Audience + Significance = Opportunity
The Internet Marketing Lifecycle
Build an Audience
Search engines control 75% of the web traffic. Organic results see 85% of those results. 97% of the clicks happen on the 1st page of the search results. Ongoing SEO is a must for all businesses large and small. Ignoring SEO is just dumb and will cost your business customers, market share, and revenue.
Paid search results drive super-targeted, easily-tested search traffic. Its a great audience builder. PPC campaigns can be a great way to test click-through and conversion rates on a small scale before taking the heavy lifting SEO that top SERP rankings will require for competitive terms. Identify key words/phrases that convert well and then focus your SEO efforts in those areas.
Every business should build an email list. Start with current customer base. The right content strategy, blog, white papers, webinars and overall thought leadership on your site can build your list with a targeted audience. Sponsor the right email list and you can get in front of huge audience. Spam is bad. Being labeled a spammer is worse. Make sure that all email campaigns offer value through content, resources, or offers.
Don’t knock banner ads and other display advertising. They require a lot of patience and careful targeting. But they work. ROI can be stronger than PPC if you find the right site and partnership. I am admit-ably weak in this medium.
Social media spans both audience and significance. Attract new listeners and passersby with great campaigns, outreach, and when current community members recommend you. Then establish your significance with content curation and support. Social Media is hard to measure but arguably plays the biggest role in tying audience and significance together.
Content is the guts of your entire online marketing effort. Great content makes you significant. Write something, your community reads it, learns cool stuff and loves you for it. Content doesn’t have to be “writing”, either: Videos, photos, audio, cartoons, whatever works. Or in the case of this post, sharing some amazing content that someone else created and adding your own thoughts and feelings to it.
Everything that you do should start with great content. Everything that you do should lead back to great content. Without solid content your online efforts will be the equivalent of masturbation. There, I said it.
If content is the guts, then creative is the skin. Professional look stuff breaks down barriers and builds trust. Don’t underestimate the value of a well designed email newsletter. Infographics can make boring data interesting and engaging. The right design can capture someones attention and drive a point home.
Improve site performance, and make your site easily crawled and categorized by search engines. That’s really part of SEO, but it fits here, too. If you want to be significant you have to be visible first. Most of what you do to enhance visibility helps with audience and opportunity, too.
Participation (comments on posts or sharing content as a quest author) on other blogs can help your visibility. Created solid content your blog and all that participation will create an audience that will follow you back to your site content.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Make it easy for your community to take the next step, whether that’s a purchase, a vote, subscribing to your RSS feed, or just a registration for the next webinar. Test, test, test, but never abandon common sense, either.
CRO, and constant testing should help your website to get visitors to fill out forms—and more forms means more customers. Developing multiple lead generation strategies ensures a diversity of leads, more sales, more customers and more revenue.
A winning online strategy requires patience and persistence. You must approach your online marketing efforts with the mentality of a marathon runner. The hundred yard dash approach – WILL LOSE. The benefits of a well implemented online marketing plan will be a constant stream of fresh, targeted leads and engaged customers.
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