Now that 2016 is upon us, it’s a good time to set business priorities for the next twelve months.
For many businesses, one of those priorities is online marketing. The reason is simple.
As a result, online marketing is the “new normal”; going forward, all marketing and sales activities will have an online component.
For online marketing to be effective, you must consider these basic tenets:
- The starting point is your growth objectives: how will online marketing support your revenue growth?
- Your online marketing activities must optimize your “end to end” business development process: generating inbound leads, nurturing those leads, maximizing conversion rates, and engaging customers after the sale.
- It’s all about content. Prospects will not consume your emails or blogs, view your videos, or spend time on your website if you don’t offer relevant, compelling, and up to date content.
- You have three audiences: your target prospects, their communities of interest, and search engines. Your online efforts must balance the needs of each.
- Sustainable results come when you do multiple things that work together. Your online activities must complement each other to have maximum impact. It’s about one plus one equaling three.
- To become and remain relevant online, you must constantly analyze, evaluate and fine-tune. The market doesn’t stand still. Neither do your competitors.
Once you make a commitment to effectively market your business online, you must proceed pragmatically. You can’t do everything at once – it’s too overwhelming.
Step 1: Assess how well your current online marketing activities support your end to end business development process.
Step 2: Build an online roadmap that guides your development efforts. You may start by restructuring your website, committing to a blog, initiating a paid advertising campaign, or implementing marketing automation technology.
A road map helps you execute your strategy in a planned and practical way, and forces you to think about how all the mechanisms will work together.
Step 3: Once the roadmap is developed, create a corresponding execution budget. Items may include paying someone to revamp your website, the cost of a marketing automation system, launching a social advertising campaign, or hiring someone to do on-going content development.
One of the biggest mistakes we see is that companies invest in a website, but don’t budget for on-going online marketing activities. Just because you build a website, it doesn’t mean people will find it or that it will convert prospects into customers.
Step 4: Finally, identify who will be responsible for on-going management and execution of online marketing activities. You must work on online activities day-in and day-out if you want to produce meaningful business results such as inbound leads, higher conversion rates, and increased revenue.
Online marketing offers a path to consistent revenue growth. However, like anything in business, it requires sound planning and hard work. It may seem daunting, but the results are worth it.
Make it a priority for 2016!
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing, and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected].