Your small business needs an online marketing strategy. Without one, you risk playing a game of blind darts with your brand, throwing things out there and hoping they stick. Fortunately, 21st century Internet tools make marketing easy for small businesses to launch and to measure.
1. Ideal Customer Profile (AKA Avatar)
At the heart of your marketing strategy should be an ideal customer you target in your copy and offers. When you know who you are marketing to, you will find it much easier to make the right decisions and find the authentic voice necessary to connect with buyers.
2. Prospect Capture System
Not everyone is ready to close the deal the first time they visit your website. In fact, many people need to consider a purchase seven or more times before you can close the deal. If a potential customer leaves your site without leaving an email address you will have lost her forever.
Your marketing strategy should include an opt-in mechanism with a juicy offer that prompts interested visitors to leave their email. Once you have their permission, you can market to these prospects as often as necessary to complete the sale.
3. Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads
PPC advertisers only pay when a visitor clicks through to visit the advertised website. These ads can help drive traffic to a website so the site can test its keywords and landing pages. As an advertiser, you control the amount you spend on each ad and the total spent per day.
Monitor PPC campaigns closely so you maximize the value of your ad spend. The temptation might be to lure people to click your ads, but if you are not attracting people who will convert, you will waste money on unwanted clicks. Always optimize your copy with an eye on what leads to increased conversions.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your PPC ads and research will provide valuable information about your customers and the keywords that attract them. You can use that information to drive the SEO portion of your marketing strategy.
Optimizing your site for the search engines means you will design your site to be highly visible to the search engine bots. By creating useful content with the right tags and connecting with quality sites, you can build a good reputation with the search engines who will then send you free traffic for your keywords.
5. Branding and Social Media
Everyone is talking about social media these days, because nearly everyone is plugged in to a network of some sort. Social media marketing is less about closing sales and more about fostering brand recognition and building relationships with potential customers.
In contrast with PPC and SEO efforts, where over time you will be able to track your revenue to your expenses, branding and social media campaigns may be difficult to measure to a return on investment. Still, your marketing strategy should include telling your story and getting people interested enough to start sharing your good word.
Sound marketing principles can help you make the most of the tools at your disposal. With an ideal customer in mind, you can flesh out your marketing strategy knowing the right trigger words to use and the social networks on which you should use them. By optimizing your website and following up with an email sequence, you will be able to convert the traffic you receive to paying customers.