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
Key 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
SEO 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
If 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.
For 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.