9. Steps to Develop Internet Marketing Strategy
Every successful strategy in business starts with planning. Developing a plan on how to achieve your goal is the most important task in the process of improving your business. You need to set up a plan of actions in order to determine what you want to achieve and where you want to get with your internet marketing campaign.
Internet marketing is a very vast area, and thus it requires quite detailed planning and dedicated effort to conduct the strategy. There are several types of internet marketing, and each of them requires a distinctive approach and different set of tasks to be conducted in order for the goals to be achieved. The ideal case is to use all the opportunities available inside internet marketing as this maximizes the influence of your business and exposure you get online.
However, using all types of internet marketing can be quite a challenge, as it requires a lot of time, and a lot of assets to be invested into the realization of the goals. You have to evaluate whether you are ready for such challenge before you start planning. In case you believe that it would be impossible for you to take advantage of all types of internet marketing at the same time, choose those that would be the most suitable for your company and focus on those. For example, SEM and SMM marketing could be a starting point. Later on, as you get more experienced, you will be able to concentrate on other types of marketing as well.
Build your marketing framework
Developing your marketing framework means developing a plan of action for your internet marketing campaign, which includes goals and the processes necessary for those goals to be achieved. Marketing framework needs to contain everything that will be included as a part of marketing strategy, which means you need to present:
- Marketing goals
- Tools that will be used in the campaign
- Approach that will be used in the campaign
- Campaign costs
- Revenue that can be obtained from the campaign
- Tracking and measuring process
Focus on your customers
This is an inseparable part of online marketing, because your goal as a marketer is to attract and engage your audience, and the best way to do so is by focusing on studying their behavior and satisfying their needs. Focusing on customers, you are able to provide personalized feedback and establish loyal relationship, regardless of the medium you use to do this.
Develop your own story
Storytelling is one of the techniques often applied in the process of establishing relationship with the consumers. The goal of storytelling is to develop stories to transmit a message, to share your own promotional campaign inside a well-designed and well-presented story that will attract the attention of the viewers more successfully than traditional ad would. Another benefit of storytelling is the possibility to convey a message inside of a story. The story is easier to remember, and it makes it easier for viewers to identify it with your brand. This way you are working on branding and raising awareness about your company, by introducing the viewers to a memorable story, they will recollect each time they see your product in a shop or on a website.
Take advantage of SEM
Positioning a website is very important in order to gain exposure on the online market, which is why you need to take advantage of search engine marketing, both paid and organic reach, in order to improve the position of your website and ensure that the potential customers find you instead of your competitors.
Develop a strategy that uses different techniques of search engine optimization, and enhance this strategy with online advertising. Both types of search engine marketing are helpful when it comes to gaining exposure in search engines, so think about using SEM as a tool for promoting your website.
Launch social strategy
Current trends and situation on the online market have imposed social aspect as an inseparable part of online activity, regardless if you are an international brand, a local fitness coach, or an online store. Being social has become a mandatory task if you want to connect with the online users.
Social strategy is also important for developing successful relationship with you customers, which is why you need to embrace this social aspect of internet marketing as something that will ultimately help you improve the influence and the position of your brand in the eyes of consumers.
Build your community
Being a member of a community has always been an important part of people’s lives, who have always been striving to be a part of a group. This tendency transferred to the online world, with social networks slowly becoming an inseparable part of our lives. Today, it is unlikely that you will meet anyone who is not using at least one social network, and a lot of people are active on several networks.
Companies use this situation in their own advantage, to establish a relationship with online user, and in order to do so, they usually use several social networks, as this way they maximize social media exposure and target different groups on different social networks.
Building your online community means that you are creating a base of loyal customers, by interacting with them, satisfying their need to be informed about your business, rewarding them, etc. This is very important on the online market, when you aim to stay competitive. You need a good relationship with your customers, as this will also help you with building your influence in the online community.
The following step in the process of developing your internet marketing strategy consists of actions that will help you generate more traffic on your website. Since your website is a place where you convert the visitors, where they choose to buy from you or sign up for your newsletter, you need to direct as much traffic as possible to the website in order to achieve this goal.
Obviously, using SEM is a starting point, as you want to increase both organic and paid reach, which will allow you to reach customers who are conducting search queries related to your business. These visits are more likely to result in conversions, which is why this type of traffic is very important.
Besides search engines, you should use other media to generate traffic, such as social media (which is part of social media marketing), emails (part of email marketing campaign), external links (links posted on other websites in the process of off-site search engine optimization), etc. All of these sources can generate quite amount of traffic, leading to more conversions and increased profit, which is why you must include this task into the process of developing and implementing internet marketing strategy.
Although increasing traffic is very important, it will not improve you business unless you are able to convert those visitors into your customers. Having a lot of traffic without generating any revenue will not be beneficial for your business and you need to face the challenge of converting the visitors using different methods. It is not possible for everyone to become your customer, because not every visit will result in conversion, but you need to focus on increasing the percentage of those visitors that do convert.
The first thing you should do in order to increase conversions is to improve your landing page. Think about the first page the users will see on your website and analyze whether it is effective enough to attract the attention of the users. Effective description of your services, mobile accessibility, and links to home page are all necessary aspects of a good landing page.
Website analytics can also help with increasing conversions, because you will see the data about current conversion level and you will be able to explore the paths that lead to those conversions. This will show you the pages users visit that lead to the greatest number of conversion, and you should use this to improve other aspects of the website.
Analyze and get feedback from the community
Finally, if you want to be better in internet marketing, you need to know what kind of impression you leave, how much of the influence you have managed to obtain inside the online community. There are numerous ways to get feedback, with social media interaction being one of the easiest. You could also analyze the reviews on social media websites, which feature reviews posted by other users.
Feedback can also be obtained by sending emails and asking for a questionnaire to be filled out, where you would ask email subscribers about their experience with your business. You can also use your own website to post such questionnaire in order to get feedback from the website visitors.
Once you have information about what the community thinks about your business, you can analyze the information in order to find ways to improve the user experience. Analyze positive reviews to see what you are doing good, which aspects of your business have positive effect on the user experience, as this is something you should try to implement into all aspects of your business. Negative reviews are helpful with analyzing what you are doing wrong, and these issues are something you should address as soon as possible.
Following the steps mentioned above will help you focus on developing your brand influence and exposure on the online market through different methods of optimization, promotion and interaction. In the end, you have to analyze the performance of the internet marketing strategy in order to make sure that your strategy is really as productive and as effective as you planned it to be.