What’s the Online Marketing Plan for After Creating a Web Site?
Unfortunately, many company Web sites sit dormant and do not create more business because of poor online marketing planning. The point of the site was to create interest and enhance business, or evoke emotion of the readers to take action of some kind. The Web site that is not noticed by the search engines is virtually invisible. A good online marketing plan begins with a thorough evaluation of the target audience.
Part of the marketing strategy is to get the Web site noticed while being valuable to the intended audience. There are several good ways to generate attention to your business via the Internet.
A press release is one of the most overlooked methods to advertise a business. Press releases are meant to publicize a new feature or event, but also to educate prospective customers about something they will find helpful or useful.
Writing a good press release will position a company as an authority regarding the topic of the release as long as the information is clearly meant to inform and educate rather than to advertise, yet it does advertise the business.
Writing several or many press releases will amplify the emotions of the audience. They prepare acceptance of the company as trustworthy and knowledgeable. They address problems the target audience has and solutions they will find valuable.
Good press releases will also inform the readers of the Web site, just as everything associated with the business will do, including business cards, letters, and all printed advertising and marketing materials.
Articles will position a business as a noteworthy source of solutions. The reader looks to articles for information that relates to their needs and demands for solutions to problems. The article should contain information that the reader will find useful and should also direct the reader to the Web site for updated information about a topic.
Many companies have found that articles are great ways to save advertising dollars because the articles will refer the readers to the Web site while addressing a particular topic.
The Web site opens the door for more ideas, and therefore, more sales possibilities. Articles contribute to the value and credibility of the company presenting the articles. So, the more good articles, the better.
Today there are as many blog pages as there are people committed to topics. Commenting on the discussions of these pages can attract other interested people to your Web site when you include your Web site address in your comments.
Be sure to make your comments useful and not merely an opinion. People who see your comments as useful are more likely to seek more information from you and your site.
Social networking sites
Today there is much enthusiasm about sites such as FaceBook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others. Efforts can become time intensive, and it pays to do some research as to how much you want to be occupied by contributing to these sites and how useful they will be to your particular site and audience.
LinkedIn, for example, has many groups and sub-groups and they are made primarily for professionals while other sites are not necessarily so. Do your homework and evaluate the sites.
When you have a large number of customers or prospects and you want to get a quick, short message to them, email announcements are fast and free.
Assuming the email recipient has given permission to receive emails from you (always get permission) every week or two send the announcement, hint, or tip that they will find useful to keep the recipient aware of you and your name and company Web site.
The more useful the information is the more receptive and welcome your emails will be.
The idea behind this is to keep the recipient aware and interested in your information and to build more authority about your business regarding the subject matter in the minds of your customers and prospects. Some will actually look forward to receiving your information, and that is a great position to be in!
Your Web site should have an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed capability designed into it. RSS feeds are ideal for reaching people that want information specific to a particular topic and do not want to clutter their email inbox with information.
The recipient is able to collect the information that is available through RSS feeds which are collected every day by the search engines that the feeds are submitted to.
Your RSS feeds can easily and efficiently direct the people most interested in your topics directly to your site. RSS also helps to boost the page rank of your site because of the additional activity, as most of the methods listed here will.
Also known as backlinks, inbound links may be one of the most important ways to boost your site’s page dominance in the search engines if the links are of high quality and have a high ranking.
You will need to court other Web site businesses and owners to ask to have them place a link to your site from their site (one-way link) for the purpose of offering additional valuable information that is important to their customers. Give them good reasons to recommend your site.
Often the Web site owner will require that your site include a link to their site to reciprocate the mention on their site. Your link should be more than an inclusion to a list of sources at another Web site.
Make it easy for them to place your link on their Web site: prepare short mention of the value of your Web site (using keywords with the link) for the other site to use. It will add more credibility to your link in the search engines and the people that read the short comment about your site.
You can build links from commenting on forums and blogs. You can use Pitchbox.com to find bloggers accepting product reviews. Write an email pitch and Pitchbox fires it off to all. You can also use inbound.org, and growthhackers.com if you want to pay for their services.
Use link roundups to get referral traffic to your link to your best material, such as Tweet4Ok.com. Google your keyword such as “marketing” + “weekly link roundup” and you will probably find quite a few results.
A writer at the New York Times named Gene Marks has a weekly link roundup called “This Week in Small Business.” If you just emailed Gene and said, “Hey, I have this cool article. Would you link to me?” he’d probably say no. But for his “This Week in Small Business” piece, as you can see, he links out to many, many sites.
Note: you must have something of value to the audience of these roundup sites in order to get a link to your page. Most roundups welcome your content as long as it has value to their readers.
Instead of using “weekly roundup”, you can use “best articles of the week” or “best posts of the week”, and this will find results from people who don’t actually term their posts link roundups.
Another way to find link roundups is to visit sites that you like or that you want to get a link from and you put in keywords like ‘weekly’. I visited Ana Hoffman’s excellent Internet marketing website, “Traffic Generation Cafe”, and put in words like “weekly”, “Friday”, “roundup”, “best articles”, those type of keywords, and found “Weekly Marketing Skinny”. (Everyone tends to call it something a little different.)
Use Google Blog Search if you’re having trouble finding weekly link roundups, and try some of the search engines here and see what you can find.
Use Twitter search, and you could put in something like “SEO roundup” but substitue your topic in place of “SEO”. You’ll likely get fewer results than Google but it’s one more place to try for more backlinks to your excellent blog or article.
Create a huge list of these, and every time you publish something great, head over to these sites and offer them your piece of content as part of the roundup.
Newsletters are a great way to retain repeat business from existing customers and to keep your business positioned well in the customers’ and prospects’ minds. Newsletters can be mailed with a business reply card to encourage readers to send for more information, such as white papers and articles in addition to information about your products and services.
The newsletter will always need to address the recipient’s needs and be written for their benefit.
Quarterly or bi-monthly seems to work the best, and is less expensive with electronic newsletters, which also offer more for less expense than printed and mailed versions. Produced too frequently and it may prove difficult to provide fresh material.
You may find that producing articles will reach a wider audience and that articles do not require keeping a schedule to present information that hasn’t previously been written, but you may test the results and see which works best for you and your intended audience.
Printed materials mailed directly to a target market continues to be used today even with the majority of information being sought and found on the Internet.
Post cards, newsletters, sales letters, brochures, catalogs, pamphlets and more can be mailed directly to potential buyers of your products and services. Your Web site information should be on each item you have printed directing the reader to get more or updated information there.
Although it costs a bit more to print and mail and to acquire a good list of specific market targets, it has proven, more often than not, to be an excellent way to advertise.
It is a physical piece that occupies a person’s attention, if even for only an instant, but may lead to inquiries or sales. Often the costs for one direct mail campaign can be offset with two or three sales, so it is cost-effective when properly executed and tested.
Meet new people and hand out some business cards. The networking meetings for business professionals held in most cities offer a good opportunity to connect with others that may need your services, or at least, can refer others to you and you to others.
Of course, your business cards will always have your Web site address on them and likely your email address and you should ask others who give you a business card for their permission to receive an email from you about your services (or articles, etc.).
Here’s your chance to make a good impression with others that can generate more goodwill for your business. See if you could attend a group meeting as a guest to see if the group or club is right for you and your business.
Groups like the Rotary club, Lions club, Knights of Columbus, and many others are worth considering, and if nothing else, you will have made your presence known and gathered some more friends.
Cold calling is alive and well. Some people maintain that telesales or telemarketing is the most efficient means to connect to prospects and find customers. Some companies will pay a lot of money to have people call targeted businesses.
The vast majority of these calls are not favorably received, but for the few that do respond favorably, the cost to hire a telemarketer, make contact, and sell a buyer is advantageous over producing advertisements and printed matter.
A better result can be realized by combining the two, so that the person being called may have some recollection of the business’s name and an idea of what the company is.
The sale is much more efficient and effective when the prospect has something to share in the conversation. If the prospect needs more time or more information, the marketer will easily direct the prospect to the Web site and request permission to email more information to the prospect.
Marketing your site is a time-consuming and important investment
Before your Web site is designed and operational, you should take a long, hard look at how you intend to use it and market it. It will require an investment of time and to periodically update it with newer and more relevant information, especially if it contains items for sale.
A good copywriter can prove invaluable to you. You might consider using several writers over a course of time to find those that can keep fresh information and perspectives for developing new customers.
Find Web copywriters who understand search engine optimization (SEO) that will enhance the effectiveness of your content and your Web site.
Test, test, test; it’s the best way to find what works for your audience. Be prepared to work at achieving better results over the long run, just as you would maintain a garden with watering and weeding to improve the results.
Contact the J Howard Company for a free consultation or to subscribe to informational up dates.