Why your business needs a clear online marketing strategy
Every business needs marketing. To attract new customers, keep customers informed about your newest ventures and innovations and stay in the race with your competitors.
If you own an online business, then the overall effort you put into your online marketing must especially be laser focused.
Here’s why you need to start with a clear-cut marketing strategy if you don’t have one already!
Provides context and direction
Quite often business owners get caught up in the tactics available out there like Facebook advertising, Instagram TV, Google Adwords when they should be focusing on the strategy. Your online marketing strategy should flow from your overall business strategy and will provide context and direction as to where your resources and time should be focused.
For example, take a startup that wants to grow its customer base to attract investment. In this instance the primary focus should be on customer acquisition and brand awareness. The online marketing strategy should focus on the following:
- External market forces- (what is happening in the market that may influence customer behaviour)
- Competitor analysis- how are competitors attracting new customers
- Current strengths and weaknesses
- Target customers
- Acquisition objectives and KPI’s- what does success look like
- Channel execution plan including targeting- what tactics and channels to use
- Messaging and offers
- Advertising projections and ROI estimates
- How success will be monitored and measured
Saves you time in the long run
When you establish a clear marketing strategy, you determine what has to be done to achieve your goal and maintain a timeline of milestones to achieve as you progress.
If as a business you realise that acquiring customers is the most important area to focus on, then you can dedicate your time to daily and weekly tasks that will help meet your goal.
For example, a clear online strategy should outline who your target audience is. Where your target audience likes to hangout online, as well as keywords and messaging associated with the prospects you want to target. By referring to these marketing foundations, you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time you set up a Facebook or Adwords campaign.
The art of delegation
As busy business owners, we appreciate that when tasks can be delegated it free up time to focus on the business. Establishing an effective online marketing strategy helps in directing resources too. You will know exactly how much you need to spend on a particular area. Whether that be managing the Facebook and Instagram feed, sending out the weekly newsletter or managing the paid advertising, your online marketing strategy can help you organise your resources effectively.
An online marketing strategy curated for your business needs to be goal oriented. As in, it needs to be what you want to achieve.
An effective online marketing strategy contains SMART objectives and KPI’s that should be tracked using analytics. Without clear goals your marketing is likely to be directionless and unlikely to deliver the return on investment required.
Examples of KPI’s or goals include:
- Reach: Total traffic you want to drive to your site on a monthly basis
- Brand Interaction: Website engagement metrics like bounce rate, number of pages per session, newsletter subscriptions
- Conversion: Website conversion rate, average order
- Retention: Repeat purchases, return visitors
Without a clear online marketing strategy, many business owners have wasted time and money sinking resources into the newest tactic without understanding whether it is the right fit for the business.
Remember, you only get out what you put in!