Online Marketing: Do you have to be an expert to be active?
Building a successful online marketing strategy is just like building anything – it starts with a solid foundation. That foundation comes from understanding three basics of online marketing:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is a technique which helps search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) find and rank your website higher than the millions of other sites in response to a search query. SEO in turn helps you get traffic from search engines.
95% of searchers click on a page that appears on the first page results for Google, Yahoo or Bing, so it is important to appreciate the value of SEO.
Building a solid SEO strategy consists primarily of selecting relevant keywords and providing valuable content related to those keywords. In the past, SEO was driven by factors like keyword placement, keywords density, and even how many times a keyword was used to link to that page.
But the search engines quickly discovered that keywords could be easily manipulated. A page that had nothing to do with a keyword could be ranked in top three, just by optimising the page. Today, this means that sites who rely solely on keywords are often ignored by the search engines.
“The technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive profitable customer action”.
Content marketing is important because it helps build your brand and inspire confidence in your company. In fact, six out of ten consumers say that after reading a custom publication, they feel better about the company.
Online content marketing has expanded the field to include blogs, training videos, podcasts, and even video games. But like every other online strategy, content marketing has its downsides. Low quality content is the most common mistake and can affect your rankings and damage your brand.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the process of marketing through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. By utilising the social aspect of the web, social media marketing is able to connect and interact on a much more personalised and dynamic level than through traditional marketing.
A social media marketing strategy can be as simple as having a company blog, a Twitter account, or attaching “Digg This” and “Tweet This” tags to the end of articles. It can also be as complicated as having a full campaign that encompasses blogs, Twitter, social networking and viral videos through YouTube.
In order to make the most of a social media marketing strategy, you need to interact with your fans and create a true community. Show that you are accessible by allowing people to ask questions, voice concerns, and even complain. Then address these issues in a professional manner. Provide them with content that’s interesting, not just promotional. Remember, social media is first of all social.
These three components are just the foundation of building a successful online marketing strategy and you don’t have to be an expert to understand them. By building a solid online marketing base, you can begin to build a successful strategy that works for your business.