INTERNET MARKETING 101 SERIES (A Look at what you should be doing)
Internet Marketing all starts with a plan. A foundation, if your foundation is not built correctly you will face many obstacles that can easily be avoided with a couple of sound decisions. A web presence is vital, picking and using the right tools is vital, and the way you represent your brand is vital. In this first article I will briefly dip into these three things and help get you started.
A web presence heavily depends on your internet marketing points of entry, I have seen many differences, each with their own success(I will cover more in depth in a later post). A few questions to ask are:
Do you want to be heavily involved in updating the site?
If so you will want to look for a CMS (content management system) that is easy for you to learn and update. Make sure it runs from any browser so you can update it wherever your at. For any custom design it can be an overwhelming process, hopefully you have a web developer on staff or outsource this one. You will want to make sure you have a long term plan of management. Once this is set up and a few tutorials have been gone through adding pages to your website will be a breeze. Once you start adding content internet marketing becomes addicting and some of the more complicated additions will need to be handled by your professional. You can minimize the work by knowing exactly what you want before you use it. This is done by creating a solid website plan.
Do you want to make sure your site is constantly updated, but know you don’t want to deal with it?
You want to look for an agency you can build a good rapport with (you know you can get on them if they are not getting the job done) One that can learn and understand your business and know where you are going in the future, and they can take you there. Ask them for a solid layed out website plan and where they plan on taking your website so you have realistic goals you can see achieved.
Is your brand heavily designed focused?
If your brand influences your business, a big factor is going to be finding a firm that can drive that brand in new ways through design. Peruse through agencies portfolios and get a sense of the design you like and hold meetings with them to see their vision for your brand. I would suggest choosing three different studios to see various proposals.
Design driven can also mean you get your CMS in place and find a company that can give you a unique look on a CMS system, not all companies who have great design skills have great development skills you might need to choose one of each or meet there team to see where there skill lie.
The above three are not exhaustive, but a great starting point at getting a web presence to start your corner stone.
Depending on whether you are pedaling product or have a service will determine a lot of things also. If you have a product (I am talking about a unique product here, not something that you resell) how much information are you able to generate to educate your audience about the product. Are their any ways you can uniquely display your information to have your audience engage with it for a unique experience.
If you have a service what are the two things you focus on most out of service, price, quality. Answer the question above and your web presence should be driven from these two things. Example if service is one of the two you want to have all the main ways to contact you clearly marked on every page. Or if your business is setup through distributors you would want them to contact you and divert customers through your channels clearly and upfront. Even in todays internet some big companies fail at this miserably.
Now most likely your name has been taken on most of the social circles, but sit down one night and sign up user-names and passwords for all of them, try to make them all the same name on your you tube, twitter, word press, face book, Gmail (and all of its many services). I will keep my Cirv Blog and twitter account updated to try and give you the best advice possible at signing up for new services. After getting the above grounded out and a vision for your new website or upgrade you are ready to look at SEO(Lots more info will be posted on this topic).
Here is a short primer for all of you newcomers building your web presence and anyone who needs to get out of just a brochure website. I will continue to tackle these and other issues on the Cirv Blog. Also you can follow my Website agency @poweredbycirv for all things digital marketing.