13 Important Elements for a Successful Online Marketing Plan

13 Important Elements for a Successful Online Marketing Plan

Have you constructed a product or built a service only to find yourself still not making any sales?

This negative situation will only develop a sense of frustration to which it can make you want to down-right quit!

It’s most likely you don’t have a plan in place for online marketing success.

I will show you thirteen crucial elements you must add into your marketing plan.

Adding some, most, or all of these elements into your marketing plan will create a successful formula for increasing sales!

 

Eye-catching Design of the Landing Page

Flatland – $11

themeforest-ex1

What makes this a fantastic design for a landing page is its minimalistic, blending design. Not cluttered at all and they did a fantastic job of portraying the look of the app on a real-world smartphone (iPhone in this case).

 

If you’re looking for multiple options of a design, themeforest is the place to look at:

themeforest

unbounce-ex1

What makes this design stand out is obviously the individual behind the sign-up form. To really make your design unique, include a professional picture of yourself on your landing page.

 

Check out their amazing landing page templates gallery:

unbounce

instapage-ex1

This design is pretty straightforward but don’t get it twisted; a very effective one to use. The background image has its purpose which you might already picked up!

 

Who says you need to pay? If you have a WordPress blog, this plugin might come in very hand, plus its free!

instapage (free plugin)

landingpagetemplates-ex1

If you’re looking for the real deal, this product is the choice to go with. Not only landing page templates, they also offer templates for review sites, squeeze pages, and more!

landingpagetemplates-ex2

LandingPageTemplates

 

High-quality Content Production

In order to produce your best content, the first step before you even start writing is to find the right idea; but where?

Here are some excellent areas to find new, quality ideas:

  • Other Blogs
  • Online Magazines
  • Magazines
  • News sites
  • Forums
  • Google Searches
  • Q&A Sites
  • Ask Questions (your email list, forums, commenting)

 

Where can I find the best resources to research?

  • Your best friend, Google

 

Quality content production isn’t only about writing regular, text posts. It’s about producing all kinds of engaging content that will spark social shares and comments.

 

Examples of kinds of content:

  • Conduct Relevant Interviews
  • Write an eBook
  • Podcasting
  • Webinars
  • Let your Personality Shine.

 

Checkout my guest post for LifeHack.org for ideas on how to produce high-quality content for your blog:

25 Ways to Improve Online Content

 

Content Marketing

As an online business, you’re heavily interested in doing business with your customers and have them become repeat ones.

Traditional advertising is a poor choice to go with in 2014 and beyond; according to lab42:

47% of US online consumers do not pay attention to targeted ads.

Marketing is done through your content and the high-quality work you put in. Here are the benefits of doing content marketing:

  • Increased Customer Loyalty
  • Higher Active Follower & Buyers
  • Higher Reputation
  • Higher Ratings for Products or Services

 

Content marketing is producing content around the topics you offer as products or services. Use some imagination on content creation that centers on a sought-out topic, closely to what you or your brand offers.

Large corporations have picked up on this marketing trend including names like P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere (via Content Marketing Institute).

 

Here are some of my tips in use content marketing to increase your customer base or followers:

  • Create content centered on solutions
  • Use appropriate content distribution channels
  • Use more persuasive language and engaging words
  • Content that incites action from your readers
  • Entertaining content based on your Brand’s topics
  • Use social media to connect with other industry leaders or brands to share your content

Related: What is Content Marketing?

 

Social Media Engagement

A brand that only tries to sell on social media without putting effort in creating a connection with their audience is only prone to fail.

Engagement and your care of interacting with your followers will build your reputation on the Internet. With higher reputation, the word will spread about your brand. Higher reputation equals a better chance of gathering more followers and building a larger audience.

With more followers and a higher reputation, they will be inclined to explore what your brand offers and are more likely to purchase your products or services.

Examples of how a Brand or Business can engage with their audience and followers:

  • Post more Images or Graphics
  • Invite them to Online/Offline Events
  • Create a Community
  • Offer sales or discounts
  • Engaging Text Statuses (Ex. Fill-in-blanks, Hilarious Statements, Inspiring Quotes, Asking Questions,  Sharing Relevant Content)

 

Connect with Email Subscribers

Part of your marketing plan is to create as many sales without sacrificing quality and the power of connection.

Your list is one of your greatest assets, so it becomes a priority in your marketing plan.

Don’t squander the opportunity to create emails that inspire and connect with your subscribers.

More happy subscribers equal more response which in turn equals to more sales.

 

Benefits of creating engaging emails and connections:

  • More shares
  • More clicks
  • More sales
  • More response
  • More reputation
  • More happy :)
  • More of everything!

 

Here are ways you or your brand can create engaging emails:

  • Create FAQ autoresponders (via Copyblogger)
  • Ask more Questions within the Email
  • Ask for their Opinion on a Problem or News
  • Share other Relevant Content
  • Opinionated Emails
  • Create high-quality Offers Emails (your product, affiliate products, other relevant products)
  • Feature your guest blog posts (via Copyblogger)

Related:  8 Smart Ways to Combine Blogging with Email Marketing for Best-Selling Results

 

Gather more Emails

Believe it or not, a marketing plan doesn’t include of only making a sale, over and over again. A marketing plan includes effective social media engagement, building reputation, and gathering more followers and their emails.

 

The first step to take is finding the right products to accomplish this goal. Here are the tools I use:

OptinSkin

optinskin-banner

Aweber

aweber

Hybrid Connect

hc_2

Ways to gather more emails:

  • Show consistency
  • Show an intense work ethic via your content production
  • Offer an incentive (Free eBook, eCourse, More Exclusive Content, Video Course, Short Report, Ultimate Guide, Free Trial, Free Sample of your Product or Service)
  • Optin/Subscriber Boxes (Location Ex., Top/Bottom of post, in the Sidebar)
  • Create a landing page for your Brand or Business
  • Create specific landing pages (Specific guest posts, From Social Media, From the Search Engines)

 

Example of an optin/subscriber box at the bottom of a post:

bottom-subscriber-box

 

Custom Social Profile Links

If you’re engaging or sharing on Twitter, you’re likely to pick up quality followers during the process. Your profile links from (Let’s say) Twitter should uniquely lead to a specific landing page, reminding them again from where they’re coming from and why they should sign-up to your list.

I know, I know. You’re thinking a regular landing page will do. You’re probably right; that’s a fantastic option other than your homepage.

What if you can take your marketing to a higher level and convert traffic from Twitter (or any other social media site) more effectively, using custom landing pages?

Here is an example of a landing page geared toward the Twitter and Facebook traffic that offers them a unique, targeted service (or appropriate content based on your brand):

twitterlandingpage-example

Branding with unique Design

To be honest with you, if you’re not too keen into designing, this point might be a stretch for you.

All the designs done for Internet Dreams have been created by me, using Photoshop and different resources from the Internet.

It’s not hard to use Photoshop. After some practice, you’ll get the hang of it. For social media, design your own profiles to stand out from the crowd.

Use Photoshop to the best of your ability and if you don’t know how to use it, I highly recommend you read up on how to use it from different sites or sign-up for a course that teaches you how. (Highly recommended)

If you have the necessary funds, the option of hiring freelance designers is the recommended choice.

Examples of places that will make use of a custom design to improve reputation and increase followers:

  • Blog/Website
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Email Template
  • Sites where they allow you to add your own images or graphics

 

Examples of custom design on social media:

twitter-customdesign

googleplus-customdesign-example

facebookpage-customdesign-example

Help your Target Audience with Targeted Content or a Solution-based Product

Other-Site Comments:

If you’re reading comments, then you know exactly what I mean. Questions are being asked all the time. Save the questions in a text file or on sheet of paper. After gathering many questions, go over the questions again and see a common theme among them. There might be several, but always first go with the most common problem or theme.

A simple example (Internet Marketing Niche):

targetaudience-ex4

Google Searches:

helptargetaudience-ex2  \

targetaudience-ex3

Q&A sites (mostly Yahoo Answers):

On Yahoo Answers, people are asking questions on a whole range of topics. This allows many bloggers or entrepreneurs gather ideas for their content as well as create solutions to some of these problems.

Don’t forget about Quora:

Quora

Forums:

In some industries or topic, forums are excellent sources on the Internet where help is needed and could use some of yours.

 

Conversion Optimization - Landing/Sales Page

Attention-grabbing large heading:

landsale-opti-ex5

The heading from the landing page above identifies a problem (cost) and offers an optional solution(s) through the eBook. Make it the largest text on the landing/sales page and the theme for your product.

Sign-up form in first-load view:

landpage-opti-ex1

Optimizing your page means you might look into placing your sign-up form in the first-load view of the window. Without scrolling, it makes it much easier for them to sign-up along with the effective copywriting that further convinced them to do so.

Sales Page – Emphasize features of the product:

landsales-opti-ex6

Listing the features of the product will give them a positive view-point of your product and not a “here’s another product promotion” type of thinking. Emphasize this area of the page and encourage them on what they’re getting for spending their money.

Sales Page – Offer a small incentive or reason:

landpage-opti-ex3

Offering a small incentive will boost the likelihood of sign-ups or sales. The image above offers free deliver on a purchase of a certain amount of money. The word “FREE” has huge benefits when it comes to convincing people and winning them over.

 

Small, Set Goals

Without goals in your plan, there’s no way to measure the results that are coming in.

Set goals that are achievable in a short time frame. You will need to set a mixture of long and short term goals in order to measure all the results coming in.

 

Set them, write them, and achieve them:

  • Set a goal of helping a certain amount of people day.
  • Set a goal of optimizing a landing page for each area of the brand.
  • Set of goal reaching a number of sales per month/week/day.
  • Set a goal of engaging a certain amount times day with your followers on social media.

 

Appropriate Tools for Marketing

Hootsuite (free)

Hootsuite

hootsuite

For your marketing plan, you’re going to have to create engagement in order to build reputation. Remember, more reputation equals more product recognition and discovery.

Hootsuite is your prime tool to manage all of your social profiles, right from one dashboard location. Use this tool to post engaging statuses to your social profiles, along with Hootsuite’s feature of scheduling.

Google Alerts

google-alerts

If you’re looking for first-hand updates on the web for anything (in our case, looking for questions or inquiries), Google alerts is a service that crawls Google’s search feature for anything relating to a keyword you specified.

googlealerts-key-ex

Related: The Ninja’s Guide to Google Alerts

Mavenlink

mavenlink

Mavenlink will assist you in accomplishing goals by bringing messaging, your email feed, project details, communication with other team members, an activity feed, etc.. all in one place.

 

Tell a Story or Include a Theme

As part of your content marketing strategy, your new content production, once in a while, should include a popular theme within the words of the article.

The best example I can give you is the best blog that exemplifies this content strategy: Copyblogger.

Let’s take this specific article from Copyblogger: Why a Legendary Album and a Viral Hoax Should Inspire You to Create Content That’s Worth a Damn

themestory-example

I’ve read the article through and it keeps my attention glued to the article consistently. Demian, the author, does an excellent job using the influence of a legendary “rock and roll” guitarist and comparing it to how content marketing should include the elements of virability and substance at the same time (Gave a comment at the bottom).

 

Sales and copywriting for a landing/sales page must include a story that they can relate to. Don’t underestimate the power of copywriting when used in conjunction with popular themes or personal relatable stories. 

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Samuel Pustea

We are all looking to succeed online. It is the dream to build and own a very successful website. I am Samuel and I own Internet Dreams and blog here. Internet Dreams will teach you how to have that success with your site. If you are looking how to optimize and improve your site or blog, Internet Dreams will have content just for that. Blogging, social media, SEO, traffic generation, and much more! Internet Dreams covers it all.


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  1. Lisa

    Hi Samuel – you really packed a lot of great info in this post! It reminded me of my intention to get back on Quora, I also loved your suggestions of landing pages. I want to work on a few of mine in the coming month. I’m also looking to do my 2nd or revised eBook this year, hopefully by June. I must start with little steps, doing a page a day would be helpful. Thanks for inspiring me on these items Samuel. Great post!

    • Samuel Pustea

      Lisa,

      Landing pages can become so helpful when it comes to converting your traffic into subscribers.

      E-books are also known to help you convert and nice to see you might work on your second.

      Little steps, each done with complete determination, is the key to accomplishing goals.

      I was more than glad to pack this post with the best info!

  2. Tyson Quick

    Thank you for including Instapage in this article Samuel. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions your readers may have. Please contact us at any time: support@instapage.com

    Sincerely,
    Tyson Quick
    Instapage CEO

    • Samuel Pustea

      Oh wow. Nice to see you here Tyson!

      Always happy to suggest Instapage to anyone with a blog.

      Please, if any of you have any questions regarding Instapage, my friend Tyson is here to help!

      Thank you Tyson. :)

  3. Karleen

    I have to agree with Lisa here, Sam! You packed a punch with all this info! I uploaded the Instapage plugin and will play around with it. I like all your landing page suggestions.

    And I like the reminders of how to come up with good content. I need to check out Quora. Another option is just looking over the magazines at a local store. There are a lot of topics and ideas for content there as well as the online magazine sites.

    One thing I noticed is that there is no link on your Hybrid Content. I’m not sure if there is supposed to be one or not, but I tried to click on it to take me to the site and there was no link. I know I can just Google it, but I thought I’d let you know.

    Thanks for the great ideas and post! – Karleen

    • Samuel Pustea

      Like I said before, all of my content is my 120% effort and hard work.

      Instapage is your fastest route to creating and having successful landing pages for your website.

      Magazines are also great idea generators and something I would definitely use.

      No, thank you for letting me know! Will fix that asap.

      Thanks for your comment Karleen.

  4. TechJunk

    Lovely suggestions and must have plugins you listed here and more on all things are in one place !
    Thanks for this post!
    Till best in Internet dreams

  5. Raj

    Hey that is the great article got enthusiastic. Thanks for sharing such a precious and valuable information.

  6. Glenn Shepherd

    Hi Samuel,

    You’ve given a great overview of some useful stuff here. Some of these resources I’ve heard of or am using already but there are lots I hadn’t heard of and will no doubt find useful.

    I especially like your points about custom landing pages catered for social media traffic. That’s a strategy I’ve never come across before or thought about, but it seems like a really good idea, I’ll definitely be looking into that some more and giving it some thought.

    Thanks for the awesome post, Samuel :-)

    Kind regards,
    Glenn

    • Samuel Pustea

      It does seem like a good idea when I think about it myself.

      I want to work on that myself for Internet Dreams.

      Thanks for your visit and comment Glenn!

  7. Ally

    This article is awesome, I’m currently travelling and I’m about to start validating business ideas next week via a landing page so this is just what I needed to see.

    • Samuel Pustea

      Great!

      I hope those examples of landing pages will help prosper your business ideas.

      Thanks for your comment today on Internet Dreams!

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