Planning an Effective Online Marketing Strategy for New Small Businesses

The plethora of tools on the web that can be used for online marketing has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, it allows businesses to create a multi-platform advertising campaign that can reach a global audience with ease. However, some businesses still fail to generate a good ROI from their web marketing endeavors for failure to employ a coherent strategy.

Here are some tips that can maximize the full potential of the web in boosting business profits:

1. Brainstorm a plan.

The easiest way to set up an online marketing campaign is to sit down with a pen and paper and create an implementation strategy. When brainstorming, it’s not important to hash out all the details in one sitting. Developing a good plan requires some time, but it is important to do it before diving into anything else.

With so many options on the web, it is easy to fall into a trial-and-error limbo that can never do any good for a business. If needed, it is advisable to consult field experts to get a good idea of what works.

2. Master a few web marketing strategies at a time.

The integration of the Internet and Commerce is still a fairly new process for some businesses. While it may seem exciting to have easy access to so many powerful tools, trying to use them all at the same time without knowing how to implement them effectively can backfire for businesses.

One good illustration would be the pay-per-click advertisements featured on search engines. Setting up a PPC campaign can be an economical advertising tool, but it can also cost businesses thousands of dollars in wasted revenue if not utilized correctly.

When using the web for business marketing, it is advisable to test the waters first. If the budget is tight, there are free Internet Marketing tactics that have proven track records when it comes to generating website traffic. Content Marketing, Blogging, and Social Media Marketing are just a few examples.

3. Employ Short-Term and Long-Term Online Marketing Tactics.

The effectiveness of Internet marketing methods can typically be measured with two factors: 1) The speed at which it can generate results and 2) The length of time by which it can continue to produce results. Typically, paid advertisements can produce an almost instant outcome, but are only valuable for a very limited time. A PPC advertisement or paid banner is only useful as long as someone is paying for it.

On the other hand, articles, blog entries, and other content-driven marketing tactics can produce returns for an indefinite time period. There is no fee to publish content on the Internet, and it can provide businesses with a long-term credibility in the industry which they operate. The downside, of course, is that content depends largely on its visibility to the web audience. Often, the process of getting indexed by search engines and developing a readership takes time.

Internet marketing expert Ewen Chia advises that it is important to master three methods when developing an online marketing strategy. Of these, at least one marketing tactic must be in the form of paid advertising. That way, businesses can have the best of both worlds and enjoy short-term and long-term results.

4. Outsource whenever possible.

It is understandable that businesses are always looking for means to cut overhead costs. However, employing a DIY strategy all the time can be more costly than paying other people to do web marketing. For those with limited experience in online marketing, the consequence of not hiring experts can consume a lot of time without gaining much in return. In other words, outsourcing is not just a luxury, but a necessity.

The beauty of today’s commerce is that outsourcing is not only convenient, but also cheap. Freelancers are in great supply and are more than willing to help businesses get started on the Web. Many virtual assistants in countries like India and the Philippines who are well-trained in web marketing will usually offer their services at low rates.

In some ways, internet Marketing can be easy, but it can also be deceptively easy. Proper implementation of an online marketing strategy requires putting the sweat equity into building a solid working foundation, and a sustained effort in maintaining its framework. Once established, the process becomes more automated and much more convenient.

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