Online Marketing: Checklist of Where to Begin
By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
The world of online marketing is vast and seemingly chaotic. People are always asking me where do I begin to penetrate my marketplace and direct limited resources to be most effective. Fear of the unknown, paralyzes companies into developing a cohesive marketing strategy. Businesses do not have the ability or resources to blanket the globe, so they need prioritize goals for strategy development. Here are a few tips or guidelines on how to best leverage online marketing:
Knowledge Is Power
Where are consumers looking for your type of product or service? Leveraging niche sites for your industry will help to expand your reach. Consider attaching your business to search- and social-friendly sites like Yelp that has 11 million product and service reviews, UrbanSpoon or YellowPages.com. These sites help consumers narrow search, offering better and more relevant results. Next, check for multiple ways to participate. Does the network have a listings service, forum or message boards?
Use Social Media
Being part of a social network will increase your exposure. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin are essential to your overall marketing mix. Being active participants will pay dividends in building relationships that will lead to sales. They are also great forums to go viral and spread your marketing message. In addition, many social sites have Q&A discussions that are perfect vehicles to showcase your expertise and to help inform potential customers. The more you participate, the greater the exposure and the more influence you will have.
Mobile marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. With so many global consumers on Smartphones and on the go, ignoring mobile is a huge missed opportunity. To increase your mobile presence you can:
1) Have a business listing on Google Local and Google Maps
2) Post your listing on Foursquare and Gowalla
3) Join relevant, industry niche sites that are conducive to mobile platforms
4) Encourage customers to create reviews on Yelp via Smartphone.
5) Explore adding a promotion on Groupon
Check Your Listings
Do make the mistake of believing that all your listings on the Internet are accurate. Misinformation is epidemic online, so review your site and make sure you have accurate contact information. Look at local sites like the Chamber of Commerce, BBB and YellowPages.com for accuracy.
Review Your Keywords
One of the most neglected areas of online marketing is keywords. Periodic review of keywords, both short and long tail, is essential to finding you on search. Check your competition to see what keywords they are using and adjust your copy accordingly. Content on your site needs to reflect how people search for your industry. This is best managed via proper SEO and keyword analysis.
Following this checklist will help you generate the right kind of traffic and expand your customer base. You can’t do everything all at once, but implementing these few recommendations will give you a great push in the right marketing direction.
About the Author: Bob Speyer is an online marketer, social media strategist and co-founder of the Web Success Team. Bob develops effective marketing strategies to help companies increase brand awareness and target more customers for their products and services. His articles are intended to educate as well as inform readers of the latest tools and techniques of online marketing. You can follow Bob on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.