Those who have worked with me are already well aware of that fact that woodworking is one of my primary hobbies. I first began making projects in the 7th or 8th grade and never really gave it up. It’s one of those things that really represents all of life’s cycles for me.
Now, I’m not the kind of craftsman who’s going to carve-out something artistic from a single tree trunk. In fact, when I do carve, it’s rarely entirely by hand. I’m not that artistic. What I’m actually pretty good at though, is making something unique from several discarded pieces of wood that would ordinarily have been thrown away by most shops.
Over the years, I’ve created a few semi-masterpieces (well, in my own mind anyway), but all of my projects are similar in that they don’t consist of just one piece. They consisted of multiple pieces that had some value, brought together to form one incredibly valuable piece that possessed a high demand.
Alone, the pieces were almost worthless. Together, they were highly valuable. That’s kind of the way online marketing works too.
To really be effective, online marketing consists of layered elements, each serving a distinct purpose. The part of this plan you’re used to seeing me mention here is the website portion – and that’s important. However, you also need to know that if you’re going to be successful in establishing a strong online identity, there’s a lot more to it than that. Many parts of the marketing plan are just simply forgotten about by owners and marketing departments.
Here’s what a solid online marketing outline looks like. Although this list isn’t a step-by-step guide and it’s not designed to be all-inclusive, it does contain the most important parts that will serve us well in understanding the major components of online marketing with your new site.
- Flagship site marketing plan, development & deployment
- Niche site marketing plan, development & deployment
- Site maintenance plan & execution
- Website Promotion
It’s that last little bit that really catches a lot of business owners.
What is that? Well, that’s where all of your marketing components come together to accomplish your website-related goals. As with any business, your potential custom base will never know your business exists if your website isn’t publicized or promoted correctly effectively. You can deploy the most brilliant website in the world, but unless the people who might potentially benefit from its existence are routinely reminded that it exists, no one will traffic it. Without traffic, a website has no purpose.
Okay, s0 how do we let people know that our website is the place to go? That’s accomplished in a number of ways, but primarily we do that through…
- Custom content production
- Routine publishing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Relational marketing (other sites and blogs, interactions)
- Periodic reevaluation
Think of these marketing components as all of the things that are normally done following website deployment. Since these tools are employed following the site build, you can see why they’re often left undone.
Effective websites are simply one valuable tool to use in your quest for online marketing. Successful development and design is not the end of the process.
Putting the pieces together is pretty simple when you come to think of it. I mean, you wouldn’t race in your first 5k without wearing any shoes. You wouldn’t plan a weekend away in Vegas without reserving a flight to get there. And you wouldn’t go to a concert naked without any clothes on. Some of you would, but I don’t want to know about that). Okay, pics or it didn’t happen.
The naked marketing plan doesn’t work either. Follow-through is important. If you fail to promote your site after it’s deployed, what you just invested in is one of the most expensive business cards on planet Earth.
Websites are a wonderful thing, but they’re just one component of your marketing plan. They’re a wonderful investment in your future and a thing of beauty when when combined with the rest of your marketing plan. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with some of the terms above. I will provide a clearer picture of what each element of your marketing plan consists of during the coming weeks. Until then, just remember that help is only a message away. I want to do great work for you. That’s what I’m here for.