Back to the Basics: Building a New business

 

Building a New Business

Building a new business or brand requires more than the ability to produce and deliver high-quality products or services. Understanding how to succeed when launching an strategy is essential regardless of the type of business you are running and the audience you need to reach.

Utilizing marketing online is a way to ensure you are making your mark whether you are offering local services or selling products internationally around the world.

Determine Your Demographic

Determine the demographic of the audience you want to reach. The more you are able to pinpoint the age, gender and location of the users you want to appeal to most the easier it becomes to generate the right advertisements and marketing strategies online.

Build an Online Presence for Your Brand

Building an online presence for your brand is essential when launching new advertising campaigns on various websites, blogs and online communities. Creating an online presence for your own business and brand is possible with a modern logo, color scheme and mobile-friendly website that is accessible to all users without hassle. Generating a voice for your brand is also highly advisable, especially when trying to separate yourself within the market and from potential competition.

Create a Blog

Creating and launching a blog on your brand’s official website is a way to connect and communicate with those who have taken a genuine interest in your business. Having a blog provides you with an additional platform to share news, information and to ask questions or for advice from those who visit your website most frequently. Consistent updating is a key factor in building a loyal fan base and growing the overall popularity of your brand.

Communicate Directly With Followers and Consumers

Any time you are marketing online or with the use of social media it is essential to communicate directly with those who are interested in your brand. Spending time communicating with followers and potential consumers is not only a way for you to build clout but it is also a way to generate more buzz about your brand altogether.

The more you know about marketing and advertising online the easier it is to reach and appeal to any audience or demographic you have in mind. Taking the time to communicate and connect with those you are targeting with your marketing gives you more leeway when attempting to keep potential customers and clients from seeking their own solution from a competitor in the same industry.

How to Build a Smart Inbound Marketing Strategy

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Marketers the world over know how important inbound marketing has become over the last few years. Cold calling and purchasing leads just doesn’t cut it anymore, at least, not in the ecommerce world or its sister industries. But before we delve into how to build a rock solid inbound marketing strategy, first let’s discuss how to put together a savvy overall marketing plan.

Marketing is about as important to small businesses (or any size business really) as water is to grass. That is, if you don’t water the grass, it simply will not grow. It’s the same with your business. You may break even or make a small profit, but if you don’t market your business, it just won’t grow.

What do you need for a decent marketing plan? Three things: a budget, resources, and reporting measures. What else? If you’re serious about marketing, which I hope you are, you’ll also need to hire a loyal marketing professional.

Read on and get the scoop on how to focus your marketing efforts in the inbound realm.

In & Out of Inbound Marketing

The best thing about inbound marketing is that there are many, many ways to go about it. From email marketing to content curation, SEO (search engine optimization) to social media marketing, there are so many ways to pursue inbound marketing that the list could literally go on forever.

Now, that may seem a bit overwhelming to you, but don’t worry! Just because there are a zillion ways to market your business from an inbound standpoint doesn’t mean you should try to tackle every single one of them.

So, take a deep breath, and start thinking about what kind of inbound marketing tactics will work best for your business.

To help you in your quest for business growth and success, the following steps will give you a hand in mapping out and implementing the best possible inbound marketing plan for your business.

Build a Marketing Foundation

  1. Create a keyword list. You don’t necessarily have to use something like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to do this, however, it is certainly recommended that you use some kind of keyword tool to gain additional insight into which keywords and phrases related to your business give you the most ‘SEO juice.’ Start by sitting down and brainstorming. Use logic. You know your business and what it does inside and out, so develop your keyword list first by thinking along those lines.
  2. Figure out EXACTLY who your buyers are. Knowing who your buyers and potential customers are is the first step toward marketing to them. Can you imagine trying to sell web design services using cat memes? But a cat food manufacturer might see drastically different results with the same concept. At the end of the day, it’s about knowing how your target market feels, thinks, and operates. You need to know what makes them tick. Try creating a buyer persona, i.e., a fictional character that represents your ideal customer.
  3. Identify your marketing goals. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they set up an inbound marketing strategy is that they forget to set goals. How is this possible? Well, when you’re new to the game, it might make sense that you just want to ‘see what happens’ with your strategy and evaluate it from there. But how will you evaluate what works and what doesn’t if you don’t set specific, measurable goals? It’s about figuring out where you’re at and consistently making sure you’re moving forward.
  4. Narrow down a content strategy. Don’t just give this step lip service. Do your research, and decide which types of content will best serve what you and your business have to offer. If your brand name is popular online, you might want to tackle the many popular social media platforms out there to gain traction. But if your potential customers are more apt to respond to an email than like a Facebook post, start by writing templates and testing versions.
  5. Develop a company blog. Here’s where all the parts start to come together. Take that keyword list you developed back at step 1, keep your target market in mind, along with your goals and content strategy (steps 2-4), and start writing. If you’re not a wordsmith (hey, some people just aren’t!) contract the work out to a web author, preferably someone who already has an online following and is familiar with your industry.

You might be thinking, “I get steps 1-4, but why do I need a blog? What if I’d rather just update social media pages instead of writing an actual article?” That’s a good question. But consider this: you can tell people you’re an expert in your industry, or you can show them.

Trust me; showing them is much more effective.

A blog is not just a space where words live. It’s a place where people go to get to know your company, a space where you can show off your insider industry expertise and prove yourself worthy of those potential customers who do come across it.

Well-written blogs help your website rank higher in search engine results. Blog articles give you something real, that you own, to share on social media. Blogs are one of the core concepts of all online content.

What do you think? Have you created a stellar inbound marketing strategy that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter and start a conversation!

Image courtesy of Flickr user Stefan Erschwendner.

Pinterest is a Bigger Influencer Than You Think

 

Any fellow Pinterest addicts out there? The first step is admitting that you have a problem, and I definitely do. When I’ve exhausted checking Facebook, Instagram, and a parenting message board that I frequent, Pinterest in my next stop. And then the next thing I know, it’s four hours later, my mouth is watering with visions of desserts and delicious recipes and my wallet is cringing at the impending trip to Hobby Lobby for craft supplies.

Pinterest has done a lot of things right in its first few years. It has gained a huge following, opened itself up to businesses, and launched very user friendly mobile apps so that people can use the site on the go. While the network is not free of all Internet issues (think spam) it’s definitely a great example of a company that is run really, really well.

When you think about it, Pinterest is genius for everyone involved. Designed to be an online bulletin board, it’s perfect for users to keep track of recipes, craft ideas, decorating inspiration, and so much more. But it also drives traffic to websites. When you click “see more” you’ll visit an actual website. This has been a boon for many small blogs and companies that might not have gained exposure otherwise.

In light of all of this info, it should come as no surprise that Pinterest is the second largest referrer of web traffic when it comes to social media. Eclipsed only by Facebook and its more than one billion users, Pinterest is really in a league of its own when it comes to referral traffic. According to Mashable, Pinterest drives more traffic than the four other major social networks (LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and Google +) combined. I particularly love Pinterest because the traffic is primarily organic and sites are getting people to click through because they are genuinely interested in what they are seeing.

There’s no doubt that Pinterest is a juggernaut when it comes to the Internet. I’m interested to see what the company will do next.

(Photo Source)

Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.