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Tips for Creating a Marketing Plan for an Online Business

written by: theMallorys•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/18/2010

Just because you’re on the web doesn’t mean you can get by without a marketing plan for online business ventures. You still have to learn the ins and outs of social media marketing, SEO writing, podcasting and more. Use these tips to help you get started.

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    Before you try to sell your product or services, it’s important to develop a marketing plan for online business planning. Making the distinction between sound marketing practices and Internet marketing scams can be confusing at times, but it’s important to know the difference. One thing you can do is employ free and low cost online marketing tactics in your plan. Here are a few tips to help you with that:

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    Tip # 1 – Be Proactive with Social Media Marketing

    woman on laptop 

    The quickest way to boost web traffic is to be proactive on social media channels. No marketing plan for an online business should leave it out. You should have a search engine optimized profile on these major social media channels:

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • YouTube
    • LinkedIn

    The profile is a starting point, but it’s not enough. You should deliver content that’s interesting with links back to your website. You should also manage communities that you form, and keep tabs on what their needs are and try to meet them. It can be time consuming to keep up with fans, followers and members, but you can limit your activities and still reap many benefits.

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    Tip #2 – Invest Time in SEO Article Writing

    Search engine optimization (SEO) article writing is used by many online businesses to drive web traffic and boost sales. Learn as much as you can about SEO article writing and use it in your marketing plan for your online business. The basics are:

    • Find keywords that your target audience uses to find information or products on the web
    • Write 450 to 600 word articles that include a keyword
    • Use the keyword in the introduction, at least twice in the body and once again in the conclusion
    • Market the article on forums, social media and blogs

    There are many tools online to help you research relevant keywords, such as the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

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    Tip #3 – Be a Guest on Podcasts

    Podcasts are popular on the Internet, to listeners as well as to search engines. The hosts of most podcasts include a summary of each episode with links to each guest’s website. Some hosts also post transcripts of entire podcasts. Search engines often place more value on podcasts than articles, and if you’re a guest on a show, you may get more exposure as a result. Make a list of at least 50 podcasts to pitch, and email the hosts or follow any “Be a Guest" process listed on the website. Try to follow up with emails and phone calls, and use social media as well.

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    Tip #4 – Use Video Marketing

    There are various forms of viral content online, including articles and news stories. The most effective form of viral marketing is a well produced video. Creating a great video for the web doesn’t require you to go to a film studio. You can use a simple flip camera to get the message you want across and have thousands of bloggers and individuals share it all over the web. It’s hard to predict which content will go viral. The best you can do is consistently upload videos and track which content grabs the most interest. You can then create more content in the same vein.

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    When you create a marketing plan for online business ventures, make a budget for each tactic as well. Some of these tips are free, but you may have to pay small fees for other aspects of your plan. A good target is six to eight percent of your projected gross sales.

    Image Credit: Matthew Bowden