The basis for any good online marketing plan is an awesome landing page. But regardless of how incredible your landing page is, you still need to get people there. That’s often the part that breaks down when a company actually starts marketing a new product or service online. They’ve got the landing page that’s been expertly designed and follows all the best practices, but they’re not getting conversions because they’re not getting traffic.
There’s tons of information out there for crafting an online marketing program that won’t cost you much more than time. One little problem: there’s so much information available that it’s often overwhelming. Even things like infographics that try to break it down can be too much.
So we’ve crafted the ultimate online marketing recipe. One that’s easy to follow and breaks everything down into steps. We’ve linked more information about most steps throughout the article so you can easily access more in-depth information if you need it.
Stage One: Gather Your Ingredients
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The first stage of your marketing recipe consists of gathering up your ingredients. You’re laying the groundwork here for the rest of your marketing efforts, so make sure you don’t skip anything. Think about what happens when you leave out an ingredient in a recipe for a cake. Leave out the flour, and you get a soupy mess. Leave out the sugar and the taste is horrible. Leave out your eggs and the whole thing crumbles. The same thing happens if you leave out a key ingredient of your online marketing plan.
So let’s start by claiming your brand on the major social networks: Google+ (as soon as brand pages are available), Facebook, and Twitter. Depending on your industry, there might be niche social networks where you also want accounts (for example, an author might want to set up an account on Goodreads and LibraryThing as well). Make sure you customize your Twitter background. This can serve as your social landing page until your website and other landing pages are ready.
At this point you also want to set up your corporate blog and start posting right away. Make sure you submit your content to social sharing services (like StumbleUpon) and bookmark it on sites like Delicious. Research popular keywords related to your content and make sure you tag your posts with those words, and include them naturally within the content itself.
On the technical end of things, you’ll want to set up a Google Analytics account, a Google Webmaster Tools account, and a Feedburner account for managing and monitoring your RSS feeds. Analytics will help you monitor exactly what’s happening on your website, where your traffic is coming from, etc. Make sure you set up some goals and conversion funnels there, and annotate any important events (like a mention on a big blog) so you can remember six months from now why you saw a spike or a dip in traffic at a particular time.
At the same time, you should be gathering up leads for your product or service launch. Make sure you use a hosted email provider like Gmail, not a program like Outlook. Create your email template at this time, too.
- Set Up Your Website Correctly.
- Build a website. Chances are your company already has one. But if they don’t you can’t go any farther. Your website is the central hub of your entire online marketing strategy.
- Install Google Analytics. Make sure the analytics code is on every page of your website.
- Set up a Google Webmaster Tools account. Create a sitemap XML file and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. Be sure to have your web designers or developers fix any errors that Google Webmaster Tools may alert you to. We have a pretty comprehensive guide to Google Webmaster Tools here.
- Claim Your Social Networking Profiles.
- Sign up for a Twitter account. Think about your Twitter name because people will naturally “mention you” on Twitter by typing @yourcompanyname. Therefore you’ll most likely pick a Twitter name and URL like: http://twitter.com/yourcompanyname. Be sure to link back to your website in your profile.
- Have a professional designer create your Twitter background. Your Twitter background should be consistent with your website branding and offer some basic contact information. Consider communicating your value proposition on the background or in your profile description.
- Create a Facebook page (not a profile). Like Twitter, create a Facebook page and claim your Facebook URL to be something like: http://facebook.com/yourcompanyname.
- Set up Your Company Blog.
- Keep your blog on your company domain name. The whole point of blogging is to attract relevant traffic back to your website. Blogging on another domain other than your company domain, defeats this purpose. This is the fundamental reason why blogging is good for SEO. For example, your blog should be located somewhere like: http://www.yourcompanyname.com/blog or http://blog.yourcompanyname.com.
- Keep your blog design consistent with your website design. They don’t have to look identical, but for the same reason you keep your Twitter profile in alignment with your company branding and design style, you should do the same for your company blog.
- Get your Email Marketing Ready.
- Choose an email distribution service. Sending mass emails from your personal computer email client or web based email account is a sure fire way to shoot your email marketing campaign in the foot. Choose an email distribution service like Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Aweber to send out your company newsletter. Each of these services are great for making sure your emails get through to your email base while minimizing the dreaded spam folder. On top of that, they make adding new emails to your marketing list a snap.
- Create an Email Template. Again keep your email template consistent with your website branding and design style. Sigue leyendo