Online Marketing Strategies for Small BudgetsBy Kim Proxmire
March 13, 2012
There’s no reason a smaller firm’s online marketing program can’t be just as successful as a megafirm’s—even with a much smaller budget. But it does require focus. No more knee-jerk decisions, no more keeping up with the Jones’s—and certainly no more random acts of marketing. Here’s a guide to a purposeful online strategy.
1. Define Your Brand
Would you put a roof on a house when there’s no foundation to support it? No. Yet most firms try to do just that as they experiment with digital marketing tools. It’s tempting to add a pinch of optimization or a handful of Google AdWords to your online marketing mix to feel you’re moving in the right direction. But if you haven’t first developed and defined your brand, you are making your marketing dollars work harder than they need to.
A brand is a promise of value, different from your competitors, that resonates with the right buyers and gains traction with consistency and repetition over time. Stake out your brand position. Own it. And, allow it to drive everything that represents you. Your website is your single most important digital marketing tool. Without a brand strategy, there is no way your website can be any different from the competition.
2. Use Your Brand to Differentiate Your Website
Each day, the Internet serves up a near whiteout of clutter, and the bar to stay competitive just keeps getting higher. To do its job, your website needs to rise above it all and communicate your brand—who you uniquely are—loud and clear. Website visitors determine their impression of the quality and nature of a firm within the first .05 second. So it’s no time to be humble. Speak up—clearly and consistently. Communicate emotion, a difference and a message. Create a dialogue and engage your audience. More than static facts, offer value that keeps them coming back.
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