We all know that online marketing is the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive and useful way of connecting with people around us and around our company. However you must not forget that online marketing can also work against you if you don’t follow some basic rules.
Online marketing will be perfect for your company if you have a large local or international target and if your offers are constantly evolving; marketing itself is always changing. Here are the five rules of thumb for efficient online marketing.
1. Make a plan
One of the key elements in marketing is anticipation. You have a ton of questions to answer: Who? Where? When? How will you target people? In addition you have to be convinced by your offer before trying to convince anybody else. Make sure your plan is comprehensive and your offer understandable – it’s vital for converting potential customers into real ones.
2. Create a relationship
Make your brand known → Make your brand loved → Make people buy your product
The priority in marketing is to create a relationship between your company and your clients. Nowadays we are challenged to create proper relationships through social media and it can be difficult for a customer to feel close to an international brand. Besides, social media tends to become antisocial media, this is why you absolutely have to adapt your marketing to the different country or the different gender, or age. Be global but act local, thus, your brand image will be loved by clients.
3. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer
Competition is positive. It helps your company to continuously improve the service it offers, but in order to do that, you need to know your competitor. Regularly run a search on different social networks and see what your competitors are up to. Don’t try to do the same thing – it would be a waste of time and energy. Rather, try to do better!
4. Be active
The internet, and our society as a whole, is always changing. According to Wearesocial.com 2078 billion social media accounts are active right now, so you must be too! Online marketing can really be a source of advantages if used well. Indeed the goal is not to be simply noticed, but to have relevant, updated and non redundant content. Your main mission is to catch the attention of the reader and make him want to come back to your website. It is essential for a company to have at least one person in charge of online marketing who will assure the company’s visibility on social media.
5. Do your own research
Yes, the internet is useful, fast, and comprehensive. But since the internet is accessible by everyone, that means that everyone has the same information, the same “original” ideas. You are not everybody! Do your own research, borrow books from the nearest library, subscribe to a specialised magazine and take a look around you. If you are not taking any risks, nothing will come of your efforts. Obviously, this does not mean acting before thinking, but we’re definitely encouraging you to be more original and less fearful.
As useful and wonderful as online marketing is, that doesn’t mean that nothing can go wrong. A little slip up could easily damage your brand image. It’s all about e-reputation. You may know what you are posting on your blog, your Facebook wall or Pinterest board… but are you aware of what internet users think about your company?
More and more internet users tend to lose trust in brands because of their often exaggerated promises. Nowadays consumers look towards online peers for honest reviews and opinions. They ask questions on fora, they give advice on comparison websites and they share information about products. If you are lying about your products or capacities, you can be sure that it will be made public in the blink of an eye. Your brand will be damaged and it will be really hard to convince your clients that you are honest with them. The result? You risk losing them and any other potential customers.
Yes, you have to update your content and keep it interesting, but if you post too often, followers might begin to resent the constant barrage of content. Schedule content so it’s spread over the day, not all at once. Users would want to find what they saw previously and show it to their friends so when you fill their feed with spam they would not be able to do this.
3. Use poor language
The online marketing language can be less formal than a commercial brochure or a business letter, however bad language is banned! You have to take care of your spelling and make sure that the tone of voice isn’t too casual. Of course, adapt your writing style according to your company’s tone of voice. For instance it is not useful to put smiley faces everywhere if you are a professional appliances retailer.
4. Waste your time
You cannot try to target everybody. By having an online marketing plan which is too vast, nobody will feel concerned about it. You have to focus on your main audience and take care of it. Do not waste your time and energy, instead of reaching everybody you will reach nobody!
5. Forget about SEO impact
Search Engine Optimization is a compulsory step for you to improve your online marketing. SEO is not that complicated, you can easily develop some skills by searching for information on suitable content. If you cannot do that for any reason, you will have to put somebody in charge of, it is true you will spend money to pay someone but it will quickly become profitable. SEO is one of the keys to success.
What you have to keep in mind…
Online marketing through social media is the first impression that potential clients will have of your company. This is simply the mirror image of your values, your work, and your relationship with the clients. Even if you’re not selling products on the internet, you should not disregard online marketing. Having a social media presence will broadcast a good brand image and let the customers know you are there for them!
If you want to find out more about how to improve your social media marketing, why not pop in for a chat over coffee?