Having an online marketing strategy as a new business owner can give you the competitive advantage to help your grow your business quickly.

There are many components to a successful online marketing strategy.

It can be a little overwhelming to figure out which components to use since they vary based on your type of business and how you want to engage with your customers.

However, here are some common key areas that all online marketing plans should have in to be successful.

In this article, I’ll give you an online marketing checklist to help you craft a plan that not only works for you but is easy to implement.

Your Website

Websites are an absolute must and form the foundation of any online marketing strategy.

Your website where you will direct traffic, collect and work leads and provide information to your potential clients.

If you don’t know where to start or don’t feel comfortable developing a website, you can hire a web developer to do the website design for you.

Check out Adrien Burel’s Web Design Portfolio for samples of great online marketing campaigns.

Here are some of the key considerations when hiring a web developer:

  • Branding
    Create a consistent brand with your logo, colors and website copy
  • About page
    This is arguably the most important page on your website – a strong About page will attract customers
  • Blogging
    Use a business blog to increase website traffic and build authority with Search Engines
  • Mobile-friendly
    This is a must for Google ranking – make sure your web developer makes your website mobile responsive
  • Social sharing
    Make it easy for your visitors to share your content via social media
  • Metrics
    Ask your web developer to collect metric data and reporting so you can gauge how your site is performing over time

Create Content

Content production is focused on creating shareable content that is valuable to your chosen audience.

It may be out of the scope of this particular article but consider developing a separate content marketing strategy.

Some elements to consider in your strategy include –

  • Content Calendar
    Create a calendar to create and publish consistent content
  • Social Sharing
    Make sure you have a plan on how to distribute your content and get it in front of your audiences eyes across all your social platforms.
  • Repurpose content
    Think of ways that you can reuse content – such as in blog posts, videos or e-books
  • Guest posting
    One way to get a great boost in website traffic and authority is to guest post on other sites

Get Social

Using social media can be an excellent marketing tool especially when you leverage a content marketing plan.

Posting content and links on your social media increases traffic to your website and blog and affords you direct personal communication with clients and prospects.

Whether you post to social media as part of your online marketing or hire a freelancer to do it for you consider these tips:

  • Start with one platform first
    Find one that is a right fit and master it first rather than scatter yourself
  • Stake Your Brand
    Make sure to claim your brand on all platforms even if you don’t use all of them
  • Brand Consistently
    Make sure your social media matches your website
  • Engage Without Advertising
    Social media is for conversations – create a community of fans around your brand
  • Posting Calendar
    use your already created content publishing calendar or a tool like Buffer to deliver consistent fresh content
  • Metrics
    Either you or your freelancer should collect metrics in order to understand how your social strategy is performing over time

Email Marketing

Another important part of your online marketing strategy is email marketing.

If you or your freelancer have been doing things correctly with your content and social marketing, you will have people signing up to your email list.

Email marketing gives you the ability to deliver information constantly to your customers.

When you are deciding the steps to your email campaign keep in mind the following tips:

  • Get the right platform
    There are many email marketing platforms – choose one that is the right mix of features and price
  • Create a newsletter template
    Take the time to create a branded newsletter template that you can reuse
  • Promote email signups
    Promote your newsletter wherever you can i.e. website, email signature, social media etc. to grow your email list
  • Metrics
    As with other items collect metrics to see your email campaign performance over time

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is a huge consideration for online marketing.

You need to optimize your content to get it out there and for this reason it goes hand in hand with your content and social strategies.

If you are new to SEO, take some time to learn the basics or hire a freelancer to help you with it.

If you want to take the DIY route, you may want to review some of the basics of SEO for small business first.

Then, use the suggestions below to get started:

  • Research
    Use a service like Alexa to get competitive research on your competitors, then determine what keywords they use and how you rank against them
  • Get Keyword Smart
    Choose targeted keywords from your research above for all of the content you create
  • Metrics
    Use tools like Google Analytics or the ones you have on Moz to gauge how your optimized content is performing

Getting Help With Your Online Marketing

As I mentioned in this article, you aren’t going to have your hands in every aspect of your small business.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with anything you don’t understand.

You can find freelancers or agencies that will help with everything that we covered including

  • Graphics design
  • Website Design
  • eCommerce website development

Consider outsourcing what you aren’t comfortable doing and concentrate on growing your business in the way you find to be most valuable.

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