Tackling online marketing seems to be a challenge for big businesses and small businesses alike. Where do you even start? When it comes to online marketing, the sky is the limit. We’re talking about:
- SEO / SEM
- Paid ads management
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- In-bound marketing
- Brand penetration
- …[insert tomorrow’s marketing buzzword here!]
But what do all of these words above mean? Should I be doing all of them? My favorite brand has a Facebook page and sends me emails weekly – should I be doing the same? All of these questions are questions that our clients ask us every day, and it’s our job to help them sort through the confusing maze that is online marketing and prioritize what will help their businesses grow.
At the end of the day, online marketing efforts boil down to a few key business goals, and it is these business goals that we focus on at the start of any project.
Ready to start your online marketing? Make sure you can answer the following:
- What are the primary business goals for your online presence (e.g. branding/identity reinforcement, improved access to information, audience communications, sales, etc.)?
- Who are your competitors and what makes you different?
- Who are we talking to? Is there a specific target audience associated with your organization? Please be as specific as possible – demographics, location, behavior, tech savviness, etc.
- Why would this audience want to talk to you?
- What is the value of these visitors?
- What is the most important action you want these visitors to your site to complete? This must be specific, measurable and realistic (e.g. download a white paper, join, buy something, search a database, etc.). These are your conversion goals! (More on that below).
- What OFFLINE marketing tactics are you currently using or considering?
- What are your internal resources for your marketing efforts? Specifically, who generates content for your website and marketing efforts now?
- What is your marketing budget – both online and offline?
- And finally, and most importantly, what outcome will make this project successful?
The questions that most clients struggle with most often are #1, your primary business goals, and #6, setting realistic and measurable conversion goals. Without good business objectives, it’s going to be very hard for your business to prioritize what needs to get done. And without setting measurable goals, you will not be able to see which parts of your business strategy are thriving and which are falling short!
Here are some examples of business objectives and good marketing goals to get you started.
Examples of Business Objectives & Good Marketing Goals
Business Objective: drive more online sales
Measurable Marketing Goal: increase online revenue by __%
Business Objective: rank higher in Google search results
Measurable Marketing Goal: increase Google organic visits by __%
Business Objective: book more events
Measurable Marketing Goal: increase online event bookings by __%
Business Objective: get more newsletter subscribers
Measurable Marketing Goal: reach __ newsletter signups through the website
You can usually determine your business objectives by looking at your business internally and asking, “What do we want to accomplish? What do we want to achieve in the next x year(s)?
For setting measurable marketing goals, this gets a little trickier. At Ironistic, we typically set measurable goals for a year at a time for our clients. If we have historical data, we will set measurable goals to compare the current year to the year previous.
If your business is new and you have no historical data for us to base your goals on, we recommend using any data and information that you do have, and setting goals based on on-going marketing efforts and what you feel is realistic for your specific business considering the industry and your placement. And these goals can evolve and change over time, of course! If you are finding that you get more ROI from doing email marketing than social media, you might increase your newsletter signups goal and put more of your marketing efforts towards that rather than focusing your efforts towards getting more social media followers.
So sit down. Dig into the questions above. And then call your friendly Ironistic staff to take your online marketing to the next level!
Ironistic (http://www.ironistic.com) is a full service, online development and strategy firm. Founded in 2012, but with industry experience going back to 1996, Ironistic.com delivers full service website development and online strategies to companies of all sizes and across all industries. From small brochure websites to custom portals, Ironistic.com services include strategy and consulting, website/app design and development, online marketing and search engine optimization, and Web hosting and maintenance.
Started by internet professionals with more than 25 combined years of website experience, our staff experience includes experts that have worked on projects such as WhiteHouse.gov, Toyota Financial Services, Republic Airlines, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ASCE, OAAA, Washington Auto Show, and hundreds of small and medium sized companies, associations, and non-profits.