The internet a global system of interconnected computer networks that use TCP/IP to link billions of devices such as computers, tablets smart phones, cameras, cars and any other thing that can be hooked up to it.
Location planet earth, a planet estimated to currently host more than 7.2 billion people 40% of whom use the internet. Do the math, you will find a huge number of people online each hour of the day, and what are they looking for, entertainment, business, leisure, jobs and any other thing imaginable.
In the past advertiser relied on television, radio, billboards and newspapers all of which are expensive but largely ineffective. Nowadays the best way to market your business is through the internet and how do you do this?
Exploit Google, yahoo and any other popular search engine
Before you do anything take some time to answer these three questions
- What is your target market?
- What do you aim to achieve?
- How much will your campaign cost?
Google is currently the most popular search engine; one way of using Google to your advantage is by looking for what people are mostly searching for. The Google keyword planner on Google ad words is a tool that you can use to achieve this, once you find a keyword that most people use, you can optimize the articles on your website to match these keywords. What this does is bring your website up each time a person searches for the keywords.
If you have working knowledge of how a search engine works be it yahoo or Google, then you are in a better position to advertise your business.
Monitor and learn from your competition
And by monitoring I don’t mean an NSA styled spy program, what you have to do is look at what they are doing better than you, look at their websites, social media profiles, blogs and any other online services offered. If you find something good try to do it better than them, if you are copying do it in a unique fashion.
Monitoring your competition will give you an idea of what they are doing right and what you are doing wrong.
How to use social media to find customers
To find customers on social media you have to be a detective not a stalker: if you have a Gmail account then you probably have to delete spam messages each day. Understand that social media pages are usually linked to the user’s email address so spamming is an annoyance that will be overlooked and you will be ‘un-friended’, this means you have a task to find people who need what you have, what you can do is link your website to your social media profiles, on your website you can offer the visitors a chance to subscribe to your businesses newsletters or promotions, give them a reason to want the updates.
If you are looking for customers on social media, you will have to be active online. Creating a face book, twitter, linked in or any other social media profile is just the first step of things, you will need ‘friends’ and links and a business blog.
A blog is very important because blogs tend to attract new customers faster; you also need a company website. Remember when things get tough you can always use online companies to help you.
Do you like heist movies? The thing about heist movies is that a huge part of the movie is about the planning process before the actual heist. Marketing is just like a heist movie, without a well thought out plan you risk failure. Most people just dive into marketing without ever taking time to plan and strategize, unlike movies market planning is easy and doesn’t take much time. The first thing you have to do is carry out a situational analysis.
Reasons for carrying out a situational analysis
A situational analysis looks at now and the future I.e. where you are and where you want to be, you will need to identify your businesses short term and long term policies are they working or not. If you are starting a new business you need a marketing plan to identify customers, you should clearly define who you are targeting. This will keep your business in the direction you intend it to go. Take caution don’t just make up plans the plans must be realistic in order to work, work within your budget and resources.
Generally you will have to carry out:
- A competitor analysis
- Customer analysis
- Business analysis
Segment the market
Segmenting the market will give you the advantage of knowing what to sell to whom at what price. Customers have different needs and understanding their needs is very important. Segmenting your market will give benefits such as higher profits, customer retention, better communication and an ability to match your customer’s needs.
Come up with a marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is there to coordinate your marketing activities, the strategy gives your business a sense of direction and focus, and it also gives you an edge over your competition. A marketing strategy helps you build your brand and once your strategy is up and running your business will start earning profits.
Your strategy is made up of four things, place, promotion, price and product, take deep interest in these four p’s.
Communication is also very important in marketing ensure that everything is in order and in good working condition.
Look at your budget
Before you start your campaign it is important to have knowledge of how much it will cost and whether or not you can afford it. You should also look at the expected amounts of profit you will get during and after the campaign.
Planning is always a good idea, planning helps you predict potential outcomes and gives you an understanding of risk and how to deal with the risks, so plan your way to success.