This post is a guest post by Adam Shore
Online marketers constantly face changes in the way they do business. To plan your strategy effectively, you must consider numerous factors. Marketing managers should think about the current process, and what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats may exist with the existing strategy. Topics to consider can include anything from positioning, competition, and consumer behavior in general.
Start by drawing up a basic SWOT analysis of your current processes. While the details will be different for every business, you should think about what they are, and why they are that way.
Evaluate the strengths of both your marketing plan, your staff, and your business. If your team is experienced with search engine optimization and link building, you may want to create a strategy around user-generated content and guest posting. On the other hand, if your staff is skilled at content writing, you may want to outsource your SEO to a third party.
It is equally, if not more, important to honestly understand your weaknesses. If you think you are an SEO specialist, but your site fails to ascend the search engine rankings, you should take notice. Likewise, if you believe that you staff a team of burgeoning Pulitzer Prize winners, but nobody shares your content, you should be prepared to act accordingly. Acknowledging your weaknesses early on can save you loads of time and money in the long run.
Identifying marketing opportunities is an integral part of planning a marketing strategy. Consider the ever-changing world of the online marketplace. Social media has grown at a break-neck pace over the past several years and the trend is expected to continue. Identify ways your marketing strategy can take advantage of the shift towards the social web. You should also think about your natural market, that is, people you know. Do they own websites? Would they be willing to promote your content?
Google’s recent Panda update drop-kicked numerous formerly successful websites. Every online marketer should be well aware of trends in search engine algorithms, and think about some potentially threatening actions they could take to your business model. You may be employing some less-than-kosher marketing and promotion activities, and should consider what could happen if the search engines sniff them out and penalize you. It’s also important to keep an eye on competitors. Are new websites popping up offering similar content, services, and features? It can be wise to pro-actively and regularly improve your offerings to keep potential competitors in a deeper hole.