To be successful in the digital space, small-mid-sized businesses (SMB) need to embrace Internet marketing. So what to do and in what priority?
Assign a team member to be responsible for the marketing event if it is not a full-time position. Successful marketing is most often a number of actions done in concert.
If you can’t hire an agency like us to do it all for you, here is a marketing plan in rough order of priority, so you can start with the first ones and move on if you have time and hopefully soon you’ll be able to have people taking care of your online business for you.
- SEM (search engine marketing) – paid ads for quick results
- Establish a budget to implement PPC (pay-per-click) ads on Google and possibly Facebook – depending on who you are targeting.
- Track results and adjust the campaigns on an ongoing basis.
- Repeat each month.
- Research other sites and specialist directories to advertise in.
- E-mail – Publish a regular newsletter
- Subscribe to a service like Mail Chimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers) which has newsletter templates and simple ways to manage e-mail lists.
- Collect up every e-mail possible and add to the mailing list.
- On a routine basis collect e-mails from prospects and customers – ensure all enrolment forms include a permission-based e-mail collection.
- Install a pop up on the website and a prominent e-mail registration on the website.
- Research, write, and publish a monthly newsletter that will be of interest to your target audience. Gradually get it published twice per month, then once per week.
- The success of the newsletter is in direct proportion to the quality of your content in the minds of your customers and prospects.
- Website Upgrade
- If your website is more than a few years old, get a new one that is responsive i.e. it automatically reformats for mobile phones and tablets.
- Upgrade the website to include a blog and add important plugins – additional software for specific functions such as backup and spam filters.
- Get an online survey done to find marketing “buttons” – words or phrases that elicit a strong emotional response or reaction.
- Edit and optimize the website content for high visibility and interest for the target audience. Each of the web pages needs to be edited to make them search friendly as well as have strong marketing copy to interest potential buyers.
- Get relevant photos added to the website – be inventive not the smiling faces of “stock” looking ones.
- Get Google Analytics (free version) installed and set up for optimum reporting.
- Set up a professional blog on the current website as part of the main navigation. WordPress comes with a blog.
- Write regular blog posts – start with at least monthly, then work up to weekly.
- Post the blogs to social media.
- Get the team involved.
- Comment on other blogs of influencers to develop relationships
- Ongoing SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Get comprehensive keyword research done as all Internet content and social media marketing is done around your targeted keywords.
- Edit all content using keywords.
- Undertake actions to build backlinks so necessary to get good search rankings including blog article syndication.
- Link blog posts to the services pages of the website.
- Citations – Set up profiles on appropriate directories to link back to the main site.
- Check all current places where you have listings to ensure that your profile is correct and consistent with phone numbers, address, etc.
- Look for and add places where citations can be gotten.
- Collect icons (logos) of these organizations and get the important ones added to your website on the home page.
- CRM – Client Relationship Management – Research and implement a CRM system to support sales. CRM are systems and software designed to help you manage your clients and prospects.
- Pick an e-mail distribution system to subscribe to e.g. Nimble.
- Train all concerned including managers.
- Drive adoption – it won’t work unless all concerned are involved.
- Continuously improve – remember over time your contact records are a valuable asset.
- Create video content and publish on YouTube. Eventually set up a YouTube channel. This could start with video testimonials from happy customers.
- Get a camera with video capability, tripod, and label mic.
- Train team member to shoot testimonials or other interesting content. E.g. For a veterinarian hospital, get short clips of happy clients with their pets.
- Get the video uploaded to YouTube and other free video sites.
- Get the video uploaded to the key social media sites.
- Get the video uploaded to the website.
- Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Review and optimize the profiles on all applicable social media accounts.
- Post in a timely manner the content generated – blogs, video, testimonials, and more.
- Find appropriate groups to participate in.
- Network by participating.
- Grow the social networks.
It is vital to keep metrics of the actions being done and what result is being produced.
- Metrics (Stats) – keep the following stats to measure sales and marketing success:
- Marketing outflow – e.g. e-mails out, Facebook activity, etc.
- Number of inquiries or inbound calls or inbound emails
- Number of leads
- Total new sales
- New sales from each source. E.g. the Internet, referrals, networking, etc. Keep a log.
- On a monthly basis review all metrics and adjust the marketing emphasis based on what is producing the best results.
These are the first steps to create your online presence and become a huge success. We can always provide you a free consultation of where you stand right now. Contact us if you’re interested in knowing more how we can help!
Doug Hay is the president of KIAI Agency Inc., and has been in the marketing game for 30+ years with some great results for clients. He started his Internet marketing career at a PR firm and became an SEO and content strategy specialist, helping hundreds of clients to get leads that generate sales and better profits.
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