Monday, July 23, 2007/
There are several secrets to use to improve your online marketing. Here are a few…
Advice on planning your online marketing for this financial year
New year, new budget. Here are the secrets my best clients use to plan their online marketing to give them the most effect.
1. Online is just one sort of marketing – Integration was the big buzz word thrown around, but it never really took root as the killer thing. You can just integrate your marketing by this formula.
Offline channels are used to drive people to your website to engage with them.
Your offline broadcast mediums need to tell a story and drive thousands of visitors to your website. Once on your site this is the best place to tell a longer story and engage the user. It’s almost pointless engaging a customer with a 30 second TV commercial.
2. Plan for engagement on your website – In every single talk I do, I tell people to focus first on their website and then on their traffic. If you can convert the traffic that is going to your website to users in your database, you have taken the first step to engagement.
In this new financial year it might be a good idea to test your engagement. I would suggest a simple web audit from a reputable online marketing agency as the cure. The fresh eyes and industry best practice create documents that you can use for several years.
3. Plan your engaging content – Each year your website should get just a little better with incremental improvement and a good bit of Kaizen. Sometimes you need to make giant leaps forward to crack into new markets or to take your traffic to another level. These elements are your engaging content.
New calculators, free online assessments, pre-approval calculators, a forum or a blog. Each one of these additions is going to require some serious investment, marketing and upkeep. Positioned correctly and with a good bit of testing it should kick your website to a whole new level.
How to plan your website investment strategy
4. Build your engaging properties – Build your properties with an investment approach. Make an investment and then look to get a return greater to what you invested.
Each investment in your website is going to be slightly larger although will continue to spike your traffic. This graph could continue on forever and very advanced websites are at those ends of the spectrum. I usually suggest small incremental investments although some websites are launching in big ways and need to skip straight to the late stages. This is usually because their competitors have already built the functionality and their users wouldn’t use their site unless it had better or same functionality.
A good example of this is Yahoo!, Google and MSN. Whenever one of them releases a new piece of functionality, the others copy or improve. I am a big believer in making giant leaps forward as opposed to just copying your competition as this will enable you to gain competitive advantage. Otherwise you will never be the leading company in your market because you are always following.
5. Plan for new traffic – There are a huge number of ways to get traffic to your website and there are always new ways for you to tap into this. I would suggest reviewing how past traffic techniques have driven traffic and then plan for incremental investments into the ones that have worked and chopping back the ones that haven’t. Here are some ways that might maximise your traffic that you haven’t considered:
Search marketing – Natural and paid.
Email marketing – List sharing, solo ads, sponsorship, auto responder swaps.
Banner advertising – Traffic exchanges, buying media.
Offline advertising – TV, radio, papers, magazines, outdoor.
PR – Online articles, blog postings, blog reviews, public speaking.
Co-registration – Sharing signups to website enewsletters, thank-you page swaps.
Linking – Reciprocal linking, paid links.
Affiliate marketing – Affiliates.
Partnerships – Joint ventures, content swap, articles.
Viral marketing – Campaigns, flagship content, link baiting, viral video, viral ebook, viral podcast, viral report, games.
Forum – Email forum signatures, forum reviews, forum posts.
6. Review your online marketing investments – Planning for review with your agency on a quarterly basis is advisable. These are the key areas to review:
a. Review past performance – How has the website faired since the new changes
Analysis of opportunities from above
b. New ways forward – What does your agency suggest to be the way forward from here? What do they suggest to do to leverage what you have learnt from the review and analysis? What trends are forming that you can take advantage of? You also want completely out of the box ideas to consider and plan for – the internet changes non-stop, so what is coming up in the future?
New future prediction about the internet
MySpace is going down and will be taken over by Facebook. MySpace was too complicated to use where as Facebook is easy, fun and works. Facebook will really grow up as the social networking arena because the older demographic can understand and use it. Its perfect “early majority” material, as in the innovation will be easily adopted throughout society because it has less kinks and bumps.
Fred Schebesta’s company Freestyle Media is an established innovative online marketing agencyspecialises in building search engine friendly corporate websites and running online marketing campaigns.
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Christian Bowman from Achaeus writes: Great post! You’ve given a great picture of all the things that contribute to online marketing.