April 16, 2013

6 Essential Marketing Steps for Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners


A First-Rate Internet Marketing Strategy Gets Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Noticed. Just Do It™. We're all familiar with Nike's iconic tag line; it's short, simple and to the point. Inherently we know what to do to make it happen; take the plunge and use that gym membership we bought in January, or register for that art class we've always wanted to attend. But what if Just Do It™ means something different to you, like executing a successful internet marketing campaign? How does it translate? How can entrepreneurs and small business owners create and launch outstanding internet marketing campaigns to generate leads that will convert into sales? You realize it is essential that you market your business online but what makes a good internet marketing strategy? Below are six essential marketing steps for getting found online.

Keyword Strategies for Entrepreneurs, Small Business & Everyone Else

Keyword StrategyThe first step for every successful internet marketing campaign, regardless of the nature of the business, involves the development of a strong keyword strategy. You need to take off your entrepreneur's hat and swap it for your consumer's hat; you have to think like your target customer, i.e., when searching online for the type of product your company offers, what exact words would a potential customer type into a search engine like Google or in Social Media such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook? Choosing extremely specific keywords that really define your business is vital to how you are found online; it's not about your brand or your company name. Use 3-5 of the most carefully selected and relevant keywords that highlight your business; this is your long-tail keyword strategy. Once you have defined your keyword strategy, then ensure you use these dynamic words throughout your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses keywords for ranking websites and it is ultimately these strong keywords that will attract good quality leads to your website.

Do You Really Need to Blog?

Blogging The only answer to the question is a resounding "yes". It's not enough to have a beautifully designed website, with all the bells and whistles, if nobody sees it. Now that you've attracted quality leads to your site with your keyword strategy, you need to convert them into customers before they get away! A business blog, churning out quality, informative and educational content relevant to your industry is an absolute necessity to getting found on the internet. With your keyword strategy in place, the next step to becoming a successful internet marketer comes down to blogging, blogging and more blogging. Your aim is to drive traffic to your website by way of captivating article titles based on your keyword strategy; by getting people interested in you through SEO (search engine optimization) you are encouraging them to visit your site. Blogging language should be fun, casual and friendly. It's not the place for boring company statistics and annual reports; blog content should have value, be solution-oriented and relevant in order to attract new customers.

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Call-To-Action Buttons and Landing Pages Lead to Success

CTA Landing PagesFor any internet marketing campaign to be successful each blog article should include a solid Call-To-Action button linked to a Landing Page. CTAs are powerful tools that drive your blog readers further down the conversion funnel and are essential to all successful blog posts because they have value. Your aim is to turn these leads into customers by offering them informational and engaging content such as eBooks, free downloads, discount offers, white papers and consultations; you want your visitors to take action by downloading your materials. To be seen as a leader in your industry, include excellent CTAs in your blog posts to further solidify your reputation as a company that people want to reach out to and one they can trust. Make sure your CTAs are linked to your Landing Pages as this is where your form is found. Once a website visitor completes the form with their information, they should automatically be redirected to a Thank-You page where they can download your offer -- now you have a lead! Think of your CTAs and Landing Pages as your 24/7 employees because they never stop working for you -- they don't take vacations and they never call in sick!

Social Media Gets Entrepreneurs and Small Business Into the Game

Social Media Successful entrepreneurs and small business owners who harness the power of Social Media reap the results. Everyone is on Social Media these days so get in the game and participate! Social Media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, to name a few, are platforms where you can communicate directly with your customers in real time. Choose the social media platforms that your target customers are using to get the most benefit out of your time. Here you can highlight products and services you offer along with your branding, testimonials and success stories. Social media encourages the sharing of content with others so this type of 'word-of-mouth' marketing helps to increase interest in your business and to generate legitimate leads as well.

Measurable Analytics Bring Results

AnalyticsNow that you are driving all this exciting traffic to your website with your fantastic internet market campaign you have to measure your efforts. Keep track of which offers are performing best and which of your CTAs are the most popular. If one offer isn't bringing in the type of leads you want or expect, test it out with a new landing page or redesign the look and feel of your blog post by adding more visually appealing content. To constantly improve your conversion rate, i.e. turn leads into customers, you have to carefully and continually analyze, test and measure your processes to achieve the best results.

Internet marketing may seem like an overwhelming and daunting task to start with but if you break it down, step-by-step, focusing on keyword strategy, blogging often, creating exciting CTAs and Landing Pages, jumping into Social Media and consistent measurement of your efforts, you will increase your customer base and your revenue exponentially!

GamePlan Marketing is a Full-Service Creative & Digital Agency located in the Oakville, Greater Toronto Area in Canada. We Specialize in Digital Marketing for B2B Technology Companies.

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