I’ve noticed a growing school of thought that suggests online social media marketing is ‘free’. Well I guess it depends on how you define ‘free’. In my opinion, like any other marketing there is always a cost to online marketing, the difference is you can pay with time or money. The choice is yours! I’ve noticed over the years many small business owners tend to undervalue their time and then wonder why they are working 15 hours days with little to show for it. Trust me, I’ve been there too and I’ve found the solution is to count the cost of your time. You need to make a decision to outsource to the gifts and talents of specialists who can do the job quicker and better than you can do anyway.
When you have experience in online marketing you will identify ways to save time and money without compromising the effectiveness and efficiency of your campaign. If you don’t know what you are doing it could be the biggest time drain you have ever taken onboard. I’ve seen many business owners turn to online marketing in an attempt to decrease their marketing costs without really having a clear strategy to make it work for their business.
Having said all this and you are still interested in implementing your own online marketing strategies, WELL DONE! You have counted the cost and are ready to make the time investment required to succeed. Here is enough information to make you dangerous.
Keep track of statistics
When you understand the numbers, you can test measure and tweak your campaigns to produce the best results. With the use of free services like Google Analytics, you will be able to keep track of the numbers to get an understanding of what is working for you and what isn’t. It’s pretty simple really, increase what is working for you and decrease what isn’t. This way you will be able to focus on the tactics that are really effective. While this can be done with conventional advertising, the measuring of statistics are often expensive and extremely time-consuming.
Split-test and improve your campaigns on the fly
This is one thing you could never do with print advertising or even broadcast advertising. Once you have monitored the progress of your online marketing, take what you have learned and apply it to other marketing mediums. For example, if you come up with a great headline that performs well in Google Adwords, that’s a clue to suggest it would be a good headline for print based material.
Engage people and create conversations
Converting a prospect to a customer almost immediately can be done much more easily online than other marketing material. You can encourage a response online and engage your prospects in real time. You could not do this in newspapers or magazines, in order to create a connection the prospect would need to either call or visit your place of business. This makes the web a great place to conduct research about your target market and gauge what makes them buy your product or service.
There is a massive range of media you can use in online business marketing. This article is really only the basics you should consider when launching a marketing campaign online. There are so many other tactics and benefits that you could consider such as targeting demographics like location, gender and age. You could even base your targeting on the income, occupation and education in some online marketing tools.
I hope this gives you an idea on some of the things to consider. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.