Hubspot has published an ebook to educate marketing professionals and business owners on how to develop and manage an effective Internet marketing program. Below are excerpts adapted from the ebook, available free of charge from their website.
If you're reading this ebook, chances are you're either a marketing professional or a business owner who understands the importance of Internet marketing today. You 'get' that traditional marketing methods are becoming both ineffective and expensive, and you know that by neglecting to market your business online, you're missing out on the powerful business results that an effective Internet marketing strategy can bring about.
Whether your business is just getting started with Internet marketing or you just want to brush up on the basics, this ebook can serve as your essential guide to setting up and implementing a successful Internet marketing strategy, step by step.
From establishing your initial keyword strategy and leveraging social media to promote content online all the way through to analyzing and refining your strategies, this comprehensive Internet marketing ebook will guide you through every essential step you should be taking to effectively market your business online, whether you're a software company, a chimney sweep, a tailor, or a marketing agency, to name a few."
Step 1: Create a keyword strategy
Why build a keyword strategy? More and more consumers are finding businesses online through keyword search. You can take advantage of this consumer habit by optimizing your website and social media profiles around the keywords that are relevant to your business and that consumers are using to find you online.
Step 2: Optimize your website to get found
In order to get found through search engines, you should aim to be on the first page or in the first few results pages for your keywords. Today that is easier to achieve than a couple of years ago thanks to social media. If you have created a Google+ business account, for instance, that will be immensely helpful in your SEO efforts. That is why you need to make sure you are optimizing all your social media profiles to include updates with major industry keywords. Google suggests that you design your website for visitors, and not for search engines. While you should keep this principle in mind, it is worthwhile to learn a bit more about SEO in order to better optimize your site.
Step 3: Create a blog and marketing offers
How to think about business blogging: When blogging, take off your hat as a business owner or marketing manager and try to think like a magazine publisher. The goal of your business blog should be to publish articles that are valuable and non-promotional, much in the way a column or an article in an industry magazine would be. Also, think about the words you are using. Avoid industry jargon that only your employees would understand. Just as in the process of designing a keyword strategy, think of the words your customers use to describe your business and apply those phrases to your blogging language.
Step 4: Promote content through social media
Social media provides a platform for direct communication between your customers, prospects, and employees. What is more, it is a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online. While new social networks, like Google+ and Pinterest, can significantly affect the social media landscape, most businesses need to first focus on the major players: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Just remember that before you jump into using these networks for marketing, you need to have marketing analytics in place to measure the true success of your efforts.
Step 5: Convert website traffic into leads
By now you should have already launched your blog, optimized your website to get found, and started participating in and promoting your content through social networks. If it's been several weeks, you should have started to see a spike in traffic to your website. There's only one problem. All that traffic to your site isn't leading to any new business! People are visiting your site, but those visits aren't leading to new customers - or even new sales leads. So what do you do?
Simple: focus on conversion. Right now you are still at the top of your marketing funnel. You need to move down and start converting your website visitors into sales leads. To do this, decide on a compelling offer for your prospects, create a call-to-action to promote your offer, and launch a landing page with a form for visitors to submit their information. Finally, measure and iterate the whole process.
Step 6: Nurture leads with targeted messages
According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. Companies that build relationships with their leads over time have the greatest success in turning leads into customers by staying top-of-mind until the lead is ready to buy. That is why following up with contacts through targeted messages becomes really beneficial from a business perspective.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing that relationship with your potential customers by sending targeted, relevant, and valuable messages to them in a timely manner. Simply put, lead nurturing is a system that allows you to send an automated series of email messages to an early stage lead in order to pre-qualify them before handing them over to your sales team. The end goal is to get your leads to "raise their hand" and self-select into further engaging with your business. A Forrester Research study found that companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost-per-lead.
Step 7: Optimize your marketing for mobile viewing
It's clear that mobile platforms are becoming more and more of a consideration when it comes to Internet marketing. The growth of the iPhone and Android platform smartphones is going to continue, with reports saying that sales of smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are expected to grow 26% annually through 2015. If you are trying to market on the mobile web, you need to consider the importance of creating quality content that can be easily consumed on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablet computers. While mobile marketing can mean many things, there is one primary message being conveyed to marketers looking to take advantage of mobile: optimization of websites for mobile viewing.
Step 8: Analyze and refine strategies
Now you are surely moving to the bottom of the sales and marketing funnel. That means you need to review the performance of your various marketing activities, identify the winning ones, and eliminate or drastically modify the ineffective campaigns. In this section we review some metrics to monitor and suggestions for refining your Internet marketing strategy.
Steps for analyzing and refining Internet marketing strategies:
Tackle each tactic step by step to make Internet marketing more manageable.
For starters, the concept of Internet marketing might seem difficult and daunting. But by tackling each Internet marketing tactic step by step, businesses can make it more manageable and start seeing results.
HubSpot is all-in-one marketing software firm with nearly 8,000 company clients in 46 countries, focused on attracting leads and converting them into customers. Applications in the company's software platform include blogging and social media marketing, search engine optimization, website management, lead management, marketing analytics, landing pages, email marketing, and marketing automation. HubSpot is also the developer of Marketing Grader, a website analysis tool, which combined with its predecessor Website Grader, has more than 4 million users. Founded in 2006, HubSpot is based in Cambridge, Mass.
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