It’s a jungle out there, right? Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, SEO, email, social media, retargeting and the list goes on and on. Where do you even start and where should you put your time, money and focus?
There’s no one set answer to this question, and it is no wonder why so many people get confused. I was in a meeting the other day, and a guy told me companies are trying to sell him on different types of online marketing tactics all the time.
Facebook advertising, search engine optimization, retargeting campaigns, email marketing, and they’re all saying the same thing: their field of expertise is super important to succeed in today’s online world.
But whom do you listen to? Where do you start? If you run a company, any type of business, you probably already know that a presence online is where it’s at today. My best advice to you is to start being interested in the online world and where it’s going.
You can outsource it all you want, but ultimately, you’re the captain of the ship and you should know where to sail. Believe me, the business world is not reversing back to print any time soon.
Know your vision and your business goals first
It all comes down to having a clear vision and knowing who your ideal customer is. Who are you targeting? What’s their demographic? What’s their location? And from there figuring out where they hang out and spend the most time online. If you don’t know these things, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and money!
The more you know about your ideal customer, the easier it is to reach them with your message. Do they own a PC or a Mac? Are they using Google as a search engine? Or are they using the default Yahoo and Bing that comes with a PC?
Of what generation are they? If they are millennials ( …people who were raised in the digital age and know no other kind of communication) then it may be a good idea to reach them on Snapchat or Instagram. If they are 65+, then Bing Ads would probably be a good idea.
Organic VS paid
Marketing online doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. However, paying for ads is always the best way to go if you want a sustainable business model that you can scale and grow. It makes it a lot easier to see the ROI.
Organic, which is free marketing such as blog posts, videos and other content, is more varying, but can still give you amazing results, especially if something goes viral.
Marketing has changed. We’ve become so used to flyers in the mail, commercials on TV, billboards, and even online advertisement banners. It’s come to a point where we have learned to block out subconsciously a lot of the noise and the different offers we see.
That’s why it’s become so popular now with content marketing online, where you don’t directly sell or promote anything, but you give out good quality content. It can be a funny photo, a quote, a video, an article, a blog post or a livestream.
You put this content out in your different channels. On your website, on your blog, through your email list and in social media.
Content marketing is a totally different ballgame than what companies are used to with direct marketing, flyers and brochures. With content marketing, you don’t come out as “salesy” or “pitchy”. Instead, you build trust, engage people, and most importantly, you get their attention.
You can sell something to your audience every now and then, and when you do, they’ll be warmed up and much more ready to buy.
This type of marketing doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, but you’ll have to spend the time creating the content, or you can outsource it to someone perhaps more creative than you. If you can mix paid advertisement together with content marketing, then you have a powerful strategy.
Choose your platforms
If you’ve done your homework and studied your niche and target audience, then you probably have a pretty good idea of where these potential customers or clients hang out online. Narrow it down to a few platforms. To figure out which of the platforms you should focus on, you’ll have to look at your budget.
Do you have money to run ads? Or will you focus on a more organic approach? Will you be able to stay consistent with the platforms you choose over time?
All of the big channels have huge audiences that you can tap into. To answer the question above, all of the top platforms will give you great results if you just stay with it and keep showing up. Test different approaches, see what works and what doesn’t, tweak things over time and keep moving.
If you’re hiring a company to take care of your online marketing, then find a reliable partner that you can work with and grow with over time. Make sure they really know your brand, your target audience, your vision, your business goals and what you’re trying to accomplish. Invest in those you feel have an emotional investment in you.
And remember, ultimately, you are the captain of the ship, and online marketing is the future. Read up on the trends and know where to sail. That’s the best trick in the book – being knowledgeable.
I hope this gives you some ideas. It’s an exciting time. The internet is constantly evolving and opening up for so many possibilities and new ways of doing business. Have fun with it and create your presence. Good luck!
Now, I turn this over to you. Any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment and let’s discuss it right here. Make sure you share this post if you like it.
Now let’s move forward…
– Casper Stang