If you are running a small business, you know that marketing, when done right, generates leads – leads you and/or your salespeople can convert into sales. The explosion of social media, Big Data, predictive analytics, and many other online marketing solutions provide you with many, many options – the sheer number of which can be overwhelming. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as every business is unique. However, there are commonalities to the online marketing plans of the most successful businesses, which you can draw from when designing your own.
Here are five online marketing solutions your strategic marketing plan should incorporate:
Campaigns designed to increase website traffic
Begin by increasing website traffic, which will increase your available leads. One tactic for doing so is known as content marketing. This involves the creation of text, photo, audio, or video content and distribution of said content on your website or your branded digital channels, and/or the blogs/social media pages of influencers, existing, and prospective customers.
Other tactics include keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO). Keyword research involves determining what words and phrases consumers are using to find the products you and your competitors offer, and ensuring that when they type those words and phrases into a search engine, that your firm appears first on towards the top of the search results. SEO methods involve optimized your webpages; back linking; blogging; social bookmarking; and more.
The implementation of a website analytics application
Make sure that your website, microsite(s), blog(s), and any other branded digital channels have a robust analytics program, such as Google Analytics, so that you can ensure that what you, or your in-house or outsourced marketing team, is doing, is actually working to increase traffic. Use your analytics to learn more about those who are visiting your website, and use this information to know more about marketing vs advertising tactics.
Conversion-based marketing solutions that convert traffic into qualified leads
Funnel existing website traffic to a specific sales-oriented landing page. This includes website traffic from any of your branded digital channels; as well as traffic from print collateral materials, and radio or television ads. Moreover, this page must have a direct call to action that compels consumers to take an action.
Say your firm offers an expensive purchasing software solution. You might offer a free white paper titled “Best Practices for Purchasing” on your website. However, in order to receive it, a site visitor must identify themselves as a purchasing director of firm with at least 1,000 full-time employees. This will create for you a pool of hiring authorities with the resources to purchase the software – in other words, a pool of qualified leads.
Online marketing solutions that nurture, qualify and convert your leads into sales
You will want to follow up with qualified leads through email marketing, phone calls, and in-person meetings where possible. These marketing ideas help strengthen the connection between the lead and the salesperson.
Before you do so, however, you will want to provide your sales force with a certain minimum amount of lead intelligence. Your marketing and/or sales support personnel should be able to provide your sales team with background information on your lead through data mining – web-based research designed to aggregate as much information about your lead, as possible. Your salespeople should use this to score each lead according to their estimation of successful conversion, and pursue follow up tactics accordingly.
Continuous analysis and reporting
Throughout this process, you should aggregate as much data as possible from the initial distribution of content marketing services to closed sale, to determine what works and what doesn’t. You will want to assess your chosen key performance indicators (KPIs) – such as customer acquisition and customer attrition, on at least a monthly basis, with bi-weekly calls to your marketing and sales teams to ensure that you are on target to make your monthly goals.
The best marketing strategies can be halted if owners do not pay a keen attention to the principles of effective online marketing practices. Be sure to read the eBook "Guide to Internet Marketing" for more information about how to create effective and killer online marketing campaigns that can boost your sales and increase the engagement of your business and the customers.