The internet can be a remarkably confusing place for an advertiser. Despite there being a wealth of freely available information on the fundamentals of successful web marketing, most of these resources are found on the internet itself, leaving a skeptic to ponder their level of objectivity. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is trying to sell you something, and as a business owner you need to decide exactly which platforms, and more importantly, which combination of platforms best suits your requirements. To avoid getting sucked in by some cleverly-pitched marketing software that ends up being completely ineffective, we recommend sticking to the basics. Here are a few helpful tips to establishing an online marketing campaign plan:
1. Consider Your Visual Collateral
Images and video drive the web. If your business is image-oriented (eg. a wedding photographer, a fancy cake shop), you’ll want to choose web platforms that accentuate your visual collateral to sell products or services. Your website should act as a central hub, while your various social media and blog posts should be strategically peppered with bold imagery that draws people back to the site. If you’re in a more traditionally “boring” non-visual field (eg. oil refinement, stock trading), this won’t be as big as an issue. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are 3 examples of social platforms that heavily accentuate the visual, whereas others like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ tend to play it down in favour of putting the focus on written content.
2. Choose Your Social Media Accounts Wisely
Some businesses who embrace social media, particularly smaller ones, make the mistake of starting too many different accounts across multiple platforms without properly maintaining them. Sure, it’s great to have active, regularly-updated presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, but if you aren’t in a position to put the time and effort into maintaining them on a scheduled basis, they’ll remain stagnant and give the impression that your business is lazy and inconsistent. Unless you have a dedicated full-time social media manager, stick to the one or two social platforms (in addition to your website) that you’re most comfortable with and commit to a few posts per week on each.
3. Cross-Post Strategically
Once you’ve settled on the web environments that suit your business best, develop a plan for how best to spread your message across all of them without sounding appearing overly repetitive or self-promotional. For example, if you’re working with Facebook, Twitter and a Blog, segment your content accordingly to appear constantly fresh: maybe a blog post one day, a Facebook post the next day and a series of Tweets linking to your blog post and websit the next. Keep the messaging consistent so that there’s no confusion, and ensure that your branding/logo is uniform. You can even promote your Facebook posts on Twitter and vice versa.
If you feel that all this is over your head, there’s no shame in hiring a professional to manage your web presence, but ensure that you enlist the services of a reputable organization. There are thousands of supposed “web marketing professionals” out there who are quick take your money, yet will offer very little support once they’ve closed the sale. A successful online marketing campaign plan requires consistent, ongoing support to come to fruition, and at the end of the day, your business deserves the best online representation it can afford.
Image Credit: Daily Mobile