You just received the keys to your shiny new website. Now what? How can you drive traffic to your site? You know the power of online marketing, but if you don’t have a plan in place it can be difficult to know exactly where to start.
Below are 5 steps that will help get you started with an easy to execute online marketing plan that requires just a few hours each month.
1. Send an Email Blast to Your Contact List
Email marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to market your business. Send an email update to your contact list on a consistent schedule and always include something of interest to your audience. Do not make the mistake that most newbies make… never send an email that’s all copy. Chances are it will not be read.
A Few Pointers:
- Always use a professional email provider a few of the well-known ones are: (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Drip, Get Response, Vertical Response). If you must use your personal email make sure you bcc and not cc everyone on your list. This is a great article.
- Consistency is key! If you’re just starting out, we recommend monthly emails to give you time to build your content. Sending your email blasts on a consistent schedule encourages your readers to look forward to the information and updates you’ll provide. Don’t include all the content in the email. Link to your website or blog posts to read the rest of the content – draw your readers in for more! Personalize the email by including the recipient’s name. All of the major email providers allow you to do this.
- Experiment with different subject lines to improve your email open rate. An interesting subject line often means the difference between an email that is opened and an email that ends up in the trash.
2. Write a Blog Post to Begin Your Online Marketing
Most businesses are under the false impression that blogs are an arduous process. We recommend keeping blog posts short and sweet. Depending on the industry, a blog can even be a photo with a brief description.
An assortment of meaningful articles on your blog will not only distinguish your business, it also grows your website’s visibility in search engines and gives you a catalog of material you can point your customers to when they are looking for more information about a topic. Plus, the content positions you as an expert or influencer within your niche.
Our top recommendations:
- Publish a new blog post at least monthly.
- Use inspirational images in your blog to create engaging content.
- Focus on creating ‘evergreen content’ that will always be useful to your audience.
- If you’re just getting started, here are some tips on how you can plan a blog post in 10 minutes – helping you write better and faster.
3. Engage Within Social Media for Online Marketing
Social media isn’t just about posting updates on what you’re eating or where you’re traveling, it’s about engagement. Connect with your audience and grow a following by posting content that promotes conversation. Show you care by asking questions, making connections, and adding to the dialogue. We recommend:
- Post new updates at least a few times per week.
- Use hashtags to improve your reach and target a specific audience. Research hashtags in advance, taking note of what is trending in your niche or industry.
- A picture is worth a thousand words! Always include a photo with your post to increase engagement and reach.
- Use a social media management tool to schedule in your posts, such as the built-in Facebook post scheduler, CoSchedule, Hootsuite, and Buffer.
4. Provide Value to Your Audience
When you are sharing content with your audience, always think of what they would want to read, and what provides them with value.
It’s great to talk about yourself and what’s going on in your business, but after a while your audience is going to get bored. The best results come from visuals, and useful and engaging content that your audience is genuinely interested in.
When you’re not sure what to share, I suggest looking at others in your industry to see what is working for them. Check out your competitor’s posts on social networks – what are they posting? What posts are readers responding to? This can be a great inspiration to kick start you in the right direction.
5. Prefer to Hire Someone for your Online Marketing?
We offer a comprehensive Online Launch Plan for businesses. We’ll work hand and hand with you to develop and execute an online marketing plan specific to your business and industry. Keeping your goals in mind, we’ll provide you with the tools that will help you tailor your web, email, and social media efforts to achieve maximum results.
Online marketing results improves over time, however, your efforts must be consistent. Spend a few hours each month creating good content. Remember this is just a quick guide to get you started with an online marketing plan that is easily executed.
Do you have an online marketing plan? Is it working? Let us know in the comments.