12 Steps to Successful Online Marketing for Business Growth

January 20, 2016

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Here are 12 powerful tools to help you use Online Marketing for Business Growth.

Frances_Headshot2015_sticker_basic.pngby Frances Leary

In order to generate serious business growth using online strategies, your organization needs a serious plan…a plan that is well-defined, actionable and with targeted results that can be measured.

All the elements below are important pieces to include in this process. Consider it to be a “checklist” of tools and techniques your organization needs to implement in order successfully to use online marketing for business growth.

  1. Set Measurable Targets for Using Online Tools Effectively
    These targets will guide the development of your entire online communication strategy. It’s important to include both audience-focused and business growth targets and to understand the relationships between these targets and your ROI. These goals should be measurable and actionable, and there should be specific individuals responsible for ensuring that your online communication is in alignment with these goals.

  2. Develop Policies and Procedures to Guide Online Communication
    In order to use online communication successfully, you need policies that outline procedures and guide the process. Every organization, for example, needs an Internet Usage Policy and a Social Care Policy for delivering customer service. These not only protect you; they also empower your team.

  3. Apply web optimization techniques for search engines and audiences
    It is surprising how many web design companies out there create beautiful websites and say the do “SEO” but in all reality leave you with a website that literally cannot be found by Google. It is absolutely crucial that your website incorporate basic SEO techniques (ex: title and h1 tags, longtail keywords, anchor text, etc.) so that your website speaks properly both to search engines and to your audience.

  4. Setup and Optimize Applicable Online Platforms for Communication
    Your website is your first piece of online real estate. However, it can’t stand alone. You need other online platforms such as social media and Google My Business in order to create the conversation that takes place between your audience and your website – the conversation that ultimately converts visitors into customers.

  5. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
    In order to generate meaningful conversations that engage your audience, it is important to create a content marketing strategy – not just post whatever you want when you think of it. You need to determine what types of content will generate the most audience engagement and then determine where to find that content or how to create it. You’ll need to incorporate the use of keywords and visuals, as well.

  6. Setup Tools for Content Distribution and Management
    Thankfully, it is easy to distribute content to social media in a way that saves time and is easy to manage. Using a tool such as those available through Hubspot or Hootsuite will allow you to schedule content in advance and monitor conversations so that you can engage in real time.

  7. Engage with Online Audiences and Provide Customer Support
    Online marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. Your audience wants a conversation, not a lecture. That means you have to be there. Listening to what they are saying and actively talking with them. You also need to be there to provide the necessary customer support, given that most people turn now to social channels rather than to email or the telephone to resolve customer service issues.

  8. Leverage Online Tools to Support Offline Sales Efforts
    Sales initiatives are strengthened when online tools are put to work supporting those offline strategies. This includes getting your sales team involved in the social media process and providing them with proactive sales support through connecting with prospects online. This also includes continued engagement with the leads that you generate through online and offline efforts.

  9. Generate Leads with Online Listening
    By monitoring online conversations, you can become part of them when it is meaningful for you. Say, for example, you’re the new burger restaurant in town. You pick up a pre-lunch tweet from someone in your area saying she’s craving a burger and asking where she should go. You jump in and tweet back to her. 30 minutes later she’s in your store. Now that’s real-time lead conversion.

  10. Generate and Nurture Leads and Increase Conversions to Customers with Inbound Marketing
    By creating content that is of value to your audience, promoting that content through blogs and social posts, and using that content to capture leads, you create a lead funnel through which you can nurture prospects and increase your conversions of leads to customers.

  11. Create Effective Online Ad Campaigns – Social, PPC or Both
    Unfortunately, algorithms are now such that you really do need to give your content a boost in order for it to be seen and consumed by the right audience. Thankfully, through social ads this can be done in a very targeted and affordable way. With just a small investment each month, you can increase your online audience, increase your visibility and increase traffic back to your website…just to name a few options.

  12. Monitor, Measure and Adapt
    None of the above makes much sense unless you’re monitoring what’s happening and measuring the results. You need to now what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be modified to achieve better results. This is a constant process, so it’s important that you put a system in place so that all of your online communication can be monitored, measured and adapted successfully.

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