Do you want to succeed online?

This resource gives you an easy-to-digest overview of the most popular marketing channels and the best marketing actions. Use it as a starting point in the development of your digital strategy.

Benefits of having a website

  Communicate your brand messages to your target audience

  Build a customer base
  Generate leads by capturing data

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), more than 3 billion people use the internet. Having a website therefore is essential to tapping into that huge and ever-expanding market.

 

Building a website should be first on your list of online marketing actions. However, you need to think about what type of website will suit your business.

An overview of the different types of website

general

All-purpose set-up. Can be corporate or independent. Can have  ecommerce elements added to it.

Enables audience to:

  • Find out about your ethos, values and mission
  • Find out what you offer and how it can benefit them
  • Solve problems in their lives
  • Read testimonials
  • See your portfolio
  • Engage with your brand
  • Take action
  • Buy things from you
  • Get in touch with you

Portfolio

Minimalistic set-up. Doesn’t need a huge amount of content. Can be used as a tool to showcase your work. Used as an adjunct to other marketing activities.

Ideal for:

  • Designers of all kinds
  • Artists
  • Musicians
  • Writers
  • Photographers

brochure

This is purely for displaying information about your business in a fixed way. Many web-professionals view brochure websites as old fashioned because there’s no room for growth, engagement and sales. The focus is purely on how it looks and basic information.

Ecommerce

For selling things online. Allows you to focus purely on delivering exactly what customers want. 
Ideal for:

  • SSL encryption, meaning your website is trusted
  • Secure payment portal
  • Easy-to-use shopping cart
  • Product descriptions and images

web design options

Web design and development agency

If you have the budget an agency will give you full service, including optimisation for search engines and graphic design. Be sure to research the agency. Not all of them are good at what they do.

Tip:

Check places like trustpilot.com for good or bad reviews

Cost: £5000+

Freelance web designer

Generally cheaper than going with an agency since they have less overheads. Always ask to see their portfolio and get references from previous clients.

Tip:

Go to places like peopleperhour.com where freelancers advertise their services. You can see their ratings and endorsements and make an educated decision

Cost: £500+

DIY

The development of premium themes with sophisticated page builders and content management systems (CMS) make it possible to build your own website.

Tip:

Use WordPress. It’s an easy-to-use CMS that enables you to build a website and update your content

Cost: £50+

Website Build Platforms

There are many online services that enable you to build your website with ease. They usually come with a range of templates, and provide tools to help you analyse performance and measure ROI.

Examples:

Cost: £5 m/o +

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): What you need to know

SEO is about giving your website the best possible chance of appearing on the first page of search results. The higher up, the better. Search engines have algorithms that use many factors to rank web-pages. Below is a list of the most important factors.

Relevancy and Keywords

Search engines need to deliver results that match the user’s request. So it will scan indexed pages and look for relevant material. If you don’t have the right keywords in your content, the search engine will ignore you.

Reputation

Search engines look for signals that show you have a good reputation. So the more inbound links you have from high authority websites (e.g. Financial Times) the better your reputation will be. But those domains will only give you inbound links if you produce high quality content.

User Experience

Google aims to give users the best possible experience. The two main factors to consider are Site Speed and Mobile Responsivity.

Site speed

Refers to how quickly your web pages load up in the browser. Internet users are unforgiving. If it takes too long they will abandon your site. Search engines know this. So, in order to improve user experience, they give priority to websites that have faster loading times.

Mobile Responsivity

Responsivity refers to a website’s ability to rearrange page elements to fit the screen of the device. Search engines can now detect what device a person is using. If a user is on a mobile phone, priority will be given to mobile responsive websites.

Freshness

Search engines like Google aim to provide the best possible results to users. So the quality and freshness of content is an important factor. Make sure you produce quality content on a regular basis.

tools you'll need

Tool

  what it does

Analyses the load-time of your web pages and rates them accordingly. Gives you potential solutions.

Analyses a given web page and lets you know if it has a mobile friendly design.

Gives you a more indepth analysis of your site speed.

Lets you screen-test web pages on a number of devices, including phones.

Allows for detailed SEM research.

Comes up with keyword variations
and gives your performance data for each one.

Further reading

You can pay to have adverts appear on the first page of search results for your chosen keywords. It’s called pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC) because the cost is determined by how many people actually click on the ad.

Top 3 platforms

Google Adwords (highlighted in red)

Bing Ads (highlighted in red)

yahoo ads (highlighted in red)

Things to consider

  • Search Ads are generally bid-based. This is how search engines decide the placement of ads when there are 2 or more advertisers for the same keywords
  • You can set maximum budgets. To keep your costs under control, specify a daily budget
  • It’s all about relevance. Search engines want to deliver ads that relate to user queries. So make sure you choose relevant keywords

Further viewing

Search ads aren’t the only way to get found by your audience. You can advertise or plug your business on other websites. Essentially, you’ll be riding on the back of their SEO value and popularity.

Advertising Networks: Online Display Ads

Online publishers can join advertising networks and generate an income by displaying ads on their websites. As an advertiser, your ad will appear on websites that are partnered with the ad network. Generally, it’s done on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis.

Sponsor Articles and Blogs ( aka Native Advertising)

You can pay a publisher to post an article that plugs your business. Usually, you have to provide the material. You can place at least one backlink to your website. The idea is to provide top quality material to popular websites that deliver content to your target audience. It needs to match the style and format of the publication.

Become an Expert Blogger

As an expert in your field, you have valuable knowledge that can help other people solve problems. Many online publishers are on the lookout for quality insights from people who know what’s what. It enables them to deliver practical content to their audience. You can benefit by having a byline with bio and possibly a link to your website.

Types of content you can produce:

Articles

Simply write and publish entertaining, useful or relevant articles that are tailored to the needs and desires of your target audience.

Examples

How to build an audience that builds your digital business

Whitepapers

These are detailed reports or guides that analyse and break down a given subject. The aim is to help the reader understand the topic and ultimately help them solve a problem.

Examples

The complete guide to content marketing

Videos

Produce and publish videos that help your audience solve problems. For instance, if you’re a DIY shop, you could make a video that shows people how to use a caulking gun. When people who want to learn about it search online for answers, you’ll be there to help them.

Examples

The greatest misconception in content marketing

Slideshows

These are online presentations made up of images and text. The user clicks through the slides. These are a great way to communicate detailed information in an engaging, easy-to-digest format.

Examples

Why content marketing fails

Tips

Use www.slideshare.net

infographics

People love information when it’s presented in visual form. Combine well-crafted copy with great design to enrich user experience. Infographics are easy-to-consume and highly shareable.

Examples

The Anatomy of Content Marketing

Podcasts (audio)

Create regular audio content for your target audience. It’s a great way to inform, engage and build an audience.

Examples

5 podcasts every content marketer should listen to

Tips

Use www.slideshare.net

Further reading

Two popular methods of data capture

Landing Pages

Most landing pages have minimal navigation. This is to focus the user on the proposition and the call-to-action (CTA).

This method is used to:

  • Offer free downloadable resources that have practical value for the audience
  • Offer free trials or samples
  • Get user to schedule a call back or make a request for more info

Opt-in forms

These can be placed on your website either in fixed locations or as pop-ups. The idea is to get people to subscribe to your mailing list. You can then deliver great content direct to their inbox.

 

further reading

build online

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine advertising (Pay-per-click)

Other types of
online advertising

content marketing

Data capture

One of the main ways to drive traffic to your website is through the search engine. But most searchers don’t move beyond the first page of results. So SEM is about developing a strategy that helps you gain first page exposure.

This strategy aims to attract visitors by giving them highly relevant and useful content. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing isn’t about pitching your services. It’s about enriching people’s lives and earning goodwill.

This is a good way to generate leads. You simply offer something of value in exchange for a user’s email address. Can be used as part of content marketing strategy and online advertising campaigns

the definitive guide to:
ONLINE MARKETING

for any business

Social media marketing

It’s a huge part of our lives. We want to connect with organisations that share our values. Social media is a good way to reach, engage, and ultimately develop a meaningful relationship with your target audience. It can also raise awareness of your brand.

Top Social Media Platforms

1 billion users

414 million users

320 million users

300 million users

300 million users

Get involved in conversations

Join in the discussions. Add useful, insightful comments from your unique perspective.

Don’t come across as salesy

Social media marketing isn’t about bombarding people with your sales messages. The main focus should be on cultivating goodwill from your audience via content marketing and sincere interaction. Of course, promotional posts should still be used. After all, your audience will appreciate being told of a great offer.

Publish and share awesome content

By doing so, you increase the chances of people sharing and linking to your content.

Tip:

If you run a business, encourage your staff to use their Linkedin accounts to get involved in industry conversations.

Social Media Advertising

With billions spent on it each year, social media is the rising star of online advertising. It gives you access to highly targeted audiences based on specific demographics.

Further reading

Understanding the Spam Laws

It’s not as straightforward as gathering email addresses and sending bulk messages. In fact, by doing so you could end up breaking some anti-spam laws. Before you start any direct email campaign, always check the spam laws of your country and the countries of the recipients.

Some anti-spam things to consider:

  • Double opt-in. You have to prove that people gave permission to be on your list.
  • First step: They sign up to email alerts on your website.
  • Second step: They confirm via email
  • Opt-out option. People should be able to easily unsubscribe from your list. This option should come as a link in the email
  • Pick your subject lines carefully. All email providers have spam filters that can reject incoming messages. They’re based on certain signals, one of which is the subject line.

Cold Mailing

This is where you send unsolicited emails. In many countries, this is illegal. Currently in the UK it’s okay to send cold emails to limited companies. But only if it’s related to the recipient’s work. Tread carefully.

Warm Mailing

Send emails to people who’ve subscribed to your list. You’re free to send them promotions, content and sales pitches.

Mail chimp

An email marketing platform that allows you to manage lists, design emails and email campaigns, and analyze results

Direct Email

This is a lot cheaper and easier to implement than traditional direct mail. You can reach thousands of recipients for a fraction of the price. There are many Email Service Providers (ESPs) that offer powerful tools for the job.

Online marketplaces

These are places where independent sellers and service providers can sell their wares, bid for jobs or send proposals. They give you access to high quality leads at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. You can build up your reputation through feedback, ratings and endorsements.

Tip

Develop a multi-channel strategy. Use several online marketplaces to sell your products

Examples

ecommerce

traders

freelancers

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