The advent of online marketing is transforming the way in which businesses and products are being marketed and it is seemingly evolving at a rapid pace. Everything that passes through the World Wide Web is now interconnected and plays a big part in how a business or product is seen and rated.

Most of us will be familiar with the Internet, websites, email; social media, smartphones, YouTube, apps, Amazon and many of us probably have Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and Linked-In profiles too.

All these things are interconnected and have an impact on a company’s online presence and search engine optimisation (SEO). At times it can all get a bit confusing, but like most things, the secret to success is actually very simple.

The existence of the Internet has changed the face of advertising completely. One of the most important aspects, when it comes to online marketing, is prominent exposure within the field. The best way to do this is, of course, to have your online presence be the first thing to appear when a user searches for related terms via a search engine such as Google. At first, this policy worked using reciprocal links to increase awareness. Then came pay-per-click, but this can be expensive depending on the product demand and market competition and there is a growing consensus that consumers think online advertisers are going to be more expensive, so avoid using or selecting them.

In order, therefore, to succeed in online marketing, one must understand the algorithms that decide the position of your page among the many millions of results. It is not good enough anymore to simply create a catchy tagline or good advertisement and send it to all mediums.

Today, the internet uses a different approach. Google’s algorithms, for example, now rely on over 200 signals and clues to filter the answers you are looking for from the millions of hits available. These algorithms include freshness, images, knowledge graphs, content, social media presence, quality, context, news, spelling and synonyms, among hundreds more. All in all, the general consensus is that instead of “results,” search engines are now tailored to providing “answers.”

In order to make sure you are among the top results for these “answers,” you need to ensure your online content is optimised, (S.E.O). As detailed above, search engines have evolved and so must your online presence.

It’s not good enough anymore to simply create a catchy strapline, draft up a few innovative benefit statements and then repeatedly flog them endlessly across all mediums. The commercial world has moved on from that. Today, sales, marketing and promotional strategy require a joined-up approach across all mediums and communication channels. Your online presence is part of the marketing mix and is most effective when it’s an integral part of a holistic promotional strategy. Your sales and marketing activity is the heart and soul of your business activity – It’s the lifeblood that fuels your success and growth. If it’s fresh, vibrant and regularly circulating, your business prosperity will remain healthy and energetic; if it’s stale and stagnant you risk commercial fragility.

The key ingredient to all effective sales, marketing and promotional practice across all mediums, but most importantly an online presence, is good quality copy and content. This is what links everything together. Your key messages need to be conveyed through PR, advertising, staff, packaging, website and social media. However, sending the same old phrases, rehashed press releases or advertising bullets is going to fall foul of modern SEO algorithms and begin to bore your audience. It must exist like a living creature, with new blood being pumped around it constantly; the same repetitive adverts would just lead to a stagnant online presence.

For example, if you’ve got a piece of news or are in receipt of a new testimonial, then write a press release and blog post, then put it on the website, feature it in the company newsletter, update your POS material, link it with your social media, and also don’t forget to tell your staff, customers and suppliers. If you do a couple of Tweets a week and the last news post on your website was a few months ago then you need to get writing, but be relevant, but also be new. Be appropriate, but also be regular. Keep things varied and fresh and you won’t lose your presence, consumer interest or sales! That said, the biggest obstacle to drafting good, regular, relevant copy and content is usually writer’s block, which is generally a lack of; time, inclination, confidence, resource or ability. This is understandable because writing good, interesting and memorable copy is a bit of an art form and not everyone can do it.

Whether it is print media, radio, TV, billboards, the high street or online the ability to create and disseminate regular, the quality of your copy is imperative to creating the company, product and brand awareness. Many businesses, but SME’s in particular, don’t have the ability, the time or the confidence to plan, manage, draft and execute structured and holistic campaigns.

What typically happens is they don’t do it; they dabble at it or engage the services of an agency. If you decide to engage the help of an agency, and there are a lot out there, it’s probably best to pick one that knows the industry you are in. Impression Marketing, for example, has over 30 years’ experience of the healthcare market and can offer a range of packages from a simple copy service to a fully managed service, all designed to suit the specific business needs and budgets. Also, check the agency has adequate indemnity insurance and are preferably members of the CIPR.

Like I said at the beginning, the answer is actually quite simple and most sales and marketing managers probably know what they need to do. However, if you struggle with writer’s block, then get in touch and I’ll help cure it for you.

You can contact Angus on 0845 3082745, by email at info@impression-marketing.co.uk or at www.impression-marketing.co.uk

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