If before Internet promotion was an advantage over competitors, now it is a necessary measure. It’s not enough just to have a website, you need to have a competent promotion strategy. Otherwise, you risk being left without customers and with a tight marketing budget.
In the course of working with small businesses, we have repeatedly encountered this problem. The fact is that many entrepreneurs do not understand what Internet marketing is. For them, this means creating “some kind of site” and “some kind of advertising.”
They neglect two important things:
- 1) Analytics and strategy. Without this, it is very difficult to understand which traffic channels to use, which sites to implement, etc. You will blindly sort through various marketing tools in the hope of luck.
- 2) Brand recognition . If you do not engage in brand recognition, then your advertising will work many times less efficiently. However, recognition requires investment: you need to develop a corporate identity and positioning, engage in content marketing, etc.
What is internet marketing?
We understand marketing as building a long-term relationship with the target audience. This is not only attracting applications here and now, but also work with recognition, work with positioning, with the product line. The result of quality marketing is how people perceive your company.
Analytics and strategy – the basis of building marketing
Let’s move on to the very stages of building Internet marketing. For example, with the entrepreneur Andrei, who owns a furniture company.
In the information field of Andrei, news constantly flashes that a particular furniture company is attracting customers through the Internet. He understands that this is promising. And he decides to do this too.
And here is what we advise Andrei to do:
1) Analysis of competitors and target audience . There is no point in doing analytics for the sake of analytics, therefore, below is a brief checklist of the key tasks that are being addressed at this stage:
- See and evaluate between which companies your potential customers choose.
- Build a list of promotion tools that competitors use.
- Examine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. Their weaknesses can be turned into their strengths.
- Identify and compare the positioning of competitors. Based on this, work out your market positioning.
- Clearly understand how the target audience makes a purchasing decision: what is important to it.
- Determine where to look for the target audience: on which sites or social networks, in a smartphone or computer, day or night, etc.
Andrei needs this analytical part in order to create a competitive offer. If you do not know your competitors and the needs of the audience, this will be impossible.
When the analytics is completely ready, you can begin to develop a marketing strategy.
2) Company promotion strategy. Marketing strategy is a phased plan to promote on the Internet. Usually done on a quarter, half year and year. Let’s briefly go over its main points.
- Lead generation . First you need to work out the tools with which you can begin to receive applications here and now. In the case of Andrey, this will be a simple bundle of landing and advertising in Google. So he will already begin to steadily receive customers from the Internet, while the following points of the strategy are being worked out.
- Sales optimization. Now it’s up to the optimization of sales, because the received orders must also be processed correctly. Implementing a CRM system, feeling for effective sales scripts, etc. We will not analyze this item in more detail below, because This is not our specialty. But potentially he may be present in the strategy.
- Branding Next, you need to do brand recognition. A person should not just look at your advertisement with the thought “another furniture company.” He should think: “Well, I already saw these guys, I have more trust in them, I’ll click on their advertisement.” The effectiveness of advertising will be many times higher. But for this you will have to work: make a corporate identity, think over positioning, etc.
- Content marketing. At this stage, the company is already becoming a brand. Now you need to work out the “marketing assets.” They do not always bring cosmic results immediately, but pay for themselves many times in the future. Typically, these assets are created using content marketing tools (a blog on a site, posts on social networks, etc.).
To summarize: first we quickly make the first flow of customers, so that there is a profit. Then we form the company into a full-fledged brand and thereby increase the effectiveness of advertising. Now we create long-term assets that will give more additional customers and audience loyalty.
Point strategy number 1. Lead generation.
Andrei spent some of his resources preparing for the promotion, so he has a logical desire to quickly recoup everything. To do this, he will use landing + advertising in Google. From the analysis of competitors, he realized that this is a promising way to get customers.
He does not have the task of making an expensive website with super-cool functionality and design. He simply cannot do this, because even the corporate identity has not yet been worked out. At this stage, it is enough for him to have a simple landing page with strong selling texts. It can even be done on the site builder.
I will make a small note. You can quickly generate leads not only through a combination of landing and advertising in Google. There are many other tools: a quiz site, a bullet site, bulletin boards, Instagram ads on the lead form, etc. The strategy also includes specific tools that should work best in your niche. At first, you can focus on one tool, but the faster you add new ones, the more market you will cover.
Point strategy number 2. Branding
Andrey’s company is steadily gaining customers. He understands that you can greatly improve the result if you pack a full-fledged brand.
What will this give Andrey?
- Each new interaction with his company will increase audience loyalty. Moreover, this interaction may simply be showing an advertising banner. But if the brand stands out and is remembered, the likelihood of a click on Andrei’s advertisement with each new such interaction increases.
- The brand recognition of Andrey will grow. People begin to remember him. They may not buy now. But when they need Andrey’s chairs, they themselves will remember his company and find it without any advertising.
As part of branding, it is exploring how the audience will perceive Andrey’s company. To manage this perception, you need to competently approach the creation of a corporate identity (logo, color, typography, etc.) and positioning (philosophy, values, product line, etc.).
Your corporate identity and positioning should immediately be embedded in all the materials that you use: advertising banners, websites, pages on social networks, etc.
To once again emphasize the importance of this stage, I will give as an example the promotion of our agency in Vkontakte.
Point strategy number 3. Content marketing.
So, by this moment Andrey had already adjusted the work of several lead generation tools (methods of receiving applications). Moreover, these tools should already be packed in accordance with the new positioning and corporate identity. IMPORTANT: the transition to the content marketing stage does not mean that you need to stop adding new lead generation tools.
Further, Andrey needs to build content marketing, which will form the loyalty of his target audience. There may be a million examples of content marketing, but here are the main ones:
- Shooting educational videos on Youtube with useful information for the target audience.
- Writing articles for your blog on social networks or on the pages of the site. Moreover, it can be both Andrey’s personal blog and the company’s blog.
- Building E-mail newsletters or newsletters on social networks.
That is, Andrey gives useful content to his potential customers, which increases their confidence in the brand.
Why will they choose Andrey’s company now?
Now, when a person faces a choice of a furniture company, he will choose Andrey’s company for a number of reasons:
- He constantly sees catchy and catchy advertisements of this company.
- He consumes the expert content of this company.
- The company’s products meet its needs.