Critical Elements of Marketing Online

Notes for a discussion with new business owners participating in EDC Team Jefferson’s Business Planning Class, given October 11, 2012. Thanks to Jim Williams for the invitation.

You need a compelling story.
Every business is a publisher.
Your customers will act based on your story, and when/where they hear it.

A MISSION, A VISION, A MOVEMENT

MARKETING PLAN (SEE ALSO: EDITORIAL CALENDAR, BELOW)

  • Goal and time-based.
  • Linked to your business plan.
  • Integrated – includes all offline and online components.
  • Is built around your customer.
    • Who are they?
    • What do they need/want/desire?
    • What makes them act?
    • Customer research is part of developing a marketing plan; setup online “listening posts.”
    • TOOLS: Google Alerts, Postling, Twitter/Tweetdeck, Sprout Social

CONTENT

  • Website/Blog
  • Core business information
  • Keywords
  • Informative articles/posts
  • Testimonials
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Links to more information
  • eBooks or How-To guides
  • Recipes
  • Whatever would add value to your customers and help them act.

PLAN CONTENT WITH AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR

ORGANIC SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

  • Good, keyword-relevant content. Link often.
  • Constantly update àblogs are naturally great for this.
  • Provide content on other sites; get others to talk/write about you.
  • Local optimization
  • YouTube, Flickr, Google+ (special case)
  • Monitor via keyword tools (#3 above).

EMAIL MARKETING

  • Best tool for call-to-actions, and direct marketing.
  • Consistency is key, as is brevity.
  • Mobile viewing is exploding, so keep it clean and simple.
  • ADD VALUE. ADD VALUE. ADD VALUE.
  • Segmentation is helpful.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

  • It’s about your customer, not you; where do they live/hangout?
  • What do they need/want/desire?
  • Every part of your business is social, so don’t treat this as an “other.” It’s central.
  • Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Yelp? Trip Advisor?
    • Focus on where your customers are.
    • Leverage your Editorial Calendar.
  • Be consistent, be real.
  • Pre-plan, and pre-execute, but stay in touch daily.
  • Integrate with all parts of business.
  • Don’t autopost; treat each network with respect and individuality.
  • FACEBOOK
    • Use Pages, not personal profiles.
    • Leverage Insights.
    • Engage with other pages for content.
    • Use Promoted Posts.
  • TOOLS: Hootsuite, Postling, Tweetdeck

ONLINE ADVERTISING

  • Google Adwords
    • Great test lab for copy, keywords, and products.
    • MUST have a web page that converts off of it.
    • Target based on geography and search terms.
    • If you start, stay engaged, and always ALWAYS keep creating new ads.
  • Facebook Ads/Sponsored Stories
    • Powerful traffic driver.
    • MUST have a web page that converts off of it.
    • Can get expensive.
    • Can target very specifically.

MONITOR AND MUTATE

  • Google Analytics
    • Create goals in Analytics, and track.
  • Email list growth, opens, and click-throughs.
  • Facebook Reach and Engagement
  • SALES

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