Two common mistakes made by new internet marketers is to start a blog and then not promote the material they create. If you decide to have a blog, and you know why you have that blog and why you need to market, you’ll be more likely to maintain your blog, promote your content and see your business thrive.
It’s important to have an idea of what your online business should be doing and how you should be making people aware of what you do, otherwise you can lose focus and waste effort. The best way to focus on these aspects of your business is to have plans.
A good business plan should summarise the overall strategy for your business. It should include financial details, market research, details of your products or services, and overviews of your operations and marketing strategies.
Your marketing plan should outline your strategy for social media, content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, or whatever marketing tactics you intend to use.
Producing useful business and marketing plans sounds like hard work. That’s because it is. However, they don’t have to be produced instantly. In fact they should be working, evolving documents that help you guide your business.
Having business and marketing plans that work together gives your business the following advantages:
A Consistent Brand
Your business plan should address your mission. As I’ve said before (your mission statement as a way to focus) this doesn’t have to be a specific mission statement, but it should give you direction and identify why your business exists, for whom, what you deliver, and how you differ from your competition. Knowing this will help you create a consistent brand and communicate it to your audience.
An Appropriate Marketing Budget
Deciding an initial budget for your marketing and predicting cashflow as your business grows will enable you to keep to marketing strategies that support your business, not threaten it. This may mean starting with free social media channels and only spending on advertising once you start making money.
You can set marketing goals that are alligned with the overall objectives of your business. These can include reaching a target audience appropriate to the stage your business has reached, explaining the advantages of your products or services, or generating enough prospects to enable you to hit sales targets. Set measurable goals and you can monitor your progress against your business targets.
If you are monitoring your marketing performance you can stop investing in areas that are not working well and divert your budget (whether that is in terms of money, time, or both) to areas that are. One of the advantages of marketing online is that there are a number of strategies and channels that you can test to see what works best. This makes it easier to keep your marketing focused in areas that can grow your business.
If your business doesn’t have the above advantages it’s time to review your business and marketing plans. If you are to make the most of your resources and opportunities they have to work together.