How to Make Online Marketing Easier
Online marketing isn’t necessarily difficult, and it certainly doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. As a business owner or executive, you can master a handful of principles and then hire a talented web design team to take care of the details for you.
That isn’t the same as saying that finding customers over the internet is easy, though. In fact, a lot of companies struggle with things like search engine optimization and social media even though the basic best practices are well-known. In a lot of cases they have a good idea of what to do, but struggle to execute. Or, they make a plan and follow it, but don’t get the results they were hoping for.
There are various reasons for difficulties with putting an online marketing plan into action, of course, but most of them are eminently avoidable. That is, if you know where the pitfalls are, and how to best stay away from them, you can turn what used to feel overwhelming into a simple and manageable process.
That’s what we like to do for our clients, obviously. And, we know that many of our readers are either thinking about working with us or struggling with their own websites. With that in mind, today we want to give you a handful of tried-and-true tips you can use to make online marketing much easier.
Let’s start with the first (and arguably most important) step…
Know Your Online Marketing Landscape
What is it that your company does better than any other? What separates you from the competition? Who are your very best customers, and what do they want from you?
Over the years, we have noticed that the business owners and executives who are most successful in online marketing can answer these questions. Conversely, the ones who struggle to find insight when it comes to their own competitive strengths, the competition, or the market in general, tend to find themselves shifting from one idea or tactic to the next.
There is no silver bullet when it comes to promoting your website, improving your Google ranking, or running a successful PPC ad campaign (as examples). Instead, the magic is in figuring out where your opportunities are and then using each of these channels as tools to grow your business and meet more customers.
Unless you know your marketing landscape, it’s going to be difficult to ever get the sorts of returns you want from your campaigns. Once you know exactly what you’re shooting for, though, all the subsequent decisions and activities get a lot easier.
Have a Detailed Online Marketing Plan
At least a couple of times a month a new client comes to us with a strategy that essentially boils down to “selling more than they did before.” That’s a good goal, but not necessarily the starting point for a detailed plan.
To really make online marketing work, you should have a sense of what you want to accomplish in real-world terms. That might mean a set number of leads and appointments. It could involve new sales or revenue. It might even translate into cost savings. However you define success, those targets are important because they can be made into a step-by-step action plan.
It’s not enough to have a list of things you want to try, or a vague budget that you can put towards online marketing. If you’re serious about running profitable campaigns, you have to have a plan – one with firm targets that are defined by time. From there, you can create a schedule and strategy to follow.
Your online marketing plan might change or evolve over time, but it’s important that it exists in the first place. Without one, it’s easy to drift off course, spend money on the wrong ideas, or see your efforts come to nothing.
Be Consistent With Your Online Marketing Activities
Many of our clients are amazed that we are able to produce articles like the one you’re reading on a regular basis. Sitting down to write several pages about any single topic can be difficult. They can only wonder how we do it month after month.
The answer has two parts. The first revolves around necessity. We know from experience that trying to manage online marketing activities all at once is a losing strategy. Google and actual live customers will both be more interested in your website if they see you are developing new articles, updates, and social content consistently over time. That’s how you establish yourself as a thought leader and bring in search engine traffic.
The second part of our answer has to do with steadiness. We know it’s better to devote 20 or 30 minutes to online marketing and get it right than it is to cram and rush through our work. No one has the time or patience to create ten blog posts in a single day, for example, without losing focus and quality. So, we work at them in pieces and plan ahead with our content.
By breaking our campaigns down into small, realistic components, we are able to stay on top of things for ourselves and our clients in a way that would be impossible if we were constantly rushing to beat deadlines. We recommend you take a manageable and consistent approach, as well.
Use the Right Online Marketing Tools
If you’ve ever tried woodworking or auto repair, you already know how important it is to use the right tools for the job – and just how frustrating it can become when you don’t have the saw or wrench you need.
Online marketing is the same in a lot of ways. You can use automated apps to keep tabs on your online reputation, check the effectiveness of your search engine optimization campaigns, and schedule your social posts ahead of time. If you make the most of these tools then a lot of the daily activities get to be pretty easy. If you do everything manually, though, your activity becomes time-consuming, frustrating, and error-prone.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to save yourself hours and hours of online marketing time each week. But, by investing in the right tools, or time from an experienced creative partner, you can take a lot of stress from the process. That’s the key if you want to maintain consistency and achieve better and better results over the long run.
Don’t Try to Do Everything on Your Own
To be fair, we do know of some business owners who manage all their own online marketing activities. That’s pretty rare, though, and most of them aren’t getting the kinds of profits or returns they could be.
It’s not hard to figure out why. When you work within the web design industry, you get a familiarity for all the different apps and platforms that need to be mastered. And, you get to be very proficient with generating things like images, blog posts, and infographics. Most businesspeople simply don’t have the time, talent, or inclination to put forth just a tenth of the same effort into these projects. So, it takes them longer to produce marketing content that just isn’t as good.
Along the same lines, a good web design partner can keep you on schedule with your campaigns and watch your web analytics to ensure they are working the way they’re supposed to. Without that guidance and feedback, a lot of business owners would slowly stop producing new ads and content.
The bottom line is that you probably don’t want to tackle online marketing all by yourself. It’s not impossible, but it’s inconvenient. And even if you could work on your own and get great results, you would probably be better off focusing on the aspects of your business that only you can manage and passing off the creative and coding work to someone else.
Want Expert Help With Online Marketing?
Getting a great website – and making the most of it – is a lot easier when you have a team of experienced and committed creative professionals on your side. That’s exactly what you get when you work with WebWize in Houston.
Why not contact us today to set up a free consultation and see how we can turn your goals into an actionable plan?