When you have a business and want to reach a bigger audience through your online marketing you have to plan. You have to know what it is that you want to achieve online.

It doesn’t take much to feel overwhelmed when you start getting your hands dirty. Nowadays there’s just so many tools, platforms and ideas to use on top of all the things you still have to do that it’s easier to just go with what you know.

The simple question you have to answer honestly to yourself is:”Why do I want to be online?” What do you want your efforts to amount to at the end of the day?

To answer this simply:

  1. Get the word out about what it is that you do.
  2. Expand and grow. Get more customers, grow your business and ultimately become the next Coca-Cola, right. Make more money.
  3. Analyze and Adapt. Measure the outcomes of what it is that you’re doing and adapt where necessary.

Build your online presence

There’s a myriad of options available to build your online presence. The trick?

Figure out what it is that works best for what is that you do. A nice rule to go by is to start off with something you’re already familiar with. you can gradually add and learn more about new channels and platforms as you go but when you start out your goal is to get online, stay online and be regular/ consistent in your posting & updates.

You can make use of platforms and tools like Google My Business, Social Media Pages and Groups, website, mobile application or email marketing.

Before you just jump in and build a website right of the bat for instance it’s important to figure out what you want people to do on it. Do you want them to call you, order something, See where you’re located or email you?

When building an online presence we usually discuss the amount of time and the available budget that a client has. Based on that we usually make recommendations.

So let’s say your budget is nearly 0 and you have a minimum amount of time to do posts and updates. Here’s a suggestion of a possible plan you could build on within a time limit that you set out for yourself:

  1. Get your logo and branding sorted out so you can stand out when your name is mentioned somewhere
  2. List your business and services on Google via their Google My Business Listing. You could even set up a basic site for you there. Check it out here
  3. Make use of Social Media. Don’t rely on it as the backbone for your business, but it’s an awesome free tool to use to get in front of your target audience. Again, the rule is go with what you know and gradually add as it becomes necessary.
  4. Build a professional website. This is your backbone. Even if you don’t build one from the word get go we recommend that you start talking to someone who can help you with a website so you can plan for the day you want to get one done. This is the shop front of your digital efforts for your business online so it’s important to build something that is professional, fast and that will help you to convert visitors to customers.
  5. Utilise email marketing and update your clients and customers regarding new releases, special offers and new products or services you have. It’s important to keep this relevant, short and informative or you might seem too ‘salesy’ and lose points on your loyalty card.
  6. Look at other ways of growing your online presence like building a mobile app so you are in direct contact with your customers/ clients and they get realtime updates from you on their phone.

If you feel you need someone to help you and take you through the steps to decide what will work best then let us know. This is what we love to do.

Marketing your online presence

Imagine you’ve now built and created your online home. Your online villa.

You have the plot, you built the house, now you just need friends and visitors to come over and join you for coffee and something to eat.

Once you’re all set up and ready to go you’ll want to get visitors to your various platforms.

You can make use of these strategies to get more vistors to your website and social media pages or listings.

  • Search Engines
  • Other Websites
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

Search Engines

This is where your service or product matches with a person’s search query in the results page of Google (or BING, Yahoo etc).

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

This will help you get in front of the right people in an organic way which is a fancy way of saying that when someone searches for something specific online and you show up in the results, they might click on your website depending on how high up it ranks on the page and how relevant your business is to what it is that they searched for.

They did not get to your site via an ad that showed up on their screen which is linked to SEM (Search Engine Marketing). They found you after a search – ie organically.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

This is when you purchase ad space and your ad shows up in the search results.

You will target a specific audience and demographics in order to make your ad as relevant and successful as you can with the goal to increase the visitors to your website (for example) based on your budget. You’ll obviously want to make sure that you get good value for money and will continuously strive to measure and increase your ROI (Return on Investment).

Other Websites

Your ad pops up on another website and you get click throughs to your website (if that is the target).

You bid for a certain keyword and based on how popular that keyword is you’ll pay more or less money for it. A popular keyword will always cost more because it has a lot of competition.

It’s like an auction. The more popular the product that’s being auctioned, the higher the final price will be.

Social Media Marketing

No introduction necessary here.

Your goal with this is to build a relationship with your audience and customers.

Connect on a different level with them and show them what you’re about. This is also awesome in the sense that you get to interact with clients and customers on a platform where they usually go to live out their social online life. It’s important not to mess that up and be mindful and respectful of it.

So don’t be too salesy…

Email marketing

Here you get the opportunity to send your customers that indicated they want more info from you emails on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis with offers, information and updates about your business.

A client or customer that indicated they want ‘marketing material/ info’ from you via email is a big win for you, so treat them like gold. Keep their information safe and don’t violate their privacy and harrass them with 15 emails a day, trying to sell your product.

Mix it up. Share info, share updates, give discounts and make them feel special for being on your email list.

It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than having to convince a new one to buy your product/ service.

From forbes.com:

It is far easier to sell products and services to existing customers than to someone you don’t have a relationship with. If you have done a good job taking care of your customer in the past, and your products have performed well for them, they are usually willing to give any addition to your product line a try.

Paul P Brown – Forbes.com contributor
Read the article here

Analyze & Adapt

You have to continuously monitor and make sure that your digital marketing plan and strategies are geared for the long term and is delivering on the outcomes that you decided on during your initial planning.

Set realistic expectations

Know your goals and set a plan in motion to achieve them.

Don’t expect too much too soon. It takes a while for everything to kick into place and start delivering. Don’t rush in and change plans and strategies if you haven’t given it a fair chance of delivering.

Stay cool and take measured and cool headed decisions when the time comes.

Track your results

Measure what it is that you do and want to set in motion continuously and establish your position in this way.

Use analytics and stats to colour the picture and put everything in perspective.

Adapt to changes in technology

Stay in the know. Easier said than done we know.

When things change you’ll be sure to keep your position and presence

80Twenty Online Marketing | Online Marketing

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