Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.

Share the Message but Own the Destination

Whatever you do be sure that you own your content. Some of you may be thinking what I mean by this because surely you own the content. After all it is your wording, your thoughts and all your IP right? Your intellectual property is of value – it is an asset of your business and as such do not give it away just as you would no sooner hand over the knowledge you hold enabling you to do the job you do better than your competitors. We will assume it is but how and where you place that content may leave you exposed to the idiosyncrasies of that 3rd party. Social media platforms are the worst.

Too often we see businesses where the owners invest heavily in their content marketing  only to find that all the content they create sits on someone else’s platform. The most common instance of this is Facebook closely followed by Pinterest, Linkedin and Instagram.

How many of you have gone into Facebook and found that they have changed the game plan? How they present your information, what they present and the tools you use to get it there change regularly. You have immediately handed over ownership of your content once you are no longer in control of how and when that content is displayed.

The other factor that may soon not be so much a concern as it is now, is whether that content be found by the search engines.  Not all content across all social media channels is indexed. It may be restricted from general viewing because of your settings. You want to ensure that your content is given maximum exposure in the search engines and in a way that supports your marketing strategies. This is best achieved through your own website where you have greater control over how the search engines see your content and index it.

By implementing a strategy for your content marketing you can better ensure that you are managing how your messages are being shared and controlling what is being shared and when. A doctrine we regularly put to ur clients is to work from a strategic perspective. We suggest that they develop a digital marketing strategy along the following lines (be this a very simple version of a complete digital marketing strategy).

  1. Set your goals and objectives for your digital marketing
  2. Identify the different target markets and the information that these markets are interested in
  3. Identify how each market segment communicates amongst itself – which media channels do they prefer and in what format are they interested in receiving that information (Eg. Articles, Video, PDF reports, PowerPoint, Images).
  4. Find the market “hangouts” – where are they sharing information, who are the leading sources of information now
  5. Determine how you can post information to those “hangouts”
  6. Cost your marketing initiates
  7. Develop a marketing / communications schedule and budget plan
  8. Arrange resources and deliver to the schedule
  9. Track, review and adjust as required

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