Your Internet Marketing Strategy – The Game Starts With 5 Simple Questions
I often work with companies that have had one or more false starts trying to improve lead generation with internet marketing. Some focused on redesigning their website, others on SEO, others started their company blog. But, lead generation did not improve after several months and, in some cases, a significant outlay of cash. Why?
In most cases it comes down to the old adage of putting the cart before the horse , working on individual tactics without having an overall internet marketing strategy. What happens if you hire a great SEO company, they do a great job and get you ranked on a set of keywords? The dollars start rolling in, right? Not if the keywords you rank on are not the ones that your prospect customers use when looking for your product or service. You get some more web traffic and your Google analytics page makes you feel better, but you do not have visitors that convert to high quality leads and revenue.
What happens if you hire a great blog consultant to help you set up your company blog? You've got this great communication platform with all the right features and capabilities … BUT, you do not have a business blogging strategy and just design certain employees to post something a couple of times a week. Think that will generate traffic, convert leads, and drive topline revenue growth. Not likely.
The same kinds of arguments can be made for website redesign and optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing. The point here is that not taking the time to think through an internet marketing strategy for your business, and moving haphazardly to / from the various channels and tactics will likely lighten your wallet, but offer little in terms of business benefit in the form of new leads and topline growth.
Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy
Developing your internet marketing strategy does not have to be a long, drawn out academic exercise. You do not need to produce a 50 page internet market plan, complete with flashy pictures and graphs. And keep in mind, there is no final strategy and plan as it will always evolve … you're never done. Here are a 5 questions to think about:
- What am I trying to do? Yep, a little goal setting. I know this sounds tired, but it's important. Set SMART objectives and be realistic. Set your goals around what matters … sometimes lead generation and revenue realization. Website visitors, SEO rankings, blog subscribers, email open rates, etc all matter, but they are a means to the end, not the end (ie upstream metrics).
- Who is my audience? Understand exactly who it is you're trying to reach. Chances are, your business has more than one buyer group. You likely have multiple buyer personas that are potential customers, and they have different interests and needs. Take some time to understand this.
- What will resonate with my target audience? Craft messages for distinct target buyer personas. One size does not fit all, especially on the web. Generic messages that target all and appeal to none will get you now. Your messages must focus on exactly what your audience audience cares about to cut through the noise
- How do I engage my target audience? Understand how your target audience (s) consumes information and how they buy. Use this to identify and prioritize the channels and tactics you will use initiate a meaningful dialog with them. Email marketing, company blog, social media, SEO, etc. Chances are you'll need multiple, integrated channels to get them in your funnel and keep them there until they are ready to make the buy decision.
- How am I going to monitor and measure effectiveness? Measure, measure, measure. Do what works, and dump the rest. Sounds simple, but it requires a great deal of visibility under the hood. The good news is that there are incredibly powerful tools and technology available, inexpensively or outright free. Build your internet market platform and use it to stay focused like a laser beam.
These 5 simple questions should provide a solid foundation on which to build an effective internet marketing strategy … one that yields results in terms of more leads and topline revenue growth .