The effectiveness of your Online Marketing Strategy depends on many factors. One of them is the quality of your Market Research.
Understand your Audience
Begin with your target customers. Define who they are, what problems they have, what they do and why should they buy from you instead of your competitors. Define their buying journey.
How do they research available solutions? How they compare their options? Try to think how they think, imagine what search terms they could use to find your products or services online.
Generate as many keyword ideas as possible and then, using Google Keyword Planner or some other Keyword Research software, check how many searches are performed using each one of your search terms. Google Keyword Planner can also help you uncover some additional search terms you have probably never thought of.
Analyse the Competition
The next step in defining Online Marketing Strategy is to analyse your competition. Who they are? What their websites look like? Why are they on the first page of the search results? How is their website structured? Do you know which keywords they target? How well are their pages optimised? Who links to their pages? What content do you need to come up with to beat them in their game? What marketing channels do they use to promote their products and services online? Which part of their marketing strategy makes them better than other competitors?
At the end of this step you should have have a clear understanding of your target market and your competitors. This understanding will help you with setting realistic Marketing Objectives & defining your KPIs.
Set realistic objectives and measurable KPIs
Set realistic goals. Keep it flexible. Test and measure before you cast your objectives in stone.
Define Your Strategy
After you finished defining what you are going to achieve (objectives) and how you going to measure them (KPIs), you can move to defining your Website Strategy, your Traffic Generation Strategy and your Traffic Conversion Strategy. In defining those three strategies, you need to consider customer journey. Nobody buys from strangers. You need to first earn their confidence and trust. Show them that you understand their problem. You need to demonstrate your authority and your reputation.
Therefore your Online Marketing Strategy should not only be about sales. It should also include strategies for building your brand and reputation online.
Your website strategy should include several very important components:
- Targeted keywords
- Website content strategy (what content you are going to include
- Content structure
- Internal Linking Strategy
- Branding Guidelines
Marketing has changed. We no longer sell, we help our customers to buy. Our marketing strategy should therefore include content that will guide them in their journey. Content that will help them research and compare available solutions, build their trust is us as a solution provider, allow them to try us out , risk free and encourage them to come back for more.
Traffic Generation Strategy
- define which marketing channels you are going to concentrate on and why
- define which parts of the customer journey will be targeted by your chosen marketing channels
- Which will be your landing pages?
- What calls to action will you use on each page?
- Where will they be placed?
- How will you encourage the visitors to take the desired action?
- How will you measure conversion?
Online Marketing Plan
The result of our strategic planning session is a Marketing Plan. The Plan should include the following components:
- Definition of your online marketing objectives and your target audience
- Description of sample personas to help you identify with a specific segment of your target market.
- A Keyword List with at least 100 possible keywords for your website
- Keyword Analysis showing the number of monthly searches performed in Google /Yahoo or Bing
- Competitive Analysis listing the number of web pages competing for the same traffic
- A list of 10 top competing web pages for a each one of your top 20 keywords
- SEO analysis of the competing web pages and how your website (if you have one) stacks up to your competitors
- Selection of top 10 keywords your website should be optimized for
- Indication of structure and content for your website, so it attracts most traffic and encourages conversion
- The steps you should follow to build your business credibility
- List of the marketing channels you intend to focus on for the maximum return on your marketing investment
- Proposed project metrics and targets (a list of performance indicators which will help you assess and measure the success of the proposed online marketing strategy e.g number of leads, value of sales, click-through rate, conversion ratio etc).
- An implementation plan including the schedule of content creation and posting per each marketing channel
Benefits of an Online Marketing Strategy Consultation
If you are struggling with defining your Online Marketing Strategy, we can help. If nothing else, getting an advice early in the game will give you clarity as to what needs to happen, in what order and why. It will also give you a realistic view of the effort required, costs involved and the outcomes you can expect.
We can tailor an online marketing strategy to your defined targets or your available budget and advise you where to put your money and efforts first, ensuring you get the best Return on your Online Marketing Investment.
In plain words, an Online Marketing Strategy will give you the answers to the following questions:
- what search terms (keywords) you should focus on when creating your website content
- what domain name, if not your business name, would be best to register
- how you should structure your website
- what you should do to bring traffic (visitors) to your website
- what you should focus on to increase the probability of visitor conversion (from casual browsers to qualified leads and sales)
- what results can you realistically expect and in what time frame, if you implement the recommended online marketing strategy