If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either already in business or keen on becoming so.
Running your own business can be exhilarating but also very daunting. Especially when you’re just stepping in to the role – no experience necessary – there’s a lot to learn.
From understanding SEO to driving website traffic, setting up email marketing to analyzing marketing results, there’s a lot to think about. It can be tricky to find the time to keep up with all of this especially as a new business owner. That’s why I wrote this guide: to help you navigate the choppy waters of online marketing and set up your own online marketing strategy that will push your business forward.
Step one: Define your business and marketing objectives
The first step to any marketing plan is to set your marketing objectives and review why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your marketing goals should be realistic and measurable. Think about what you’ve set out to achieve and how you’ll track your progress. It’s essential that you review these objectives at least once a month to ensure that you’re always staying on course and driving growth where you want it. If you’re looking to grow your business quickly, you can use an SDR (sales development rep) to help you establish a sales process, implement effective marketing and track your progress.
Step two: Select the right platform
You may already have a website for your business but if you’re looking to grow your business online, you’ll need to look at other platforms too. Not all platforms are made equal, and you need to make sure that you select the right one for your business. While WordPress is hugely popular and incredibly easy to use, if your business is B2C (business to consumer) you’ll struggle to generate the right leads and make sales. That’s not to say that WordPress isn’t the right answer – far from it – but you’ll need to consider your target audience when selecting your platform. If you’re looking for a free platform, check out WordPress because it’s incredibly popular and has a lot of functionality. However, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated solution, consider Squarespace or Joomla because they offer more functionality and a lot of style.
Step three: Establish your website’s authority
Your website is your foundation in the digital landscape. Having a quality site that is representative of your business is a great way to show your expertise and establish your authority in your industry. Having a quality website doesn’t just mean having a bunch of attractive images and a flashy design – it means having proper SEO (search engine optimization).
To have higher search rankings and attract more customers to your site, you’ll need to follow the right steps. One of the first things you’ll need to do is join Google’s business network. Doing this will give you the opportunity to connect with other businesses and gain credibility with potential customers. Getting in touch with other businesses in your industry can also help you establish relationships and collaborate on growing your business. In the event that you don’t have any relationships within your industry, you can reach out to organizations such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) to gain credibility and authority in your industry. It’s important to note that establishing your website’s authority doesn’t necessarily mean that your competitors’ websites are going to disappear from the search results – it just means that your website is going to appear higher than competitors’ sites when customers search for products and services that you provide. When customers find your website, they’ll often read your content and take further action – such as making a purchase – without ever leaving the site.
Step four: Measure the success of your marketing efforts
Once you’ve established your website’s authority, it’s time to start measuring the success of your marketing efforts. Website analytics tools will provide you with a clear view of how customers are interacting with your site. From here, you can determine which of your marketing efforts are yielding the best results and continue to improve your strategy.
Website analytics tools will also provide you with a clear picture of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. For example, if you’re running an AdWords campaign and notice that your conversions are steadily increasing, but your profit is decreasing, it could be that your ads aren’t as targeted as you think they are. This could be caused by inappropriate keywords or a lack of budgeting – it’s essential that you keep track of your ads’ performance to ensure that you’re always maximizing your return on investment (ROI).
Step five: Review and evaluate your marketing strategy
Every business is different and some strategies may not work for you. That’s why this step is important: it’s essential that you review and evaluate your strategy regularly. Just because a strategy worked for one business does not mean that it will work for you. You need to tailor your strategy to fit your business’ needs and goals. Looking back at previous years’ performance and making changes as necessary can help ensure that your strategy is always up-to-date and effective.
Once you’ve finished this guide, you’ll be able to set up email marketing, create marketing videos, launch an online store and analyze marketing results – all without any experience necessary! You’ll be able to determine the effectiveness of your plan and whether or not it’s worth continuing. If you keep track of these five steps, you’ll be able to formulate a solid online marketing strategy that will help drive traffic to and sales from your website – effectively growing your business.