April 7, 2020
Developing your Online Marketing Strategy: Step 1

Developing your Online Marketing Strategy: Step 1

Are you working on developing an online
marketing strategy for your small business and you’re not sure where to
start? Here’s why it’s the most important thing to do as your step one… you need to
decide what type of content you commit to creating. I know that probably seems a
little bit opposite because usually people say that the most important thing
you need to do when you start creating your strategy is to decide which online
marketing tools you are going to use, and when we talk about online marketing, it’s
more than just social media. A lot of times people try to interchange
those two words but really social media is just one of your options as far as
online marketing goes. Online marketing will also include your website, if you
blog, if you have an online store, any sort of paid online ads you’re doing,
whether they’re social media ads or something like Google AdWords , if you’re
using your email newsletter, if you’re a podcaster, if you’re making videos that
then you host on, say, Facebook or YouTube. All of those things fall within that
online marketing umbrella. So, a lot of times when people sit down and they want
to start developing an online marketing strategy, or for those of you
who have offline businesses – it’s just gonna be your overall marketing strategy
because you do want to make sure that all your online work coordinates with
all of your offline marketing as well – you know a lot of times it’s like,
“Well, hey, let’s just lay out, make a plan with all the different tools and
accounts and that that we already have established.” However there’s two things
to consider when it comes to this. First of all, you can’t build a successful
presence regardless of what online tools you’re using if it’s all borrowed
content. You know you need to have some kind of original content that’s being
produced by you, whether it’s photos videos, written
content, your podcasts, what have you. Yes curated content
should be part of your content mix because you don’t want to be all
promotional all the time, but you aren’t going to be successful online if all you
do is just share curated content from other sources. The other thing is and
what I see as probably one of the biggest obstacles that I run into when
I’m working with small business owners is they will have gone and started a
bunch of different social media platforms or maybe they were all
energized to write a blog or they set up a MailChimp account or a
Constant Contact account, and they aren’t committed to doing what’s essential to
make those accounts work. So for social media, it could be because the nature of
that platform requires a certain type of content that you just don’t have and you
haven’t committed to creating and I’ll usually see this happen because a small
business owner will hear, “Oh hey, this is the latest and greatest thing – you have
to do it! This is the sweetheart of social media! This is the hot platform!”
And so that’s why they go ahead and they create an account. But you need to assess
for those accounts and it doesn’t even matter if those platforms that you want
to create an account on are very popular for your customer base or your
competitors are there, if you can’t – if you don’t have what it takes and
you can’t produce what it takes to be successful on that platform, it’s just
going to be wasted time and energy. So it’s better off to choose your online
marketing tools that you know you can make work for you. For example
Instagram requires photos or videos, so now if you have something like an online
store and you have just tons and tons of products, at least you can screenshot
some of those images or download those product images and use those for
Instagram, even if you aren’t gonna commit to
taking pictures of you and your co-workers at work or performing the
services that you provide or behind the scenes stuff or lifestyle photos and
you’re not going to record, say, videos, at least you can have something
to work with. But ideally a photo and video sharing platform is gonna have photos
and videos that are coming from you. That’s gonna be far more effective.
Pinterest is another great example. If you have a basic 5 page website and you
don’t have images or photos or anything else to go ahead and add fresh pins to
those few links that you have, you’re not gonna be successful on Pinterest because
you’re gonna pin the five pages of your website and there’s no new content
that you’re gonna put out there. If you aren’t committed to writing,
you’re gonna start a blog, maybe get up a few blog posts, but then that
blog’s gonna sit dormant for a while. So this is why I really feel like
it’s a close second when it comes to deciding what online marketing tools
you’re going to use, so maybe deciding the content you’re gonna create is like
1A and the tools you’re gonna use is 1B, but it really is essential that
you just figure out and decide what kind of content you will commit to making as
your step one because if you go ahead and develop an entire online marketing
plan that’s based on, say, three or four social platforms, your website, your
blog, your email list… but then you don’t have what it takes to actually make two
of those platforms work and you’re not gonna blog, you have just spent all that
time trying to develop a strategy that’s never gonna actually be executable or
effective for you because you don’t have the content that you need in order to
make those chosen online marketing tools work for you. So with all that being said,
that’s why it’s really important to figure out what’s gonna work for you
first, whether it’s you producing that content, you having an employee who
produces that content or you outsource that content. Once you figure out what
content you have to work with, those are really your first assets. Then your next
step would be to then decide what tools you’re gonna use as part of that online
marketing mix now that you know what content you have to work with. So if you
have any questions, please leave those in the comments below. If not, you all have a
good rest of your day. Thank you!

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