Web Marketing Strategy

This strategy is something that developed over quite a few years, and will of course adapt as the web changes. Its something I’ve put together from many different people’s ideas, into something that made sense for the majority of my clients.

Web Marketing is probably the most effective thing available to the common man to promote his stuff. Tons of ways to do it, and with time and effort it can be done with little money. You know the rule. Cheap, Fast or Good, pick two. Well, with the web you can do cheap and good. And maybe gets some money to do the stuff that literally can’t be done without money, like Superbowl ads.

Without further ado, I give you, an online strategic marketing plan for promoting a product, service, company or individual.

A good web presence has many connected pieces. Each has a job to do, but some are much more important than others. The best are where you’re customers can learn, experience, and share in a targeted venue.

Let me start off by saying this. Facebook is usually your number one connection with customers. If you’re not using it, you either have a very interesting company, or you need to do it right now. All you customers are there, waiting to share you, be reminded how great you are and be upsold anytime you like.

A website with a blog is your number one connection to search engines. Anyone searching for your company will go there. It gives you legitimacy, branding and marketing potential. More importantly, it is a place for customers, press, vendors, and all other business to business contacts to contact you. A frequently updated blog tells search engines you’re alive and interesting, and gives something useful to all those people visiting you.

Beyond that you need a twitter feed, as many pages you can make on other networking and sharing sites (MySpace etc.), YouTube channel, commenting, fan assets, back links and a topic based website.

Website

  • Blog with Comments and articles with info, trivia, and personality
  • About Page so people can get to know you
    • History
    • Description
    • USP(Unique Sales Position)
    • Mission and Vision
    • Tag Lines
  • Demonstration of the product or service as best and prolific as possible
    • Videos
    • Photos
  • Press Section with news releases, assets for publication (such as photos, posters), and contact info
  • Schedule and Important Dates
    • Dates and Times that people can plan for or look forward to

Twitter – Opinion and Factual, and as active as possible. Make it topically relevant

Facebook Pages – This is as, if not more, important than your website. As much info from your tweets and your website should be on here. In my opinion most of your efforts should be focused on Facebook, because the influencers are on Facebook, even if your whole customer base isn’t.

Squidoo, MySpace, Friendster, Digg, Del.ico.us, etc. – These are old. Get a presence with back links to the top three. The most important thing is having some sort of presence at these places. A little bit of effort could make the difference. This is the long tail of twitter and Facebook.

YouTube – as important as Facebook, but extremely specific role. Use video to your advantage. Like everything else so far on this list, it’s cheap and will be good quality if you put in the time. Viral videos are some of the most powerful marketing forces on earth, but really, any decent video is much more likely to be useful to you than a gallery or an article. It has sound. You can say more in a video than you can any other way. Use It.

Backlinks – find places to put links to your stuff. The more links you have, the better your Search Engine Ranking, and that is extremely important.

Commenting on blogs with relevant information is awesome. Spamming is not. There is no fine line. You know what is useful to a conversation. That said, this is the best way of getting new fans. People read comments. If you’re informative about the topic and that you actually produce available content, people will come.

I touched on fan assets in the web section, but I’ll go into more detail. Fan assets are stuff fans can use to remind themselves that you exist and that they like you and/or promote you. For instance, a music poster: They can put it on their bedroom wall. That’s good for them and whoever they let in their room. They can put it in a post online. Everyone who sees it will know about you. They can post it on a campus…. You get the picture. Any kind of assets you come up with, sound bytes, freebies, purchasable goods, anything. Make it available and it will get used.

Topic based website – This is the most unused piece of all of the above. Its also the most effective long term marketing tool on the internet. Here’s how it works: You make an online topic resource that at first appears unaffiliated with any company other than itself. It has SEOed articles on all sorts of  researched topics designed to give searchers the information they need. Then you add links within the articles sending people to your site. That’s where you turn your warm lead into a happy customer. Relevancy is key here. If you’re a heavy metal band, and you make a site about knitting, that’s not gonna work. But if you make it about the best heavy metal music out there, and if you like those guys you’ll like these guys too, here’s an awesome music video, and here’s another video behind the scenes and here’s their album on iTunes… Oh look at that. I was looking for new music and I found some. Win/Win. Use SiteSell’s SBI to do this. They are awesome and will hold your hand the whole way.

In Summary: The topic based website is the most expensive. A camera, mic, and tripod, and a computer is necessary as well. Seriously, you should already have those. If you’re going to do one, do Facebook. If you’re going to do two, do twitter and Facebook. But all of these together will give you a huge edge beyond the main ones everyone uses. Not everyone does this, surprisingly. If you do, you’re ahead of the game.

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Watch World Cup 2010 Now

My friend, Christian, and I are really excited about watching the World Cup this year. It’s really tough to get a game on TV in the US, but we found a bunch of live video feeds online from the various TV stations around the world broadcasting all the games. We made an ebook to help people find the best one, and included a guide for the game, and keeping track of the teams and matches.

We built it using WordPress, and heavily customized the Handgloves Theme to fit the needs of the site.

A Few Web Design Samples

My opportunities for web design have been a little more sporadic but I’m always looking to hone my skills in that area.  I enjoy figuring out the tone and personality of the content on a website, and then creating a look and feel that complements and sets the stage appropriately for the writer’s words.  If the client has a specific look in mind, that’s great too, as I have a lot of experience (especially from my work in video production) in helping a client to verbalize the technicalities of what they are looking for, and I delight in working collaboratively to achieve a great result.  I also bring to the table my ever-growing awareness of effective online marketing, and I’m increasingly well-versed in the “rules” of good design for the web.

Here are a few samples of my previous work in this area:

This website needed a new look to communicate its theme effectively to an ever-growing tally of visitors

I was the webmaster of this company for a couple of years, making multiple design updates to accommodate new content

This is a draft design for an international non-profit youth organization