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How to Develop an Online Marketing Strategy in 2017?

(Last Updated On: March 12, 2017)

Are you looking forward to developing an online marketing strategy in 2017?

If yes, then this blog post is exactly for you. Because I want to give it away a few basic strategies that will not only help the online marketing starters but it will also impact the businesses that have already developed a brand position on the internet.

Let’s be honest.

What do you really think about Online Marketing?

For some of you, it may be Google Adwords, a lot of you might have a picture of Facebook likes.

Is that right?

Let me help you with that.

Marketing is a communication of a brand towards the prospective and existing audience in order to produce an attraction.

When we do all this online, it’s called Online Marketing.

I just want you to understand that the opportunities are way more than we think they are. If you’re a small brand or a growing firm, you should know that there are so many options to work on and choose from. Don’t let someone make you think that only online advertising is the form of online marketing.

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand that 2017 is here. You might be stunned with the options we have today that people almost 30 years back never thought could be possible.

Before I go deeper into this, you must know certain essential elements that will impact your online marketing:

Certain Essential Elements that will Impact Your Online Marketing :

  • Target Audience

    You must know who you want to reach out and talk to. Without being aware of the right kind of audience, you won’t make it. The more you define your audience, the higher the results would be.

  • Social Media Following:

Your online marketing isn’t about online advertising or social media advertising. You must consider the social media engagement/following in your online marketing strategy and in order to develop a following, you must go forward with a mindset of building relations and helping people out.

  • Platform Selection:

The platform selection means you must test out different social media and online advertising platforms in order to choose the suitable one for you. Because you can’t be on 10 social platforms at the same time and surely you can advertise your business online on 5 different ad platforms.

  • Delivery of Value:

One of the key elements of online marketing is that it must deliver value to attract the audience. If you assume online marketing just as a bait to capture the leads, you won’t survive longer. Because the trends are changing and brands are getting smarter than ever these days.

  • A/B Testing:

A/B testing is a system of comparing different cases in order to analyze the best amongst them. Keep testing your tools, platforms, and strategies to come up with a solid plan.

Here is a step-by-step process of getting started with your online marketing campaign in 2017:

Defining the audience to reach out

target audience

Before you even start doing anything, you must have a clear picture of your prospective audience. Without identifying your audience, you won’t be able to target them well. Every brand knows the demographics of its target audience, such as the age group, income level, gender etc.

For example, a clothing line that designs female bridal and party wears would specifically target the female audience on the internet. Whether they’re advertising through Facebook or Google Adwords, their target audience would be a female audience of the specific region. In fact, their social media following would mostly be based on the female audience. Because their whole product concept is for the females and male clothing customers don’t have anything to do with them.

social media platforms

When brands clearly know who to reach, they move one step ahead in the game because the next part is what to offer to your audience.

If someone is stuck in the audience identification part, the rest of the job gets delayed because the brand doesn’t know who to target for selling the product.

SEMrush does this amazingly on their website. They’ve clearly mentioned the phrase ‘for digital marketing professionals’ on the header of their site:

It’s not just about writing or mentioning your target audience but rather to design your online marketing strategy and overall marketing plan with a clear mindset of who to reach out.

You can also check my detailed semrush review, if you want to learn more about this platform.

Creating the content to bring the readers

Once you’ve identified the target audience, the next up is the process of attraction and engagement. Here comes the content marketing part of the online marketing strategy. You must publish useful and helpful content that your target audience can’t resist and ignore. Therefore they come over to check it out.

developing content marketing writing strategy

Content marketing is an art. The businesses who have done amazingly well are reaping the benefits now. The key to developing a better content marketing plan is actually finding the benefit for the prospective audience and provide them along with the right kind of offer. The offer must enhance the vision, experience, and outcome. If it doesn’t, the audience would simply ignore the offer and move away. You don’t have to be very aggressive with your offering. This means you can often remove the offer from your content and provide just value to training your audience to come over and enjoy your content.

Bluehost is a popular web hosting service that does content marketing quite impressively. They often publish helpful content that helps bloggers and small businesses in launching, maintaining, and running blogs and websites.

Recommended : Checkout Jyoti’s resource for 7 Tips to Always Write Quality Content

Effective Website :

When was the last time you have updated your business or company website? It’s 2017 and people buying behaviour has been changed differently.

Well, Website is considered one of a strong marketing medium for customer acquisition. The art lies in building your website as a strong relationship channel such as by doing content marketing as mentioned above and designing high quality landing pages through which you can generate quality leads for your website.

Creating a website is one thing, using it to convert visitors into customers is another! Certainly using some smart strategies can help you in acquiring more customers through your website!

 

Making the engagement funnel

Let me tell you one bitter truth, no one is going to buy your product, service or whatever you are offering on your first visit! Even with pure quality and targeted traffic, very few people will likely subscribe or buy in their first visit and it’s because you need to build some sort of relationship or association with them first. So Before you gear up to receive a lot of traffic whether from the online advertising that you might do in the future or you’re expecting from receiving some readers through various sources on your official blog, there has to be a way to engaging and converting them into a lead.

customer purchase funnel

You must develop an engagement funnel for that. It means you must set up your email marketing program to get started. If you don’t do this, the visitors would just come over and read the content and walk away. Use the email marketing program like Mailchimp or Aweber to get started.

email marketing

The engagement funnel is a proper pathway which does require more than just having an email marketing service. You would need a tool to create the optins and popup boxes. Try OptinMonster or MailMunch or anything else you like to use for that.

In fact, it doesn’t end here. You would also need a few landing pages to offer freebies like e-books, PPT templates, or other stuff that your audience might be interested in. The purpose is to make the readers take some action against your offer.

The traffic sources you might be using at this point are social media as well as organic traffic on the blog.

Here I would like to mentionEight Quick Goals For B2B Businesses in 2017 :

In the engagement segment, i would like to highlight 8 quick goals through which you can increase or build your engagement :

  • Content Marketing as mentioned above.
  • Webinars and then converting them into leads or sales.
  • Leads generation through event signups.
  • Placing the Contact us Form on Every page of the product/service rather than asking them to enter there details on contact us page.
  • PDF/E-book Downloads
  • Infographics Downloads
  • Call Back Requests
  • Free Trials/Software Demo’s

Tuning up the site for better user-experience

user experience

Your online marketing campaign doesn’t finish when you figure out the best ad platform to run your ads. This all is an ongoing process. Once everything seems fine and you should keep an eye on all the operations. Tuning up your site is something you shouldn’t forget.

If you everything works for you, meaning, your website is up and running, your blog posts are being published, and you’re engaging the social media followers, all this means that people are coming onto your website, they’re landing on the blog posts, some of them are jumping on the main site, so there would be a lot of activities happening around.

The next part is crucial to your online success. If you’re not using a quality web hosting, your visitors might face difficulty, they could find your website down. Similarly, they could also see your website unavailable if your hosting account runs out of allocated resources on the web server. You would have to take care of a lot of things at the same time. I highly recommend using a good quality web hosting.

In fact, a good web hosting isn’t enough. When it comes to online marketing, being a digital marketing expert, I can tell that a website that has a better page loading speed does well in the search engine ranking than the website that hasn’t had a good quality page loading speed. It does reflect in the search engine ranking. We can’t just blame all this on the web hosting. The web design has a lot to do with the page loading speed. You must know the importance of speed loading speed.

Use tools like GTMetrix or Pingdom to test your site speed.

Make sure you’re using the right WordPress themes for your website or blog. Every paid WordPress theme might not work well, you have to be aware of things that I have mentioned in this section of the article.

 

Using the paid channels for traffic

paid advertising channels

One of the essentials of the online advertising is the paid channels. Some of you might think that paid channels like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and Mobile Ads are the only ways to market the business. The reason for writing this guide is to help guide you on online marketing especially to let you know that online advertising is just a part of the online marketing, it’s not the whole online marketing.

When you would have established your website, your social medic accounts would have been set, and your official company’s blog would be pumping out content on a regular basis, then you should definitely come across the paid channels for traffic.

There are a number of options to start with. Google Adwords is one of the top priorities for brands. If you’re looking forward to meeting the search based audience especially targeting the keywords, then Google Adwords is the best option to go.

I’ve written 10 best practices for optimizing the Google Adwords campaign, you must take a look at that post to find extremely useful strategies regarding Adwords advertising.

Facebook Ads is another great online advertising option if your audience is likely to be on social media, especially Facebook. It depends on the audience type. If you’ve seen engagement on your Facebook page more than Twitter account, this means Facebook is working for you among the all social media channels, then you should definitely try out Facebook Ads for your online paid marketing campaign.

I’ve published a complete guide on Facebook Ads, you’ll find it extremely helpful if you think Facebook is the right platform to advertise on.

Furthermore, you can reach out to me for training, consultancy, and online advertising on Google Adwords as well as Facebook Ads. We’ve been serving clients for quite some time now.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)


SEO search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimization is playing a key role in driving traffic to various websites.According to a study at Search Engine Watch, a typical website may receive up to 64% of traffic from search engines. I cannot deny the importance of SEO in my digital marketing plan for traffic acquisition. SEO is going to be a strong key role in bringing traffic in 2017 for your websites.

If you are starting out, then just follow the expert advice for newbies on SEO, or you can look on the 8 key SEO mistakes which you need to avoid at any cost. Once you are done reading it, you can consider looking at 8 Ways to Establish Your Website Authority in Search Engines, because if you plan to rank for any keyword, building up authority for your domain and site is very important.

 

Mobile Optimisation :

mobile optimization

Mobile Optimisation doesn’t end on installing WP Mobile Version or any other plugin to quickly comply with Google Webmaster Rules but it’s much more than that. It’s all about delivering the whole mobile friendly experience for your visitors who are landing to your website through a mobile device.

I’m talking about from the main page to the shopping cart to the credit card payment to the thank you page, your website needs to have a whole new user experience to make your mobile visitors happy. I would like to list it as an important part in your 2017 online marketing strategy.

 

Testing and Testing :

minimize-the-impact-of-website-testing-on-seo

To be honest, whether it’s 2016,2017 or 2018.. Marketing is all about testing, testing and testing and will remain like this. One thing working for you today, might doesnt work well in the future or you never know, if you bring another variation in your product/services or sales line and it doubles up your sales. So whether it’s your web page, product price, marketing strategy or anything. It’s always a good idea to make at least two variations of each and check how each one individually performs. There are no rules, no science it’s all about marketing data and what people like the most. Just keep on testing, there should be no satisfaction point!

Conclusion

The purpose was very clear.

I wanted you guys to understand that online marketing isn’t just about the online advertising.

In fact, I want you to design your online marketing strategy in 2017 in a way that you know every aspect of your digital campaign.

I’ve mentioned the basic steps for setting up an online marketing campaign, of course, some of the brands try to emphasize on a single one more than the others, it’s totally okay.

When you think something is working for you, you should definitely move forward in that direction. It’s  a healthy step when it comes to online marketing.

I’ve tried to open up the possibilities for you. So that when you begin your online marketing in 2017, you would do better than ever.

What was your biggest challenge when it comes to online marketing? Any thoughts you would like to share?

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Ali Raza
 

An Internet Entrepreneur who converts visitors into customers; A Google & Microsoft Advertising Professional with years of experience in Internet Marketing, Social Media and Blogging.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Adeel Sami - March 12, 2017

Hello, Ali bhai!

This is very comprehensive, very detailed and the precise post!

And that’s for the serious people who are really serious about growing their online places (sites, blogs, etc.) into a business — a real business.

Content is just a thread of the suit but is not the final thing to get settled on.

It has to bring in the result.

So, great work at compiling this masterpiece!

~ Adeel

Reply
    Ali Raza - April 8, 2017

    Glad to know your comments and yes it’s exclusively for those people who are serious about online business, otherwise there is no point of reading it.

    Thanks for such a great comment. :)

    Reply
David Vu - March 20, 2017

Thanks for sharing this article, i think we can use these strategy to Develop an Online Marketing Strategy not only in 2017 but 2027, 2037. What do you think?

Reply
    Ali Raza - April 8, 2017

    David, strategies may change according to time, it’s too early to predict on what will happen in 2027

    Reply

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