Online marketing is a very important issue in online business. The Internet is growing and users are constantly increasing which are the too large piece of cake we are forced to exploit. Bill Gates once said, ‘If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.’. If you want to do online business effectively, you must have a simple and effectual online marketing strategy for small businesses and fit the capacity of it. But why should we target online marketing but not traditional offline marketing, instead?
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Online Marketing Strategy
So how to plan an effectual online marketing strategy? Here are 6 steps you need to take:
Step 1: Build your brand
Few small businesses do this, they do not have a logo or website. To go far from, brand building is inevitable. What, for example, comes to your mind when it comes to Apple? I’m sure you think of the amazing iPhone more than just thinking about the apple. Clearly, branding is essential. In fact, those companies that operate well are branded, in order to distinguish their competitors, something to connect with people, something in the customers’ mind as a good product/service to get them back to you.
I’m sure you would think ‘Oh having a brand is good. But I do not know how to build a brand.’ Below I will have some suggestions for you about branding your company.
1. Think about your story
Ask yourself, ‘Why do you create this company, what makes you proud of it?’. Often the reasons for setting up your company are something unique in your own style that you want to bring good things to your customers.
2. Talk to your customers
Ask your client, ‘What makes you like our company and what you do not like? Why do you choose us but not the opponent, instead? What is your problem that needs to be resolved when it comes to our service?’. When you listen to your customers talking about your business, you have an insight into the aspects of the company, which will be helping you with your branding ideas.
3. Research the opponents
Explore your best competitor websites. Ask yourself: ‘What are they doing well? What have they not done well? How do they say about their company?’. You will find the niche of the field, how can you make your company good and different than your competitors.
“The art of marketing is largely the art of brand building. When something is not a brand, it will be probably be viewed as a commodity.”
– The father of modern marketing, Philip Kotler
Step 2: Identify rightly the potential market
This is a very important step, the most difficult and also the most error-prone to determine effective online marketing. People say, ‘A miss is as good as a mile.’ So you have to study carefully to identify the niche market that is right for you or your business, then you will have the opportunity to work up to double. But if you are confused with your market then your chances of failure are ten times higher.
Step 3: Build a selling website
A website is an online store and the central tool to determine effectual online marketing strategy and use to sell the best. From the idea of customer demand, target market, product, to an offering, introducing product benefits and sales, etc, everything is on your website. In other words, the website is the bridge between you and your customers.
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To run a website, you need three things that are indispensable:
- Domain: Branding is good in terms of promoting PR. Domain by keyword helps your website to promote easier and better SEO (a technique to put your website on top of Google search ranking). So combine these two to get the most effective domain.
- Web hosting: Choosing a hosting that has high quality, high speed, stable operation, good customer service when it comes to mementos is very important. Because one day your website has many visitors and good sales and but is hanging suddenly, you think how high you will damage. This will cause discomfort to customers, as well as reputation of your company, will be affected.
- Web development tools: For simple websites, you can use the WordPress source code. If you do not already have the conditions to outsource, you can also find some free themes… However, I recommend you look up to a professional website design company if you are not technically savvy about website building because it is very time-consuming and hard work. Yet another option is that you can hire programmers. As a result, the cost will be much lower than that of hiring professional companies.
Also, building your website content cannot be ignored. Ask yourself if the information on your website is useful to your target customers. In addition to the information about the product, customers also read what other information. You can use the keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, keywordtool.io… to find out what keyword customers search for. That will build the content for your website.
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Step 4: Select the appropriate online marketing channels for businesses
The more people who visit and stay on your website, the higher the chance of sales. But it is important that your website must be read by people who truly want to buy products in your market. This is the most time-consuming and difficult part of building an online marketing strategy.
Some ways to increase website traffic: SEO – Search Engine Optimization, paid advertising Google AdWords, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing,…
1. Content strategy
In the world of marketing, the content is considered king. Google wants you to bring value to people who visit your website, and it loves the unique content. Building a content strategy is not simple. You do not want to write content that other people have already written. If you use someone else’s content, there is no uniqueness in them, Google will underestimate your website and you will not be able to compete with other major websites.
Instead, you need to find out the problem of the customer and resolve it, giving them a reason to go back to your website. If you can do that, it’s great. If you are a small ice-cream shop, it is difficult to write content related to your customers and your brand. In that case, we will focus on other marketing strategies.
2. Paid ads
Make investments, any channel like Google AdWords, Google display, or Facebook advertising, … It will be very successfully if you do rightly. However it takes a lot of time and especially money to improve your campaign. Competition on cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-action (CPA) bidding is fierce. For example, competing industries such as detectives, or bidirectional bidding on one click in the peak period can be up to millions of dollars per click. For this cost-effective investment strategy, you will have to constantly monitor your campaigns whether it works well or not immediately stop advertising and check each step to adjust. Despite the high costs, they can be optimized based on various criteria such as content optimization, image optimization, advertising message… and it is one of the fastest ways to reach customers.
3. Social networking strategy
Social networking is an extremely effective tool for reaching customers and building a long-term brand. But to have good social marketing strategies, your company must have a brand and website. You need to have unique content, beautiful and unique images that must be maintained and updated regularly. You can then develop on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
4. Email marketing strategy
Email marketing is not the most helpful way to find new customers but it is a great tool to take care of old customers and build the loyalty of your customers and brand of the company in their mind. If this is your goal then it is the most powerful tool. For example, if you open an email from a doctor reminding you of an appointment or from an ice cream shop offering discounts on a hot summer day. These emails are really valuable to your customers, so when people open this email they will see your service and satisfaction with your brand and service.
5. Search Engine Optimization – SEO
SEO is a very effective solution when it comes to marketing. When customers have a problem, they will access the Internet to find information to solve their problems. And our job is how when they search, the search results will show our website on page 1 of Google or also called top 10 of Google. To do SEO effectively, we have a lot of work to do, such as keyword research, customer needs related to our products, then write content containing that keyword, optimize the way internal link in the website and website promotion on the forum and social networking. We can more advanced building satellite sites containing content related to the content of our main website. The great advantage of SEO is that customers are looking for us, so they are potential customers. Secondly, SEO does not cost advertising, and the coverage is very wide. Customers everywhere in the world can find our website.
Step 5: Sell products and collect money
The most important goal when building an effectual online marketing strategy is selling a lot of goods, bring satisfaction to customers and importantly receiving enough money to return the capital to reinvest. There is no benefit if you own a beautiful website with a lot of interesting content but few customers choose to buy and pay for you. This is so that you have to review the steps to determine the target market, so you have a high chance of success. Next, you need to understand the product and how the warranty of the product. Besides, the easy and convenient payment feature with the majority of users on the Internet will help you increase the rate of purchase to achieve high sales.
Step 6: Monitor business performance and update your marketing strategy
The final step in planning an effectual online marketing strategy is tracking business results, statistics on website traffic, clickthrough rates, conversion rates, purchase rates, etc. These parameters will help you find out which online marketing method is most effective and then adjust the online marketing strategy to suit your business, not only bring sales but also build a good brand in the minds of customers.