As a follow-up to last week’s post on Common Tax Topics for Self-Employed Individuals & Business Owners, I have included a checklist of marketing techniques that can be utilized as part of a sole proprietor’s online marketing campaign. The marketing function is essential to the success of every business, and individuals striking out on their own must see to it that this area of their venture is properly cared for if they wish to survive and grow. While this responsibility may be new to many entrepreneurs (not to mention burdensome when added to competing tasks such as operations, administration, human resources, etc.), a marketing campaign is especially important for the start-up organization, as it should be tailored to accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- Raise Company/Brand Awareness,
- Promote Service/Product Offerings of the Firm,
- Differentiate the Entity from Competitors, and/or
- Achieve a Competitive Advantage over the Competition.
In today’s business environment, an online marketing strategy has become a mandatory aspect of business marketing plans. While the individual techniques and strategic initiatives of various firm’s often differ, the following methods are frequently used in connection with the online marketing process:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
- Social Media Presence,
- Maintenance of a Blog.
A checklist of the attributes, characteristics, and traits for each of these methods is listed below.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Display high-quality content in easily referenced format,
- Numerous links to/from reputable site(s),
- Common sense, understandable URLs for site page(s),
- Mobile friendly design/layout,
- Applicable keyword(s) within page titles,
- Efficient download speed from major search engines,
- Verified business location via Google (i.e., Google Maps),
- Favorable reviews posted to Google+ account,
- Uploaded sitemap to site’s root domain folder, and
- Actively maintained site that includes consistent updates and content additions.
Social Media Presence
- Recognition as thought leader of industry through creating, curating, & sharing knowledge/content in the form of posts, slideshow presentations, status updates, and videos,
- Routine expansion of network connections by adding friends, fans, & followers,
- Acknowledgement/Interaction with others through “likes”, “shares”, and “comments” on their content,
- Inclusion in groups of individuals with common interests, passions, professions, etc.
- Monitoring and tracking of traffic, interaction, and communication with published content for the purpose of improved understanding of target market’s needs/interests
Maintenance of Blog
- High-quality content easily shared across a variety of media (print, social media, website, etc.),
- Increased visibility from organic search engines and social media sites resulting in greater exposure of company message(s),
- Reaps the benefits of SEO and Social Media, as this method applies to both techniques,
- Commonly hosted on company website and as stand-alone application, and
- Considered by some experts to be superior marketing tool offered via the web.