Start on the right marketing path
(Or take a detour to a better one than the one that you’re currently on)
By now, you’re probably getting excited about the prospect of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of new visitors coming into contact with your business.
You probably already have the basis of a way of creating or revitalising your company’s online presence. Online marketing is just like offline marketing in so many respects.
Nothing is more important than having a good plan.
Depending on what goods or services you sell, you’ll have more or less of a captive audience to listen to your value proposition. If you sell houses, you might be able to talk to a prospective client for half an hour even if they’re not interested. If you conduct seminars, the audience might feel like they have to stay all day, because they paid upfront and want to get as much as possible in return.
Online, things are very different, and attention spans are much shorter. This length of attention is one of the main differences between offline and online businesses. Visitors can back-click to their search results in a few seconds if it looks like they haven’t found what they want.
Because of this, you have to distil your sales message to make it instantly recognisable. At a glance, each page of your website should tell a visitor how they will be enlightened or entertained. If they’ve arrived at your site in error, that’s fine, but if they’re a suitable prospect, then you need to engage their attention quickly.
Gather information about your business
To proceed most efficiently, you need to collect some information regarding your business, offers, and your favourite type of client or customer.
Before getting started in helping you with your online campaign, we need you to gather some information. We’re unlikely to be experts in your particular sub-section of the industry. While we can research, guess and extrapolate, we prefer some factual input from you to make sure that we’re on the right track.
As you’re probably aware, internet search engines use algorithms to order data. The most important aspect of this revolves around keywords, key phrases and associated synonyms. One of the best ways of increasing online visibility is to identify which of these words and phrases best relate to your business. We then use these words and phrases liberally, in as many places as possible alongside your company name. (We use these words as much as possible while making sure our content is very readable. We also avoid overuse of keywords).
We also ‘spoon feed’ these words and phrases to the search algorithms in a way that ticks as many algorithmic boxes as possible. There are many other tasks ahead, but keyword research and proper use is the most crucial building block, along with link building.
When we build links carefully and gradually across the internet, they have to be in blocks of text that also contain relevant keywords and phrases.
We need to answer some critical questions
So, we start the process with a few questions that need to get answered concerning your business.
These are the most important questions to ask:
- List as many keywords and key phrases that you can think of that apply to your business. If you sell bicycles, then you will write ‘men’s bikes’, ‘men’s bicycles’, ‘women’s bikes’, ‘women’s bicycles’, all the way down to ‘cycle chain’ or ‘bike sprocket’.
- Who are you targeting? I.E. Who’s your perfect customer? Who do you want to find your website and take action that leads to revenue?
- Give us a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ for your company. This elevator pitch should be more important than any mission statement.
Do you know what an elevator pitch is? Just in case there’s a quick explanation:
When you’re at a dinner party, and someone asks you what you do for a living, there can be a tendency to ‘dress up’ the explanation. Many of us like talking about ourselves or our business, and we can effortlessly bore or confuse people. If you get in an elevator with someone and they ask you what you do for a living, or what your company does there’s little time.
A badass businessperson can very quickly sum up what they do, who they do it for and the results they get.
(The value proposition, target audience, and problem solved).
We need to distil this into a few sentences because this fits into the attention span of an average internet surfer.
When a client comes to us for content marketing assistance, first of all, we ask them to answer the three questions above. After this, there are a few more questions that we need answering for us to help them:
- Please list direct competitors websites for your business. We can research how well they’re doing in the internet marketing areas that we’re targeting. We can audit backlink profiles, for example. This analysis means that we’ll know how hard they’ll be to outrank, and how long it might take. When reviewing competitors backlinks, we can find opportunities to get the same backlinks as them. Then if we get some extra ones, we should be able to outrank them.
- Please list places that your target audiences go online. (The people and companies from question 2 above). The best place to recruit a larger audience is to go and ‘hang out’ with them. LinkedIn and Facebook are two prominent places, but please list any others that come to mind.
- Please provide admin and login credentials for anything that fits into our action plan. We DON’T need to see anything valuable such as your hosting, domain or email management accounts. We DO need to be able to log in to any Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media accounts. We also need to be able to log into the admin control panel of WordPress, or whichever content management system you’re using.
Our immediate strategy
Research is the first step. We’ll audit your website for statistics relating to site speed, health, and SEO ranking factors. We’ll also do this for several competitors. (If you don’t have a website yet, we can focus on competitor intelligence).
While we’re conducting research, we’ll get started on developing the social media presence for up to five social media channels. We’ll organise a platform where any of us can log in and review, edit, comment or post on any article across the whole set of social media accounts.
We’ll put a system in place where we can set up alerts for when any of your businesses keywords get mentioned across the internet. From this alert, updates, links or articles can be posted across the social media platforms. This system will keep a regular supply of ‘hot news’ that can get discussed.
We’ll compile a list of relevant backlink targets. Some of these will be easy to create, some will require outreach, and others might cost money (e.g. sponsorship or high-quality directories). These links will be built gradually and carefully so as not to cause unnatural spikes that search engines might not like. After a month or two, ‘before and after’ external audit tools will show clear progress across the web assets.
Longer-term strategy can then be discussed, depending on initial results. Our approach will evolve as we shelve misses and double down on hits.
We hope that we’ve explained our process clearly, feel free to supply as little or as much information as you have time to compile. We can do our research, but some of these requirements can only come from you, and all the elements are best coming from you.
Reach out to us if you have any questions!