Despite the growing opportunities presented by the Internet for e-commerce, many businesses still do not have a strong online presence. A recent study reveals that 46 percent of businesses and brands do not have a defined online marketing strategy. The 16 percent that do have one have not integrated it into their overall marketing activity.
Online marketing is crucial to a business’s success today. People have turned to e-commerce because it is a fast, convenient way to shop. This means that businesses that are easily found in the Internet experience higher rates of lead generation and conversion into sales.
Thus, the question becomes, how can you create an online marketing strategy that is effective in driving up your sales? These tips should help you do just that:
Set clear Goals and Objectives
Ask yourself; what is your business’s overall mission or goal? The online marketing strategy must fit into this grand plan. Then consider what exactly you would like your strategy to achieve: is it more sales or publicity? Is it to increase traffic to your website? Formulate your objectives from these specific indicators.
These objectives must be measurable in some way to help you continually analyze your progress in achieving them. Further, identify the tools you will use to measure conversions and track engagements, to determine the success of the strategy.
Identify your Target Audience
Keeping your audience in mind as you develop an online marketing strategy will help you create targeted campaigns that are more effective. Start with the audience’s basic information such as location, age, and gender, and expand on this by defining the core problem your product or service will help them solve.
Google Analytics is a great tool for this; through its Audience Reports, you can access an audience’s critical characteristics.
It may also be beneficial to identify the people who may be able to influence the buying patterns of your target audience. These influencers should be targeted in the strategy too.
Identify your Channels and Budget
Knowing where your target audience spends most of its time is critical as it will help you know where to focus your marketing efforts. The channels you will use are also affected by the budget and available human resources.
When choosing your channels, there are a number of other things to consider:
- Define your online marketing budget.
- Consider any available historical data to see what has worked previously.
- Decide if you will use paid promotion, such as Adwords or paid social media advertising.
- Determine that portion of the budget will be invested in the various social channels you decide on. You can use Analytics to assess the channels with the highest reach and conversions with the lowest cost per click.
In terms of human resources, look at your objectives and the number of channels you will be working with to determine whether you have enough in-house skill available or you will need to outsource. This should also be added to the marketing budget.
Stick to the plan!
In the course of implementing the strategy, you will undoubtedly discover not every assumption you made is correct. This should not discourage you or drive you to start editing and changing strategies in the midst of the plan period. Stick to the plan and collect as many lessons as possible, and use this to enrich the next online marketing strategy you develop.
Creating well-thought-out plans and implementing them effectively is a hallmark of successful businesses. These tips will help you accomplish this in 2017.