While having a powerful online marketing plan does a lot to boost your business, connecting effectively is crucial. 84% of people still rate personal recommendations as the most valuable form of advertisement. Instagram offers a unique benefit as it creates communities of brand followers and loyalty. That’s some pretty powerful stuff and can be used to your advantage in online marketing!
Social media is a powerful online marketing tool, but not all social media is created equal. We recommend testing the waters first to see what will work best for you. The first thing to remember is that you are trying to build a communication cycle and engagement with your target audience, not just a one-way “broadcast”. Traditional advertising does a good job getting your message branded into the end consumer, but to really have a powerful online marketing plan, you must connect with your audience.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to connect like a pro:
1. Learn Your Audience
In business, we all start out with a target customer. Typically, this is a big part of your business plan, and it is important to develop a powerful online marketing plan. However, far too often we either misjudge who our real customers are, or we fail to fully understand them. If the people that are drawn to your offering are very different than what you initially imagined, then you could easily find yourself insulting your entire community on accident.
In order to avoid this and to maximize your impact, start with your available data. Gather all the available information you have on your existing customer base in order to draw a clear picture of who they are. After you have collected data on your existing customer base it’s time to do your online research. All of the major social media sites offer some form of analytics and there are third party software solutions available as well. This analytic data is an important piece of developing your powerful online marketing plan. This data will let you know who your audience, is what their interests are, and what their behavior looks like.
2. Determine a Strategy
Once you understand your audience it’s time to develop a strategy. You won’t be able to achieve a powerful online marketing plan without a proper strategy. Thankfully, this can be done with only a few steps.
- Set Goals – Why are you using social media? Are you trying to create brand awareness? Drive sales? Grow your following? Setting a couple of goals for your social media marketing is important to make sure that you can stay on task.
- Define Metrics – Once you have determined what your goals are you will need to define metrics in order to see how effective your efforts are, and what activities create the results you want.
- Create Your Story – A powerful online marketing plan is full of storytelling. Who are you? What is your brand about? Why should your audience care? These questions and more will help you connect with your audience and define the direction of your marketing efforts.
- Plan Your Content – Once you’ve completed the above steps it’s time to decide on your content. Whether you go for humor or information, the kinds of images or videos you will post, and the captions and tags to go along, are all crucial parts of your content strategy. Once you know what you want to achieve and convey with your content making those decisions is much easier.
3. Create Content
Once your strategy is in place it’s time to begin creating. You’ll want to make sure that all of your analytics are in place in order to track what types of content provide the best results. Building a powerful online marketing plan takes great content and smart tracking.
The first three steps are necessary but this last step is what really makes the difference. Social media marketing gives the opportunity to connect with our audience like never before. We can communicate directly with them which is a powerful advantage. People find it easier to communicate more freely online, so you know you will be getting real, honest feedback. Replying to your follower’s comments, liking their posts, and sharing their content are all ways to increase engagement and build a powerful online marketing plan.
Invest in Engagement
A powerful online marketing plan will take a lot of work, but the results are worth it. Remember to test the waters first to make sure the platform will work for your goals. Once you’ve chosen a platform plan, plan, and plan some more. Developing the right strategy and metrics to track your success are crucial. After you’ve developed a plan start creating content and connecting with your audience. Not only will this help you develop a powerful online marketing plan, but you’ll find out it’s incredibly fun too!
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®