Small businesses that take the time to create a solid internet marketing plan will be rewarded with better brand and name recognition for your local area as well as on a more global scale where you develop the potential to attract clients from other parts of the world.
If you already have a business plan then you need to integrate your business plan and internet marketing plan. Here are 5 steps you need to lead up to your internet marketing plan.
1. Know Your Competition
Whether it's online or in your day to day business activities knowing who your competition is and what their strong and weak points are giving you significant advantages and allows you to strengthen your internet marketing message. Start by doing a keyword search for the terms that a potential client might type in when looking for your type of business. Write down the top 10 competitors that you face. Examine how relevant they are to what you offer and how popular their sights are. Alexa search engine lets you check their traffic ranking, while Google allows you to check their page rank. Learn what's making them successful in their placement and see if you can use any of it on your site.
2. Your Website
Stick to one easy to read font and just vary size to get the attention, and use a primary color scheme, buttons that are easy to identify, and a layout that's easy to navigate. Keep it simple because the minute your visitor becomes frustrated because they'll move onto another site. Always detail how your visitor will benefit from buying your product or service. If you're hiring a web designer to design your site that's great but you should put together your content or work with a writer because no one knows your business better than you.
3. Problem Solving
The reason consumers buy anything is for problem solving. This applies to both products and services. If you're selling laundry stain remover your target market is looking to solve a problem with a stain. If you're selling "how to make a successful living on the internet" your target market has a problem with income their trying to solve.
4. Marketing Funnel
If you ask a successful online business owner what has made them successful. You'll hear this "marketing funnel" almost all of the time. What the heck is a marketing funnel? Think of an upside down triangle and through this triangle clients are funnelled. It starts at the wide to on your funnel which is representative of free give aways, and / or low cost products, which are designed to attract visitors and from there you will funnel them down into the narrow part of your triangle which represents an earnings increase from the products and / or services that you sell. What are currently offering? Do you have different price points? This can be very important to your marketing campaign so that you are able to capture potential clients at different price points.
5. Your Business Management Using Online Technology
Having the right online technology and services will make selling your products and services that more effective. For example, you'll need a merchant account for processing credit care payments including a gateway. You'll need a shopping cart for your customers to checkout and pay for their products or services. You also need technology to help you sell. This can include the automation of email autoresponders, newsletter distribution, blogging, article submission, link management, and a host of other technical services that you must be prepared to use if you want your business to be successful online.
From here you can implement an effective internet marketing plan that will be successful and generate the revenue you desire.