Online Marketing Strategy
The Key to Driving Business Results
TAKE A STRATEGY FIRST APPROACH TO ONLINE MARKETING
Business buyers (B2B) and consumers (B2C) are increasingly going online during the buying process. According to Sirius Decisions, “67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally”, and a study by CEB Research found “57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier.”
Your prospects are using the internet to find businesses like yours, and online research to evaluate their options to make informed decisions. This is how your prospective customers are making buying decisions in this age of the digital consumer.
If prospects don’t find you when they are searching online, then to them you don’t exist. If you are not sharing your subject matter expertise and insights when they research online, you are not building credibility and trust. In either case, you won’t be given a chance to compete for their business. This means lost opportunities.
Businesses must therefore embrace online marketing and fully exploit its possibilities. A lack of commitment to online marketing, and to making it a core element of your day-to-day operations, will leave you at a competitive disadvantage.
Online marketing has become foundational to all things marketing, and must be an integral part of any organization’s marketing mix. But to be successful, you must approach it strategically.
What Is Online Marketing?
In this day and age of the digital buyer, Online Marketing is no longer a “nice to have”, it’s a must.
START WITH A STRATEGIC ONLINE PLAN
Online success requires a strategic approach, and starting with a well-thought out strategic online marketing plan is a critical first step.
An online plan ensures you direct your resources, and engage in the tactics, that will give you the best possible chance of achieving meaningful results. It forces you to think about your target prospects and how to best align with their online buyer’s journey.
Winging won’t cut it with online marketing. There’s too much at stake.
BE DRIVEN BY BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Online marketing must contribute directly to the key drivers of revenue growth: lead generation and conversion.
It’s not just a matter of engaging in online tactics for the sake of “doing things” or because competitors are active online. It’s about a commitment to doing the right things, day in and day out, so that online activities lead to tangible business results.
Online marketing is about the long-game. It’s not about quick hits or results that don’t continue to build over time. It should be approached with a single minded focus on sustainable revenue growth.
FOCUS ON YOUR PROSPECT’S BUYER’S JOURNEY
Today’s buyer’s journey is being executed at least in part online. As a result, you must understand your prospect’s online behaviour and expectations: how are they searching for available choices and what information do they require to confidently make informed decisions.
This requires keyword research based on search intent and providing the right educational content as they move through the decision making process. If you are not visible when prospects are searching, or if you create friction by not meeting their informational needs, it will likely be a lost opportunity.
Are you ready to develop a strategic online marketing plan?
SHARE YOUR SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE
Ultimately, online marketing is all about content. Both prospects and search engines are constantly on the look out for timely, engaging and valuable content that assists in decision making. Companies that are the most successful online do the best job of satisfying the informational needs of potential customers.
Therefore, businesses must commit to becoming content-developing organizations, using formats such as blogs, videos, audio, and infographics that are aligned with the content preferences of the target audience.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TACTICS, FORGET THE REST
There is absolutely no shortage of tactics when it comes to online marketing: social marketing, online advertising, email marketing, webinars, search engine optimization, video strategies, influencer marketing, etc. The good news is that these tactics are available to any small and mid-sized businesses. There are no barriers to entry.
However with so many options, it’s easy to get caught up in the trends of the day and engage in the wrong activities. This results in wasted time and money. The key is to employ the right tools – those that are best suited to drive desired business results and to your target audience.
The good news about online marketing is that analytical data is available at your fingertips virtually real-time. There is absolutely no reason to fly blind when it comes to online marketing.
You must commit to digging into analytics and letting this insight guide your decision making about tactics and investments. The ultimate goal is to get better and better results over time by continually refining activities based on what the data is telling you.