Starting and marketing a new business is not the same today as it was twenty, or even ten years ago. It’s important to take initiative on your business idea by setting up your website and social media accounts. Execution is what differentiates a great thinker from an entrepreneur. Everyone and every business starts somewhere — and your top priority right now should be building and growing your online presence.
To help get your marketing efforts up and running, here’s a helpful to-do list. Each step runs in order and it’s a good idea to follow these suggestions.
Before you build the house, you need the lay the foundation — for your brand, that foundation is the keyword list that you’ll use to write the content of your website, blog, and social media posts. It’s important that you come up with these keywords first so you don’t find yourself stuffing your content with keywords later, which can look forced and unnatural, possibly even penalizing you by search engines.
The best SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy is to focus the copy of your website on key phrases or topics that are important to people who will end up making a purchase from you. Start with topics close to the core of your business that you really want to rank well for on search engines. Keywords can be words, phrases, sentences, and partial sentences — basically anything someone might type into a search engine. Brainstorm a list of 100 keywords and phrases to start.
Once you have these keywords, it’s time to start creating content for your website based on those keywords to increase the likelihood of potential customers finding you on search.
Once you’ve researched the keywords that are important to your audience, create a blog and write blog posts based on those keywords. This will help you increase the odds of getting found on search engines because each new post you create gives you another opportunity to be indexed.
Over time, your blog will drive traffic to your website, help you convert traffic into leads (if you’ve placed calls-to-action on your blog posts — which you should do), help you establish authority, and drive long-term business results.
However, don’t expect to see dramatic results right away. Slow and steady wins the race — and blogging does require patience. As long as you blog consistently (at least twice per week, but more the better), you will see that long-term payout.
Notice that PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is #3 on the list, not #1. No matter how big your budget is, you should focus on content creation and SEO first, and then start using PPC to amplify those efforts. PPC will help get much quicker returns on your blogging efforts, but those quick returns cost money and you have to keep paying for them to keep seeing the returns.
But a little PPC can be good for getting some traffic to your website and blog right away when no one really knows who you are — it might even help you rank a little bit faster on search engines.
Working on your social media marketing strategy is the next step, and it looks like you’ve already created those accounts. The first question you should ask yourself is, which social networking sites do your potential customers spend time on? If you want to market to a specific audience such as young adults, you might spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you’re marketing to older professionals with 10+ years of experience, you should focus on LinkedIn and Twitter first. Check out our post, Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter? to help you decide which platforms to utilize.
Once you’ve chosen the best social media platforms to focus your social media marketing efforts, optimize these profiles. Include a short bio and a link to your website. Find influencers to follow and engage with, reply to other users, and start sharing that awesome content you created in step #2. Your social media accounts are only valuable is your followers are actually interested in what you have to say.
Don’t be afraid to dive right in with marketing your company. It can seem overwhelming at first, but you will learn quickly. Experiment a lot — do what works and eliminate what doesn’t. Remember that things are constantly changing. If your new business would like help with its Internet marketing strategies, we’re here to help!