For businesses that want to reach an online audience that has interest in their products or services, then an internet marketing strategy is the solution to make that happen. It’s important to have a strategy document that they can follow and that lists all the important elements of a winning strategy. Some of the benefits include:
• More focused advertising efforts that reap bigger benefits
• Cost-efficiency that reduces advertising wastage
• Meeting customer needs
• Understanding competitor strategy
• Buy-in from all departments in your organisation and staff
So, follow these tips to launch your internet marketing strategy:
1. Have goals
Create over arching goals that steer the direction of your internet marketing plans in the long term. They should be in line with your mission and your traditional marketing plans and strategy which guide the overall direction of your business.
2. Know your target markets
Research your target markets and audiences using search engines, online sites like Alexa, Survey Monkey and Compete and keyword tools like Keyword Planner. You can learn a lot about the demographics of your market, its size and qualitative information like their opinions, beliefs and values that help shape their purchasing habits.
3. Target precisely
Having identified the needs and wants of your target customers, you can now build the benefits into your products or services that will meet those needs. It’s important to create a unique selling point that differentiates from competitors and that is not easily copied. Competitors will bring their own products to the market and if yours are not unique then you will find it difficult to grab market share.
4. Who are your competitors
Your internet marketing strategy should describe who your direct and indirect competitors. You should know how well resourced they are and how they promote their sites on all online channels like pay per click advertising, search engine optimisation, social media, affiliate marketing and so on. Find out who the market leaders are and then formulate a strategy to match or beat their offers.
5. Create objectives
Now you are ready to create your marketing objectives: the short term goals that describe what you need to achieve with your target markets. Your objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Related. Your objectives will be a guide to your marketing tactics like product features and benefits, promotional tools used, website optimisation and so on.
6. Choose a strategy
Now it’s time to decide which strategy you will implement. Are you launching a new product or are you planning to sell a new product to an existing market or do you want to sell an existing product to new markets? This will determine what promotional channels, tools and approach you need to take to reach the market. Also, depending on whether you are targeting business customers or consumers, this will determine what kind of website you will have – whether it’s ecommerce or not.
7. Position your business
Your online advertising, website and products should occupy a unique position in the market that helps you achieve your goals and objectives. Always aim to occupy a position that is vacant so that you can be a leader in the market segment and compete more effectively. Trying to occupy a position that is crowded by other businesses could lead to low profitability and low market share and ultimately to business failure.
8. Use promotions tools
Use promotions tools like Google Adwords, Twitter and others to drive qualified visitors to your website and boost your sales. These tools are highly measurable compared to traditional tools and channels like print, TV and radio where it’s hard to identify which promotions and offers have led to sales for your business.
9. Set your budgets
Now that you have a list of tactics and advertising tools you want to implement for your internet marketing strategy, you should cost all of them to come up with your budget.
10. Control your strategy
Finally, you should use tools like Google Analytics to track your progress and then adjust your strategy accordingly. Analytics helps you to track sales, conversions and you can see how people use your site and how engaged they are.
Download a free internet marketing strategy template to plan your strategy and boost your online presence. Contact me if you need any help planning your online campaigns and to discuss your requirements