Marketing and SEO, Search Engine Optimization
Marketing strategy matters and its importance can't be overstated. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to fall in love with their product/service and just assume that everyone else will feel that same attraction. Too often all the company funds have been expended by the time the product is ready for market under the logic that very little marketing will be required once customers realize the product is available.
"Build it and they will come" works in the movies not in the business world. Search Engine Optimization, keyword strategies, website design and much more are part of marketing your company and product on the Internet.
Entrepreneurs often talk more about how much of the product they intend to sell rather than how they are going to sell it.
The Marketing Strategies consists of:
This is the nitty gritty of the marketing. The objectives should be expressed as either units sold, or revenues achieved, within a time period. Justify the objectives based on the size of the market, market trend, target market, and your marketing strategies.
When customers think of your company and its products/services what will come to mind? Will your image emphasize high quality and exclusiveness, or perhaps friendly, and value oriented. Fast response, high tech, or customer service oriented? Young and on the edge or traditional and well established? The image you define for your company is then carried through in your marketing materials.
Distribution or how will you get your product to market? What channels of distribution will you use? Will you sell directly to the end user or wholesale the product? Will you use outside sales representatives or an in-house sales force? Commissioned or non-commissioned? Will you license the product and have someone else market the product for you? If a website will you develop an affiliate program, partnerships and links with other websites?
Promotion or how will you tell your customers your product is available? Word of mouth? Referrals? Advertising through print, TV, newspaper, radio, direct mail, websites, brochures, coupon, or co-op? Trade shows? How will you use publicity?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are the methods used to increase the ranking of a site in the search engines so it shows up high. That's important because people searching for a subject usually will choose one of the sites on the first page to visit, usually one of the first 3 or 4 sites listed. The higher a site rates the more traffic will be generated from the search engines. SEO Consultants use a number of techniques such as meta tags, directory submissions, and backlinks.
Website Design is important to every business whether they have a physical presence or are strictly an Internet based business. A poorly designed site can lose sales and chase visitors away. A site that uses too many flashy bells and whistles can come off as unprofessional. Web Site Designers use many tools to develop a site that represents your business.
You should develop a month by month advertising program which includes what advertising media you will use and the costs. Potential advertising media includes Television, Radio, Direct mail, Direct TV, Personal contacts or referrals, Trade associations, Newspaper, Magazines, Yellow Pages, Billboard. Alternatives on the Internet include banner ads, buying backlinks, and text links, as well as search engine optimization. Adwords, popups, overs and unders on websites can be bought to generate traffic. You can also buy posts on forums and blogs.
Develop your strategy and include your costs for brochures, coupons, newsletters, or website, again by month and by type of promotion would be preferred. Also included in Promotional Programs can be attendance or exhibiting at trade shows and conventions. List the trade shows, their benefits and their costs. Will your company be hosting or sponsoring any events such as conferences, contests, or award programs? Internet marketing efforts include search engine optimization (SEO), social bookmarking services, posts to directories, writing and articles and distributing to ezine article directories.
Will you be hiring a public relations agency or have in-house staff. Develop a press release calendar, press kit, and media events by month for the entire first year.