:
- The technical aspects – the “how” of online marketing.
Do I have the skills, expertise and confidence to dive into online marketing?
What online marketing channels should I use? Are they configured correctly for my business and ready to go?
What if I run into problems?
Would it be smarter to hire someone experienced to help me?
- Quality content – the “who”, “what”, “why”, “when”, “where” of online marketing.
Who is my target audience?
Where is my target audience?
What is my message?
What is my call to action so that I can attract buyers and close the sale?
What is the optimal timing and frequency of my campaigns?
Many self-help online marketing services concentrate on the technical aspects and simply do not have enough time to delve into the marketing strategy section. Practically speaking, you may benefit from working one-on-one with an online marketing specialist to develop a comprehensive and long-term marketing strategy for your business – before you engage in online marketing. This will save your time, money and frustration in the long run.
Additional considerations include:
- What is my budget? Is this worth the cost? Will I get a return on my investment?
- How much time is this going to take? Am I able to make the commitment? Can I delegate some of the tasks and still be profitable?
- What measurements will determine success?
- Am I willing to invest in this long term and make adjustments and improvements over time?
Fun4business can help you answer these questions and work with you to create an achievable plan that can be scaled over time.
Key Sections of Online Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key aspect of pulling organic search traffic to your website from the search engines. In other words, by optimizing your website with the correct keyword phrases, your website will appear in the search results when people are actively searching for your website, business, products or services.
It is prudent to start with performing keyword research to see which terms are highly searched, how much competition you have, and compare specific geographic areas, etc. There is a huge discrepancy between different industries on the Internet as to what your chances are for appearing on the first page of Google. Some businesses have an advantage because they don’t have much competition and they have a professionally-designed and optimized website – “Blue Oceans”. Other businesses are in a cutthroat, advanced and competitive industry, like web design, and face multiple challenges and higher costs to appear in the search engines – “Red Oceans”.
As such, the level of SEO services required needs to be assessed and performed on a case-by-case basis. It differs as to the type and quantity of monthly tweaks and definitely needs to be carefully tailored to your business. Read more about the Fun4business SEO services here.
Blogging 4 Business
Blogging for business is an essential part of your website. Not only is it the perfect place to demonstrate your expertise and build relationships with your target market, but it expands your website with high-quality content working to increase your search engine rankings. We aren’t going to lie to you, starting up a blog for your business is a large undertaking – and we aim to convince you that it is well worth the effort.
Email marketing is an essential part of online marketing and running your online business. Unlike a website, which requires your target market to actively seek you out, email marketing enables you to build up a list of qualified contacts and send them information directly on a regular basis. By establishing an email marketing plan, you are more empowered in your online marketing campaigns and developing a channel that will increase your sales.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an essential part of doing business in the 21st century. You’ve got the well-established networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and new social media networks are popping up all of the time. If you are a late adopter of social networking, it can be daunting to get started and frustrating trying to understand the differences and dynamics between networks. Additionally, social networking presents challenges like: how to stay focussed amongst so many distractions, and how to get new business from these platforms.
That’s where we come in. If you are looking for systems, processes and hand-holding to get your business set up on social media, you’ve come to the right place!