What do I need to know before creating an online marketing strategy? 

So you’re taking the plunge and developing an online marketing strategy. There are some questions that you should ask yourself first. These are not questions about SEO or other various online tools (although those will come into play a little down the road). These are questions about you, your business and your brand. Businesses that can answer these questions about themselves often have the most successful online marketing strategies.

What is Your Story?

Every business has a story. It might be a historical story about how the founding member dreamed of building a better widget. It may be a more recent story about a college graduate working from her mother’s business with the hopes of building an empire. The story need not even be about the birth of the business itself. The story could be about a brand or product. But there does have to be a story that your customers can connect with.

Whatever your story is, tell your story in the about section of your webpage.

Who is Your Customer and Where Can You Find Them Online?

If you operate a business, you probably already understand who your customer is. But to develop a successful online marketing strategy, you need to know a little about where your customer spends time online. Are your customers more likely to be found using social media, or are they on industry blogs and forums?

When you develop your online marketing strategies, think about not only what type of message is right for your target audience, but also where your target audience will be so you are not wasting time or dollars targeting the wrong sites.

How will you measure your success?

If you knew that for every X dollars you spent on a PPC campaign you brought in XX amount of revenue, would it make your marketing decisions easier? Of course it would. What if you knew that for every X dollars you spent on your online marketing strategy, you would Y new followers on your blog. In the second case, the ROI becomes a little harder to measure.

Knowing what you want to accomplish and what you will consider success are crucial elements of your online marketing campaign. Tools like Google Analytics can give you metrics, but only you can determine what kind of metrics you need to see to consider your online marketing a success.

What resources do you have?

It is easy to underestimate how much time an online marketing campaign can consume. Marketing is not simply sending out a series of ads and then waiting for the customers to roll in. It involves interacting with your audience and responding, running analytics reports and adjusting your approach as necessary.

Assign this task to an employee who already has full time duties and it is likely that you will either see them start to neglect those other duties or you will see them not be able to put in the amount of time required to successfully manage your company’s online marketing. Not to mention the fact that they may lack the necessary expertise.

For many companies, it makes sense to hire an online marketing company that specializes in driving potential customers to your website and managing your brand online. If you don’t have the resources in-house, you can save time and frustration by delegating those duties to an experienced online marketing company.

Once you can answer these questions about your business, it will be much easier to develop an online marketing strategy because knowing the answers will help direct you to the proper online tools and strategies.

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