“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
Ron Swanson, of the hit TV show, Parks & Recreation, said it best. You don’t want to split your forces. Sure, if you have an unlimited budget and time, then definitely go ahead and design a new site, set up a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, content campaign, and blast everything on social media. However, most companies have a finite amount of money and time.
As such, it is better to grow your marketing program by starting small and adding on elements. Start with a website and then add-on core social media accounts your users actively use. Then, build your content up and begin to rank higher on search engine results pages. Once you have nailed search, expand to PPC. Finally, once you have mastered all of this, expand to newsletters, podcasts and videos.
Start with your Website
Your website is still the core of your campaign. It’s better to have one website than multiple. On your website, you can give away information, sell your goods, have clients interact with your services, and more. Start with only what you absolutely need to get online. The great thing about the web is that you can always improve and iterate.
Do not fall into the “waterfall” method of development, where you have a major new website launch with 100 features. Instead, get the list of your core 10 features that a client needs to have and launch with those. Then use feedback to improve your website over time and offer information/services that are requested.
Many companies are launching multiple websites. I do not recommend this, as it is almost always better to have one web presence and subdirectories of information contained within than several different websites. If you are targeting very different markets and offering different services/goods, sure have two websites. But most of the time, it is better to just have one.
Expand on Social Media
Next is social. It’s better to have three active social media accounts than ten stagnant ones. Social is easy to set up and can be automatically integrated into your website and work flow. In about 20 minutes a day, you can post quality information, reply to comments and manage your social network. So it makes sense to add this early on in the process. As you get better content over time and your company grows, your social media will grow, too.
But remember, only start with social media that you can maintain. If your core audience is on Facebook, start on Facebook. If your core audience is on Twitter, then start on Twitter. Go where your audience is and kill it on those networks, whether it’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or any other number of networks. You don’t have to sign up for several hundred networks, unless you just want to waste time or reserve your name for future use. But for the social media accounts that you decide to open, remember to commit to them to start seeing positive results.
Nail Down SEO and PPC
Now that you have a website, you can now focus on SEO and PPC. It’s better to focus on your critical areas, ones where you can rank highly, than to target highly competitive areas.
While some of this should be done during your initial website build (i.e. title tags, meta, keyword plan, content plan), you can now expand upon the baseline that you set up with the website.
Select specific keywords that have high traffic volume and lower competition. Sure, you can go after competitive terms, but it may take a while. I always recommend grabbing the low-hanging fruit first. It builds traffic quickly and you can use that to pour in more resources.
The same goes with PPC. Don’t start a bidding war that exhausts your budget. Instead, start with non-competitive terms to drive traffic.
Create Quality Content
It’s better to focus on a few critical practice areas and write in great detail, than to write 50 pages of “light” content. Detailed content will rank higher in search and become a long term resource for your clients. If you are simply putting out simple, light content, on a variety of areas, it probably will not rank high or receive much traffic.
On that same note, it’s better to focus on making your newsletters great, instead of spreading yourself thin and also trying to create a podcast, videos, etc. Nail down the basics of your content and then start expanding into the harder bits.
It is better to grow your marketing program by starting small and adding on elements. Try it out for yourself and watch your company expand.