Top questions to ask before embarking on an internet marketing strategy

The internet is a veritable gold mine when it comes to marketing strategies for small business. According to Internet World Stats, as of December 31, 2011, 2,267,233,742 people used the internet, or 32.7 percent of the world’s population at the time. That’s right, you read correctly – over two billion people go online to do everything from check Facebook pages to purchase services and goods.

So, what do you need to ask before using Google, Facebook and other social media sites to effectively market a brand? If you are the owner of a small business, you need to keep the following queries in mind.

Who is my ideal customer?
Obviously, your company is not going to be able to reach a third of the world’s population. You can achieve a better return on investment if you narrow this demographic down as much as possible. suggests imagining a single, perfect customer and detailing everything you can about this imaginary individual. What age range does this person fall into? Are they already knowledgeable about the industry, or are they completely uninformed? Why are they searching the web for your products or services?

Once you have answered this question, you can tailor a keyword strategy or content plan toward this hypothetical person.

How will I use social media for lead generation marketing?
Lead generation is essential for any business in any industry, and the conversion percentage of this strategy is directly proportional to the financial success of a corporation. Social media is a great tool for everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to brand imaging, and every small business must approach the internet with authoritative knowledge.

As far as SEO goes, you must determine an effective keyword strategy for sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It all ties in with the “perfect” customer mentioned above – what would this person be likely to type into a search engine box? Experiment with different arrangements of common words, or specific phrases that are unlikely to be mentioned by a competitor.

You should also decide if you are going more for content or quality – in the world of online marketing, there is rarely a middle ground, but you should always strive to produce actionable, concise articles. However, you will certainly lean toward one characteristic – set a number of blog posts or Facebook updates a day, and make these items as clean as possible.

What questions are you asking yourself in order to prepare for successful marketing initiatives?

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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.