This time of year many businesses start the planning process for the upcoming calendar year. Below I offer some tips for developing your online marketing plan.
For those who already have a plan, I offer tips for streamlining and things to consider with the ever changing world of online marketing. If you haven’t done any formal planning for your online marketing in the past, these tips should help get you started.
If you are like many small businesses, sitting down and putting together a comprehensive marketing plan is not at the top of your list. But, I can’t say enough about how important I think this step is. You probably wouldn’t set out on a road trip without a road map, GPS, Google maps etc. A road map for the marketing of your business is equally as essential.
Spending some time now to discover more about your customers, your competition, what is working and what can be improved can not only give you tremendous insights but can also be a lot of fun and, I bet, rewarding.
So let’s get started.
(1) A good place to start is with a review of 2010.
* Actual performance vs. goals
* What marketing programs worked & why?
* What marketing programs didn’t work & why?
* How much did you spend on marketing? Was it allocated properly?
* What was your ROI on marketing spend?
If you don’t already know a lot about your customers, consider doing a survey. Some of the things to find out;
* who are your customers?
* what do they like about your product/service?
* how did they find out about you?
* what else they would like to purchase from you?
* what could be improved?
* what social networks are they active on?
* are they following you? If not, why not?
Once you’ve done a good review of 2010,
(2) Set your goals for 2011.
(3) Establish your marketing budget.
I think the good news here is that if you are not already using social media and SEO or it represents only a small part of your marketing campaign, you can get a lot of mileage with social media and SEO for relatively low expense.
Of course I realize that every company and business will have unique needs and develop unique online marketing strategies. However, I have developed the following points to consider as you build your marketing plans for 2011.
The buzz indicates that some key trends for next year will be Location, Mobile and Social. I believe it will be important to incorporate these into your online marketing plans.
Today I will focus on Location based services.
There are an increasing number of applications and technologies that enable location based services for online marketing; Google Places, Facebook Places, FourSquare to name a few. Make sure you claim your business on all of the location based services and then optimize your listing to ensure your business stays on top of lists and facilitates engagement with your customers. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to check out apps like Foursquare or Facebook “Places” to see if you can tap into the local online opportunities.
Where the location based services become really interesting and powerful from a marketing perspective is when they are enabled on mobile devices.
So, how could this be used for marketing your small business? These tools could open up exciting possibilities for local advertising tie-ins, coupons, offers etc. As a small business you may have the ability to display an ad or offer a coupon to potential customers who, through their profile, you know like the type of products and services you offer when they are currently near your business. In addition most of these geo-location based services have a backend analytics dashboard that will collect user data. This will allow you to seetrends and track your customers and propects.
If you have any questions about how to utilize these location based services I am happy to help. Contact me at OrganikSEO.com