Are you just getting started with online marketing?

Are you just getting started with online marketing? Not sure where to begin? Know you need to get on board the social media train, but don’t know what to do first? Feeling overwhelmed by all the information on the web?

Here are some things you need to start thinking about before you take the plunge:

1. Do you need a new website? If you don’t know the answer to that question, get a professional to review it for you. Your website is the most important tool for marketing your brand and services. If it’s not search engine optimized, you’re going to lose business. Period. New sites are extremely cost effective these days so don’t let that stop you from considering an entirely new site.

2. Do you have a social media strategy? If not, I encourage you to start by asking yourself these questions:

What are your goals? Are you looking for leads, more sales, branding and awareness and/or a customer service platform?

What tools should you use for your social media strategy? Should you incorporate a blog (yes!), utilize social networking sites, directories, display ads, email newsletters, etc.? You must understand these tools in order to best utilize them for your business.

Have you allocated the appropriate resources to manage your social media strategy? Building and maintaining a social media and online marketing plan takes time…a lot of it. Make sure that you have internal resources in place or hire a professional to help.

How does your social media plan tie into your traditional marketing plan? Are you going to reallocate your budget to fund your online marketing? How are you going to integrate your message across multiple platforms?

How do you define success for your online marketing efforts?

3. Assuming you understand the importance of online marketing, have you taken the time to educate yourself and your staff? It’s vital to get everyone in your company involved in the learning process, as everyone needs to be on the same page. Pull your teams together and learn together.

The web has changed the way everyone communicates. If you’re not engaging your current and future customers online, you’re going to miss a huge opportunity to grow and sustain your business.

Still sounds overwhelming? It is! But it should also be fun. Social media is all about communicating. Who doesn’t like to communicate…..we do it every day and most of the time it’s an enjoyable experience. Have fun along the way and your customers will appreciate you for it.

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