Online marketing is growing by leaps and bounds every year. As more and more companies flock to the internet to “stake their claim” it is essential that you utilize these new tools in a way that is both profitable and responsible.
This article will provide six rules you must follow when you create your online marketing plan. The rules involve integrating your internet marketing efforts with your other efforts, knowing your target audience and gaining permission to converse with them, creating performance benchmarks capitalforbusiness you can use to monitor your efforts, evaluating and listing the attributes of all your online options, creating a detailed implementation schedule, and assessing the profitability of everything you do.
1. Integration is key
Creating a whole new plan for your web-based marketing without considering your current efforts can be problematic. Many of your customers may experience your marketing messages in more than one medium so you need to make sure they coordinate with each other. Don’t treat your online marketing efforts as a separate campaign. Instead, integrate everything you do in one plan.
2. Know your audience and gain permission to talk to them
In the online world your opportunities are endless. It is critical that you have a well-defined target audience. Spend time analyzing your past marketing efforts to create an ideal customer profile that will help narrow and clearly define who you will be approaching.
Once you have identified your target market make sure you gain permission to create a conversation with them. The online world is cluttered with spammers who try to connect with you without permission. You need to protect your reputation by having potential customers “opt-in” to a conversation with you.
3. Create performance benchmarks
With new online marketing tools being introduce on a daily basis it is important that you establish and aim for performance benchmarks for your online marketing efforts. It is too easy to get distracted with the “shiny object of the day” which may have no useful value for you to reach your established goals.
4. List the attributes of your online options
When you get to the point of choosing which online marketing strategies to employ it is important to have a “grading scale” to judge one against another. List the attributes of each online media tool and how it will help you reach your goals. Does your target audience utilize the particular option? Does the brand an culture of your company fit in socially with the option. In other words, will you business be out of place by using a particular online media choice.
5. Detail your implementation schedule
It is very important that you have an action plan to implement any new online media initiative. Make a schedule that will outline when and how you will use a particular tool. What resources will you need in-house to support that specific tool? Will you need any outside marketing help to implement the strategies you have chosen?
6. Assess profitability of all of your efforts.
No online marketing plan is complete without a thorough financial analysis of your projected sales as a result of using a particular tool and your associated anticipated expenses. The return on investment of your online marketing efforts is the same as that of traditional media. Without a return on investment you can quickly accumulate extra marketing expenses which will affect your bottom line.
Take the time to make sure all six of these rules are followed when you create your online marketing plan. The internet is here to stay and you need to carefully assess how your online marketing plan will harness the power of this new media opportunity.
To receive more information on how to create an online marketing plan check out the resources at http://www.CompanyMarketing.co
John F. Hunt is author of “The Do-It-Yourself Marketing Handbook: How Anyone Can Learn to be a Great Marketer”