As more businesses turn to the digital space, people may think that success will come more easily. In reality, 90% of new online businesses fail within four months of opening! If you're going to start an online business, you must understand the importance of new media marketing.
New media marketing is a combination of tactics all working toward a common goal: building traffic and conversions for your website.
Whereas traditional (outbound) marketing focused on chasing the customer, new (inbound) marketing efforts bring the customers to you.
Tools such as social media, search engine marketing, email newsletters, and more will all fall under the new media umbrella.
Older methods such as newspaper ads, postcards, and phone calls may build exposure, but they don't do a good job of instilling confidence in your company.
Now that so much research is done online, it makes sense to create and share content where people are most likely to look.
To help you in this process, we've identified 10 tips that can get you started. It may seem overwhelming at first, but by breaking everything down into individual parts, you'll have an easier time keeping track of each step.
When creating an online business, one of the first steps is choosing a domain name.
A good domain name will describe your business or market in some way. It should also be easy to remember and spell -- otherwise you could lose traffic to other companies with similar websites.
A good domain name is short, simple, and memorable.
Keywords help customers find you during online searches. Think about what your company offers that people will be looking for.
You'll likely be able to come up with a few off the top of your head, but remember that different people search for things differently. There are a number of iterations for each possible term you come up with.
Identify your core keywords and then think of other options that you can incorporate into your website content and marketing materials.
Keywords will only take you so far -- you have to know how to work them into your content!
Think about frequently asked questions in your industry and create blogs and web pages that provide helpful answers.
Chances are, people will type their questions into Google and other search engines, so you want to have content that answers them.
You want to build a website that Google trusts, right? Since the search engines already trust many large sites, use that to your advantage.
Create a link building strategy in which you identify authoritative websites in your industry, and think of ways to get your website link onto their pages.
Guest blogs are a great way of doing this. You can also take a look at industry lists and see where your link can fit in.
While organic traffic is ideal, there are many benefits to paid search engine ads.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising has become very popular lately because it drives results!
Whereas your organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy might get you on the first page of Google, it can take months to do so.
A PPC campaign can get you there almost immediately since you're paying for that placement.
The main drawback, of course, is that it's paid. If you don't plan your ads carefully or fully understand the process, you could lose thousands of dollars and see very few results.
Be sure to educate yourself on the top PPC mistakes and advise so you're not wasting your budget.
Once you've gotten people to your website, don't let them go! Keep them engaged by encouraging them to subscribe to an email newsletter.
This will allow you to stay top-of-mind, so that even if someone isn't ready to buy now, they'll have an easy way to remember you later on.
Create interesting content that people will want to click through to read. Be sure to include links back to your product pages so readers know where to find more information.
81% of the US population is on social media. If you're not there, you're missing out!
People may not go on Facebook or Twitter with an intent to buy, but it's a great place to make an introduction.
Post regular updates about topics related to your field. Remember that character limits favor shorter posts, and images and videos are key to getting seen by anyone.
Remember how we said videos help you get seen online? You don't need a film degree to create video content for your new media marketing plan.
Look at the new marketing materials you already have, and try to create slideshows that can be turned into videos.
People often prefer to read captions rather than listen to a narrator anyway, so use that to your advantage.
As you get more popular, you'll find that people have more to say about you. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
Regularly search for your company name online and see what people are saying about you.
There are a few tools that will make this easier, so do some research to find what works best for you.
If you're finding a lot of negative reviews, you can respond (calmly) to address and remedy the situation. Just don't make it worse by getting defensive or aggressive in your reply.
This is also an opportunity to improve your processes and customer service by identifying current problems.
While your business may get its start online, eventually it helps to have a physical presence.
If you're among the 10% of businesses that find success after the first four months, you'll likely see some growth potential.
A Level Office space can provide you with a physical location without the added stress of property management. For smaller companies, this is a major benefit.
But, that's a step to consider in the future. For now, your biggest challenge will be building and scaling your business for growth.
Public relations may seem like an outdated strategy, but it actually serves a role in new media marketing.
Press releases, in particular, can provide helpful backlinks since they're often published by well-known news publications online.
And by engaging with industry reporters, you have a better chance of getting good news coverage for your company announcements.
To learn more about new media marketing and how to get the most from your online business, be sure to subscribe to our Search Engine Marketing Newsletter.
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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