A changing landscape
It isn't enough to just have a website anymore though. The landscape has changed drastically in recent years and made things even more complicated. Things such as content marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), link building, email marketing and social media play a vital role in the success of a business today.
It becomes overwhelming very quickly. Most businesses don't have any experience dealing with search engine strategies. It's difficult enough running day to day operations without having to learn the obscure, complex methodologies employed by search engines. Lack of technical knowledge, costs, proper support, and lack of time all contribute to unsuccessful implementations.
That's why it's important not to jump in too quickly when building an online presence. You first need to develop a strategy. Many businesses know they need a site. So they hire a buddy who is good with computers, or try to do it on their own and become frustrated, abandoning the project. Even more common though is for businesses to hastily throw up a website, create a few social media accounts and spin their wheels mismanaging or neglecting them all together.
Asking the right questions
Different goals drive different approaches. Engaging with customers is much more connected to social media. Customer education is connected to content marketing (blogging). Every business has different objectives so make sure you paint a clear picture of yours.
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What are your goals?
- Who do you want visiting your site?
- What perception do you want to portray?
- What is your message?
- What type of content should you produce?
- How will you track your results?
- What social media platforms are right for you?
- What is your advertising budget?
- How will you build an email list?
- Do you want to drive online sales?
- Do you want to engage with existing customers?
- Do you want to educate customers on your products/services?
- Do you want more people walking in the door?
- Do you want a global or local audience?
- How much time can you dedicate to creating content?
These are just a handful of the many questions you need to answer before starting a campaign. The answers, though, can provide you with clarity and direction as you move forward.