Online Marketing Strategy in 6 Steps

online marketing strategy sessionTwo of the most common questions I hear is, “How can I create an online marketing strategy for my business?” or “What marketing tools, services and techniques are best for my business?” As you may have guessed, the answer differs from company to company. It’s common sense that if you’re a solopreneur who offers website design services you will have a different online marketing strategy than the marketing department at a multinational company like 3M. That being said, there are six quick action steps you can take to start developing your online marketing strategy.

 

6 Steps to Online Marketing Strategy

1. Know your business. A digital strategy does not exist in isolation. You must really know and understand your business in order to integrate your online strategy and tactics with your offline strategy and tactics.

 

2. Know your online customer. All good marketing requires knowledge of your customer. However when you’re developing an online marketing strategy it is essential that you have a solid understand who your online customer is. This customer can be different from your offline customer. You need to know how they think, what motivates them, what gets/keeps them engaged and what turns them off.

 

3. Watch for Trends vs. Fads. Though the term trend may be used interchangeably with fad, a fad is generally considered a fleeting behavior whereas a trend is considered to be a behavior that evolves into a relatively permanent change (Wikipedia). For example, the Internet is a Trend. Using a Facebook page for every business may prove to be a fad, BUT using Social Media as a marketing tactic will likely be a trend for many years to come. As a business owner or influencer,  you must watch out for the latest hype and know how to separate the fads from the trends.

 

4. Be brave. Don’t be afraid to try new things. No one has all the answers. Sometimes the best thing to do is to put a reasonable amount of time, effort, energy and intelligence into a strategy or tactic and evaluate it to prove or disprove its worth.

 

5. Know your online options. You’re going to need to have a good grasp of what’s available to you and why/how your company might use it. Research and document all the online resources, tools and options you have available to you. With literally thousands of tools, platforms and options out there this may seem like a daunting task, but there are tips to get you started and keep you focused.

1. Make a list of the obvious. For example:

-Company Website
-Facebook
-Linkedin
-Pinterest
-Twitter
-Email Marketing
-Google+, etc.

2. Next add anything that might be specific to your industry. Zillow or MLS might be an example for a Realtor.
3. Finally add any online tools, platforms and options that your customers are using.

Once you have a table with all of your options, add a column for YES, NO , MAYBE and INVESTIGATE. Your research from number 1-4 should be a good guide at this point to tell you which options make the most sense for your business. Never be fooled into thinking every business needs to use every tool available or be everywhere. Think for yourself and ask the right questions such as:

  • What are the pros and cons to using this?
  • How much time, money or knowledge does it require?
  • Do I need to hire extra resources?
  • Is this area growing or shrinking?
  • Is my target audience using this tool or on this platform? Would they find it beneficial?

 

6. Get professional help. When in doubt hire a professional to help you see the big picture and develop a strong strategy. When looking for a pro, start with referrals, but remember just because someone creates beautiful websites does not mean they can help position your company for success online. Another way to find good strategy professionals is to use LinkedIn. Start by doing an advanced people search for terms like “digital strategist”, “online strategist”, “online strategy”, or “digital strategy”.

 

 

The bottom line is every company may not need to use every marketing tool available, but every company needs an online marketing strategy.

 

 

 

 

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.