You have the idea. The product or service has been secured & the infrastructure is in place. Now all you need is customers. Arg! That is the million pound question isn’t it? Getting customers is all about getting exposure and this is the crux of starting your business. So how do you get your customers? If you want to find them online, they key is to write engaging and interesting on-line content that will get you found on-line. This article won’t tell you what to write (only you will know that), but it will show you to build and strategise for your online marketing attack.
The magic of entrepreneurialism is being able to create something out of nothing, and this is where you have to let your special entrepreneurial power shine! An entrepreneur is basically a law abiding confidence man (or woman) with an ethical frame work; the confidence trick of the online world is all about finding a way of letting your natural enthusiasm and personality shine through. You will need first and foremost to start blogging about your produce/service and its related topics. Blogging is a must if you want to get your product or service known. Advertising is expensive and doesn’t have personality like online interaction does. Content is King and your blog is your army. If you remember the bad old days of early Google when you could be on page 1 of your favourite Google search term through ‘grey hat’ tricks that involved content spinning and reciprocal links, you might as well pretend they never happened. Content is really is the King now, baby! So the first step is to get your blog up and running. Your blogs and articles are the content that all your online efforts will point to. You might as well use WordPress as it is inexpensive to setup, easy to use, easy to maintain, and it is what most people are using (22% of the top 10 millions sites use it already with over 60 millions website using it right now! —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress). If you need help with your WordPress website, let us know (http://www.clickcreations.com). And in case you are wondering: yes, this article is me practising what I preach and is as much me formulating my own online marketing plan and suggesting yours to you! We have been making websites (and marketing ourselves along with helping our customers) for well over a decade, so trust us, this is a simple formula that works!
So you have made your blog, you have told all your friends about it, but now the real question is how are you going to find new customers? Do this by creating a Twitter account and a Facebook page. Play with both, learn what you can and cannot do style wise and make it look nice (yes, we can help with this too, but if you can do it yourself you’ll thank yourself for it later when you want to change it!). Keep in mind that social media is all about personality so quit being so fecking British and let loose a bit. It is a new world and boring just won’t cut it anymore, Inspector Blakey! Now that you have a Twitter account you’ll need to start two things: tweeting and following. Tweeting I’ll get to below, but following is easy: find anyone who matches the profile of your customers or whose business complements yours and follow them. Some people will follow you back, some won’t, but keep following and you’ll start to look busy. With your Facebook page, you can’t follow people or ‘like’ pages as easily, so keep that there and let is slowly grow (look our for our upcoming article on how to use Facebook ads to grow your Facebook page). Tell your friends about your Facebook page and try to encourage your customers to ‘like’ you. Find complementary Facebook pages and engage with them (more on this later) then tell them about your page.
The basics of your online marketing infrastructure are now in place, all you need to finish it off is something like Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/) which will help you unify your blog with Twitter and Facebook so every time you make a blog post, Twitter and Facebook will know about it too! There are other products that do similar things, but we’ve had most luck with Hootsuite and recommend it. In the next couple of weeks we will be writing an article about how to best use Hootsuite. Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss it!
Now that Hootsuite and everything is in place, you need to plan what content you are going to write. I suggest using a simple spreadsheet or whiteboard do something like this:
|Week 1:||Monday||Monday/Wed/Friday: 1 hour interactions||Monday 7pm: Hashtag hourTuesday: one tweet, 5 new followersThursday: hash tag hour & 5 new followsFriday: retweet something|
|Week 2:||Monday||Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour interactions, Wednesday morning seminar||Monday 7pm: Hashtag hourTuesday: one tweet, 5 new followersThursday: hash tag hour & 5 new followsFriday: retweet something|
Try and plan at least 1 month ahead, although a six month plan is even better. Look for thematic tie-ins to seasons, holidays, or cultural events. For example, if you have a fitness plan you can have themes around ‘bikini season’ or ‘getting fit for Christmas indulgences’ or that type of thing. Remember to be flexible with your plan so you can stay current and relevant. Lots of little is better than a little of alot, so aim for short and succinct blogs and articles rather large tomes when you write them. Articles are the hook, but the bait is your interactions with people, so don’t expect to post an article and have everyone read it. Social media is social so you need to interact, repost and retweet with people to get them interested. People love to talk about themselves, so the more you can engage and ask people about their needs the easier it will be fulfil those needs and discover what really engages them.
To recap: the key to successful online marketing is to have a consistent online presence, create a blog, create a twitter and Facebook account, then engage with people to expose them over to your product or service.