Marketing for the 21st Century

Whether you’re interested in hiring an Internet marketing pro to handle your social media accounts or you’re determined to do it all yourself, there are right ways to go about branding and marketing your business online… and there are wrong ways.

No matter how much time, effort, or money you invest in your blog, e-newsletter, or social media accounts, there’s one thing that should never be overlooked: a plan. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in today’s web-centric world is neglecting to unite all of your marketing efforts into one cohesive drive – and you’ll see the difference—in customer response and in sales—once you do.

A cohesive marketing plan unites social media and online efforts

Why is this single factor so important? First, it’s a question of branding. When you have a consistent voice and message across your various social media accounts, email messages, and the text that appears on your website, you’ll present a unified image to your customers. That sense of cohesion is vital in any marketing campaign, whether it’s the work of a Fortune 500 company or a small, home-based business.

Next, coordinating your marketing efforts to support one another saves effort and delivers greater results. Not only will you save various marketing directors – each handling a unique division of your marketing plan – from recreating the wheel, you’ll be able to position your strategy to drive customers from one brand element to the next.

Following the path of online marketing success

Say you’ve posted something helpful, clever, or original on Twitter. It gets retweeted by a few of your fans, whose dozens of followers now see your comment. From there, some of those people will check out your Twitter profile. If your profile interests them, they’re likely to click on links you’ve previously tweeted, or to visit your website or blog to learn more. Do all of these pages have the same message and vision of your company, or are they scattered and confusing?

A smart marketing plan unites all of these vehicles so that your Facebook page, Twitter account, company website, blog, and email campaigns all deliver the same impression and complement one other. Ideally, a potential customer who discovers you through any of these marketing “branches” will be led back to the “tree” where there are special offers to sign up for, the option to subscribe to a free email newsletter, and easy ways to purchase directly from your business.

Reporting tools bring it all together

Finally, it’s important to have tools in place to monitor your successes – and improve upon the areas that aren’t working as well as they could. Reporting and tracking tools are vital for every online marketing campaign, delivering up-to-the-minute information on visitor and customer behavior.

Small, isolated analyses can’t effectively monitor these stats, or they don’t produce enough information to make use of them. Only a comprehensive, overall marketing campaign gives you the power and flexibility to interpret your social media activity and refine it to make your business stronger.

Next time you consider hiring a freelance blogger or putting an in-house staffer in charge of your Facebook posts, think twice.

  1. Does this person understand your company’s branding and know how to support it?
  2. Will their work strengthen your overall marketing mission and help people find other, lucrative parts of your online promotions?

If not, take the time to lay out a cohesive marketing plan that will be used by all your online marketing experts, creating a consistent company personality so customers, old and new, can get to know the real you.

 

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