Marketing is the life wire of every business. No matter your investment and product quality offers, if your marketing fails, you are unlikely to succeed in business.
Many entrepreneurs just think once the business is started, sales will automatically turn in and keep growing for the business. That could be the case in some and few exceptional cases especially where there is little or no competition.
In the competitive world, a lot of planning is required and marketing must get it right for business to grow to become a success.
This post examines our tested tips to run a successful marketing program for your online business. Let’s get started.
Table of contents:
- Understanding the marketing function.
- Starting your new business.
- Reviewing an existing business operation.
- Analyze key marketing success factors
- Strategies for succeeding online.
- Things you must avoid to succeed online
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Understanding the Marketing Function
The whole essence of marketing is to satisfy the customers through quality offerings and win customer loyalty. This presupposes that there should exist a quality product offering that can generate sales for the business, pay its bills and return profits to guarantee sustainability.
Marketing involves a chain of activities leading to product development, designing and launching an acceptable product that serves a market and has potential to be profitable, deciding a price for the product, promoting the product to the customers and getting the products to where customers can purchase. In most online product cases, the delivery is automated.
So getting the marketing function right will bring you a lot of customers and guarantee the profitability of your offerings.
Marketing has been largely misunderstood to be synonymous with selling. They are actually two different concepts though one is wider in scope than the other.
While selling involves the direct contacts you make with prospects to achieve a sale, marketing involves a value chain including researching to understand the consumer, designing a product that can meet the needs of consumers and all other functions including pricing and distribution.
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Starting Your New Business
Starting a new business online can be quite easy. All that may be required is to register your domain name and get a hosting account. These can be done within minutes.
But more than that, you need to be able to drive traffic to your website because the more traffic you can drive, the better and more sales you can achieve.
Achieving good traffic to your website will require a lot of content that ranks. Over 90percent of search traffic is routed through Google and Google itself uses its content database to serve searchers the answers to the search queries..
So gaining traffic means you have to rank high for the various search queries and when your content serves the needs of searchers, you could get some referral links and more traffic from those referrals.
So there are two people you need to impress:
- The search engines need your quality content.
- The searchers need your quality content to answer the questions they ask.
Search Engines and Quality Content
The Google Webmaster Guidelines spells out what amounts to quality content in detail. You can check the quality rater guidelines on Google. We will look into these signals in greater detail later in this post.
Quality Content to Answer Searcher Questions
One thing that gives you an advantage is how much your content answers the questions people ask. If your response to the questions are very satisfactory, you will be getting recommendations in forums and from other sources and that is how your traffic and popularity will grow.
Google has a way of knowing about content that people are happy with, content that answers people’s questions satisfactorily and will reward those content with higher ranking.
Reviewing an existing business operation
If you already operate an online business and are struggling to take off despite all efforts, there are a few considerations you need to evaluate and see where you do need to make adjustments.
- Check the history of your domain name. If you have bought an expired domain with a bad history, your website could be affected by its past just as it could also gain from its authority and link juice.
- Check competitor profiles. In very competitive industries, you will have to cope with a lot of websites with strong domain authority and you will require a lot of work to make it to the top. You need to draw a content marketing plan, take care of your SEO and be patient to see results.
- Review your SEO. This has been mentioned earlier. It is being reemphasized that you carefully assess your technical, on-page and off-page SEO. Try to also check for errors on your page including error reports in Google search console be sure that you have taken care of everything.
- Review your product offering and presentation and consider a review for your “call to action”
- Check the performance of your pages and review performance metrics like bounce rate, number of pages visited, entry and exit pages, average time spent on page. This should help you understand the pages that are performing well and those that are not. You will then need to review content on those pages like the titles and banners, check call to action and see how you can tweak these content for more optimized performance.
- Check the speed of your website. Speed performance can be attributable to your web host and your design. Ensure you optimize your website for speed..
- Check your website’s mobile friendliness. More people now browse the internet using mobile devices like tablets and phones than those using laptops and desktops. Your website should be mobile friendly to attract and keep visitors and encourage the desired actions.
Analyze key marketing success factors
There are some key elements of the marketing program you should take in analysing your competition and to learn and draw insights into your success. How well you stack on these factors can significantly affect your success online. We will consider some few of these key factors:
- Understanding your audience or target market
- takes your audience’s needs seriously.
- Provide the right communication about product offering.
- Get reviews on your product
- Optimize your web presence
Understanding your audience or target market
The reason you are in business is to meet the needs of people. Whatever you offer on the internet, it must be designed to target people and meet their needs.
You need to understand their needs, their buying behavior and characteristics and tailor your product offerings to satisfy these needs. For example, it does not make sense publishing a blog post for aged people on social media at 11pm when they are sleeping and the post would have been overwritten by newer posts by the time they are awake.
Understanding your buyer characteristics, their composition and behavior can be very helpful in designing a strategy to reach them, appeal to them and win their patronage.
Take your audience needs seriously
It is not enough to understand the needs of your audience. You also need to take practical steps to address these needs. For example, in analyzing their needs, you have to decide on when they need it, why they need it, how they need it.
These can help you with decisions about the transportation methods or the mix that should be deployed to meet the expectations of your various customers.
Provide the right communication about product offering
Your communication about the product will speak of your expertise and how knowledgeable you are about what you offer. You need to demonstrate expertise in your communication with your target audience.
Get reviews especially on your product
Reviews play a crucial role in buyer decisions. Once the customer feels satisfied about a product or service, there is the tendency to know how people who have used the product feel and what were the challenges they faced.
The major interest will be how the product worked, was there technical support, how fast were issues resolved and so on. You will get some added advantage if the reviews are positive.
Be mindful about reviews and do not try to persuade people to give you positive reviews or buy positive ratings as that can lead to a Google penalty. Google hates every form of manipulation and soliciting for favorable reviews will be a manipulation.
Optimize your web presence
The most critical factors at this stage will be optimizing for speed, mobile friendliness and usability. Your website should be fast enough for people to complete their tasks within the shortest time possible.
You should also have a mobile friendly website. As a matter of fact, speed and mobile friendliness are very important Google ranking factors and if your website fails on these two variables, it definitely cannot rank well on the search engines.
The third important optimization variable you should take seriously at this stage will be usability. Your website should be easy to navigate and visitors should have no hazzles finding what they want either by using menus or the search button.
Marketing is ust ust about selling. It comprises a sequence of activities which leads to selling and the sustainability of an organisation. To be successful in marketing does not just entail deploying sales representatives, boys and girls to field and setting targets for them
There has to be a well researched product in place which sellable, the product needs to competitively priced, it should be promoted and the public needs to be confident in the offering as capable of satisfying their needs.
Marketing success for online offerings will depend on other factors including how easy your website can be navigated, how well it is optimized for speed and mobile friendliness.
These factors mentioned in this post are not exhaustive of what you should be doing to achieve marketing success but if properly done and combined with other factors such as technical SEO can produce amazing results over time.