So your company has a website, some social media accounts, an email marketing system…. Now what?
Once you have the pieces of an online infrastructure in place, now the real work begins.
Marketing activities must be relentlessly executed to build momentum and to ultimately create a “fly-wheel” effect.
Businesses must be committed to listening, learning, adapting, and innovating in order to remain relevant – and must drive this learning and innovation into their online marketing efforts. This is especially true in today’s hyper-competitive world.
7 things you must do to drive results from your online marketing efforts:
- Content Development
The key to online success is to continually develop relevant, compelling content, in various formats, that enhance online relevance, authority, and search engine rankings. Content formats can include blogs, case studies, videos, infographics, podcasts, and white papers.
- Content Distribution
How will your disseminate the content your business is producing? Content should be distributed through a variety of online channels; websites, social networks, email distribution systems, online PR, etc.
- Search Engine Optimization
Perform ongoing keyword research and analysis is required to determine how people are searching for your specific products or services. Analytics will also shed light on search behaviour, and you also should understand what competitors are doing to rank for targeted keywords.
Based on this analysis and insight, you must ensure that all on-page SEO (website structure and content) elements are constantly evaluated and optimized.
You must also engage in link building planning and execution (off-page SEO) in order to develop credible and valuable inbound links over time.
- Social Media
Social media is an ever-increasingly critical component of the online marketing mix. It influences search engine rankings, drives referral traffic, and creates online visibility with prospects and influencers.
Use social media to consistently share content, develop online relationships and inbound links, and increase online visibility and authority. These activities must be consistently executed and measured for their effectiveness.
- Lead Nurturing, Conversion, and Post Sales
Once leads are generated, they must be nurtured and converted using appropriate processes and technologies. Results must be measured to maximize effectiveness.
Lead nurturing processes and technologies can include offers/calls to action, landing pages, and marketing automation systems. These same processes and technologies can be used to optimize the post sales process.
- Online/Social Advertising
Online advertising is appropriate in many situations (for example, if your website isn’t showing up on the first page of search results and you want to increase visibility), and can be effectively used to drive traffic and inbound leads.
Develop and manage online advertising campaigns through vehicles such as Google AdWords, Facebook or LinkedIn advertising, banner ads, etc.
All of your online marketing activities and results must be constantly reviewed in order to make the refinements necessary to maximize return on investment.
Analyze results against pre-determined metrics, track competition and search engine rankings, and refine online tactics based on insight gleaned from analytics.
Start with One Hour per Day
This list may seem overwhelming – there is no doubt it’s a lot of work – but to be successful online, you need to dedicate time and resources.
As per one of my previous posts, even if you can only allocate one hour a day to work on your online marketing activities, it’s a start. You can’t do it all at once anyway, so based on the items cited, develop priorities and chip away at it. Online marketing is about the long game, so it’s not as if you can get these things done in a day or a week anyway.
Over time you will get better at it, and if you can consistently work on these tactics, you will see results. Don’t be intimidated, don’t feel despair – just spend an hour a day!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.