We are in business because we have some goals. Some business owners aim for money and wealth, while others have personal intentions, such as proving something to the world. In other words, business owners, small or big, are keeping their own specific goals. When it comes to Internet marketing, we also do it because we have particular goals or objectives to achieve. Some of these goals include increase in sales and profit, online reputation management, and customer retention. To achieve these goals, we need strategies.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”. Thus, your strategies in online marketing should be established to achieve your aims. To guide you to your business and marketing success, here are 7 internet marketing strategies to help you reach your targets.
1. Build a blog for your business
Having a quality blog that always update with fresh and useful information can help your business achieve several marketing goals, such as expanding your audience online, being in constant communication with your customers, and encouraging them to make profitable economic decisions and actions.
A blog can be your source of interesting contents, which you can make visible in the search engines, social media, and other online places to strengthen your business online presence. Through your blog, you can drive targeted traffic or visitors, who could be your potential clients. You could also publish relevant and engaging blog posts, which include articles, news, stories, images or videos, to earn loyal followers and create lasting relationship with them.
To learn more about having a high-quality blog for your business, you may read these “100 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd”.
2. Rank high on SERPs through SEO
Being highly ranked and visible on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) of major search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, will increase your traffic coming from people who are using them to search for specific information on the Internet. When traffic to your site increases, your profit conversation rate also increases, especially that traffic coming from the search engines are mostly organic or first-time visitors.
Ranking higher on the SERPs is achieved through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can either hire a SEO specialist or do SEO in your own. If you have the money and you have more important and profitable tasks to do, you could hire a search engine optimizer. But if you lack money, but you have time, you can learn SEO and implement it by yourself.
SEO involves a lot of processes, techniques, tactics and discipline. To learn more about search engine optimization, here are “20 SEO Tips for Your Business Website or Blog”.
3. Get loyal followers on social media
A better and deeper relationship with your customers and even with the community is essential to your business success. That is why you have to pay attention to the social media – the place on the Internet where everyone is interconnected not only for business, but also for personal and emotional attachment.
Social media marketing (SMM) helps your business achieve more trust and confidence from people who could be users of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and other social networking sites. This marketing strategy involves creating engaging social media profiles or pages, like Facebook and Google+ pages. It also involves formulating viral content that are naturally shareable and spreadable. And more importantly, it includes close human interaction and constant communication with people, like being friends and neighbors in Facebook and in Twitter.
Blogs, like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr, are also considered social media. To learn more about social media marketing, you may check out these “12 Social Media Marketing Strategies for your Business“.
4. Analyze your analytics
Continuous execution of your online marketing tactics could be ineffective if you will not monitor your progress. Thus, you have to pay attention on your own analytics. There are many analytic tools that you can use to track the progress in your blogging, SEO and SMM campaigns.
In blogging and SEO, you can use free tools, such as Google Analytics, Google webmaster tool, Bing webmaster tool, and even the dashboard of your blogging software like WordPress and Blogger. These tools can give you important information about your traffic, like its volume, monthly or daily statistics, demographics of visitors (i.e., their age, location, gender, and level of income). There are also SEO tools that can analyze your own site’s ranking, domain authority, number of backlinks, and other important data about your blog or website. Another option is to hire an SEO analyst who can conduct a SEO audit on your site and submit a report to you on how you can further improve your site.
In your social media campaigns, for example in Facebook, you can simply use “Insights for Facebook Pages” to analyze and determine if people are engaging on the content you publish on Facebook. It provides Facebook page admin analytical data about your story impression, clicks, likes, and comments. It also gives you the ability to know the demographics of the people who liked your page, such as their location, gender and language.
5. Analyze the competition
In order to win your competition, you have to know yourself (which is the strategy we used in #4) and also know your competitors. You’ve got to spy on your competitors. The purpose of spying on your rivals is to come up with the content or solution that is unique and is above the competition. Spying should not be a means of copying, but should be a way to ensure that you are providing the first or the best in the market. In other words, you should not spy to copy, but you should spy to ensure that you are not copying. For example, if your competitors are giving 50 solutions to people, then you can give 100 solutions to people.
But how can you do the spying? Getting information from your competitors isn’t difficult, especially if they have already presence online. You could even use Google to check your competitor search engine ranking or simple visit their site directly to study their content structure. You can also check their page ranking, authority and reputation score, pages indexed, number of backlinks, and how their visitors or users engage with them.
6. Manage your business online reputation
Your business should maintain a good reputation offline and especially online where information can easily spread. And the solution to maintain your business reputation is Online Reputation Management.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) for business is the practice of monitoring the Internet reputation of a brand or business, including the persons behind the business, to ensure that positive reviews, mentions, feedback or word of mouth online is being given to the brand or business and not their negative equivalent.
The best ORM strategies are the ones which are ethical and those that avoid the practice of hiding negative qualities of a business just to make it positive in the eyes of the public. Ethical reputation management involves preventive measures such as maintaining good business in the first place and spreading good word of mouth in the online world through blogging, SEO and social media.
However, there are still inherent risks that a business could suffer despite of maintaining good actions for the public. This happens when competitors use unethical or negative practice to attack the reputation of such business. In this case, detection is very important and the business can do preventive measures to counter the attack. You can hire an ORM specialist, who is also an expert in SEO, content management and social media, to help you protect and control your business online reputation.
7. Build a community
So how do you leverage the Internet to keep your business growing? The answer is to build a community online. This community could be composed of your existing and potential customers, followers, friends, interested people, your employees, and even the people in the public whom your business is helping. Your online community can be an integrated network consisting of your blogs, website, online forums and other types of websites, Facebook page and group, Twitter profile, Google+ page, and other social media pages, which are all existing and working for one common goal – to build a community for your business and for the people.
Traditional marketing for business is still effective and cannot be left behind. However, we also have to pay attention to innovative marketing, like blogging, content marketing, search engine marketing and SEO, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, display advertising, email marketing and other Internet marketing strategies that our business can leverage to be more competitive and successful online. Besides, traditional marketing can also be integrated to internet marketing to work effectively in assuring our business success online and offline.