Digital Marketing / Internet Marketing / Online Marketing – are perhaps, some of the most overused terms in India, especially by Indian SMEs and many a start-ups.
An expensive website contract or hiring a flamboyant agency is not the answer to – How we effectively use digi-space to leverage our interest and results from therein.
Nearly all our start-ups/SME owners wish to use this space of Internet Marketing but face a huge challenge on understanding What exactly is internet Marketing and how much of it to is required to be done?
Most important factor to understand in this is – Content is the non negotiable bit; whereas advertising options are. Thus it becomes mandatory for companies to build content and only then utilize advertising options to boost their marketing efforts.
(Internet Marketing) – (Advertisement) = Online Presence + Content Building
Content Creation: Website Development: Keywords Research and Analysis is of utmost importance here. Keywords help advertisers trigger their ads as well as help marketers optimize their web pages to get more traffic from organic results on search engines. Apt use of keywords will assist your search engine index your relevant keywords better for a good user experience.
There are plenty and more easily accessible options for creating a website today. For example, you could use :
- Free Downloadable and ready to host templates from various websites.
- Open source content management like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.
- Different vendors who provide free website development for buying other products from them
Whichever method you opt for website development, some key things that need to be kept in mind for effective use are:
- Owning a domain Name and hosting
- Prefer a Dynamic website compared to a static website
- Think Through the design
- Do track your website – Using free tool like Google analytics
Search Presence – Especially Local: This is one of the most important thing for small businesses as around 30% of Google search results nowadays are local results (Source: GetListed.org). List on Google Places for Business and Bing Map India. Please ensure that across all listings you keep the updated Name, Address and Phone data consistent as search engines pick it up and check for consistency before showing the details in local search results.
Create a online directory presence: this involves searching for directories related to your business and submit your website and business details on the same. The more local and specific the directory is (specific to your city, town, locality or industry, product group) the better.
Create a Social Media presence: Identify the social media platform that suits your business. If you are in the B2B space, then LinkedIn. If you are in the consumer space then Facebook. If you are a professional or subject matter expert or have specific skills or passions that people look for when doing business with you, then possibly Twitter. Google+ is common as your local business listing is now a feature under that so it would be there by default. But please remember, creating a social media presence is just the first step, you also need to continue maintaining it and really make an effort to increase engagement with your audience.
Create a Content and Engagement Plan: Identify things in your business that would be of interest to your audience and start sharing that across the social media channels. You can start by using your current acquaintances network to start spreading the word about your business. Provide them with something interesting about your business that they would like to share and then see the power of that communication. There will few days later be another more detailed post on Content Marketing that you can refer.
Create a conversion mechanism: Now, all the above efforts are not necessary if it does not translate into customers and money in the end. To do that, you need to create a funnel that drives all the traffic to a home base (possibly your website) where you might want to have some lead capturing mechanism. If you are a business with a physical store or office, then the traffic should lead to footfalls or phone leads. With mobile search trending upwards, this behavior will increase further.
(Internet Marketing) +(Advertisement):
Having build up some serious content online, one needs to leverage the paid advertising mediums to gather more and more traffic.
There are many options which can be effectively used: Like from Paid Search (Google ad-words) to Display Ads( Google display banner networks).
Then we can use the effectiveness of the content we have developed by using Contextual marketing Social media advertisement options have also picked up recently. Facebook and other platforms are improving its ad interface and options day by day. With improvements come new complexities and newer understandings on which there would be detailed discussion in our later post!