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How To Make The Most Of Your Small Business Online Marketing Activities
by Gourab Nanda Tue, 06/07/2011 - 14:42
Internet stands out for its speed and effectiveness. As online marketers we have to synchronize with this speed and deliver effective marketing content in the least amount of time and gain maximum mileage. Of course, we should run on a long-term-plan track, but sometimes quickness is needed to achieve business growth spurts. Let's take a look at how this can be done effectively.
Having a detailed plan
Having a detailed online marketing plan with clear objectives and goals is a great way to start. This keeps things tight and also avoids deviations which marketers may easily fall for in the course of execution, consuming more time. Working within a detailed framework helps to keep it directed towards the goals and also helps in decision making when encountered with multiple marketing options or deviations. So make a written marketing document and then start the action, this is surely a great way to save time and get more results.
"40% of small businesses surveyed by Marchex cite not having enough time as their largest marketing challenge."
Engage savvy resources
Online marketing is a professional's job and attempting to do it on your own is a mere waste of time with low effectiveness. So the key is to keep it simple by engaging online savvy marketers or by outsourcing the job to experienced professionals. Their experience will not only help you in getting things done faster, but also give you the ability to try and test the latest techniques of online marketing with ease.
Focus on exclusive areas and goals
This is as simple as it sounds. First define your immediate and long term objectives and then focus on those exclusive goals or targets, this makes the whole process easy and less time consuming. For example if your objective is to generate leads, then all your efforts, tools and channels used should lead to that objective and shouldn't deviate from it. What small businesses need to do is: concentrate on lead generation, manage their online presence and invest in relationship marketing to start with.
"According to small businesses surveyed by Marchex, the top three things they care about are getting leads (27%), keeping existing customers (29%), and communicating with existing customers (23%)."
Choose and use effective channels
Internet is a colossal mix of tools, channels, information and lots of other stuff. And being smart in choosing the right information and channel which can carry your marketing message to the intended prospects is the key. For example, use YouTube for visual ads and SEO, use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word, place your online ads only on websites which has most of your prospects clicking, anticipate whether a blog can do better than a site and so on.
"Search engine marketing, social media marketing and email marketing topped the list of most effective channels for marketing in a survey conducted in US."
-Source MerchantCircle, Merchant Confidence Index Q1 2011
The response time and feedback mechanism on internet is really quick and faster than any other media. So this mandates the need for continuous application of your marketing process to make it more lively and responsive. This has two benefits; you can get faster results in less time and also create an impression of a very lively brand.
Frequent reports and assessment
This goes with the earlier point, you need to always keep an eye on the responses on your activities, its effectiveness and conversions. This calls for frequent report generation and assessment of your results and plans. Go for the change if needed at random pace, however keeping it to the point of bringing more effectiveness. This constant vigil can make a huge difference in the whole scheme of things.
Use the latest tools and technology to make work faster
The pace at which the online scenario changes is amazing and rapid, every day new ideas and options creep up and as an online marketer it's your job to keep your eyes open to all that is coming up, which can prove more effective for you. There are many marketing automation services, social media tools, buzz monitoring tools, web analytics tools, RSS feed readers, and so on. Pick the right set of tools, and devote a fixed amount of time daily on these tools to keep track of all that is happening.
All these can surely get you the results in the least amount of time, however it all boils down to your marketing approach and application of these effective techniques.
About the author
Gourab Nanda is the Co-founder and CEO of MyBusinessAssistant, a full-service virtual assistant solutions company.