Developing An Ongoing Web Marketing Plan
So, your website is up and running, the web design company has done a sterling job, your business colleagues like it and your mum says it looks lovely, but there is one burning question in the back of your mind - what do I do next? Or it could be, "when will I show up in Google?" or, "when does the website start to give me a return on the money and time I have spent making it?"
Many website owners don’t realise that to get meaningful results from a website, you need to make an ongoing commitment. It’s not something you can do once and then review every other year. Achieving your website’s potential is about creating and implementing a monthly plan, in areas such as:
1. Site Structure. Just like when building a brick and mortar business you make sure to put proper structures in place so the building doesn’t fall down, ensuring your site’s technical setup is correct and having content that is well-written, informative and relevant to the subject means that it gains the most impact. Have clear and consistent navigation, page titles, headings and links.
2. Great Content. How can you stand out from your competitors? What’s your unique selling proposition? It’s usually not that difficult to think of some interesting angle or hook that gets people interested and helps you stand out from the pack.
3. Create Buyer Persona. Get clarity around who your ideal customer is to help you visualise who you need to be talking to, what you need to be saying, and where you need to be talking to them. Are you a B2C business? That will influence the communication platforms that you can use to reach your audience on an ongoing basis, likewise if you are B2B, this will be a different buyer persona and a different group of options that need to be thought about.
4. Make Personal Connections. Create relevant social media profiles and use them as appropriate – there are so many options now for telling the world who you are and what you do. It’s not just about “brand X”, it’s about making a personal connection. This is one of the most relevant points about modern web marketing campaigns – it is about you the person first, and the company second. Think about it – you do business for most of your day to day needs with people you know and trust. The online environment is no different. Place your credentials and skills online in relevant platforms and communities, take part in discussion and add to the increasing knowledge base. The more you contribute, the more you build your “trust rank”.
5. Targeted Marketing. There have never been so many promotion options available for quickly reaching your intended audience, and depending on your budget and your industry, these range from ridiculously cheap to eye-wateringly expensive. Options include platforms like Google AdWords, (text, banner, and video ads), BingAds (Microsoft's equivalent to AdWords), Facebook Advertising, promoted Tweets on Twitter, LinkedIn promotions and more. Want to advertise to women aged between 35 - 55 who live in Malaysia, drink coffee, eat curry, have a family, love watching TV, and have a birthday in a week? You can!
To conclude, running one–off campaigns can have a quick benefit to a business, such as creating a flyer and box dropping the area around your shop to tell everyone about a sale you are running. But if you want to establish a web presence that generates an enduring and growing value for your business, you need to commit to an ongoing web marketing plan.