Having a good online marketing strategy is something that is a must for any company looking to thrive and grow their business through the use of their website. Online Marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), and SEM (search engine marketing) are some of the hottest buzz terms being thrown around these days. At the end of the day however, the amount of gains that you will realize from these efforts will be in direct proportion to their effectiveness. So, the question then remains, “How do you develop an effective online marketing strategy?”
In a perfect world where time, resources and money are no object, I would advise to engage all types of online marketing… from search engine optimization, to pay per click campaigns and social networking. I would go after every avenue, and hard. Why not? The more exposure the better. However, in the real world where time is money and resources are scarce, a company must determine what is the most effective method in which to market their company or product to the masses online. One way to begin the process of determining the most effective strategy for your company is by using the 80/20 principal.
The 80/20 principal, also known as Pareto’s Law, states that around 80 percent of the effects comes from 20 percent of the causes. In other words, 80 percent of the outputs come from 20 percent of the inputs. So, following this same theory with an online marketing strategy, 20 percent of the online marketing that you are partaking in (be it Social Media, Social Networking, Micro Blogging, etc.) is yielding 80 percent of the positive effects that you may be seeing. The next step then, is to determine where you are getting the majority of the results.
Cast a Wide Net
The best way to determine the most appropriate types of online marketing for your business is to simply cast a wide net. Engage in all kinds of marketing and optimization. Start an ad words pay-per-click campaign, sign up for a Facebook/Twitter/MySpace account, start a blog, or post a potentially ‘viral’ video on YouTube. The main point is that you give each of these methods an equal shake. Each of these may require several resources in order to try effectively, so if you are short of resources, take a phased approach. Take a few months to try each, and measure their effectiveness. While admittedly a few months is not enough to see the full benefits of many of these tactics, it should give you an idea of what has potential to work for you, and what does not.
Primary to this approach is that you measure the effectiveness of each method. Collect data about the traffic that you are driving to your site, any sales increases, and exposure that you are receiving. Once you have collected all of the data, use the “Triple A” approach… analyze, analyze, analyze.
You should be able to pair down the methods that seem to yield the best results. At this time, assuming that you only have the resources to partake in a select few, you can dismiss the strategies that do not seem advantageous to your business. Then, you need to engage full boar with the ones that you have selected.
Remember, the gains you experience through your online marketing strategy are only as good as the effectiveness of that strategy. The effectiveness of your strategy is largely determined by the appropriateness of that strategy to your business, and the effort that you put in. Online marketing strategies, especially Social Networking, require persistence and determination in order to realize benefits. You may not see benefits right away, but if you stick with it, you will have an “aha” moment in which everything seems to click and the real benefits will be revealed. So, cast a wide net and find the 20 percent that is creating 80 percent of the results. Then, focus your attention on those online marketing strategies to realize more gains, and cut out the waste that is consuming you time and money.
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