Before you can start posting online, you first need a strategy, for without a strategy, your tactics will fail.
These are the 6 steps you need to do from start to finish to achieve your small business online plan.
1. Define the business goals
2. Define your customer persona
3. Investigate where your personas are online
4. Determine the customer journey
5. Produce an online posting plan
6. Analyse the data and improve
We break down the 6 steps to get your strategy underway.
1. Define the business goals.
What do you want to achieve from your online marketing efforts.
Brainstorm and write down what are your business goals.
• Brand awareness
• Build a data base for email and social media marketing
• Provide online customer service
• New product launch
• + other
2. Define your customer persona.
Who are your customers. You and your staff know your customers the best.Gather information about them.
What words do they use? What are their concerns.What questions do they ask. What problems do you solve.(use this when you do copywriting).
• Their demographics
• Buying habits
3. Investigate where your personas are online.
How do they find your product or service?
The easiest way? Do surveys. Ask your existing customers in person or via phone. Add a survey form to your next email campaign. Are there visitors consuming information on your website? Do they use social media sites? Jump on and have a search.
Where are their touch points:
• Social Media
• All or a combination the above
4. Determine the customer journey.
Think about how you would direct your customers journey using different touchpoints.
Example 1.Retail/Service Business
Start with brand awareness by using social media posts, Facebook ads and Google Display network ads. Next send them from the ads to your optimised landing webpage with great copywriting and call to action. Direct them to you webpage to show trust points. Use a call to action to ask them to fill out a contact or signup form, or make a phone call.(Goal completed)
Example 2. Coffee Shop
Where are your customers coming from? It’s likely they are visitors travelling through town.
Establish trust points such as review sites , Google My Business page so they can quickly make a decision using their smartphone to visit your business. (Goal completed)
Example 3. Motor Mechanic
Customers are not using the service every day. When they are ready to use your service, you need to be top of mind.
They may notice your Facebook posts and Ads linking to your website blog which includes motor vehicle maintenance tips. You gain their trust and when they are ready to use your service, they go to your website and view more trust points. Use a call to action to contact your business.
Advertise on Google Adwords with specific geographic parameters set.
5. Produce an online content and posting plan.
Put together a monthly posting spreadsheet to plan what messages or information you are going to provide on what platform and when.Add days of the week along one side, and platforms (eg, Facebook, Twitter, email,blog) along the other.
Decide what you are going to post on what day and what platform. Do this the month before so you are ready with content. This makes the process much easier than posting ad-hoc and having to rethink the whole plan every time.
6. Analyse the data.
Use the various tools to analyse your online marketing efforts.
Check the metrics that are useful to your campaign.(See what metrics to measure)
Armed with new the, rethink the content you will be producing at the next monthly planning session.