With the New Year upon us, many businesses – especially brand new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – may well be looking at the whole concept of online marketing for the first time. Although they may already have an online presence such as a website or a profile on a social network such as Facebook, this is far short of the massive potential for new business and increased profits that the world of internet marketing can offer. Here, then, is a guide to getting the New Year off to a flying start with a basic plan for an initial online marketing campaign:
- Consider Your Goals. A business owner needs to work out exactly what an online marketing campaign is intended to achieve. These goals are often the same as a traditional marketing campaign’s – generating new leads, increasing your revenue stream and boosting customer service.
- Draw up a rounded strategy. Planning is essential for the success of any campaign, from the business to the military! Good online marketing companies will discuss what resources and tactics are available, and which fit your business model and will help you to achieve your goals. Make use of them.
- Learn on the job. Don’t just leave it to the professionals – learn the basics involved in internet marketing yourself, so you are better placed to track the success of the campaign and offer suggestions. One move might be to learn the rudiments of blogging, or social media such as Facebook and Twitter in order to make a personal contribution.
- Draw up measurable objectives. Without proper benchmarks for success, you won’t know whether your campaign is working, or working to its full potential. A few benchmarks for success, such as a set number of new customers registered online over a period of time, or new followers on your Facebook fan page will help you and your online marketing consultants to tweak the campaign to make it even more effective.
- Ensure you have a realistic budget. Although resources will never be infinite, sadly, it is worth making a sufficient investment to fund an effective online marketing campaign and to hire a competitively-priced company. There will also be ongoing costs associated with websites, for example, such as keeping content properly updated, upgrading the site’s features as new technology (such as flash animations) comes into play, and routine, day-today site maintenance.