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Five Key Components for an Effective Online Marketing Plan.

For any small business to be successful in our modern online-orientated world, it is vitally important to have a strong presence on the internet and an effective online marketing plan is the key component to developing and nurturing this presence.

Without an online strategy in place, any attempts to capture an online audience for your business could be “hit and miss” – potentially making your business invisible to the target audience you are trying to attract.

Here’s five key components that need to be part of your online marketing plan:

Email Strategy

Create a strategy to send out regular emails to your customers and other followers, informing them of your products and services. A small newsletter an easy approach and with a time management, shouldn’t take a long time to produce.

Setting up an email capture on your website to “harvest” email addresses is amazingly easy to do and, with Mailchimp integration, it’s a great way to build your subscription list with little effort. You can offer something in return (i.e. PDF of tips, discount coupon) or the simple offer of your monthly newsletter might be enticing enough.

Social Media

Choose the social media platforms that your target audience is likely to be using and try to post to each platform at least once every two days. Use a variety of posts to peak people’s interest – images, quotes, stories, discount offers, etc. Try to shake things up occasionally, so that your content doesn’t appear static with the same type of posts and your audience doesn’t get bored.

Blog Posts

A Blog, like this one, is a great way to provide your followers with helpful information while demonstrating your experience in your industry.

Try to stay below 600 words in your posts and keep it relevant – think about the items that your audience would like to read and what they need to know about you and your products/services. With every post, let them know how you can help them.

Promote each blog post on your social media.

Online Advertising

If your marketing budget allows, sign up for a Google AdWords account to promote your business in both Google search listings and various advertisements that display around the internet and social media.

Advertising on Social Media, especially Facebook and Instagram, is also a powerful marketing tool and can be set up in minutes using the Facebook Ad Manager. The process uses a simple wizard to determine what you want to advertise, how you want to do it and what target audience you are aiming at (and where they are located).

Content Calendar

To ensure that you are consistent with marketing to all the items above, create a one-page content calendar. For you, this might be weekly or monthly but whatever you choose, make sure that you do something towards one of the above every-single-day.

Using a content calendar is all about planning your time effectively so it shouldn’t be an onerous task and take you away for very long from your everyday business.

If you use a weekly plan (like I do), you can use your weekend to lay out all the components for the week. That way, you can schedule your marketing items to deploy automatically throughout the week – leaving you free to concentrate on the multitude of tasks that small business owners must do every day.

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