An online strategy is based on the goals you have for your business. For example, you or your client may have a service based business that could use more leads, more customers, and more business. Or you might be designing a site for a company that offers online courses and they will want more leads, more customers, and more business. In most cases, you start with the end result and work backward to develop a plan that can achieve more leads, more customers, and more business.
Are you beginning to see a pattern? While the end result is the same, the methods will depend on the type of business and the behaviors of the target market.
The parts and pieces include:
- An Effective Website
- The All-Important Email List
- Social Media and other Promotional Activities
- Sales Funnel
1. An Effective Website
The website provides an important foundation for all of your online marketing activities. Doing online marketing activities when you have an ineffective website or landing page or a site that doesn’t reflect well on your business, is like air conditioning your home while all of the doors and windows are wide open.
The air conditioner can be working like a champ pushing cold air into your house, but this cold air is going out of your house as fast as it is being pumped in. This will not cool your home. And with a website that isn’t top notch, your ideal clients will take one look and move on as fast as that cold air.
The first step of an effective online marketing strategy is to create a functional website capable of attracting your target visitor and having them see in the first few seconds that they’ve come to the exact right place that offers the solution they are seeking.
This requires that you have a web design strategy based on what your business is trying to accomplish. A strategy forces you to answer some questions about what you do best, what market you are targeting, what action you want your website visitors to take, and what will appeal to your target clients.
2. The All-Important Email List
The next foundational piece to your online marketing success is your mailing list. I cannot tell you how frustrated I get when I see businesses we work with fail to create a mailing list. Or if they have a mailing list, never send out emails to the people who have invited them into their inboxes, thus losing one of the most valuable direct ways of building a relationship with potential clients.
We’ve built a steady stream of great website design clients from sending out one email a week every Wednesday morning with a lesson or tip to grow a business online.
The first year I had a mailing list, I had 33 people on the list and I was sporadic and haphazard about what I sent out. When I saw this plan didn’t work, I started to take the privilege of being invited into my people’s inbox seriously. I started to view writing carefully crafted blog posts and sending them out each week as if I were sending love letters to my list. This change in distinction has had my list grow to over three thousand.
3. Social Media and other Promotional Activities
A big part of an online marketing strategy includes having a presence on social media sites that align with your industry and what you uniquely offer.
When you make a decision on which accounts make sense for your audience, sign up for those social media accounts. Fill out these accounts completely and use a professional headshot and using branded imagery on profile and or cover pages.
I’d suggest at a minimum having the following accounts: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. If you are a solopreneur, use your own name and photo on your Twitter profile.
Follow other people in your field and interact with them and share their posts on your social sites. They will start following you and sharing your posts which will send more people back to your website.
4. Creating a Sales Funnel
Another very valuable asset is a sales funnel which will include an opt-in offer, a landing page, a method of delivering the opt-in offer and a follow-up email sequence to nurture the leads and move them to take the action you want them to take, such as: purchasing your product, engaging your services, signing up for a course.
The sales funnel starts with an opt-in offer that is designed to only attract people who will be interested in your product, service or course.
The sales funnel can be geared to lead generation, building your email list or building up the segment interested in a particular topic. Later, the sales funnel can be used to attract and nurture a person for a sale or a product launch. Either way, it has the same components.
Putting it All Together
Download and take a look at the Overview of Online Marketing Strategy PDF to see how you can start putting it all together to get more leads, more customers, and more business.