5 Fundamental Marketing Steps to Build An Effective Online Marketing Strategy

March 3, 2015

Given the potential that social media marketing and blogging has for businesses, it comes as no surprise that there is a sense of urgency with some of my clients to eagerly jump on the bandwagon. In fact, B2B marketers in 2015 plan to increase their investment in Email, website and social media marketing by over 50% according to MarketingProfs. Businesses looking to increase brand recognition, sales and leads can find interested and eager prospects online, but it’s critical to recognize that regardless of the marketing channel you use, a solid understanding of the foundations of marketing is essential if you want to find success in your online marketing. Here are 5 tips to help you get your marketing on solid ground.

1. Understand Your Target Market

To be successful, you need to focus on your target market by identifying their unique attributes. Many businesses create a customer avatar or persona to dig deep into both their demographic and psychographic features. Failing to define a specific target customer is a very common reason why some businesses fail to thrive. They focus on the product or niche they find interesting and then start to market to it. You are waging a losing battle if you start this way.

There are many ways to learn about your market. Here are some simple ways to get started:

  • Look at your current customer base if you have one. What are their key demographics? Send a survey to learn more about what they need.
  • There are companies that focus solely on target market research. If you have the money, invest in this.
  • If this is a new venture, take a look at people who are in your target niche. Find out where they are online and start to join those groups or forums or social media sites. Here are more ways to dig into the online world and learn about your target market.

2. Give them what they want

Once you have a clear understanding on your target group, the next step is simple-find out what they want and create products or services they need. Once you know your market well, it’s easy to find areas where there is a performance or quality gap that you can fill.

3. Deliver the Goods

Once you find that hungry group of people who are desperate for your product or service, your next challenge is to decide how to put that solution in front of them with a compelling offer. Depending on your business model, this involves face-to-face or physical contact or you may have transactions online via your website.

Before you can make your offer, you need to think about the cost of your product or service. You can evaluate your competitor pricing, evaluating production and delivery costs with the right profit margin.  You can also consider the psychological value that your goods provide to your target market. I found a great article on how to price your services which proposes that you consider a three pronged approach. You can read that here.

4. Pick the Right Promotion Method

The array of promotion methods available can make anyone confused. Online promotion methods include:

Offline promotion methods

  • Advertising in print or on television
  • Hosting or sponsoring events
  • Promotional items
  • Coupons
  • Direct mail
  • Networking in the community (Meetup groups or Chamber of Commerce)

Online Promotion Methods:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques
  • Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn
  • Email list
  • Online promotions
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Article Marketing
  • Online Events or Livecast
  • Mobile
  • Search marketing

The trick here is to find the channel that has the most value to your prospect.

The key to successful marketing no matter what methods you use or products you promote is to keep it focused on your prospects. Always start with what they need and want, and work your way back to your offer from there. If you know them well, provide what they want and promote it where they can see your offer.

5. Develop an Effective Marketing and Communications Plan

Once you have completed the fundamentals, you can now think about how you are going to communicate to your audience.

Here is what you have to focus on when planning your campaign:

  1. What is the goal of your campaign? Do you want to build more brand awareness, increase leads and sales?
  2. What is the message you want to convey to your target market?
  3. What communication channel do you want to use? What makes the most sense based off what you know about your target market?
  4. What type of media will you send? Video, infographic, emails or will you use an integrated approach?

Remember that the success of your marketing communications plans relies on your ability to craft the right message at the right time, delivered in the right way.

If you need additional tips and to dig into our target market more, consider using my target market profile worksheet to document all the key demographics of your target market. You get it  free when you purchase the complete Target Marketing Report: Take Away The Guess Work and Learn More About Your Market. Click here to get it now

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