Building an online marketing strategy

Online marketing is an area where there are so many different techniques that it can at first seem overwhelming. Some of them are cheap, some are more expensive, and all of them can be confusing when you first get started.

If you are just starting out with your online marketing, it is a great idea to create a strategy. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know to build yours.

Know who your targets are

When building an online marketing strategy, first of all you want to have a very clear idea of who your targets are. This will help when it comes to choosing which social platforms to work on, as well as which keywords to focus on for SEO and the types of content that you will create. Insurance is quite a mature market online so major terms can be hugely competitive so you need to chose and pick you battles carefully.

Decide on a budget

How much can you afford to spend? Your budget will determine how much marketing – and which types of marketing – you can actually do. Many forms of online marketing are not expensive if you are just starting out.

Look at what your competitors are doing

Do you want to challenge your competitors in the search engines? Compete with them on social media? Find out what they are doing and what seems to be working for your competitors, and then work out how you can do it better.

Or you can just use them for inspiration. For example, you can find out what they are doing on their social media accounts and use this to get some ideas for what you can do when getting started.

How much can you do in-house?

What can you realistically do in-house? To work this out, the best thing to do is start out on your own and see how much you can achieve. If you find that you can do everything yourself and you are generating results, that’s great.

However, if you find that you do not have time to do everything in-house, you have a few options.

The first is to hire an employee to carry out the marketing. However, this is often the most costly solution. An alternative is to outsource various tasks to a marketing agency. If this is the option you choose, make sure the agency has insurance marketing experience – there is a world of difference between insurance and most other non regulated industries.

It may be the case that you can do certain tasks yourself, such as writing a weekly blog post. However, you may not know how to improve your SEO to compete in the search engines, and this may be something that a specialist can help with.

There are good reasons for both going it alone and for outsourcing, so think carefully about your options. If you do outsource, make sure you do your research and don’t get tied into any long-term contracts.

Incorporate a range of techniques

There are many marketing techniques that you may choose to focus on, so experiment with a few of them to find out which work best for you. It may be that over time you settle on two or three. But to start with, try to be open to experimentation and try out various options including SEO, social media, email, PPC, retargeting, native advertising and more.

Measure your activity

One of the most important things to remember with any marketing strategy is that you need to measure your activity to find out how successful it is. You can do this using various tools, such as Google Analytics, email marketing analytics provided by various email services, and PPC analytics.

Constantly check your analytics to find out what is working and what is not working. You can also test various forms of marketing. For example, you can split test emails, landing pages and PPC ads to fine-tune them, and use what you find to constantly improve.

Get going with your marketing strategy

Getting started is the hard part when you decide to try out online marketing, so take your time to plan your strategy and start slowly. Online marketing comes with many benefits, and it is a great way to stand out in a competitive industry, but you want to make sure you get it right. So start planning your strategy today and make sure you get off to the right start.

Future proofing

There is always a need to keep one eye on what the next wave of technology is and how that will impact on marketing your business. It was only a few years ago most people were thinking that mobile Internet was not really something they needed to worry about, but as Google’s latest set of updates has proven, mobile Internet has moved front and centre.

Is your website mobile friendly?   Now will be a good time to check it and make the necessary changes. Future proofing is a great “insurance” policy to protect your future business growth

About the Author Jason Hulott

Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.

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