by Paul Slack
This week we are continuing down the path of Developing a Winning Internet Marketing Business Plan. Last week we began to answer the question ‘What is Internet Marketing’. This week we will look at the fundamental elements of Internet Marketing Content, Social, and Search.
Fundamental Elements of Internet Marketing
To recap from last time, when you cut through the BS, Internet Marketing isn’t a tactic or a website or some magical pill that will transform your business overnight. It is a form of marketing and communication that happens asynchronously in the virtual world-wide-web with your subject matter experts and customers who have questions and need help to make informed buying decisions. Now, let’s take a look at what elements are necessary to build a successful business plan.
Content – This is the fuel for any online marketing business plan and is at the heart of asynchronous communication with customers and prospects. Content can take the form of web pages, blog posts, video, infographics, discussions, webinars, and forums. To succeed online you must provide a steady diet of useful communication and information to your audience. We will take a deep dive on how to come up with topics that engage your audience by developing a content strategy in an upcoming post. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date.
Search Engines – Search Engines are the most effective way of connecting with in-market buyers because buyers are initiating the process by conducting searches online. Buyers are now are the most educated, self-informed customers of all time. They let their fingers do the walking to dream, research, and educate themselves in a very unstructured way. 89% of consumers will use a search engine at some point during this phase. Search Engines give us the ability to connect with these buyers as they are researching. Making sure your content shows up (organically or through PPC) is critical.
Social Media – Unlike search, social media will not provide as good a way to connect with in-market buyers while they are researching. However, social media is the best way to build awareness and connect with future buyers (people who fit the profile of your ideal customer but are currently not in-market). Social Networking sites know a lot about their users and provide easy ways to make connections and share information. Finding future buyers and building community with them is a fairly simple process. However, you will need to nurture your communities by feeding them content on a regular basis.
You will see how bringing content, search and social together create the perfect situation for those within your business to communicate and inform with your potential customers whether they are in-market right now or will be at some point down the road. However, you will not be successful without a plan. A plan will give you direction and a way to measure how you are doing. The rest of this series will take you step by step through our planning process so that you can build a winning strategy for your business. In our next post we will introduce you to the DART BOARD concept for developing your Internet marketing business plan.
IN THIS SERIES ON DEVELOPING A WINNING INTERNET MARKETING BUSINESS PLAN WE WILL REVIEW:
PART 1 – An Introduction
PART 2 – What is Internet Marketing Part 1
PART 3 – What is Internet Marketing Part 2
PART 4 – What is Internet Marketing Part 2 (Content, Social, Search)
PART 5 – Introduction to DART BOARD Business Planning Process
PART 6 – Overview of Resources Provided (Templates)
PART 7 – Who Are the Players (Search, Social) Part 1
PART 8 – Who Are the Players (Search, Social) – Part 2
PART 9 – Understanding Buyers and Their Motives
PART 10 – Developing Personas
PART 11 – Putting the Internet on a Quota (Developing KPI’s) Part 1
PART 12 – Putting the Internet on a Quote (Stages of Maturity) Part 2
PART 13 – Identifying Tactics
PART 14 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 1 – Overview
PART 15 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 2 – Key Phrase Analysis
PART 16 – Developing a Content Strategy Part 3 – Brainstorming and Topics
PART 17 – Producing an Action Plan
PART 18 – Reporting