For many people starting a business venture on the Internet can be frustrating or confusing to know what to do or what steps are needed to start successfully and on the right track.
Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business since it is what allows you to connect with customers, create relationships and convey the message that will make sales and generate money.
Without marketing, failure is the most likely destination.
Online Marketing Plan – 10 Steps to Starting Successfully
If you already have a good idea of the type of business you are going to create or you are ready to start marketing online, follow this 10 step guide to getting started on the right foot.
Then gradually I recommend you to improve and optimize each of these points; Remember that on the Internet everything changes very fast and it is necessary to adapt to the current trends at all times.
1. Define your business, your niche, brand and products/services
Before creating a marketing plan, it is important to have defined some aspects that are pillars of your business on the Internet, some of them are:
Your business model. On the Internet, there are several types of business that can be undertaken. What will be yours? It is important to define it from the beginning. It can be creation and sale of digital products, a virtual store of physical products, affiliate marketing, mobile applications, etc.
Your niche market. To whom are you going to direct all your marketing and products? Defining the niche market through market research is a very important step that will allow you to focus your marketing plan on the right people.
Your brand. If you are going to do branding and create a brand, defining your identity and features is necessary.
Your products/services. Although it is not mandatory, you can already have defined your products or services that you will offer. As you become more acquainted with your market, your needs, problems, and motivations, you can create better products and solutions.
All these elements are a step before you create your marketing plan.
Read More: Start Your Own Internet Business Today
2. Study in depth your market (including competition)
The more you know your market, the better products you will be able to offer them and your marketing will target the right people. I consider that this is a step always in constant study and evolution, since you can always know a little more about any niche and the people that make it up.
It is also important to conduct a competition study. This works to know what they are doing and offering (to offer something better or unique) and also to generate interesting ideas.
I do not mean copying directly what they do, but if you find that there are already successful businesses or people in your market, you can guide and take them as a good reference.
To study the competition you can use Google by searching for keywords or terms related to your main theme, using social networks, getting into forums or exploring product markets like Clickbank, eBay, JVZoo, Commission Junction, etc.
3. Set your goals and objectives in the short and long term
When you reach this third step is because you already have defined a business model, a niche or market, a brand (maybe) and an idea or concept of the product you are going to sell.
You have also already done a solid market research, you know well the needs of your prospects and future clients.
Before moving on to marketing strategies, it is important to define your short and long term goals. A plan is like a map that will take us to the destination (goals or objectives) that we want to reach.
There is always a goal that is realistic (not so pessimistic but not out of reality).
They can be in relation to sales (how much you want to sell by a certain date), how many products have available to sell, positioning, staff growth, etc.
The goals you set will depend on the type of business you are going to develop.
4. Create a unique sales proposal
What is it that will make you different from the competition? What makes you unique in the market?
Each person and therefore each business is different and has something unique to offer that no one else can, however, not all take the time and effort to develop a unique sales proposal.
Although it is not mandatory and you can start without it, I recommend you create it as soon as possible. You can improve it over time.
5. Define your traffic sources
One of the most important pillars of your online marketing plan will be the traffic sources to use. On the Internet, we have a large number of methods and strategies available to generate traffic and visits to a web page.
In order to be able to choose correctly, it is very important to comply with the first step we have already seen, since traffic sources will depend largely on the business model and niche market that you are going to focus on.
If you want to know more about marketing strategies and Internet traffic, check out this post: 16 marketing strategies to generate Web traffic. Here I show you each of the options available to you.
6. Take into account content marketing
On the Internet information is the main asset that is shared everywhere. More and more people and businesses are choosing a content marketing strategy as an important part of developing their business.
With content marketing, you can position yourself as an expert, educate and teach, generate viral, influence and create trust in your market. The benefits are second to none and little by little it has become a necessity rather than something optional.
To start you create a blog in WordPress and a blogging strategy to start posting articles and valuable information. Then he uses social networks, SEO and other methods to attract readers.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is always one of the most important pillars of (almost) every Internet marketing plan, regardless of the niche or the business model to be developed.
There will be somewhere it is used less or not so relevant, but email will never cease to be a piece with unique benefits that can not be obtained elsewhere.
To implement email marketing you will need an autoresponder (such as Mailchimp or Aweber) to be able to “capture” prospects, send them messages and establish a long-term trust relationship and then convert them into customers.
Email is also an essential part of every Internet sales funnel (which we’ll see later).
Within the main traffic sources to be defined, it is important to take advertising into account. There are many ways to do marketing and generate free visits such as social networks and SEO, but although these may not cost so much money, if they consume a lot of time and do not give immediate results.
Internet advertising allows you to start testing any business or market immediately, receiving visitors, proving capture pages and conversions in your sales letter.
The 2 options that I recommend you most to advertise are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. Both are pay-per-click programs that have different costs depending on the budget and niche market.
You can also advertise on other sites or blogs related to your subject that allow you to put a banner or text. Normally a monthly fee is charged to use this method.
Although not mandatory, advertising can speed up your marketing and growth a lot.
9. Tools needed
In addition to a hosting account, a domain, and a Web page, it is possible that you will need other types of tools to optimize, measure and be able to sell successfully on the Internet.
Here is a list of examples to consider:
- Email marketing software (autoresponder).
- WordPress specific plugins.
- Software to measure conversions, split tests and analytics.
- File hosting service in the cloud
- Software for market research and competition
- Updates on server or more domains
- Themes or professional templates
- Plugins to create memberships
- Payment processors such as Paypal, e-Junkie, Clickbank, etc.
- Others more
Each of these tools fulfills a function that helps your marketing plan to work successfully and meet the established goals. It is important to consider them in the budget because each one involves an expense. Although not all may be needed.
10. Funnel sales
Many of the strategies and points we have seen so far are focused on the outside of getting positioning, traffic and subscribers.
But what happens when they come to our page? This is perhaps the most important part of all and where the results are defined.
One of the best strategies you can apply to sell and grow much faster is to create a sales funnel, which is made up of different phases that users spend before becoming customers.
If you comply with these 10 steps that we have just reviewed, you will have an excellent marketing plan that will allow you to generate traffic and position yourself in an appropriate way in any market.
There may be more steps or tasks to do, but I am sure that with this guide you will have an excellent reference to start successfully.