You have your business idea ready to go. You’ve invested a lot in getting things ready.
Your packaging looks great. You have a sales presentation perfected. Now all you need are the prospects.
They say the fastest way to get a client is with an online marketing campaign, but is that really true?
All the ways you can invest in online marketing
When you first look at your options for creating an online marketing campaign, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Building a website is mandatory, but where do you go from there?
Should you build a Facebook page and take out ads?
Should you run a pay-per-click campaign through Google?
How about a content marketing campaign where you give away something of value that promotes your business?
Or maybe a combination of all three?
Doing your research only muddies the waters more.
- About 64 percent of marketers actively invest time in SEO strategies.
- 70 percent of companies say they have a content marketing strategy
- There are over 80 million small businesses using Facebook’s free business tools
- The Google Display Network reaches 90 percent of internet users worldwide
Are you more confused than ever?
When you should start your online marketing campaign
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
– Milan Kundera
As a business owner, you’re continually looking for your competitive edge. It’s something to strive for, whether you make products or offer a service. You refine it day by day.
And ultimately, innovation is driven by sales. When customers speak, you listen. But you have to have the customers in order to thrive.
Marketing is the process of reaching out to your customers, telling them what they want to hear, and giving them what you want. To be successful, you have to start marketing the very first day you start your business, and you must continue it all the way through your last.
That applies to traditional as well as digital marketing. And because we’re moving even faster towards a virtual environment, online marketing isn’t something you can ignore.
Online marketing campaigns aren’t a one time thing. You can’t do it one day and expect it to work overnight. You have to think, plan, and be in it for the long haul. The only way to make it work is to give it the time it deserves.
Online marketing campaigns take time to work. They also take expertise. It takes energy to set them up and get them working. It takes tenacity to follow them, tweak them, and make them work even better than before.
Can you expect overnight results? Maybe. By putting up an ad on Facebook, for example, you can start to drive traffic and sales to specific pages on your site.
But it’s more than that. It’s also about weaving a trail for people to follow. It’s about creating an airtight plan that works continually for you, week after week, month after month, for as long as you’re in business.
What determines how fast online marketing works?
The key to remember is that online marketing works differently for everyone. It’s never the same thing twice. It depends on everything you do.
Where you start. Are you starting from the ground up, or do you have a system already in place? Do you need new pages built on your website, or do you have active campaigns that just need tweaking? You can’t build credibility and a reputation overnight. If you’re starting at the beginning, it takes time to build.
What are your objectives. Marketing is something you build one step at a time. If you don’t have a website, it’s the best place to start. If you don’t have landing pages, you’ll need those too. If you haven’t used SEO across your content, it’s next on the list. If you haven’t thought about where your audience hangs out, you’ll have to dig deeper into what your audience wants. What are your goals? What are your strategies? You work each of them a little at a time.
Who’s your competition. Some industries are more cut-throat than others. That means to play in these niches, you’ll need deeper pockets compared to others. If you haven’t followed what your competition is doing, it’s time you did. And that might even include determining who your competition really is.
Your budget. Every single marketing campaign you work on has costs somewhere in the equation. You can pay to play with Google ads. You can take a longer approach and build organic content on your site. The key is in understanding how it all works together.
What are some of the timelines for different types of online marketing campaigns?
SEO. Search engine optimization is a long term goal. It takes work to get the proper placement on the pages of your website. And just when you think you have it ready, Google goes and changes the rules. Google’s algorithms watch for consistency over time. If you’re adding high quality content regularly, if you’re building things searchers like, if you focus on giving people what they want, you’ll see your rankings improve.
PPC. Pay-per-click and other types of display advertisements can find immediate results, depending on your budget. What makes PPC work so well is it allows you the opportunity to move front and center of whatever platform you choose. However, you still have to understand the platform, track your conversions, and tweak your message to get the full impact. It’s something that needs monitoring to continue to influence in changing times.
Social media. No matter if you prefer Instagram or Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, it takes time to reach effective engagement with your followers. You must build an audience and maintain a presence for your followers to get to know you. If you start from scratch, it can take months or even years. If you have an audience in place, the process can be faster to reach out and find results.
Bottom line – when will you see results with your online marketing campaign?
With paid advertising, you can begin seeing results almost immediately. Building an audience takes time.
Is one better than the other? No. They both are important for effectively engaging with your prospects and followers.
The best time to get started building your online marketing campaign is today. It’s the only way you’ll be there in the future, when your target audience is looking for you.