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The Internet Marketing Academy Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 2 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy © 2011The Internet Marketing Academy &Ventus Publishing ApS ISBN 978-87-7681-813-5 Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 3 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Contents Contents Preface 6 1 First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy 8 1.1 Introduction 8 1.1 The Internet as a Marketing Medium 8 1.2 The Principles of Marketing 9 1.3 Planning Online and Offline Marketing Strategies 11 1.4 What To Expect in this Ebook 13 2 Planning and Creating Your Website 14 2.1 Introduction 14 2.2 Planning Your Website 15 2.3 Creating Your Website 22 3 Social Media and Content Marketing 27 3.1 Introduction 27 3.2 Marketing with Social Media 28 3.3 Content Marketing 35 Fast-track your career Masters in Management Stand out from the crowd experience, London Business School’s Masters in Management will expand yourrk Please click the advert thinking and provide you with the foundations for a successful career in business. The programme is developed in consultation with recruiters to provide you with the key skills that top employers demand. Through 11 months of full-time study, you will gain the business knowledge and capabilities to increase your career choices and stand out from the crowd. London Business School Applications are now open for entry in September 2011. London NW1 4SA United Kingdom For more information visit www.london.edu/mim/ Tel +44 (0)20 7000 7573 www.london.edu/mim/u email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7000 7573 Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 4 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Contents 4 Search Engine Marketing 41 4.1 Introduction 41 4.2 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 41 4.3 Additional Kinds of SEM 48 5 Web Analytics 51 5.1 Introduction 51 5.2 Beginning Web Analytics 51 5.3 Analytic Tool Data 54 Resources 59 You’re full of energy and ideas . And that’s © UBS 2010. All rights reserved. just what we are looking for. Looking for a career where your ideas could really make a diﬀerence? ▯UBS’s Graduate Programme and internships are a chance for you to experience for yourself what it’s like to be part of a global team that rewards your input and believes in succeeding together. Please click the advert Wherever you are in your academic career, make your future a part of ours by visiting www.ubs.com/graduates. www.ubs.com/graduates Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 5 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Preface Preface IntroductionTo Internet Marketing Internet Marketing can look a little daunting with all of its many components. SEO, PPC, Social Media, Blogs, plus much more! – it can all be quite overwhelming. In this textbook you will cover the essential topics that make up Internet Marketing as an activity. It covers where the internet has been and where it is today and it describes what all of the main marketing activities are online. Sean McPheat, a serial entrepreneur and internet marketing authority is the author of this publication. Sean owns many successful online businesses ranging from an International Training business through to dozens of mini sites selling different products and services online. Sean is the founder of the Internet Marketing Academy which aims to improve the standards of internet marketing around the globe. Sean has been featured on CNN, BBC, ITV, on numerous radio stations and has contributed to many newspapers. He’s been featured in over 250 different publications. Sean is a high in demand consultant and speaker on topics related to internet marketing and making money online and estimates show that he has created over £20,000,000 of leads and £6,000,000 of sales all through the internet. That does not include all of the millions that he has helped his clients to make! Download 6 Internet Marketing Cheat Sheets Please visit our website www.internetmarketingacademy.com to download some of the very internet marketing cheat sheets that Sean has used to build his online empire. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 6 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Preface ContactThe Internet Marketing Academy Online: Web: www.internetmarketingacademy.com Email: email@example.com Telephone: From The UK: 02476 233 151 International: ++ 44 2476 233 151 Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 7 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy 1 First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy 1.1 Introduction With the introduction of the Internet, there came many changes to the way a company might carry out a particular marketing strategy. The Internet is a dynamic system, with both companies and consumers having to adapt to the rapid paceatwhichitmoves.Forcompanies,thismeansthatcompetitionhasbecomeglobal.Targetdemographicsarenolonger geographically limited, expanding across countries and continents. These expansions, though, mean that companies have to adapt different types of strategies from what they are used to with offline marketing. Online marketing is no longer an option; it is a necessity. Still, that’s not all bad news. Planning your Internet marketing strategydoesnothavetobeadifficulttask,particularlyifthecompetitiondoesn’tfullyunderstandthattherulesofInternet marketing are not the rules of traditional marketing. This ebook will teach you the basics of how to craft your Internet marketing strategy to maximum effect, from website building to web analytics. First, let’s look at some preliminary aspects to Internet marketing as well as what exactly marketing is. 1.1 The Internet as a Marketing Medium One of the first, and perhaps most important aspects to consider is that the Internet is an entirely different medium. The Internet is not a location where you simply place print documents onto a web page for others to view. It is a conglomerate of traditional media and takes different forms of those media. Utilizing the web’s unique tools is key to understanding and creating an online marketing strategy that works. The web offers unique opportunities for the savvy Internet marketer, and those should be exploited to provide the consumer and potential prospects with richer experiences. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 8 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy Your marketing strategy should employ multiple tools beyond simply the printed word. Companies use tools like video, photographs, forums, audio podcasts, and many others to get the message to their consumers and build lasting customer relationships. To get a feel for how certain companies use these tools, search around the web and see what others are doing. Ask yourself, what kinds of tools are they using? How often do they use these tools? How do these companies make effective use of these tools? One more important question to ask yourself is this: How do these tools work together to maximize effective marketing? The simple use of one or multiple web tools does not guarantee a working online marketing strategy. What makes the marketing strategy effective is how the tools work together to get the consumer to be interactive – to take the action that you want them to take. Would a video of a product or service be effective without an accompanying blog? Would a description of a product be effective without a picture for the consumer to see? Would a consumer want to read the homepage of a website if it contained nothing but text? These questions will help you begin the process of learning the effectiveness of these tools and their interaction with each other. 1.2 The Principles of Marketing Planning your Internet marketing strategy, of course, means being familiar with all the basic principles of marketing itself. When you think about what marketing entails, are you clear on exactly what is included? A good definition of marketing is that it is the full range of activities that you undertake - both on and off the web - in order to make certain that you are meeting your customers’ needs and that you are receiving enough value in return for doing so. Note that we said ‘enough’ value; you need to be receiving enough in return that it is worth the time and investment that you are taking to provide the service or product that you offer. Marketing is related to advertising, promotion, PR, and sales, but is actually a distinct activity that helps prepare you and yourorganizationtoperformtherelatedactivitiesthoroughlyandwell.Youcouldactuallythinkofadvertising,promotion, PR, and sales as being influenced by your Internet marketing strategy, such as in Figure 1 below. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 9 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy Figure 1: Internet Marketing Influences Other Related Activities Internet marketing, like marketing off-site (off of your website), requires that you know enough about your customers and markets that you know how best to price, sell, and distribute your product or service. Doing so requires a level of marketing research and the development of a marketing plan. But before we discuss marketing research and planning, let’s look further at how Internet marketing is related to other activities by defining each one and how they are performed in the online environment. 1.2.1 Advertising Advertisingistheprocessofbringingyourproductorservicetotheattentionofyourprospectsandcustomers.ForInternet marketing, this means finding new ways to drive traffic, or visitors, to your website. Online advertising can take many forms:bannerads,pay-per-click(PPC)ads,linksplacedonotherwebsitesandmore.Usuallyadvertisingisfocusedonone product at a time or one segment of your target market at a time. So, your Internet marketing plan might require several different advertising campaigns in order to help generate the number of customers and sales that you need. Advertising can and should also occur off-line, through direct mail, commercials, personal representation, or other collateral, always including your website address so that customers can learn more about you online. Advertising may also involve ways of letting your customers know about special offers or pricing that is limited in time or scope. 1.2.2 Promotion Promotion can be thought of as the way to keep your company, product, or service in front of your customer. It can help to generate more demand for the product as well. Whereas it might include advertising as part of your promotional strategy, it also includes publicity, public relations, and sales. Some of this promotion can be done online through sales efforts, press releases, offering a free information product, or writing targeted email campaigns, but some will also be done off-line. Any effort that you make to improve or enhance the image of your organization, sell more products, or get the name of your organization into the thoughts of your customers and potential customers is part of promotion. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 10 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy 1.2.3 Public Relations Public relations, or PR, involves developing your company’s image and brand so that it is perceived by the public in the way you want it to be perceived. For example, you might want your company to be seen as the leader of the pack in your field, or you might focus on showcasing the community service that your company provides in the areas where they operate. When you are speaking about an online form of public relations, you need to consider first and foremost what your website looks like and how it operates. Is it young and trendy because that’s who your target audience is? Or is it more traditional and less focused on social media because your products appeal to an older demographic? Your website can be thought of as the “front line” of your public relations strategy. PR also involves representing your organization to the media. You should have someone designated to speak to the press who is able to represent your organization’s interests and strengthen the image you want to portray – as well as answering any questions about your products or services. Your PR department or representative would send press releases announcing new products or services, answer complaints that the press might have picked up on, and generally be ‘the face’ of your company to the public. This might require adopting some form of technology on your website so that the press and customers can both communicate with you. 1.2.4 Sales This activity is the easiest to understand. It’s the act of locating, informing, and agreeing on terms of the purchase with your customers. Before the Internet, this would have happened by attempting to drive customers into your store or onto your phone lines. Today, many people will first look for you online. So in online sales, you need to help your customers find you. However, the Internet is full of other websites clamoring for the attention of the same customers. You will need to actively market your company, your services, and your products to reach these customers. There are a number of strategies that we will discuss that will help you do just that. 1.3 Planning Online and Offline Marketing Strategies Though the planning process may seem like an obvious step to take, it is a common mistake for companies to have inconsistent strategies both online and offline. The goals for any strategy are simple enough: • Determine the measurable goals of your strategy • Establish a calendar and milestones to reach • Decide on qualitative goals and quantitative goals The strategies of your online marketing and your offline marketing may differ in certain aspects, but the goals should remain consistent with one another. Most importantly, the decisions you make on what tools to use and how to present them should be based on the customer. Let’s take a look at planning an online strategy and how it should be integrated. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 11 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy 1.3.1 Online Marketing Strategy Planning Online marketing involves research to find out your target demographics and your ideal customer’s personal values. We will go deeper into this topic in a later chapter, but here are some basic guidelines to get started in researching your customers. • Target Your Audience – Hone in on the average customer your product or service is sure to appeal to. Accessing this information is crucial to developing your marketing strategy. Find a nonintrusive way online to find out what kind of customer he is and think of his values when beginning to form a marketing strategy. • Think of the Ideal Customer – What kind of customer do you want to develop a relationship with? Thinking of the ideal customer is a good way to develop the ways your marketing strategy will play out. It will also allow you to broaden the appeal of your product or service if this ideal customer is not the same as the average customer. • Assess Values – This extends to the values a customer has in both the product and the means of marketing. A customer will expect good quality and pricing, but what will he expect when it comes to the ways you market to him? Is he interested in a video demonstrating the product or service? Does he want to read other customer reviews of the product or service? • Provide Information – Customers expect information on the product or service they could potentially purchase. Become a resource of reliable and trustworthy information. It will build relationships with customers and brand your company as trustworthy. 1.3.2 Integrating Online and Offline Planning Your online strategy planning and your offline strategy planning should complement one another. Sometimes, the marketing strategy of one may simply be an extension of the other. When managing a company’s website, keep in mind the company’s ultimate goals and integrate both the online marketing strategy and the offline strategy. They should be consistent for the ease of the company and the perception of the customer. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 12 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy First Steps to an Internet Marketing Strategy As an example, let’s say your company provides information on its product or service through the website. What if FAQs, reviews, or blogs are not enough for the customer and he needs to contact a live person via telephone? A phone number can be placed on the website, easily found and seen. Providing the number is an offline service that is handled by a customer service representative. This is an example of connecting online and offline strategies. What works for one customer may not work for another, so providing alternatives between online and offline activities allows greater access to everyone. You can satisfy many more customers by meeting the demands of many different kinds of customers. Integration of both strategies means ensuring the customer’s awareness of online and offline activities. 1.4 WhatTo Expect in this Ebook We have only touched the surface so far to the inner workings of Internet marketing and how to craft an effective strategy. In the next few chapters, we will cover the following: • Planning and Creating a Website • Social Media and Content Marketing etc. • Search Engine Marketing • Web Analytics Each chapter is full of information on how to optimize your marketing strategy to its fullest potential. Most importantly, it will maximize the relationships you build with your customers. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 13 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite 2 Planning and CreatingYourWebsite 2.1 Introduction YourInternetmarketingstrategycannotbeacompleteonlinestrategyifyoudonotownandrunawebsite.Everycompany must have a website these days, especially with consumers finding most of their information on the web. Think about how a customer is going to go about finding information about anything, including your company and your product. Gone are the days where people get their information from television ads or telephone books. They are going to find information the easiest way possible, which is through the Internet. Please click the advert Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 14 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite The way you should adapt your Internet marketing strategy is by creating a place that holds the information a prospective customer needs. Your first step should be to create a website and keep it running with updates and the newest tools. Your website will be an important place for the customer. The website is your home base operation, a place where your customers will gather information and potentially purchase your products. Additionally, the website itself is a form of online marketing for your business. If it is designed correctly, search engines will recognize your website as having the results that your potential customers are looking for. The following section will teach you the basics of planning out your website as well as the creation of your website. We will also include some useful tips to keep in mind in regards to a good Internet marketing strategy. 2.2 PlanningYourWebsite Before you actually go about creating your website and registering it with a host, there are a couple of things to think about and plan for the future. The number of websites on the Internet is a staggering number, up in the hundreds of millions. You may be asking yourself, “how can I compete and make my mark with that muchcompetition?” It all starts with the website and designing it correctly. Let us look at a few preliminary steps to think of that will be discussed in the following section. These preliminary steps include: • Selecting a domain name • Selecting the web host • Determining who will manage the site • Deciding who will make the site’s creative content • Itemizing your end goals • Formatting the site’s layout 2.2.1 Selecting a Domain Name When planning your website, it will be essential that you have a domain name that grabs the attention of your current and prospective customers. Most of the time, you should include your company’s name as the domain name, but there are other things to consider when choosing a domain name. • Match the Domain Name and URL - First, we should mention that a site’s domain name and its website name are not necessarily the same thing. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing. Most people do not know this and will not take this into consideration when choosing a domain and website name. Domain names are the names that a site is called, and this name must be registered with a registrar. You must also annually pay a fee for the rights of that name. This is what your website is called. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 15 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite A website name, or the URL, is the actual web address that you type into a browser’s address bar to get to that website. The domain name could be entirely different, but the most direct way to access the website is through the website name. Think about your customers, and how easy it would be if they had to remember just one name to get to your website. This is why the domain name should match the website name. Customers do not want to spend time remembering multiple names. You want to simplify how they find you, and this is one of the first steps. So, make your domain name the same as your website’s URL. This will be a much easier process for customers. • Domain Name Length – Consider how long your domain name will be and ask yourself the following questions: Will it be too long to say in normal conversation? Can it be posted easily to brochures, billboards, or advertisements? Can people easily spell it? These questions are important to consider because simplification is key. You should assume that if it is tough to say in normal conversation, it will not be said. You should also assume that if it is hard to spell, people will misspell it. The bottom line is this: Go with something simple. • Company Name – Before determining whether or not to put the name of your company into the domain name, think about the following. Is your company’s name easy to remember? Is it a tongue twister? Are there any other companies out there with a similar name? Does your company sell something unique from everyone else? You might think that simply naming the domain after your company is the way to go, but reconsider that thought. If your company’s name is not easy to remember, then your domain and website name will not be either. If it is difficult to pronounce or spell, it will be difficult to remember the website name. If there are companies out there with a similar name that they own the rights to, your website could potentially be shut down. Finally, if your company sells something unique, you should consider putting that into the title of the domain and website name. Ultimately, you are going to want to have a domain name that sticks in your customer’s mind. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 16 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite • Top Level Domain (TLD) - Also consider TLD - the ending or endings you will use for your domain name. They are designed to be used as follows: ➢ .us, .uk or other two letter country designations identify the country of the business ➢ .biz is for business use ➢ .com is for commercial websites ➢ .net was originally designed for networking technology companies but is now general use ➢ .edu is for educational organization websites ➢ .gov is for government websites ➢ .org is for nonprofit organization websites ➢ .info is for informational websites ➢ .co is a new domain that is global but not yet as recognized as .com your chance to change the world Here at Ericsson we have a deep rooted belief that the innovations we make on a daily basis can have a profound effect on making the world a better place for people, business and society. Join us. In Germany we are especially looking for graduates Pleasas Integration Engineers for • Radio Access and IP Networks • IMS and IPTV We are looking forward to getting your application! To apply and for all current job openings please visit our web page: www.ericsson.com/careers Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 17 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite If you are concerned about competition using your domain name but with a different top level domain ending, you can always purchase more than one domain and set the second or third domains to “point” to your main website - or even to a specific page on your main website. This is helpful for another reason as well; you can have more than one domain name so that you can do some split testing in your marketing campaigns. For example, you could use one domain name in one campaign and another domain name in a separate campaign and see which one pulls in more customers (note that you don’t need to have a separate domain to run split tests - you can often get the information you need from the advertising platform’s software). 2.2.2 Selecting theWeb Host Web hosts are a network of computers and servers that hold all the information about your sites and the pages of your sites. Users are able to view and access these pages and sites by connecting to the web hosts. Before you can launch your website, you must first sign up with a web host. There are two kinds of web hosting services: free and commercial. • Free – Free web hosts are beneficial if you are looking to save some money. However, there are more restrictions imposed on free web hosting services than paid web hosting services. For certain services, you may be required to put banners and advertisements on your pages. You may also be limited in the size of your files and the types of script you can use. Your bandwidth and speed can also be limited. This may seem like a lot of downsides, but when you think about your Internet marketing strategy, you must also think about the expense. Is it worth it to have your site hosted for free, but have ads plastered all over the page? Sometimes, you might not have a choice but to start with a free host and work your way up. After all, every company and website has to start somewhere. • Commercial – This type of hosting means that you pay to have your site hosted. Having a host that you pay offers many more benefits than a free host. The amount of advertisement on the site is reduced to little or no advertising at all. There are far less restrictions than a free host and your speed and bandwidth are greatly increased. This seems to be a very nice proposition, but are there any downsides? Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 18 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite You want to be careful how much you spend on commercial web hosting services. Paying very little is cost effective, but can mean that the service does not have the hired help to assist you if there is any problem. Paying a lot may mean you have a lot more service and assistance, but is the amount you pay worth it? The bottom line for deciding on what kind of web hosting service you needs comes down to a combination of the cost, how reliable they are, and the features they offer. Do some research prior to choosing and see who is recommended as the best for how much you pay. Look into the features they have and if they have any restrictions. 2.2.3 WhoWill Manage the Site? One important decision to make when planning on creating a website is to decide on whether or not to hire a professional to make the site. The other option is for you or an already hired employee to create the site. There are pros and cons to either option. If you hire a professional, you have a better chance at having a site being made with great creative prowess. Professionals have been trained to use many different tools and even know how to utilize social media to market your company (this will be discussed in a later chapter). If your company grows, then the profits you make will outweigh the cost of hiring a professional. The downside, however, is that hiring a professional costs money. If you are a small company, you may not be able to afford an expense like this. Doing it yourself, or having an already hired employee plan and create the site, is efficient because you have someone doing two jobs for less cost. There are plenty of tutorials on the Internet and books to teach you how to make an effective website. The downside, however, is that if you do this yourself with little training, the site may come out generic or without the full functionality you would like. What you ultimately want is for the website to stand out from the competition while providing the functionality and professional image that you want. Keep these things in mind if you decide to hire a professional or do it yourself. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 19 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite 2.2.4 WhoWill Make the Site’s Creative Content? The creative content on your website can include many different types of information. First is the copy, or the actual words on your website. How you describe your company, its services and its products will all impact how the customer views you. Then you have the creative content like the graphics and logos that reflect the image or brand of your company. Are you a traditional consulting firm or a clothing company that targets teenagers? You can imagine how the graphics and logos for these two companies would be completely different. You may also need content on a regular basis like articles, blogs, or other informational products. The question is the same as the previous section on deciding whether to hire a professional. The professional knows how to make a site, and she is likely to have a creative background as well. In fact, many web designers will have contacts with copywriters and graphic designers who can help you create the unique content for your site. Learning yourself is always possible, but it will depend in part on how much time you are able to dedicate to wearing another “hat” in your business. Plus, there are guidelines to writing and creating content for the web that are different from how you write for print advertising. If you aren’t familiar with the differences, you could end up with creative content that doesn’t work well inside the infrastructure of your site or that doesn’t draw traffic to your site the way that it would if you had a professional do it for you. Still, hiring does cost money, so this is an expense you should keep in mind. Again, think about the size of the company and whether or not you can afford to hire a professional. Will hiring a professional benefit you in the long run? IjoinedMITASbecause for Engineers and Geoscientists Iwanted real responsibili▯ Maersk.com/Mitas Month 16 Iwas aonstruction supervisorin Please click the advert theNorthSea advisingand Real work helpingforemen International opportunities ▯ree work placements solveproblems Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 20 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite 2.2.5 WhatWill the Site’s Layout Be? Again, before you make the site yourself, consider whether you know what the layout of the site will entail. Before starting on the creation process, do a rough sketch on paper of how exactly the site will be laid out, how the pages will connect to each other and how a visitor to the site will navigate through your pages. Whether or not you hire a professional, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, a home page should be designed to catch the attention of the user. The home page is most likely to be the first page that a user visits, so you want to make a good impression with good aesthetic design and easy navigation. Also think about how you want to convey to him that you are a trustworthy company, and one that provides reliable information. Be sure to convey this information through text and visuals. Next, there should be a section or page dedicated to telling users about the company. The “About” section is important because it is visited by people who are seeking information about the company, its experience and its credibility. Your “About” page should include a summary of the company, a statement of its mission and goals, and it could even include pictures and biographies of the company’s leadership. . The website should also be professionally designed to reflect the culture or brand of your company. You are going to want the customer to get the right “feel” of your company from the design, colors, fonts, and more. Are you a luxury hotel company? A music label? An auction site? All of these websites would have significantly different graphics that convey the company’s brand. Everything from the font you choose to the colors of the background to the way the customer moves through the site all convey a message to your customer about your company. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 21 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite Finally, make sure that the website provides the customer with the experience you want them to have from a navigation standpoint. Most readers are scanners of information, so plan on making navigation clear by emphasizing important information like contact information, or a link to another page with pertinent information about a product, or a map to your physical “brick and mortar” location if you have one. Your site should always be designed with the customer in mind – not with your own organizational preferences. Can the customer find return and warranty information easily? Do pages link to each other in a way that makes finding information easy to do? Is placing an order or requesting more information about a product or service easy to do? If a customer is frustrated by your website, they are unlikely to remain a customer – or even a visitor - for very long. 2.2.6 What AreYour End Goals? Your website should also be designed with your end goals in mind. For example, if your desire is to sell products on your website, you may need e-commerce software and applications so that you can create a product catalog and complete a sale. But if your website is designed to be informational so that you can draw visitors and build a reputation for yourself, you won’t necessarily need e-commerce applications. Whatever you goal is, there should be one or more actions that you want the customer to take – and how successful your website is will be based on how many customers take that action. For example, you might want a visitor to: • Sign up for a free newsletter or report so that you capture their email address • Register or join as a “member” and pay a subscription fee • Sign up for a free trial of something • Click on an affiliate link or advertisement that generates a commission for you • Call you or fill out a request for more information about your product or service • Make a purchase • Use your service/product online • Refer others to your website • Download your software, ebook, or more 2.3 CreatingYourWebsite So now you have plans for a website and a clear direction for where you want to go with it. At this point, you should use all of your plans and start to make that website. In the following section, we will teach you how to create your site and give you tips to keep in mind as part of your Internet marketing strategy. The following are the steps to take for creating a successful and effective website: • Designing Your Site’s Web Pages • Testing Your Site • Getting Noticed Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 22 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite 2.3.1 DesigningYour Site’sWeb Pages If you sketched out a rough draft of your website, now is the time to get those plans out and put them to use. Assuming that you have not hired a professional to set up and create the website, you will have to use software that act as HTML, CSS and ASCII editors. Here are a few kinds of software that will help you design web pages. • Dreamweaver • Notetab Light • CodeLobster (Multiple Editions) • HAPedit • Arachnophilia • PSPad • Notepad ++ • Bluefish • HTML Kit Each piece of software offers the ability to make web based pages, but they each may have different tools and features. SoftwarelikeDreamweaverpresentsthetextasaworddocument,makingiteasierforthedesignertocreatehissitewithout the hassle of HTML tags and codes. Don’t worry if you’re not entirely familiar with each of these. There are tutorials on the Internet that can teach you how to use the software and how to implement them. Study at one of Europe’s leading universities DTU, Technical University of Denmark, is ranked as oneosely under the expert supervision of top international of the best technical universities in Europe, and offersarchers. Pleaseinternationally recognised Master of Science degrees in 39 English-taught programmes. DTU’s central campus is located just north of Copenhagen and life at the University is engaging and vibrant. At DTU, DTU offers a unique environment where students have we ensure that your goals and ambitions are met. Tuition hands-on access to cutting edge facilities and work is free for EU/EEA citizens. Visit us at www.dtu.dk Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 23 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite Rememberthatyouwanttomakenavigationofthesitesimplefortheuserandforimportantinformationtobeemphasized. Make sure your contact information is clearly visible, especially on your home page. Also make sure that your readers can find the information they are likely to be looking for. As we stated in a previous section, readers are scanners of information. Try to think of what they are looking for and highlight it. Also, when designing your site and its pages, you are going to want to make it searchable by search engines. You will want to put in key words that users are searching for. We will discuss this in a later chapter, but the keywords are important when designing your web page. 2.3.2 TestingYour Site Once you have completed your site and have it established on the web, you are going to want it tested. The first thing you should test for is to make sure the site shows up in multiple browsers. This includes popular browsers such as • Internet Explorer • Google Chrome • Mozilla Firefox • Safari • Opera The reason you want your site to work in all of these browsers is so you can reach a wider audience of readership. It will allow your site’s presence to be more widely known and is also beneficial in the cases where one browser is not working or is shut down. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 24 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite Another way to test your site’s usability is to have the site test driven by multiple users. You should not need more than five users for this type of test, and it can be as simple as getting some friends to help you out. Testing usability is crucial because it allows you to see whether or not your site is easily navigable. You will want to get between two and five users ready at a computer. Give them a task, such as finding certain types of information within the website. Once you have given them these tasks, leave the room before they even open a browser. This is absolutely crucial because you will want to make sure that users are able to find the site on their own. It is also crucial because you will not be tempted to give them hints or make comments about why you designed something a certain way. The entire process of finding information is in the hands of the user, and this test will help determine whether or not you have created searchable, scannable information. One this is done, ask the testers if they were able to complete the tasks. Also ask them for suggestions on how to make tasks easier to accomplish, or if there was anything distracting on the page. These points of information are important and should be used to redesign the site if you need to. Repeat this process until you have a site that is easy to navigate. 2.3.3 Getting Noticed So now you have a website that is established on the Internet, and you have repeatedly tested it for navigability. The only thing left to do is to get your website noticed. More importantly, you are going to want to get your company, or even a particular product, noticed to users of the Internet. First, let us discuss the how to use search engines to get yourself noticed. Once the site is ready, submit the site to popular search engines, including Yahoo!, Google, or Bing. This will allow the site to be visible when people search for you, and it will also raise awareness of your site. In some instances, you can pay to have your site be listed at the top. Another way of getting your website noticed is by creating content with searchable and commonly used keywords. We will discuss this in a later chapter on Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 25 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Planning and CreatingYourWebsite Do you have friends and business partners that are on the Internet? Ask them to link your site to theirs. This will increase your visibility significantly, especially if you’ve practiced good networking with other companies and colleagues. Alessobviouswaytogetyourwebsitenoticedistodoofflineadvertising.Thoughanofflinemarketingstrategymaynotbe as cost effective, planning your online and offline marketing strategies together is highly beneficial, especially if you want your website to become noticed. Promoting it by word-of-mouth or even advertisements in a newspaper or brochure can startbringingintraffictoyourwebsite.Donotunderestimateofflinemarketing.Youwilllikelyneeditinthefutureaswell. Social media is also going to be a major player in getting your website noticed. 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Visit us at www.skf.com/knowledge Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 26 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Social Media and Content Marketing 3 Social Media and Content Marketing 3.1 Introduction Marketing your brand is not limited to simply having a website up and running. It involves making your company, as well as your product or service, a visible presence on the Internet. If you do not reach out to the people you want to sell to, whatarethechancesthatthosepeoplewillcometoyou?Establishingyourselfonthewebmeansthatyourcompetitionhas grown to a global scale. As part of your Internet marketing strategy, you need to find a way to compete and make yourself different from the rest of the market. Your job now is to keep up with the competition and create customer relationships. So how can you do this? Social media is probably the most important outlet to establish your company’s presence. Not only does it make your company more visible, it allows content to be shared and provides tools to optimize your product. Content marketing is another way to make your presence known. Content marketing, which goes by many different names, is an umbrella term for marketing involving the creation of content to increase your ability to influence a consumer’s opinion on your product. Your Internet marketing strategy should implement both of these types of marketing to great effect. We shall discuss marketing with social media and content marketing in greater detail in the following sections. Figure 2 - Social Media Optimization Source: Spsoftglobal.com Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 27 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Social Media and Content Marketing 3.2 Marketing with Social Media If you spend any amount of time on the Internet, chances are you are part of a social media network. Even if you do not have a Twitter or Facebook account, the content you view on the web was likely spread through social media. Socialmediaissimplyenormous.Nomatterwhereyoursearchesandintereststakeyou,youwilllikelyenduponsiteswith links to “like” an article, or a “tweet” button to share a web page. Social media is not just one entity, but a conglomerate of different networks that connect people and web content to one another, as shown in Figure 2. More than just a way of sharing entertainment with the world, social media is a valuable marketing tool that, when done correctly, can increase your own company’s presence as well as the brand you want to sell. Let’s discuss the ways to utilize social media 3.2.1 Why Use Social Media? In Internet marketing, it is especially beneficial to use social media as a marketing tool. Social media sites and tools are used by everyone and, as a company, you do not want to fall behind on the times. There are four reasons to use social media as a marketing tool: communication, education, collaboration, and entertainment. Let us look at each of these in more detail. • Communication – Using social media is all about communicating with customers and establishing a relationship with them. With a vast array of social media sites, there are now many different ways to communicate directly with many customers. What is most important is that communication between you and the user occurs. But remember, communication cannot happen unless you initiate the conversation. Simply having a site up and running will do you no good unless you make people aware of it. Search engines alone cannot be the only ones to make you more visible. Use social media and reach out to your customers. Social networking sites allow you to be a proactive communicator. They also allow customers to easily find you. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 28 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Social Media and Content Marketing • Education – When we say ‘education,’ we mean more than the standard academic meaning. In online marketing, you want users to know who you are and what it is you do. You also want them to know what it is you are selling and why exactly your customer needs to buy it. Educate them about all of this by using social media sites and tools. Since social media allows more direct communication with users, you should use the opportunity to create effective content to educate them. You will want to make sure, though, that what you are saying is worth their time and that the format is appropriate. Will you use video, blogging, or pictures to educate your prospective customers? We will discuss this in more detail in a later section of this chapter. • Collaboration – If there is one thing that is unique about the Internet and social media, it is the ability for multiple sites and tools to collaborate with one another. As we stated in the introduction of this ebook, the Internet is an entirely different medium from other media like print or television. The ability to use different formats to collaborate with each other is what separates the Internet as a marketing medium. If you have a weekly blog that you maintain, you can embed videos on the page to complement the written material. Perhaps you have a popular article that can be shared on social media networks with the click of a link button. Social media is about connections, but it is the collaboration that makes these connections work. When you collaborate with different formats, you want to make sure that the collaborations make sense. • Entertainment – Depending on the type of company image you want to promote or the product you are trying to sell, this may come as a secondary item of interest. Creating something such as a video or blog that is meant to entertain does have its benefits. Entertainment can create interest in your company or the product you are trying to sell. But first, think about the kind of reputation you want people to know you for. What kind of company are you? If you are running a website for a hospital, you are not going to have the same values in entertainment as a website dedicated to the newest trends in music. You are going to want to keep an appropriate tone and image, so keep these things in mind if entertainment is an option for your Internet marketing strategy. Remember, these are not necessarily rules to follow, but guidelines to look at when thinking about how to best design your Internet marketing strategy. You will have to design your strategy and utilize different tools based on your company and the product you are attempting to sell. What is appropriate for one company may not necessarily be appropriate for another company. We will discuss the different types of social media you can use further in a later section. 3.2.2 Social Media Optimization (SEO) Utilizing social media as part of your internet marketing strategy is absolutely a must. More than just a fad, social media networks and tools can be optimized to increase your company’s presence on the internet and engage your viewers in your brand. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 29 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Social Media and Content Marketing Social Media Optimization (SEO) is a term used to describe how besttouse networksandtools ofsocial media to increase a company’s Internet presence. There are 5 rules to SEO: Creating shareable content, simplifying sharing, rewarding engagement, proactive sharing of content, and encouraging mashup. Let’s take a closer look at each of these rules. the best master in the netherlands Master of Science in Management * Please click the advert Kickstart your career. Start your MSc in Manag ement in September, graduate within 16 months and join 15,000 alumni from more than 80 countries. Are you ready to take the chafor our MSc in Management Challenge and compete to win 1 of 3 partial-tuition revolving scholarships worth €10,000! www.nyenrode.nl/msc in the category of business administration Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 30 Developing an Internet Marketing Strategy Social Media and Content Marketing • Creating Shareable Content – Linkability is the first step to creating shareable content. It provides access to your website and the content you produce about your company and product. Linkability is done by having specific link buttons added to the webpage of your content. However, you’ll want to do more than simply provide linkability to your site. The content itself is what is going to create buzz and interest in the product, and even your company. Whether your customers like it, share it, or dig it, it is the quality of your content that will increase traffic and the presence of your product and company. • Simplifying Sharing – This rule is a sort of extension of the previous rule. While providing linkability and shareable content to your company and product, you do not want the potential consumer to feel overwhelmed by a vast array of button links across a webpage. There are multiple ways that a user is able to share content, whether it is embedding video, creating a hashtag, or simply posting the content’s link. Simplifying the way a user shares content involves making the process effortless and less time-consuming. After all, your customer’s time is valuable, and he will appreciate your content more if it is easily shareable. • Rewarding Engagement – Engaging user conversation is important when you want to create interest in your company or product. This can occur in many different formats, from forums to posting shareable content. Though there are many different ways to measure how users engage in conversation, what matters is that it occurs. It creates interest, and you will want to make this interest worth it by rewarding users, such as with more content. Be careful with how much you give, though, and moderate rewarding engagement. You do not want to overwhelm or underwhelm users. Lastly, you will want the engagement to be positive for the long term prospects of your company or product. • Proactive Sharing of Content – Not only do you want to encourage users to share your content, but you will have to take part in this sharing process as well. Be proactive in the Internet’s social media market by posting different versions of a certain kind of content
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