Take a moment to think about how you would really answer this question. Just about any business owner who use the internet for any purpose will find that whether or not they intentionally organized an internet marketing campaign, they may already be marketing their products and services online.
Here are three questions to find out if you accidentally started your online marketing campaign. 🙂
Have you done research about your industry online?
This simple act of Googling and looking online to what your competitors are doing, is in fact, a crucial and important step in designing an online marketing campaign -- so good for you for taking the time to do so! You cannot define what makes you stand out from your competition without know what they are doing in the first place. Researching online can also give you ideas for what your target market is searching for and help you in designing new products and services to fit their needs.
- Search on Google for your name, your business name, and the type of product or service you offer. If you are bound by geography, search by city or county as well. For example if you are a massage therapist in Pleasant Hill, Calfornia, search for the terms "massage pleasant hill california" or "massage thearpy pleasant hill".
- Use tools like Google Adwords's Keyword Tool or Google Insights to find popular terms that real people are searching for.
Do you have a web site for your business?
Business owners who answer yes to this question are already marketing their products or services online just by virtue of the fact that they have a web site. Having a live web site means there is the potential for people to find your business online. You may not be actively promoting your web site, but your site generates interest in your products and services -- if it can be found.
- If you don't have a web site yet... get one today! These days many people have the perception that a business without a site, a not a legitimate business. It's a harsh judgement, but a reality when it comes to evaluating your professional image.
- If you do have a web site -- Are you happy with it? Does it look outdated? Does it make you look professional? Can it be found? Is it attracting leads? Are they the type of leads you really want? Is it generating sales? If not, find an expert to assess what improvements can be made.
Do you send emails? Is your web address in your signature?
That first question is so basic, I hesitated adding it to this post. Who doesn't use email these days! 🙂 But the second question is important -- are you taking advantage of a basic feature in all email programs?
- Add your web address to your email signature. Use the full "http://www." address; most email programs will instantly make that link live or "clickable" when you add the "http://" part of your link.
- Is your web address on your business card, letterhead, & invoices? Where else can you include our link?
Even though you may not have created a formal online marketing plan, the fact that you're here means you have already taken the first steps! I would love to hear what your next steps are in the comments below.