Back to Basics: How to Start Marketing

Starting from scratch? Here are the first four things you should do to start marketing your business.

Marketing Success

You’ve designed a website and set up social media profiles, but now what? How do you actually start marketing your business?

Your top priority needs to be building and growing your online presence, and to help get you started, I’ve put together a short to-do list.

Step 1: Make a List of Keywords and Key phrases
Good keywords are the foundation of your online presence. You’ll use these keywords and key phrases in your website content, blog posts, social media posts, and local listings. It’s important that these keywords are relevant and thoroughly thought about so you don’t end up stuffing your content with random keywords later, making it looked forced and potentially causing you to be penalized by search engines.

As you start to build your word list, the best search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to focus on topics that are important to your customers. Pick a topic core to your business that you want to rank well for on search engines. That is, what exactly is your business about? Health insurance? Pet grooming? Website design?

Then, think like your customers. What would they search for on Google, Bing, or Yelp that would bring them to your website? What are some questions they would ask? For example, “When does open enrollment start for Obamacare?” Now, break down the question, and you’ll get some keywords. In this example, you would note “open enrollment” and “Obamacare.” Now branch off of those. Are there any similar phrases you could add? For this situation, you would add “Affordable Care Act”, “ACA”, and maybe “government healthcare.”

Brainstorm a list of about 40 – 50 keywords and phrases to start. Then, begin creating content for your website based on those keywords.

open enrollment keywords

Step 2: Start a Blog
Now that you’re writing content, it’s time to set up a blog. Every post you write increases the odds that you will be found in search engines because each new post will be indexed. With blogging, you have to be patient. It can take one to two years to begin seeing really good results. You should be consistent, posting at least two times per week.

Step 3: Use Advertising as a Supplement
Paying for digital advertising can produce fast results, but it can also become pricey. Blogging is a better strategy simply because you have to keep paying for advertising to see results, but your posts keep working over time. The real benefit of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is to get your name out there when no one really knows who you are.

Step 4: Distribute Work over Social Media
When it comes to social media, you first need to ask yourself which of the networks are preferred by your targeted customers. Then, pick two or three to focus your efforts and optimize those profiles. Next, do some networking and follow and engage with them. Finally, follow the 50/30/20 rule. Post news or industry information 50% of the time, items that show off your personality 30% of the time, and promotional material 20% of the time.

You’re now well on your way to building a strong online presence!

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