The 7 Pillars of Online Marketing

Posted on 13 January, 2015 by Rachael Van Cleave

The landscape of marketing is continuously morphing and adjusting as the whims of your customer base change. Last week they responded to pop-up ads, this week it?s YouTube video ads. To be successful in online marketing you have to know about PR, SEO, ROI, B2B, B2C, CPC, CTR, and every other marketing acronym out there. It can be overwhelming and time consuming, but we can help! The following should help clear the fog and get you one step closer to realizing all of those acronyms are just a part of the much more simple 7 Pillars of Online Marketing.

Website & Blog
We don?t have to tell you that your website is important for business, but blogs? We put website and blog into one category because both are essential for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ? meaning, getting your company to the top of that Google search. Here are a few points to remember when it comes to leveraging your website to acquire new customers.

         Analytics are Key ? Pay attention to your website and blog analytics. It will tell you what your customers are most interested in so you can switch direction

         as needed.

         Website Usability: Make sure your website is user friendly and that the call to action for your customers is clear.
         Content is King: We?ve all heard at this point that content is essential to any online marketing plan (see more below). This is where blogs come in, but you

          have to make sure it?s unique creative content, or it won?t help!
         High Speed Hosting: This enables major search engines to easily crawl your website, which in turn helps with your SEO ranking.

Content Marketing

As mentioned above, content is king. You must have unique, rich content for search engines to take you seriously. Here?s what you need to know about creating that content.

Generate Compelling Topics: Topic generation is important not only in attracting customers, but for your search engine ranking.
Get Organized: Create a content/editorial calendar. This ensures you know what you are posting when, which means you are consistent in posting the same content across all of your channels (website, blog, social media, e-blasts etc.)
Blogging: We?re bringing up blogging again because it?s that important. It is the cornerstone of content marketing because it gets your information out there, it helps with SEO, and it informs your customers. It is content that helps you sell, helps you been seen, and makes your customers happy. It can?t get better than that!
Guest Posting ? Building relationships with other sites/blogs can only help. You can propose that you write a guest post for their blog, which links back to your website, giving you yet another SEO boost.
Infographics ? The visually pleasing, yet informative darling of the internet. People love them, companies love them, and they are useful. If you can create a good one and have it link back to you it is truly invaluable.
E-Book & White Papers ? Offering valuable, in-depth information makes it easier to acquire emails and information of potential customers.
Content Sharing & Promotion ? This means sharing your content (sometimes multiple times!), and also asking others to share your content. Pick and choose what you do this with. If you over do it, you?ll appear like a spammer.

Social Media Marketing
Getting your social media off to the right start is important. If you don?t have the time to devote to social media, hire someone. Otherwise, your social media will be anemic and no one will want to use it.Facebook_black

Launching Social Media – When you decide which platforms you want to use, create consistent information and graphics across the board. Think about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Keyword Monitoring ? There are numerous services to track keywords. This tells you what people are saying about you on social media.
Content Creation ? Content, content, content! We?ve said it before and we?ll say it again. Create engaging content that?s appropriate for each platform you are using.
Community Management ? One of the most important and perhaps overlooked aspects of social media management, is talking back. What makes social media valuable to your customers is the fact they can talk directly to you and you?ll answer in a timely manner. This builds value and trust in your brand.

Email Marketing
Email is another facet of online marketing that is easily trackable and is a great avenue for gathering customer information. It?s important to use this sparingly, because you don?t want seem like a spammer.

Picking Newsletter Software: It?s important to pick quality newsletter software. Picking the right one will make it easy to set-up, run, and track your campaign.
Picking a Template: Pick a clean template that is easy to read. The simpler the better and the more of your newsletter customers will read.
Drip Marketing: Important to send out consistent emails (while sparingly). This helps to slowly convert users to customers over time.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Optimizing your website in searches is extremely important. If you don?t show up on that first page, the odds of a potential customer finding your business are not good.

Keyword Research & Analysis ? Keyword searches are essential to launching a successful SEO campaign. Do your research to find out what words and tools are right for your business.

On-Page SEO ? Make sure you make the content on your website SEO friendly, i.e. original content, limiting outside links, linking back to other pages on your site.
Off-Page SEO ? This is a little harder to do, but possible. If you can build a reputation through public relations efforts and through guest posts on blogs, then that?s a start. That encourages these sites to link to your site making Google perceive you as a quality source of information.

Public Relations (PR)
Good PR is invaluable and it takes time. Building relationships with media entities and bloggers in your industry is essential.

Writing Press Releases: Doing your research and presenting press releases with quality information and hard facts is important. Avoid getting ?salesy? in your releases.
Contacting High-End Websites: Send your press releases to websites that are quality and are perceived as spam sites.

Advertising & Measuring
This is your chance to sell your product. However, because Millennials tend to tune out a lot of traditional online ads you have to be creative and use the right platforms.

Facebook Advertising: It?s affordable and you can narrow down whom you want to target to geographical area, gender and interests.
Google Adwords ? This is very effective, but requires a lot of research to find the best keywords and run the proper ads, lots of A/B Testing.
Measuring ? To know that your adds are working you?ll have to do proper A/B testing. This means you?ll need remove and expand parts of your marketing and advertising that give the most return. Without measurement advertising and marketing will not be effective.

Contact us and we?ll answer any questions you have about the 7 Pillars of Online Marketing.

About the Author

Posted on 13 January, 2015 by Rachael Van Cleave

Rachael is a creative writer for WebNet Hosting and contributes often to the WebNet Hosting blog & community.