In this new day and age where jobs are difficult to come by and competition is high, people are shifting from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial one. Owning your own time, working at home, and creating your own direction and opportunity are only three of the numerous benefits of being an entrepreneur and owning a business. However, the journey is not uphill all the time.
There is no such thing as an overnight success in business. There are many challenges to overcome when you’re starting out, two of which are scaling your venture and turning a profit. One of the best ways to achieve these is through marketing. Specifically, online marketing.
“Online marketing plays a pivotal role especially now that we are becoming more connected to the internet,” says James Ryan Jonas, a University of the Philippines professor and mentor to student teams in various local and international competitions. One of the teams he mentored won the top prize in the 2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) besting 2,500 teams in the world. He continues his earlier statement with, “We need to reach our target market, and online marketing is one way to reach them cheaply and more effectively.”
Online marketing allows businesses to grow through the use of technology. In addition, web analytics, the measurement of web data, allows entities to conduct market research, and from there, gather market insights to be used for online marketing campaigns. If you have a business idea or are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, read and act on the tips below to utilize online marketing for your business:
- Use on-demand information to create a strategy
On-demand information allows you to gather market insights for your marketing plan. Online metric tools such as Google Analytics provide businesses with this information. If you have 100 sales in a day, Google Analytics can show you that 50 sales came from Facebook, 30 from online publications, and the rest from blog links. This will give you numerical proof that the best way to increase sales is to focus on Facebook as your primary channel for marketing.
- Use content that is relevant, timely, and unique
Use the three together and your content will be a triple threat. Relevance provides value; timeliness strengthens your presence by following trends; and uniqueness creates a monopoly of information by becoming the go-to resource.
If you’re at a loss on how to meet the above criteria, below are specific examples on how to creating and specializing content:
- Relevance: If you’re creating a write-up for a restaurant, include the, address, numbers, menu prices of the restaurant and pictures of all your meals rather than describing how the meal was sans photographs and other information
- Timeliness: An example of this is providing livestreaming or live tweet updates of an anticipated sports game. Not everyone can watch the game in the arena or has premium cable, so these people will be looking for the above-mentioned.
- Uniqueness: if you are a travel writer, you can create a monopoly of information by targeting less-travelled destinations (e.g. write-up of an Antarctic cruise versus the more common Mediterranean cruise)
- Align distribution channels with your brand
Online marketing is not only limited to Facebook as many people think so. There are online publications, blogs, content aggregator websites (e.g Reddit), visual-centric platforms (e.g. Pinterest), and mobile-platforms among others. In the realm of social media alone, there’s Facebook, Instragram, Twitter, and Linkedin to name a few.
“If you are targeting businessmen and professionals, Linkedin is more effective than Facebook,” says James Ryan Jonas in an interview with MoneyMax.ph. Align your marketing channels to fit your target market and the brand of your business.
Online marketing is both challenging and rewarding. Don’t get disheartened if your website doesn’t get one million views overnight. Numerous years ago, who would have thought that Facebook can be used for marketing your business? Today, it is one of the most effective tools for that. The three steps above, accompanied with dedication, discipline, and hustling, will help steer your business forward.
Read more: Sure-Fire Ways to Kill Your Computer