A critical factor in the success of any business is marketing, and the future of successful marketing is online. Whether your business uses traditional websites, social media marketing such as Facebook or Twitter, or a mix of all of them, the key to successful marketing is embrace the many opportunities that online marketing can present to the marketing-savvy business. Unfortunately, the success of online marketing does not come without risk. Companies who jump into online marketing without understanding the basics of how to make online marketing work for their business not only risk losing future customers but alienating current customers.
Here are five basic guidelines to help your online marketing efforts succeed:
- Content is king: The best marketing tool you can have on your website, or any online presence, is content. Your customers are hungry for quality, entertaining content, and will come back for more. Good customer engagement begins with good content. If you allow your site to grow stale, or include too many heavy-handed sales oriented content, clients will avoid your site in droves. Content should be more than just hard-sell or public relations fluff. Your content must be fresh, entertaining, informative, and, interesting.
- Persistence counts: Marketing success does not happen overnight. Before jumping into online marketing, make sure your company has the resources, and the commitment to be in it for the long haul. Like any marketing project, online marketing is a process, not a destination, and can take considerable time to fine-tune to find just the right tone and balance to be successful.
- Be engaging: Social media is social for a reason. Invite feedback on your site or social media feeds, and act on it. Customers have an inherent need to communicate with the companies they like, and this feedback can be critical in shaping success for your business. Customers also reward companies that listen to their concerns by continuing to be a loyal customer.
- Diversity counts: Resist the urge to concentrate your online marketing efforts on just your website, your social media presence, or a narrowly defined demographic. Online marketing is more than just one social media feed or one site. Online marketing needs to spread across many diverse platforms to be effective. Your message is only as good as the size of the audience that it reaches.
- Measure your results: Marketing is useless if you do not track what is working, and not working. Keep a close eye on site logs, user feedback, and web statistics to see just what is resonating with your visitors and customers, and what is not. Knowing what to concentrate your marketing efforts on is critical to marketing success.
Successful online marketing begins with you. Keep these guidelines in mind when formulating your online marketing strategy to keep your customers happy, and your bottom line healthy.