Working at Marketing Signals has given me an insight into a number of different clients. All of these clients have had different needs and wants depending on the size of the company and the industry they are working in. I’ve had the most fun and learnt a lot from working on SME businesses who are looking for a complete overhaul in the way they operate online.
Often these companies will come to us with no clear idea of what they want to achieve online, and in some cases online marketing has not been at the forefront of their activities. Being part of creating a whole new strategy for these companies has made me realise that for SME’s having a bulletproof online strategy is now more important than ever. I’ve also realised that online marketing can be a scary place, especially for Jane who is used to selling from a local shop based on word of mouth.
I have compiled a list of steps that can be used as a starting point when starting or improving your online marketing strategy.
Set Your Goals
What do you want to achieve online? Are you looking to increase sales? Or are you looking to increase brand awareness? Your goals need to be clear and measurable, they will influence every step of your plan from here on out so have a good think about what you want to achieve.
Market research is more important than ever. Effective market research will allow you to understand your audience so that you can target them effectively. You may have been targeting your customers based on geographical location but being online allows you to target your customers on a number of different factors beyond geographical location. To fully understand your audience you must look at the kind of sites they look at, what social platforms they use and what their internet usage habits are. All of this data can be used to direct your social, ppc and content campaigns at a later date.
It is also worth doing some competitor research before launching your online campaigns. Previously your competitors may have been within a certain local radius, but by being online you may be open to more competition. It is worth having a look at their positioning strategies so that you can differentiate yourselves.
Good design is hugely important, if you are marketing your business online your website is where all of your customers will eventually end up. Your website needs to have strong clean and clear branding which represents your brand. Your website is now your shop, office, catalogue or main advertising platform so you should take as much pride in your website as you do with your offline outlets. If you are looking to build an eCommerce website then why not check out our other blog post which discusses how to plan effectively.
SEO is essential! say no more – It generates the cheapest and arguably the most effective click available in all online marketing streams
With Britons spending 62 million hours on social media a day, it is now more important than ever to get your business on social media. Its not about being on every social media platform, but its about being on the right one for you and your audience. Having a strong brand presence on social media will allow you to connect and build relationships with your customers. Use your market research to find out where your audience hang out.
PPC and Paid Advertising
PPC and other paid form of advertising can be a good way to get some instant exposure. If you have the budget PPC can help drive traffic from Google to your site. You may also want to consider Facebook and Twitter advertising to help reach your intended audience on social media.
Ongoing Content Strategy
Content is King! We hear this so much in our industry, never the less having a strong content strategy is vital to your online marketing success. An ongoing content strategy will keep your website and social profiles alive and relevant. You should create content based on your customers or target audience. Content can range from a tweet, to a blog post or even a youtube video. All of your content should be unique, by this I mean that you should not duplicate content across platforms.
We can help!
No matter what element of online marketing you are looking in to Marketing signals can help. Contact us today if you need to create a full digital marketing strategy, improve your SEO strategy or streamline your PPC campaigns.
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