The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing

The online world can be very complicated, particularly when it comes to marketing your business. Where do you start? Which platform do you use? While the aim is to build relationships with customers, connecting with them online can be hard to accomplish when you’re focused on running your business. Therefore, take note of the following steps designed to bring clarity to the oft-confusing process of marketing your presence in the online sphere.

Develop a Consistent, Well-Thought-Out Brand & Website

To begin, consider your company’s branding and how it relates to what you wish to achieve. Are you a luxury business that offers premium products? Is there a color scheme associated with your products’ packaging? What type of messaging or slogans are important to your business? These combined elements will become key when you are developing your online presence, because when it comes to branding, the trick is consistency. You don’t want to confuse your target audience by exhibiting an inconsistent persona. Instead, ensure that your company’s ethos, slogans, logos and color schemes are applied consistently across all online and offline platforms. Make sure that your website is easy to use and consistent with the branding. By the way, if you are just getting started out many web hosts offer excellent savings for new clients. Check out, they can set you up with a basic Linux hosting package at a very reasonable price. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good website. Make sure that is mobile friendly too, more and more people are just using their smartphones to access information online.

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Identify Your Target Consumer

First, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the difference between a consumer and a customer. A customer is someone who purchases your items. A consumer is someone who uses your items. You may sell products targeted to babies, for example. In this case, the consumer, or the audience who is using your items, are babies, and the customer, or the audience who purchases your items, is represented by the mothers and fathers who walk into your shop and buy from you. As with any strategy that identifies and connects with a target audience, you need your product or your service to appeal both to your consumers and to your customers. While you should be marketing primarily to the customer who purchases your item, you should keep the end consumer in mind as well. Therefore, it’s important to create a two-pronged marketing approach. It’s very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to market to everyone. Therefore, narrow your focus, and ensure that you are well acquainted with the needs of your ideal customer and your ideal consumer.

Create a Customer Avatar

Once you’ve taken the time to identify who your potential customers are, you want to find out as much as you can about them. How do you go about doing this? Assemble the data about your potential customers and use a fictional character to epitomize the sorts of things that make your customers unique and special. In other words, create an avatar for your potential customers. The more you know about your potential customers, the easier it will be to market to them.

Identify Customer Pain Points

What irks your customers? What frustrates them? How does your product or service overcome customer pain points in a manner effective to the extent that it gives you an edge over the competition? Once you identify customer pain points, either through research, personal experience, or customer surveys, you will want to use this information specifically in your marketing material.

Find Out Where You Target Customers Spend Their Time

Are your target customers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube? Once you identify the behaviors of your potential customers online, then you’ll know exactly where to market your product or service and how much time to spend on the platforms that matter. It’s important to remember, however, that, when choosing a platform, you’ll be in for a little bit of a trial and error. At first, you’ll want to identify only two or three platforms that are most appropriate for your brand. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is primarily focused on business-to-business sales, Facebook is about connecting with customers through comments and feedback, and Instagram and Pinterest are designed for the dissemination of graphic content. You don’t want to be on every single platform in the beginning. Instead, identify the most appropriate platform for your business, and consistently invest around 30 minutes of time each day on your platform of choice, checking in periodically to determine what, if any, return on investment you get.

Dabbling in the world of digital marketing involves testing, re-testing, and scrapping the ideas that don’t work while pursuing the ideas that do. Implementation of the above strategies will set the groundwork for success in the online sphere.