General Steps to Online Marketing
There are multitudes of details involved with effective online Internet marketing these days. However, these five general steps to online marketing are presented as a means of developing the focus of your business marketing campaign.
Identify Your Target Market
Step one in any marketing strategy, including online marketing, is to identify the target market. Although we all wish our product or service will be sought after by everyone on the planet, that is not the case. Successful marketing is based on an understanding that only a select number of people will buy any given product or service. They have an interest in what it is that you have to offer. Your target market can be broken down into segments including geography, demographics, and psychology. The goal is to determine as closely as possible who those potential customers are, and then 'target' marketing efforts at them.
Where Is Your Target Market Online?
Step two is to locate your target market to reach them effectively. In today’s internet focused society, a great place to find potential clients is in the social media world. By investigating social circles your current customers are using, you learn how they interact and who they are interacting with.
Where Is Your Target Market Online? (Cont...)
Most often, their social media connections will fall within your target market. Therefore, if you find your customers are using Facebook regularly, then Facebook is where you should focus a portion of your marketing efforts. On the other hand, if your target market does not utilize Twitter, then that is not a platform to focus on. The best place to start is where your target market is active.
Getting In Front of Them
Step three is to get your company in front of your target market. Blogs, social media platforms, business directories, and customer review sites all serve a purpose for your product or service: they provide information to the internet community and drive potential customers to your storefront or website. By choosing appropriate topics, partnering with like minded businesses, keeping online information current, providing customer testimonials and interacting with current customers your company will establish a presence in the online community.
Step four is to maintain your marketing presence by staying active and contributing to the communities into which you have entered. It is important for your company to contribute worthwhile information and not just advertise your product or service. Regularly checking in and interacting are essential to build your online reputation: answer questions, respond to issues, refer to other businesses things outside your realm, and remain a consistent message across all platforms.
Track and Interact
Step five is to track and react to responses. Keep up to date with your customer base and identify where prospects have found you. Monitor communication and performance on your online platforms to gauge participation and consumer opinions. Track likes, re-tweets, posts, blog comments and shares to ensure you are in the right places. As any of your results trend towards less of an impact, simply research where to shift time and focus to another venue.
Whether your company handles its own marketing strategy, or hires a professional company for assistance and implementation, it is imperative to identify who your audience is at the onset of your planning process. Your target market, not your “dream” customer, needs to be the focus of your marketing efforts. You can't go wrong by focusing on these five steps to online marketing.