The Web is the prime marketing battlefield for many businesses today. You’ll see companies being aggressive in getting exposure in almost all the popular online directories and social networks. But before doing anything else, you need to know if you do need to use all the tools and strategies that you’ve read in Internet marketing reviews and forums. The best thing for you to do is to stop for a short while and quickly draw a basic online marketing plan.
First of all, you need to establish a clear goal – the more specific, the easier it is to attain. Instead of saying that you want “to be the top-ranking site in your industry,” perhaps you should state your goal in more measurable terms, such as “to increase our conversion rate by 30 percent by December 2012” or “to increase our visitors by 20 percent in one month.” While there is nothing wrong with saying that you want to be the top-ranking site, it is very vague that you wouldn’t know where to start working. But if you state your goal in a more concrete manner, everyone in your team would know where to focus.
You should know your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your goal. Write them down. This is another way of determining which tools and strategies you’re ready with and which ones you still need to acquire, build, or learn. Your content may be good, but your design might need to be worked on. You might need to be clear on the direction regarding design, or you might need to hire a designer.
You also have to determine the current situation in your market. You need to be able to point out the opportunities you need to take advantage of and the threats that you need to address. Together with the strengths and weaknesses mentioned earlier, these will form your SWOT analysis that will help keep you focus all your efforts toward your goal. It gives a good foundation for marketing endeavors, whether offline or online.