You don’t have to have a doctorate in marketing to know that internet marketing is one of the most valuable ways to manage your reputation and reach your target market. While developing a strategy to create and manage your reputation online, having a great website is an important element, but should not be the beginning and end of your digital marketing plan.
The best strategy to manage your reputation online involves a cocktail of approaches, and ongoing work. To get you started, check out our list of strategies you need to incorporate into your online marketing plan to effectively build and manage your reputation on the interwebs:
Three Marketing Strategies for Building an Effective Online Presence
- Search Engine Optimization
Having the best website in the world is worth zippity zap if you don’t get traffic to it. How do you get potential customers to hit up your website? Three words (or three letters, if you acronyms): Search engine optimization (or SEO if you are the latter).
SEO is the science of getting search engines to recognize your website and rank it highly in applicable search results. This is important because 90% of purchases, both online and in-person, are researched online before any money is spent. When those 90% of customers research their purchase online, 75% start by asking Google for suggestions, rather than going to your website directly. When Google gives your future customers a list of results, 70% skip over the paid advertisements, and go straight to the organic results. And then, 33% of users choose the first website recommended by Google. About 18% go to the second link. Each following link gets a little less love. If you page lands on the second page of search results, you hold a 75% chance of never seeing the light of day. In other words, you want Google to know and like — nay — LOVE your website.
So how does a company improve their SEO? Well, there is an elaborate science behind this. The best way to get started is to consult with an SEO company. Even if you maintain your own SEO strategy in the long-term, using a professional to get you started is worth every penny you spend.
- Social Media
Almost all human beings, and certainly a majority of your target market, can be reached through social media. Social media gives you a platform to really create your online branding, and to improve brand loyalty. However, the powerful tool that social media is can be harmful if used improperly. Here are a few important rules for using social media to create a brand:
- Do not spam your followers. When you post too much, or when every single one of your posts is just a giant commercial that conveys “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY” to your followers, it makes them RUN to the “unfollow” button. Use your social media as an advertisement sparingly, when you have a special, or a new product to introduce.
- Be interesting. When your followers like something you post, they share it. This introduces your brand to all of their followers. Simultaneously, it improves your SEO, as Google sees your posts being shared and thinks, “hm.. this website must be worth looking at”.
- Interact with your customers. When a person feels heard and valued, it creates brand loyalty. Even huge brands like Southwest Airlines and Campbell’s Soup respond to tweets and Facebook comments from their followers. And immediately, the crowd goes wild!
- Pay per click advertising.
Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a great online marketing strategy because you literally only pay for the advertisement that actually generates traffic to your website. As the name suggests, the way PPC works is you create a banner or advertisement that pops when an online user enters a search engine query related to keyword terms that you determine. When the user follows the link associated with your ad, then you pay a few cents per visit. If they don’t click on your ad, you pay nothing. Ideally, you’ll get lots of traffic that turns into paying customers, but you only pay for the visitors your ad generates.
We want to hear from you! Do you have any tips for effective online marketing strategies? Please share them below!