Building Blocks for Online Success
To derive maximum business impact and results, online marketing activities must support an organization’s end-to-end business development process; generate inbound leads, lead nurturing, conversion, post-sales engagement.
Generate Inbound Leads
Leads are the lifeblood of any business, and “job one” for online marketing activities should be to generate a steady flow of quality, inbound leads. By definition, inbound leads are well qualified because prospects “have put their hands up” and identified themselves.
Inbound leads are generated when prospects search online and find an organization’s website, blog, content posted on social media networks, or online advertisements. The key to being found is to rank well with search engines and to use whatever means are appropriate to drive prospective customers to your website.
Prospects may not be ready to buy now, and may simply be searching for decision-facilitating information that will be used to evaluate options for a future purchase. It is incumbent upon a business to provide prospects with this information as they move through the buying process. By providing valuable information that assists prospects in making an informed decision, the probability of success increases significantly.
Lead nurturing can be effectively done using various online means such as emails, webinars, videos, and website content.
The ultimate goal is to convert searchers into prospects and prospects into customers. The information provided through online means (website, emails, webinars, etc.) must move searchers and prospects to “yes” at each decision point.
Conversion is supported through calls to action on websites or social networks with offers such eBooks, white papers, and promotions. Landing pages must also be created which are optimized for conversion.
Post Sales Optimization
A customer base is an extremely valuable asset that is often under-leveraged. Online mechanisms can be used to maintain visibility, and a value-based relationship, with existing customers.
Ongoing communications can include e-surveys to solicit feedback, new product announcements, promotions, and industry trends – whatever is appropriate for the specific customer base.
Online Marketing Building Blocks
To support each phase of the end-to-end business development process, a combination of online tools, technologies, and processes must be put in place, in an integrated way, so that all online marketing activities work together seamlessly.
In online marketing, “Content is King”. Content is what attracts search engines, prospects, customers and influencers. Organizations cannot be successful online without value-based and relevant content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Advertising
Optimizing for search engines, and getting into those coveted positions on page one of search results will produce an increase in qualified, inbound leads. Online advertising can be used to increase brand awareness and to drive traffic to the website.
Social media platforms are used to disseminate content, engage in value based conversations, create credibility and visibility, and improve search engine rankings.
This class of technology allows organizations to capture contact data and preferences from various sources, and to automate on-going electronic communications with both customers and prospects.
There are numerous tools that provide real-time data and analysis regarding online performance. This insight is used to continually refine tactics and improve results.
Digital disruption is everywhere – the strategic use of technology is being used to differentiate businesses from their competitors. Online mechanisms are at the heart of process innovation; how do organizations improve the way they market themselves and deliver their goods and services.