If you run a thriving established business, then marketing isn’t really something that will trouble you. You simply have to pay your marketing department and let them take care of business. If you’re running a start-up, then marketing can be a much trickier affair. You won’t be able to pay someone to do the work for you: so you’ll have to take on that onerous task on top of all the other things you’re required to do. But where do you start? How do you market your business online effectively? Well, there are 3 key elements for online success: website design/functionality, social media and SEO. If you understand these key elements of internet marketing strategy and how they work together seamlessly, then you will be much better prepared for competing online.
Website design/ functionality
If you want to attract and retain viewers, your website has to be welcoming and easy to navigate. No one in their right mind would choose to visit a site that looks awful and performs badly. Your website is your portal to the online world and your first port of call with potential customers, so it’s important that it gives the right sort of impression.
You don’t have to seek expert advice to build an effective website. You can quite easily build your own, if you’ve got the time to spare and patience aplenty. However, if you really want to make the right sort of impression, then it is usually better to hire a professional website designer. Not only will they be able to build an up-to-date website that looks great; they’ll also be able to create a functional site for you too – that is, one that loads quickly and gives potential customers the answers they’re looking for with the very minimum of fuss.
There was a time not too long ago when social media was harshly regarded as the poor relation of marketing. How things have changed. Social media is no longer an optional luxury: it’s a marketing essential for today’s online businesses. If you want your start-up to reach previously untapped audiences, then it’s vital that you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube accounts. Not only will these social media platforms help you build your brand, they’ll also help you to interact with your audience and establish a reputation as an expert in your field.
As a start-up, which social media platforms should you be using? Well, that depends on a number of things, like the nature of your business and the market you’re trying to reach. The important point in social media marketing is that you have a plan and a strategy which you stick to. It’s far better to have just one or two accounts which you update regularly, than have a number of different accounts which you neglect.
There are many false claims made about search engine optimisation: some of them are true, but many are wildly exaggerated. What can’t be disputed is the power of SEO. SEO can make or break a website. Any new website is merely a small boat in an ocean of cruise liners and tankers. Unless the website is optimised it can never hope to compete with its bigger competitors, let alone force its way onto the first few pages of search results. An un-optimised website is simply a website, and at best it will only ever attract attention from those who already know of its existence. Other browsers will never find it.
Search engine optimisation makes it easier for search engines, and potential customers, to find your website from targeted queries relating to your products services. The other benefit of SEO is that you can gain valuable insights into your visitors’ behaviour through tools like Google Analytics. The beauty of SEO is that it can evolve over time in much the same way as a business can. Because of the ever-evolving nature of this marketing strategy, and because SEO can be extremely complex, it is often best to get help and advice from an SEO expert.