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From the author of Understanding the Components of Your Web Marketing Plan

Understanding the Components of Your Web Marketing Plan

Web marketing is a series of activities that present your product, company, or message to potential customers online. What kinds of activities are we talking about? There are a lot of them, some of which are analogues to traditional marketing activities, some of which are totally new for the web.

The most important components of online marketing include the following:

  • Web presence. This is your website, and the hub of all your web marketing activities. Everything else you do—your blog, your email campaigns, your Facebook page, your Twitter feed—builds on what you do on your website; they are all subsidiary components to your website presence.
  • Search engine marketing. For most websites, the majority of new visitors come directly from Google and other search engines; the higher you rank in the results when someone searches for a given topic, the more traffic you receive. As such, you need to optimize your site for Google and other search engines, which you do via search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
  • Online advertising. Advertising, is another effective way to drive new traffic to your website. This can be pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, as with Google AdWords, or traditional cost per thousand (CPM) display ads.
  • Email marketing. This is the online equivalent of traditional direct marketing, where you push your message directly to customers’ email inboxes. (Don’t confuse email marketing with spam or junk email; legitimate email marketing is opt-in marketing.)
  • Blog marketing. You can get your message out to loyal customers via a frequently updated company blog. You can also use PR techniques to influence third-party bloggers to write about your company and products.
  • Social media marketing. This is the latest thing, taking advantage of online communities to engage in direct conversations with your customers. Social media marketing includes maintaining Facebook and MySpace pages, generating a constant Twitter feed, and encouraging mentions on Digg, Delicious, and other social bookmarking services.
  • Online public relations. The web offers many new opportunities to reach influential media online. In fact, social media marketing and reaching out to bloggers are both aspects of online PR. What’s really different about online PR is that results are fully measurable; put a coded link in an online press release and you can track sales that result from your PR efforts.
  • Multimedia marketing. This includes audio marketing via podcasts, video marketing via YouTube, and image marketing via Flickr and other photo sharing sites. Getting people to share your media results in more exposure for you online.
  • Mobile marketing. More and more people are accessing the web via the iPhone and other smartphones and mobile devices. You need to incorporate mobile marketing into your strategy, especially if you run a local business. (Consumers look for local businesses on their mobile phones when they’re on the go.)

That’s a lot of activities you can—and perhaps should—be embracing online. What particular activities you include in your marketing mix depends on what you hope to achieve, the nature of your particular products and customer base, and your own internal skillset and budget.

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