March 18, 2011

Let’s Stay in Touch

Part 3 of our Plan, Push, Interact Article Series

The cornerstone of many marketing plans these days is the website. An effective website offers information about the business, products, services, galleries of finished work, client testimonials, and practical ways to contact you. Think about the website as a home base of sorts. This home base should be a castle – strong, well built and beautiful to behold. It should also welcome as many visitors as possible. The appearance of your website, as with any marketing materials, is paramount.

With a solid website in place, businesses can engage in online marketing endeavors including on-site search engine optimization, online marketing and social media marketing, among others.

Effective search engine optimization will enable your website and its content to be searched, indexed and displayed by search engines on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the rank in these results, the more traffic your website will see. NOTE: it is estimated that over 75% of all users visit sites on page ONE of the SERPs. This translates into quite a bit of missed opportunity of your website is on page 2 or below.

Online marketing efforts can include link acquisition, directory listings, article publication, and more. This aspect is primarily focused on how well distributed your business name, business web address and your related content is around the web. A website that is an island – segregated, alone and with no friends – is not likely to garner much attention or traffic. (Unless you happen to invent the new Facebook).

Social marketing and social media are hot buzzwords these days. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc are sites where your business can have a voice, make updates regularly and interact with friends, fans, peers and prospects. The key to bear in mind with all social media is that they are social in nature. This is not an arena where people want to be pitched to, coerced to buy or even whisked away to another site. Social Networking sites offer the ability to create FREE profiles for your personal and business use, and to engage in discussions with your friends and clients. This is a great way to stay in touch with the needs and wants of your audience.

Successful marketing begins with a strong plan, complete with clear goals and milestones along the way. In addition, concrete branding and messaging, along with professionally design print and online materials, can make a strong impact on your audience. Engaging with your target in friendly, social ways will keep your name in their thoughts. And measuring your efforts periodically will ensure that your efforts are evaluated for effectiveness. So begins the long and happy road to marketing, growing and succeeding in business.