What is the beginning of Internet marketing for your small business? If you thought I was going to say your website, sorry to disappoint you. Effective Internet marketing begins long before you start building your website.
Internet marketing begins with research. There are three really important areas of key research that you should undertake before you do anything online.
- Keyword Research – Not necessarily first, but definitely not least. You should research important keywords for your business so that you can determine your search engine marketing needs and strategy.
- Competitive Research – Who is your competition? What are they doing and what have they done? Are you subscribed to their newsletters and blogs? You should be.
- Brand Research – Brand research is a little bit more complicated. It goes beyond basic competitive and keyword research. You must also look at other forces that can affect your marketing online. Who are the customer that need what you have to offer? Where do they hang out online, what social media hotspots are important to them? What are their questions? How are you going to answer them and meet their other needs as a brand?
Before you start marketing online, do some level of research. What is the market for your product or service? Who is doing it now? What holes are they leaving unfilled? If you’re going to build a brand online, then you need to make sure the most important questions don’t go unanswered.