As marketing your business online continues to evolve it’s become essential to look at how you view your online presence in a global, integrated and strategic manner.
From this view, I believe you can gain the greatest coverage with the least amount of chasing your tail. I believe there’s a bit of a hierarchy to what must be done first and by adhering to this loose order you’ll always know what comes next.
Do you add Pinterest to the mix? Well, the answer depends greatly on what else you’ve accomplished, as there may be higher priorities for you right now.
By following the plan of action below you can also maximize your precious time and resources by focusing on the highest payoff activities online rather than chasing the idea of the week.
I’m not going to dive into great detail about how to do everything you need to do. In keeping with the theme of time, I’m going provide a quick list of action steps that you can treat a bit like a checklist or to do list.
Each section contains one time actions and actions that you need to return to as part of your daily, weekly or monthly marketing routine.
Listen before you speak – I like to set this aspect up first because I think it provides immediate payoff and lasting benefit for decision making
- Create a Google Alert for key brand, industry, client and competitive terms.
- Create Twitter lists for clients, competitors and key media contacts.
- Create Google Reader account and find twenty five industry related blogs to follow (If customers or competitors blog, add them to a folder)
- Investigate social settings in your CRM and add Rapportive to your email.
- Investigate social tools such as TweetDeck, HootSuite or SproutSocial to help monitor mentions
- Bonus: Add paid options like Radian6 or Trackur for deeper listening metrics
Optimize online content – One of the most important ways to be found online is through search. This only happens if you write content and create pages that match what your ideal clients are looking for online. This includes local search!
- Ask at least ten customers to tell you what search terms they would use looking for a business like yours.
- Employ a keyword tool like Google’s Keyword Tool or the free or paid version of WordTracker to dig up lots of potential keyword phrases related to your business.
- Create a list of either to ten major themes that will be the basis of your content
- Start or restart a blog and commit to addressing your themes and actual customer questions three to five times a week. (Of course, I recommend WordPress)
- Share every blog post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and StumbleUpon
- Bonus: Make two to three minute video overview of your post and submit to YouTube.
Claim real estate – One of the biggest ways to help in the game of being found is to be lots of places. Even if you’re not sure you’re business is ready to spend significant time engaging in a specific social network, you should make the time to claim and build strong profiles and place and optimize content and brand assets in these outposts.
- Create and build out profiles in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
- Create and build out profiles in Picasa, Flickr, YouTube and Slideshare
- Add plugins to your blog and web pages that makes all of your content sharable in social networks
- Start sharing your blog posts on social networks
- Start uploading and describing images, slide presentations and videos
- Share five blog posts from your Google Reader on Twitter each day
- Join five active groups on LinkedIn and connect with people in each group
- Find twenty five Facebook pages related to your business and Like them.
- Put all of your customers you can find in a Google+ Circle
- Claim your Google Places Page on Google+ Local
- Claim your business location on Foursquare, Twitter, Yelp and Facebook
- Bonus: Check out KnowEm and get hundreds of social profiles built automatically
Capture and segment visits – One of the primary goals of your content, link building and social networking activity is to attract interest in a long-term trust building relationship. Once someone decides they want to click over and read your blog post, you want to capture some information in an effort to build an email list for more education and eventual promotion.
- Find and signup for an email service provider (ESP) – I can recommend Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber and Vertical Response as I’ve used each.
- Create a reason someone would want to give you’re their email – eBooks drawn perhaps from a collection of your best blog posts are a great place to start.
- Use the chosen ESPs form creation tools to put a signup form on every page.
- Consider a plugin such as Pippity to highlight your email offer through a pop up function (people will tell you they hate popups, but smart popups increase signup by two and three hundred percent.)
- Create a weekly or monthly email newsletter with best information you’ve collected through your own reading each month.
- Create an autoreponsder series through your ESP’s tool for each product or service
- Bonus: Look into tools that allow you to create content funnels such as Survey Funnel, Spring Metrics or Get Smart Content
Integrate landing pages – Once you have your social profile set up and you’re producing new content and starting to make offers online in advertising and through social networks it’s time to look into creating landing pages that drive people to specific information and personalized calls to action.
- Create a landing page for your eBook or newsletter that sells the signup
- Create landing pages for each product or service that offers your autoresponder more information series (I use the WordPress plugin Premise on my site)
- Consider creating welcome landing pages for your LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook profiles
- Look into tools such as Unbounce or Optimizely to create and track versions of pages for testing.
Play ratings and reviews – Love them or hate them, search engines and surfers alike put a great deal of importance on the presence of and quality of reviews.
- Signup for and claim profiles on Yelp, CitySearch, Google+ Local, Bing Local and Yahoo Local
- Subscribe to the RSS feeds of your profiles on Google Reader so you can get notice with a new review appears
- Bonus: Pick one or two local review sites and start actively promoting reviews. (This is done one to one when you get a testimonial or compliment, not via mass email)
Go online to drive offline – Now that you have traffic, content, and social working for you, it’s time to add some features that make it easier for people to interact or even go offline to meet or buy.
- Create an offline call to action such as a free visit, coupon, or even evaluation
- Consider adding click to call/chat/schedule to make it easier for people to engage, get help and take action.
- Create a Google AdWords account and start driving traffic to your call to action
- Bonus: Create a local LinkedIn or Facebook group around a topic related to your industry and start building interest with a goal of taking the group offline as well through a tool like MeetUp
Analyze and test – Actually, while this step comes last it’s really the beginning. After you set everything in motion you must create the ability to see what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments.
- Subscribe to Occam’s Razor blog by Avinash Kaushik
- Create a Google Analytics account and install the tracking code on your site
- Create a list of core actions to track – things like newsletter signups, information requests, video views or social shares
- If you are running Google AdWords make sure you add conversion code so you can track what ads are getting the desired results
- Consider using goals in Analytics to track conversion funnels and paths
- Create an A/B test of your Newsletter sign-up page in Google Analytics Content Experiments function to start to learn how to optimize pages based on results.
- Bonus: Consider adding more robust tracking tools such as Spring Metrics, Omniture or KissMetrics
So, how many things on this list can your check off? How much do you still need to understand and do?