In the previous posts in our Anatomy of an Internet Marketing Campaign series, we discussed the main strategies for garnering traffic, backlinks and higher search engine rankings. Much time and effort is expended towards gaining customers and conversions in the first place – but what you do after the sale is nearly as important as the measures you take to get the sales in the first place. The next step of local Internet marketing is building relationships. In this way, you can multiply your marketing reach, maintain contact with past, current and potential customers and establish a loyal following. Here’s what we’ll be covering on this blog:
Building Relationships with Customers
Many local companies get a vast majority of their business from repeat customers and the Internet provides a powerful new set of tools that help facilitate meaningful, effective customer outreach. Opening the channels for two way communication between you and your customers allows you to provide better customer service, understand your customer’s needs and opinions better and most importantly, keep in touch so you can spread the word about upcoming promotions, sales and other exciting events.
Direct mail has been the lifeblood of many a sales-driven business and email marketing takes it to the digital level. Email marketing is not only extremely cost effective, it’s also highly actionable – all your readers have to do is open the email and then click on the links within. Delivery time is instant, meaning you can hype your upcoming web event or one day sale at a moment’s notice. Plus, there is valuable potential for analytics and performance tracking for your email marketing campaign which will help you tailor your efforts for the best return.
Newsletters are the primary medium through which most email marketing campaigns are delivered, but they can also be archived on your website to show non-subscribers what they’re missing. Newsletters are a great way to show customers what’s new with your business and what they can look forward to. Newsletters are also a great way for customers to get to know the people behind your business in a personal way.
Doing business online adds opportunity to an act as simple as confirming a purchase or sending a copy of a receipt. An autoresponder gives you a chance to not only thank your customer, but also to invite them to explore other items they may be interested in, sign up for your newsletter or follow you on Twitter of Facebook. A well-crafted email autoresponder can instantly transform one-time customers into lifelong fans.
There are numerous strategies and considerations surrounding list building for targeted email campaigns. On the one hand, you want to reach the widest audience possible – but you must also comply with spam standards and be respectful of your customer’s privacy. Walking the line between aggressive list building and best ethical practices takes a bit of finesse – stay tuned for list buildings tips in future posts.
Reaching Out to the Blogosphere
Customers aren’t the only ones who you should be building relationships with. Other website owners and bloggers are your virtual neighbors on the Web and by forging strong connections with them, you can stand to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Connecting with other businesses, bloggers and publishers is an excellent way to reach new audiences and increase your visibility. There are written and unwritten rules of engagement when it comes to approaching other bloggers or online businesses in your area and industry and following them is key to the success of your outreach.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a must for building relationships with current customers as well as reaching out to new audiences. Social media marketing is a unique mix of both public and direct communication and can help introduce an approachable, responsive and human dimension to your company’s online presence.
We hope this overview of The Anatomy of an Internet Marketing Campaign has served to give you a quick snapshot of the breadth and nuance of the various strategies that go into promoting a local business online. As you can see, there are numerous bases to cover and an infinite depth in every topic – from crafting website copy to branding your Twitter page and beyond. We’ll be moving methodically through each of these integral parts of a local Internet marketing campaign – so make sure you check back often (or better yet, subscribe to our RSS feed) so you don’t miss a thing.