Online Marketing: Where to Begin

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When you decide to put together an online marketing plan, you’re no doubt aware there will be plenty of research to do ahead of time, and the internet can be a great resource.  However, keeping up with the current top marketing blogs can be intimidating and ultimately useless if you’re not familiar with some of in the ins and outs of online marketing.  These industry experts have to be so “inside the silicon beltway” however because the industry is constantly evolving, due to technological innovation and shifts in our cultural development.  How you choose to operate your online marketing strategy is ultimately up to you, but there are some very important basics you must understand in order to compete and be successful.

Putting Together a KPI Strategy

kpi-staudinger-header-beratungKey Performance indicators are a series of defined measures that are commonly used by an organization to measure progress towards goals.  This is where the direction of your business takes place, and where you will identify the important metrics your team will be responsible for.  This will ultimately help them understand how they are performing in relation to strategic goals and objectives.

Using your KPIs for benchmarking is a systematic and logical way of measuring your company performance against others in your industry. Examples of a few basic items you’ll certainly want to monitor are:

  • Number of unique site visitors: How many first-time prospects are discovering your website? Modify your digital marketing plan to increase brand visibility.
  • Conversion rate: How many of your site visitors become customers? You may be drawing a big crowd of the wrong audience.
  • Net profit margin: The percentage of additional proceeds after all taxes and interest, stock payments, and operational expenses have been deducted.
  • Customer turnover rate: Monitor departures to stop a revolving door of new customers in and old customers out.

There are many other important items to include in your KPI strategy, but the vital thing to keep in mind is how your research and analysis will help you spot important trends, discover problems, and resolve issues.

Get to Know Your SEO

things-you-need-to-work-on-seoSEO is the practice of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.  The majority of traffic is driven by the major search engines, mainly Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  How you go about your SEO plan is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but with the wrong actions, you can also risk damage to your site and reputation.  In order to be successful, you have to be familiar with important factors that affect website rankings.

Most SEOs would agree that the following are all important ranking factors:

  • Keyword usage
  • Site structure
  • Site speed
  • Time spent on site
  • Number of inbound links
  • Quality of inbound links

There is plenty of trial and error involved and due to the technical nature of SEO it’s important to consult with the experts on a plan based around improving rankings, increasing traffic, driving more links pointed to the website, and  of course, increased sales as a result.

The Story Matters

Writing brand diagram conceptIf SEO is the brain technical side to online marketing, then your Content Marketing strategy is likened to the heart and soul of your company.  Your content, whether it’s in the form of guest blogging, videos, infographics, or press releases should be thought out with the mindset of enhancing the image of your company’s brand.  Your content should:

  • Regularly focus on the needs of your audience across the sales funnel
  • Build expectations for what content your audience can come to expect
  • Establish your business as a subject matter expert through repetition
  • Engage with customers, providing them ongoing value in addition to your offerings
  • Provide answers to your customers’ problems through storytelling

The key to success here is to stand out from the rest of your competition.  What story are you telling that no one else can? How can you use your niche expertise to creatively gain the attention of your target audience?  If your content is compelling, people will return for more, and likely will share it with others.

Social Media

social-media-appsFor better or worse, social media is the front line when it comes to interaction between your company and your audience.  Success in social media requires you listen more and talk less. Only once you fully understand the overall conversation that is taking place can you then initiate your own ideas that add value, rather than clutter, to the lives of your audience.

Most social media services are affordable and easy to use, and they can put your business in touch with customers like never before. Your company should actively update on the important social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube, as well as any other forums or places that your target audience tends to flock toward.  Social media should be used to:

  • Promote the name of your brand and business
  • Tell customers about your goods and services
  • Find out what customers think of your business
  • Attract new customers
  • Build stronger relationships with existing customers

Think about some of the companies you truly enjoy in social media. Is there any personality or company whose style you admire? What makes you keep following and engaging with them? It will take some time for you to develop your own aesthetic but once you become comfortable in your own online skin, you will start to enjoy the back and forth between your brand and your audience.

Local business owners need to understand the power of the internet for search and customer engagement. When you own a marketing company in Phoenix you must realize it’s a growing and dynamic city, and that with the right plan in place, the opportunity to increase your company’s bottom line is more attainable than ever. Keep in mind though; making it big in online marketing doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.

 

5 Key Elements to Know Before Starting an Online Business

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The internet has not only made communication easier, but it has become a hub of activity for those who are looking to sell products, services, content and their skills too.

Ecommerce businesses have become very popular. There are many people that do their shopping online, and have the goods delivered right to their doorstep. There are several things that have contributed to the popularity of online business and some of them include:

  • Secure payment system
  • Minimal capital for set-up
  • Ease of operating the business
  • Availability of a wide array of products and services on a single website
  • Less expenses to be spent on online marketing

Before starting an online business, there are 5 key elements you need to consider first.

Capital

social-capitalEvery company requires capital even when starting an online business. Unlike other businesses where you need to rent an office, purchase supplies and other expenses, an online business will require less capital. Your capital will be spent on customizing a website where your products or services will be displayed.

The best thing about having an online business is you will be able to sell your goods and services which can be created or bought within a short time therefore you don’t need to have large storage facilities. Of course you need to consider the limitations of your budget since it will do you no good to overspend.

Knowledge and Expertise of What you are Selling

Lack of knowledge on the products and services you will be selling will lead your business to fail, and can lead to being conned by vendors, suppliers and competitors.

The best thing about the internet is that there are various blogs and websites that you can browse through and learn what important information you should know within your industry.

Know Your Market and Demand for Your Products and Services

Know-Your-Users-Write-Usable-Content-For-Them-Target-MarketWhen it comes to selling online, the market is a huge determinant. The market is ruled by the laws of supply and demand which means if a product or service is highly in-demand and there is a low supply, you can step in and fill the gap. Customers determine what is trending and what is in fashion therefore you need to do important niche research.

The best way to achieve this is through social media sites, building your list of friends and followers.

Security

Although payment systems offer secure channels for paying, your online site needs to be secure too. This is because there are malicious people who are after accounting information and engaging in identity theft. When you host your website or platform, you need to purchase an SSL certificate, which provides an extra layer of security that prevents your website from being hacked.

Competition

rivalry_1798861cIt is important to know who your competitors are. You can carry out a simple search online and you will be able to learn about your competitors. Online businesses have to study what their competitors are doing in order to see what opportunities they’ll be able to take advantage of. This will help give you the edge required to always stay a step ahead.

 

Starting a Website: The Keys to Building Your Online Presence 

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Starting your own business in Phoenix, AZ can be one of the most exciting and challenging things to do. This is especially true when it comes to establishing your online presence. Most people think that creating a website requires specialized knowledge. Though a certain level of website development expertise is helpful, designing a site for your business is easier than you think. Let’s take a moment to discuss the key points you should add to your to-do list.
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Choose a Domain Name
Find a website that will allow you to register your domain name. Ideally, your domain name should be your business name. If that is not available, it should be something that you don’t mind being associated and identified with.  Try to keep it short and simple. If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it.

Choose a Web Host
Find a reliable company that will host your website. A web host will make sure that your website is secure and stays online. It is the equivalent of a virtual office building; it’s how you will be able to set up shop and advertise what your business provides.

responsive-web-designDesign Your Webpage
Statistics show that you have less than ten seconds to catch your visitor’s attention before they decide to leave your page. This means that you need to be extremely strategic when it comes to the appearance of and content on your page. Take a moment to consider the following:

1.) Identify the audience. Not everything works for everybody. The same goes for those who are attempting to cater to a certain clientele – one size does not always fit all. Age, gender and profession are factors that will weigh heavily on how you decide to market yourself.

2.) Create a look that matches your brand. It’s very important that as you design your website you keep your brand in mind. What message do you stand by? Why are you different from the rest? What is your color theme? When you design your website to reflect all of these things, you create consistency and cohesion which ultimately builds trust with your potential customers.

Feb-BIZ3.) Establish a goal. You need to figure out what you would like to achieve with your design. Do you want to create a serious, corporate feel or are you interested in a more laid-back, friendly approach? Also, what are you trying to achieve with this site? What idea would you like your customers to walk away with?

Test Your Website
Take a trial run on your website. Though this may seem like common sense, many people don’t take the time to walk in their customer’s shoes, which means they can miss a lot of important things. Yes, your website may look great on a desktop, but it may need adjustments on tablets or phones. Also, make sure that all of your buttons and links are functional. This is one of the most important steps, because it will be easy for your potential customers to assume that you are unprofessional if it seems that you have been careless with the simplest of things. This is your first impression; make it count.