5 Web Marketing Basics to Give Your Business a Boost
BY Ilya Pozin
Now's the time to make a serious investment in online marketing. Here are five places to start.
When your business is in the red, there’s often more than one place to point the finger. One place you may not consider, however, is your marketing mix. (You are marketing, right? If not, this is undoubtedly the root of your problem.)
If it's not in the mix yet, now's the time to make a serious investment in Internet marketing. It’s one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your business, products, or services due to its unmatched reach and efficiency.
Here are five Internet marketing tactics you need to master:
1. A well-designed website. Design matters, especially when it comes to your website. This is because your website is the most powerful marketing tool for your business. In fact, poor or overdone Web design can get in the way of properly reaching your target audience and meeting business goals, resulting in an almost immediate loss in leads and revenue.
When your business is struggling, evaluating and improving your current Web design should be on the top of your to-do list. Do you have a clear call to action? What about effective, up-to-date content? Consider hiring a trusted agency or individual to handle your Web development needs.
2. Smart(er) SEO. Getting your brand to the top of search engine results is something every business wants. Still, optimizing your website and online content isn’t always top priority when it comes to marketing. Too many business owners think it requires a complex knowledge of programming. It really comes down to finding the right tools, understanding keywords, revising website and blog structure, and regularly creating content.
In light of the recent Google algorithm update Penguin 2.0, you need to be more aware of your SEO habits due to an increased focus on link spam. With this update, Google is showing more interest in helping websites become authorities in their niche--and ranking them higher when they are. Boost awareness for your company through the use of Author Rank, social sharing, and Google+ activity.
3. Noteworthy email marketing efforts. If you’re looking to reach your customers and stick to a tight budget, email marketing might do the trick. It’s your chance to keep your customers in the loop. But it’s also important to remember how frustrating a cluttered inbox can be, especially when the emails are coming from a company you trust. Make it your practice to send only current or potential customers concise and necessary content they can act on. Be sure to make it shareable and consider mobile devices in the design process.
4. Leave your mark socially. If your business isn’t on any social networking websites, then, well, you're living under a rock. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, and many other sites are the key to reaching your target audience and engaging them in insightful ways. Additionally, while you may have a social media presence, you may not be using it to its full potential.
According to HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Annual Report, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows and telemarketing. So, it’s time to dive into Twitter chats, build your presence on LinkedIn Groups, utilize Facebook advertising, and set up some Google+ Hangouts.
5. Embrace multimedia. Now more than ever is the time for meaningful imagery in your business's marketing tactics. YouTube receives more than one billion monthly visitors. The good news is, you don’t need to spend a fortune on cameras or lighting to spread your message through a visual medium. But you do need a strategy. Create a video campaign for your business. Be sure to use a keyword-rich headline, a strong editorial message, and a call to action.
How are you using marketing to save your business?
ILYA POZIN is the founder of Open Me, a social greeting card company. He founded his first company, Ciplex, a digital marketing and creative agency catering to small businesses and start-ups, at age 17. @ilyaNeverSleeps