Online marketing is growing by leaps and bounds every year. As more and more companies flock to the internet to “stake their claim” it is essential that you utilize these new tools in a way that is both profitable and responsible.
This article will provide six rules you must follow when you create your online marketing plan. The marketing plan will help you stay ahead of your competitors in online business.
1. Integration is key
Creating a whole new plan for your web-based marketing without considering your current efforts can be problematic. Many of your customers may experience your marketing messages in more than one medium, so you need to make sure they coordinate with each other. Don’t treat your online marketing efforts as a separate campaign. Instead, integrate everything you do in one plan.
2. Know your audience and gain permission to talk to them
In the online world, your opportunities are endless. It is critical that you have a well-defined target audience. Spend time analyzing your past marketing efforts to create an ideal customer profile that will help narrow and define who you will be approaching.
Once you have identified your target market, make sure you gain permission to create a conversation with them. The online world is cluttered with spammers who try to connect with you without permission. You need to protect your reputation by having potential customers “opt-in” to a conversation with you.
3. Create performance benchmarks
With new online marketing tools being introduced on a daily basis it is important that you establish and aim for performance benchmarks for your online marketing efforts. It is too easy to get distracted by the “shiny object of the day” which may have no useful value for you to reach your established goals. Here are some tips on reaching your benchmarks.
4. List the attributes of your online options
When you get to the point of choosing which online marketing strategies to employ, it is important to have a “grading scale” to judge one against another. List the attributes of each online media tool and how it will help you reach your goals. Does your target audience utilize the particular option? Does the brand an culture of your company fit in socially with the option. In other words, will your business be out of place by using a particular online media choice?
5. Detail your implementation schedule
It is very essential that you have an action plan to implement any new online media initiative. Make a schedule that will outline when and how you will use a particular tool. What resources will you need in-house to support that specific tool? Will you need any outside marketing help to implement the strategies you have chosen?
6. Assess profitability of all of your efforts.
No online marketing plan is flawless without a thorough financial analysis of your projected sales as a result of using a particular tool and your associated anticipated expenses. The return on investment of your online marketing efforts is the same as that of traditional media. Without a return on investment, you can quickly accumulate extra marketing expenses which will affect your bottom line.
Take the time to make sure all six of these rules are followed when you create your online marketing plan. The internet is here to stay, and you need to carefully assess how your online marketing plan will harness the power of this new media opportunity.