Online marketing works best as an integrated system, where each component helps the rest to function at peak efficiency. As with any type of complex system, however, it can be difficult to see those connections when you’re still getting familiar with the concepts involved. That’s perfectly normal, and I’ve got just the thing to help.
I’m going to run through some of the most important online marketing tools to show how they fit together, and how an integrated online marketing plan will help grow your Calgary business.
The Integrated Tools of Online Marketing: From Grabbing Attention to Closing the Deal
Online marketing starts with attraction, followed by engagement to nurture the new relationship. After that, it’s time to convert, close the deal, and earn yourself a repeat customer. The right online marketing plan allows you to repeat this process with a steady flow of new customers.
- Branding – Your branding includes familiar elements like logos and tag-lines, but it also requires managing your overall image online. This can include everything from the pictures on your Facebook page to the way you interact in public online settings, so it’s a very broad category. Most of the marketing tools on our list also function as brand-boosters when used effectively.
- SEO – Short for search engine optimization, SEO is all about making your site more appealing to search engines. I’ve mentioned the importance of attraction, and a first-page search ranking is crucial to that process. Your content plays an important, visible role in SEO, and your web design should be optimized for search engine success.
- Search Engine Marketing – It takes time to build your search ranking, especially if you’re starting from scratch with a new website. Search engine marketing, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), eliminates the wait by allowing you to purchase marquee ad positions in search results based on a daily budget. It’s not a replacement for SEO, but it’s a nice complement and a great way to lead prospects to specific content.
- Customer-centric Content – Content marketing is a new take on traditional advertising, and it takes many forms. The idea is to create text-based or multimedia content that anticipates and serves the reader’s needs, usually by sharing expertise related to your industry. Content is versatile, and can be delivered through email, social media, your blog, your website, and anywhere else you connect with customers.
- Email – Staying at the top of the customer’s mind is one of the keys to online marketing, and email is a great tool to keep contact. The trick is creating strong motivation to sign up for your email list, and stay there. You might offer exclusive deals, special content, or even a regular newsletter. Your email marketing is also a good place to subtly promote your social media pages.
- Blogging – Your blog provides an opportunity to share the culture, expertise, and personality of your business. Blog posts generate discussion, allowing you to direct readers to your social media pages, and direct new social media connections back to your blog. The key is to blog consistently, on a regular schedule, which has the added benefit of being great for SEO.
- Social Media – Geography is old news. Social media allows you to connect with anyone, anywhere, including in your own backyard. As with email, quality is important. The public interactions that you have with social connections are just as influential in shaping perception as the content and updates you share.
- Web Design – Your website is either the destination or starting point for every tool on our list, so it’s really the heart of your online marketing. Getting the simple things right is a great place to start. Your website should be functional, easy to navigate, information-rich, and built with the customer in mind. Your branding, blog, and social media connectivity are the big-ticket items on the marketing side.
You can look at this set of tools as the fundamentals of online marketing for your Calgary business, and I’d recommend trying them all together to get the most bang for your buck. Over time, your analytics, which provide detailed data on the performance of each marketing tool you use, will help you shape and improve your plan. Trends change quickly online, but I find that the tools on this list more than stand the test of time.
How about we continue this online marketing conversation in person? Emphasize Design of Calgary has you covered with the online marketing and web design skills your business needs to truly shine online.