There are numerous aspects involved in developing a marketing plan. From budget to end goal, marketing online can be a long-term process.

Tip #1 Define Your Goal

It can be a detailed process, which is the reason many small business owners hire a marketing specialist to help them plan.  To start, it helps to think about the major goal of the marketing campaign. Do you want to increase customer loyalty, boost brand awareness or sell products?  A well executed online marketing strategy can take a small business to new levels if all steps are geared toward reaching that final goal.

Tip #2 Outline Your Budget

Of course, your campaign will be limited somewhat by your marketing budget. But the good news is there are some low cost options.  Many small business owners start with a small amount of money, gradually increasing the budget to the highest, yet still comfortable level.

An online marketing budget can be unlimited, and you may never reach your entire customer base. Be sure to stick with what you can afford, and work within your budget’s confines. Learn about the direct competitors in your niche by searching for your website’s keywords.

Tip # 3 Understand the Competition

You will realize that some businesses are more competitive than others. And potential customers who are searching for services or products offered by your company will usually choose highly ranked websites.  Therefore, any site listed above your site is a competitor. Thoroughly research their services and products, and learn their strengths and weaknesses.

Make any necessary improvements to your website. Remember, a site is similar to a storefront. The more enticing the website’s design, the more traffic and sales the business will garner.  Your services and products should not be carbon copies of your competitors, even if you must increase the quality of your items or include extras in your service packages.

Finally, identify the customer base you want to target, and advertise in places where they frequent. There are even some sites, particularly social networks, that will place business advertisements in front of certain audiences to which the ads are targeted.