The Truth about Online Marketing

TIPS BEFORE GETTING STARTED – Let’s be honest you can hardly scroll down your Facebook timeline without having some add or post telling you to “Download these Quick & Easy Steps”,  “How to rank 1st on Google” or “Tips on how to get more Facebook likes” and the list goes on.

Yes, I have fallen victim to these enticing promises only to be led to another page full of content I have seen before with yet another pop up telling me to sign up for this special offer or newsletter followed by a Gmail full of spam! And I am sure that is how you stumbled across this blog. The only difference is I am going to tell you the real facts, the non-sugar coated and honest truths when it comes to Online Marketing.

I will just share with you what I have learnt from my experience, my clients, my studies and the knowledge I have been lucky enough to receive after attending various networking events and motivational talks. From people like Marnus Broodryk, Romeo Khumalo, Dr Makhosi Busisiwe Khoza , Bassie Kumalo and many other inspirational entrepreneur’s and business minds.

NUMBER ONE: Believe

Yes, I said believe. If you want your business or idea to ever become anything you truly need to believe in and love what you are doing. The only thing that is going to get you through those late nights and empty bank accounts will be your passion. You need to believe that what ever it is you are offering is the answer or the solution that will add value to your clients lives. Regardless of the competition out there and yes there is a lot, you need to really believe. If you are a one man show or a business with 40 employees it makes no difference. People feel passion and if you do not have the passion and belief in what you do people will see it immediately.

NUMBER 2: USP (UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION)

KNOW your USP, and if you do not know what a USP is I suggest you find out very fast. Below I have added a great link to help further explain and help you create your own.

If you do not know what sets you apart from your competitors how are you going to convince potential clients to choose you over them? Your USP is the golden thread in all your communication. Externally, so that would be on your marketing materials, emails, newsletters, social media and online. As well as internally, your values and culture of your business, how you treat your staff and the internal communications and running of the business.

NUMBER 3: TIME

There is no quick fix or fast forward button when it comes to online marketing and who ever says there is they are lying! Online marketing takes TIME, time to set up your USP, time doing research, oh there is so much research to be done.

When setting up Google Ad words for example you need to have done research on what keywords are most effective, what keywords your competitors use and what keywords will get you the best results with minimum spend. Research on who your buyer is, creating buyer personness so that you can effectively target the correct audience. Time to gain traction and brand awareness, consumers are bombarded with so much advertising it takes time for your brand to stick, and that’s why the value of what you offer must be the best.

Time to generate your online goals, your strategies, budgets and most importantly CONTENT generation. Which brings me to my next point.

NUMBER 4: CONTENT IS KING!

With a world full of online clutter finding and creating unique and original content is one the hardest tasks and if you are not a creative like me then you will know that the thought of having to CREATE this unique, original, catchy and valuable content is often overwhelming.

I’m no designer, I’m no photographer and faking it till you make it can only get you so far. That is why it is so important that you delegate, find a friend who is a designer, or a photographer get them to help you and I don’t mean for free I am sure you can come to some agreement that benefits you both while you are building your brand and online presence. Once you have started making a little bit of money employ a professional to help you, DO NOT EVER cut your marketing budget no marketing- no sales.

The reason why content is so important is because it has so many benefits, it helps build your SEO organically (which will be on my next blog). It can set you apart from your competitor’s if done correctly. And is one of the key elements both Facebook and Google look at when promoting your content.

Their main objective is to give consumers a great user experience they want to direct users to most valuable, engaging and unique content. Using stock images and copying and pasting ideas from other competitors is okay in the beginning but not a long term solution.

NUMBER 5:  TRIAL & ERROR

Yay my last point (I really tried to keep this short but there is just so much I want to share with you!)

Trial and error is something you need to make peace with right this very second. You may come up with this amazing concept, you’re all excited you start advertising only to fall short not getting the results you were expecting. It sucks I KNOW, but its okay and it will happen

However the great part of online marketing is that when you see something is not working you are able to change it immediately. Imagine paying thousands for a billboard only to realize that either there is a spelling mistake or that the people driving past aren’t the right target audience. You can’t exactly take it down and get your money back. But with online marketing you can make immediate changes and adjustments to your campaigns when you are not getting the desired results. Thus not wasting value marketing spend.

Whatever you do, DO NOT give up!

Be realistic – with your goals and what effort you are prepared to put in to make sure your Online marketing is a successful advertising tool for your business.

Be consistent –  once you start there is no going back, it will do more damage to your brand if you are not consistent then not even starting at all.

6 steps to creating your USP .

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