Start off this New Year by taking steps to ensure your brand(s) and/or product(s) are not getting lost into a sea of online marketing endeavors. Help your brands and products stand out by following this list of 10 tips. Each can help you to you create, execute and maintain an effective online marketing plan.
- Establish Organizational Goals- Goals should always be set in terms of what you hope to accomplish. Goals should be measureable and include dates. One example of a solid goal is: I want my brand to rank on the first results page of Google by January 15th. Establishing organizational goals is a key step and it will drive decisions regarding content development.
- Identify Your Target Audience- Defining your audience is also an important step. Place yourself in the mindset of the target consumer. Take time to engage in research about this audience. Following this step will assist you in identifying which channels – and what content – is necessary in order to reach this audience.
- Develop Key Messages- After you’ve identified your target audience start to develop key messages that will entice the consumer to consider your brand and/or purchase your product. Be creative! Think outside of the box! And promote your brand and your products!
- Decide on Overall Content Strategies- Overall content can include such items as press releases, blog articles and commenting on popular social media outlets (including Twitter and Facebook). In this step one should transform the developed key messages and suit them for various forms of online media. This divide-and-conquer approach can increase the search engine optimization (SEO) for your brands and products. It does also, of course, help to publicize and promote your messaging.
- Create a Calendar of Events- Organizing time in your marketing efforts is essential. Create a calendar specifically for your marketing plan(s) which highlights all key development phases, landmarks and other essential dates. Always allow more time than you think is necessary. This will assist you in those moments when unforeseen circumstances arise.
- Develop Your Content- Now it is time to start writing! Take your key messages and begin to draft press releases, blog articles and other forms of online media. In this step your goal is to avoid the overuse of marketing language. You want to include your key messages but you do not want any of your content to come off as a “sales pitch.” Be sure your content is primarily informational and subtly refers to your brands/products.
- Establish Relationships with Your Target Audience- Once you’ve created your blog posts, press releases, Facebook posts, tweets or other content for online venues, the next step is to actually publish them! Remember that by creating a blog for your brand and/or product, you are providing interested consumers with a place to read reviews and establish trust. Consider commenting on other blogs that can be associated with your brands/products. When appropriate, post responses on these blogs that discuss your brand and/or product and provide their readers with information about your online content.
- Spread the Word- This is where SEO can really come into play! Publicize your blog, press releases and social media! Find ways to entice your audience to make return visits to your social media pages and blogs! Allow word-of-mouth to take its’ course on your social media pages but make sure you also regularly monitor your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Delete those comments that aren’t productive to the conversations.
- Measure Your Results- After some time elapses (determined in steps 1 and 5) you now need to measure your results. The primary question here is effectiveness. How effective were your goals? Be sure to pay close attention to such metrics as Facebook Likes, re-tweets, blog comments and page views.
- Edit as Necessary- It’s normal for some aspects of the marketing plan to not be immediately successful. After you’ve measure your results take some time to consider problem areas, edit the plan accordingly and re-launch!
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