If you think carrying out an online business is a piece of cake, and all you need is a good computer, great website, and super fast internet, you are wrong! Successfully running a business online takes a lot more than that. The struggle is especially real for small and midsized companies that are just starting out. Businesses like these lack brand awareness and online visibility. Therefore, it is much harder for them to draw the attention of their target audience. If your business is failing to generate a good online reputation, it is time to up your marketing game!
Before we begin, let’s make one thing clear – you cannot make your brand popular overnight! Online marketing is a system that works only when some crucial components are present. Optimising your website and creating a strategic marketing plan come first. Then you need to begin a step by step process that helps you build a strong presence online. It is much like constructing a building floor by floor. There’s no scope for you to skip a stage. To get a better understanding of how it works, take a look at the four core stages of creating a sturdy online presence:
#1 Creating engaging content
If you didn’t know it already, content can either make or break your online business. Great content is what motivates buyers to stay on your site, and it can even compel them to try your product or service. You may spend all your time and money in the other aspects of online marketing, but if you have got bad content, all your efforts will go to waste. To be able to come up with engaging content, you will first have to get familiar with various tools such as Sprout Social, Social Mention, Trackur, TweetDeck, and Google Alerts. These tools will help you gain insight into your target market, competitors as well as other important groups such as journalists.
To make the content reach its audience, you would need to incorporate appropriate keywords. Tools such as Wordtracker and Google Keyword Planner will let you perform the necessary keyword research. You can then incorporate these keywords in your blogs, articles and website contents. You can also produce eBooks that will play a major role in email lead capturing.
#2 Strategizing organic SEO
You cannot obtain great online visibility without having high ranking in Google search results. Through organic SEO, you can improve your website’s ranking. Search engine optimisation, however, is complex and it takes a certain amount of time to see desired outcome. But if you use the right tactics, you will see the improvement in significantly less time. Here’s what you can do:
Produce original and informative content: While we have already covered the importance of great content, there’s still a need to reinforce it. Content creation is not a one-time thing. You need to update your website blog with fresh content regularly. This is the way to uphold a site’s integrity in the eye of the search engine.
Optimise your website: When optimising your website, make sure key on-page elements such as internal links, subtitles, ALT image attributes, URLs, and blog titles are present. Don’t forget to use XML sitemaps that make it easier for search engines to detect your site’s latest activities.
Generate high quality backlinks: One great way to generate backlink is to write as a guest blogger in some other site. You can also start posting content on various platforms such as Slideshare and YouTube. Posting thoughtful comments on various blogs and articles will also help you draw attention. Last but not the least, don’t forget to publish online press releases and boost your site on social media.
#3 Brushing up on email marketing
A lot of marketers don’t realise the significance of email marketing until it is too late. A great email list and customers waiting for email notifications is a great asset any business can have. Research shows that 1000 responsive email followers weigh more strength than 25,000 Twitter followers. When it comes to promoting products you sell, there is probably no better medium than email.
You can start by creating a database of email subscribers who actually want to hear from you. You can grab their attention by posting interesting content on social media and urging them to sign up for your company newsletter for more of such posts. Next tip is to choose a good email service provider. Some of the notable names include Infusionsoft, MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse, and Constant Contact.
#4 Creating awareness through social media
Now you have reached that stage where strategy rules over tactics. When done right, social media marketing can reap great benefits for your business. However, if you go at it without a proper plan, you would spend months with no valuable results. Firstly, you need to analyse how your target audience is using social media, and how you can use these platforms to serve them better. You can get immediate value by doing that. You need to create a Twitter list of customers, and then add their personal profiles to the CRM tool. You can also add a tool called Rapportive to your email account.
You can then move on to creating official profiles on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Slideshare and Pinterest. Even if you don’t have a content plan for each of these sites at the moment, have the accounts ready. Soon you can start building connections, sharing contents, and re-sharing what other people are posting. Social media sites are great platforms where you can give your content a huge boost. Share your blog posts and images and other contents, and customers will take notice of you.
Considering the ever changing world or SEO and online marketing, it is important to keep your strategies updated. There’s no sure fire way to success, but staying on top of things will certainly get you closer to your destination. Keep a tab on your site’s performance, and make changes whenever necessary. Once you claim your space in the virtual realm, don’t stop there. Keep your efforts alive to maintain and even increase your online reputation.