Let’s assume for a moment that your business hasn’t yet made its debut into the online marketing world.
We hope that’s not the case! But if it is, it’s not the end of the world, and it actually may be an opportunity.
If you happen to be in this situation, luckily there are some things you can do to secure your place online quickly to get yourself started with these online marketing basics.
Online Marketing Basics Blueprint
Once you’ve made the decision to get online, it’s going to pay to not jump the gun on your online marketing basics plan without actually having a plan in place first. You’ll need first to:
- Figure out your target audience: Understanding to whom you’re marketing your goods and services will better help you shape and execute your plans later on down the road. Are you catering to businesses or consumers? What type of each? Write down this decision and refer to it, because it has serious downstream effects.
- Understand your goals: Do you strictly want to maintain your customer base, or do you want to grow it? What about promoting your industry as a whole versus highlighting the competitive advantage you have over others? These are important questions to understand and answer thoughtfully before going forward.
- The emotional connection: This is important and it should also be written down. Though it doesn’t seem necessary at first, it’s crucial that you have a solid notion of the type of personality you present to your clients and customers. Consistency is key, and you really will want to land on a notion of how you interact: snarky and joking, professional and distant, or calm and courteous?
Securing domains and accounts are the next order of business. Remember that we’re operating under the assumption mostly that your business doesn’t have an online presence yet. This section can also apply to those who may have a presence, but haven’t fleshed it out all the way yet.
The ‘lockdown’ portion of this section refers to locking down the accounts you’ll be using to promote your business. Taking the information gleaned in the first section, you’ll then go about signing up or registering for every site with which you plan on implementing your marketing plan.
Here’s an example: a custom invitation and stationery design firm called BespOKen goes online for the first time. This firm decides that its online marketing plan will include a website, a Pinterest board, a Facebook Page, a Twitter Account, and a YouTube channel for tips and tricks.
Remember consistency, understanding, and emotional connection with BespOKen’s audience. To make sure that prospective customers or clients know who they’re dealing with, BespOKen needs to register all items in the same way. This means BespOKen.com is the website, with each of the subsequent accounts having the same username (i.e. BespOKen wherever possible).
Locking down the accounts your business will be using in its marketing efforts also helps you understand the sort of work you’re committing yourself to as a business owner, or at least the efforts to which you’ll be assigning resources in the future.
The Ammunition (or Foundation)
This may seem like a dramatic analogy, but in a war, the most effective way to rout an enemy is by attacking from more than one direction at the same time. By starting all these accounts, the example firm BespOKen is building an army made up of several different divisions.
The divisions of BespOKen’s army are powerless and utterly without ammunition, however, if there’s no content to back them up. BespOKen’s owners have to make sure each one is as fully filled-out and robust as possible prior to going live on them. This means profiles, links, photos, etc. If each site (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) doesn’t necessarily have original content, at least they can contain similar and consistent business information.
Once they’re all set up, BespOKen’s Pinterest account links to its Facebook, its Facebook page to its Twitter, and each of which in turn links to the website and the rest of their marketing efforts. Circular linking ensures that any prospective client coming to the business from any entrance will at least be marginally exposed to the rest of the firm’s efforts.
From this point, you’ve laid the groundwork for your online presence. Your website has been generated, as have all the accounts you’ll be using to market your business.
The stage is set and the lights have been dimmed for your grand entrance into the world of online marketing. From there, there are a lot of places you can go, but at least you’ve gotten started with consistency and a direction in which you’ll go as you move into the more active phase of online marketing.